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At the heart of general practice since 1960

4,400 patient practice in David Cameron's old constituency set to close

A GP practice in Witney, ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s old constituency, is set to close on 31 March 2017.

The contract was held by Virgin Care under an APMS contract, and due to expire in November, but they will continue running the practice until March to give the three other practices in Witney, Oxfordshire, time to recruit more staff to cope with the extra patients.

The closure was confirmed last month.

NHS Oxfordshire CCG tendered for a new contract in March, and said in a statement: ‘Despite offering the contract at a significantly higher price than that paid to other practices in Oxfordshire, only one bid was received and, following evaluation, OCGG was not able to award a contract.’ 

The statement also said: ‘We would like to make it clear that closing the practice was not what OCCG would have chosen had other options been available.’

Most of 4,400 patients of Deer Park Medical centre will be able to register at one of the three other Witney local practices, once they have recruited more staff, and all patients would be able to register with one of the nine West Oxfordshire practices, according to the CCG.

The CCG has also asked the local GP federation to increase appointments at the local hub (providing urgent appointments) and increase the number of home visits available.

According to the CCG: ‘This will mean that practices can respond to patients’ needs swiftly but also have some breathing space to prepare for new registrations. OCCG will also be providing support to practices in recruiting GPs and nurses to meet the growing demand.’

Dr Paul Roblin, CEO of Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMC, said: ’The contract is APMS and I gather the funding formula would be the same as in GMS. As I have said many times, practices struggle to survive when the contract price is around £142 per patient per year for an average of six consultations per patient; ie a year of GP care costs about the same as one hospital outpatient appointment.’

The CCG has told patients not to move practices until they receive further news in the new year.

This follows other practice closures in Oxfordshire, with the North Bicester surgery in Oxfordshire closing on 30 September, leaving the partners with a £800,000 potential liability and an 18,000 patient practice in Banbury handing back its contract in September.

Pulse’s Stop Practice Closures campaign has raised awareness about the problems caused for neighbouring practices when practices close.

Readers' comments (18)

  • Train more full time GPs.

    Encourage partnerships / independent contractor GPs.

    Pay contract at 2004 levels.

    Problems solved - would be both cost effective and create one of the best primary care systems in the world.

    Alternative is to put tills on reception / accept card payments.

    I'll take either model.

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  • 4:46 has got it right - well done.

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  • Like GP partner said 4:46pm

    It's not rocket science after all!

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  • A few points here.

    So no tskers despite significantly enhanced payments. Says a lot.

    Dispersal of the list to the other three practices. Hope they got those enhanced payments per head PLUS a payment for each new patient taken on.

    LMC think the payment for the contract price is around £142 per patient per year. Basic £65-70 per head plus QOF equals £100. If you add in LESs those might break at best so it is fooling no-one to add those as income per head.

    Not enough money and not enough GPs.

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  • Training more gps ain't gonna work.. Every one i know including new gps are leaving after an yr at the most as locum..

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  • Interesting that even Virgin is leaving the market.

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  • No wonder the rat is deserting his ship

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  • No seven day GP services for Dave and his family then

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  • The irony is just amazing. The great "we want great services, 7 days a week, when ever we want" Cameron cry which the Jung continues to think is a good idea and pushes. Not that it matters to dave at all. He is rich enough to afford private care.

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  • What Virgin Health is saying is that they can not make any money of this practice. Why the commissioners thought Virgin Health would succeed where NHS doctors would fail to make any money is a mystery. It just goes to show that the Commissioners are just as incompetent as Virgin Health have been, bidding for a practice they won't make any money out of. It shows gross incompetence on both sides.

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