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Over 8,000 patients set to be displaced in latest GP practice closure

Over 8,000 Scottish patients could be left without a GP when their practice closes at the end of September.

GPs at the Brimmond Medical group in Aberdeen, which is due to close at the end of September, told Pulse they are increasingly concerned about the lack of progress being made to secure GP cover for its 8,300 patient list.

Substantial extra expectation from new housing developments combined with massively diminishing resourcing means that the practice has become ‘unviable’ as a business, according to practice partner Dr Malcom Valentine.

The group is closing after GPs confirmed they will cease as a partnership due to staff shortages, with the contract handed back to NHS Grampian from 1 October.

It comes as a Pulse investigation revealed that more than 160,000 patients have already been displaced by practice closures as the profession struggles under a UK-wide recruitment crisis.

Dr Valentine told Pulse that, with just three months to go before the practice closes, the future was uncertain for patients.

He said: ‘With three months to go we should be putting programmes together for chronic disease management, such as diabetes and hypertension, but we can’t plan. I have an overwhelming concern for patients as we have seen a rise in the levels of anxiety expressed by them in the last week.’

NHS Grampian said that it had undertaken a formal tendering process, that interest had been expressed in taking on the service and that patients would be informed of ‘transitional arrangements’ by 1 October.

Pulse has learned that two practices have expressed interest in taking on the Brimmond Medical Centre’s patient list but that both would need to expand their capacity first via new hires.

An NHS Grampian spokesperson said: ‘From this process, new, independent GMS services have been selected and arrangements will be put in place from the 1 October 2015 for them to take over.

‘We are still in the confidential part of the formal tendering process, and have nothing further to add at this stage.’

It comes as NHS England has put together a panel of GP providers covering the south of England to be prepared to take over at short notice should a practice unexpectedly close.

Readers' comments (8)

  • again no news ... 8000 patients 'could' be left without a GP.

    sorry but until the public have no GP or have to wait a few months for an appointment then nothing will change. we all know that the worst that will happen is that the 8000 will be distributed to local practices whether they like it or not.

    the threatened mass retirements have yet to emerge and the numbers emigrating are tiny so i doubt we will see the 'crisis' that the GPC go on about.

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  • @ Anonymous | Salaried GP | 10 July 2015 10:41pm

    Absolutely spot on.These so called crisis headlines just make me yawn.

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  • Agreed!! Yawn.

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  • I am sorry, I must be missing something here. Why exactly are we busting our gut here? The headline sure is sensational. "8000 patients could be left without a GP".
    Why do we need this said GP? Surely not!

    COI: GP partner in late 30s

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  • Addendum to my comment above: I meant "said GPs", we are a species who are no longer needed.

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  • This is a planned closure with plenty of time for an orderly transfer to be arranged and plans for patients to be transfered: so why isn't this happening?
    It looks as though the basic decision as to whether the list (a sizeable one at 8300 patients) will be maintained as a going entity under new management - whether or not that means one of the other practices accepting the list or a new provider being brought in - or whether the patients will be dispersed among other local practices.
    If the former, it makes sense to keep the list intact until 1st October and the transfer to the new management: if the later, surely some discussion on a gradual transfer should now be underway, in the interests of patient safety if nothing else?
    At any rate, in Scotland there shouldn't be the problem of trying to transfer records between very different IT systems!

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  • Pulse clickbait.

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  • this is very far from a yawn but a growing massive crisis.
    one of many reasons we need an immediate ballot on mass resignation.

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