This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

GPs go forth

‘This is like a bereavement’

Dr Robert Mockett’s practice had to take the decision to close on Saturday 28 February. Speaking to us two days before the practice closed, he said it was a  ‘sad day for our 100-year old practice’

We have just two days left working as GPs here until the practice closes and the outpouring of emotion from patients has had me in tears nearly all morning.

I like to think I’m a pretty resilient chap – I’ve ridden motorcycles all over the world and kept pretty fit – but nothing could have prepared me for the bereavement that we are going through with our patients.

I had really hoped the surgery would be able continue as a practice but it was not to be.

A mixture of increasing workload and dropping income meant there was no way we could safely carry on. My partner and I are spent. But I have been at this practice for 26 years and I feel like a rat leaving a sinking ship

I thought I’d stay until 65, but I would not survive. I feel for my lovely patients.

RIP the NHS family doctor

We have to sell the practice as we have a huge mortgage and redundancy packages to pay for staff, not to mention the other accountancy costs to wind down a business.

NHS England is now offering neighbouring practices £25 for each of our patients they take on.

When you also consider around half a billion pounds is being spent on our local hospital, you’d have thought the NHS buying our practice would have been a better use of money than spending tens of thousands in incentives to other practices to take our patients on.

We have been silent until now, but it has to be said that NHS England has not been much help to us at all.

How will the other local practices cope? Through the QOF?

It’s a sad day for a practice that has been here in Brighton for nigh-on 100 years. But no one except us and our patients really seems to care that our old-fashioned, cradle-to-grave partnership is done.

I am lucky and can go because I will be 55 soon; a new chapter will open for me.

RIP the NHS family doctor.

Dr Robert Mockett is a GP in Brighton.

Rate this article  (4.7 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Readers' comments (18)

  • Aw what a very sad situation for you and your partners, your loyal staff and your patients. I fear that many other practices will suffer a similar fate. This Government has been the death knell for General Practice - and I predict that the whole system will collapse and be beyond repair in less than 5 years from now. Very very sad!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I really feel for you Robert.
    I too felt similarly berieved when I felt compelled to take early retirement from General Practice after 33 years of service before I became totally burnt out .
    Three months after said retirement I was up and working as a GP in Australia where I feel valued and respected again and can enjoy doing the job that I was trained for and that I love.
    It is now almost six months since I started work Down-Under and no amount of pleading or 'golden handshake' would ever induce me back to work to work again as a GP in UK.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Really sorry to hear that. This might be the plight of many other GP's and general practice in UK. Sadly politicians are so blinded that they are rocking the foundations of health services and not long before it will be shattered. What will it take for them to come out of their shells and face the reality?
    What will it take for people of the country to raise their voices to fight for their rights of a decent health service?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • this is what NHSE want, the public have fallen in to the trap of believing lying journos

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • i am filled with hatred and loathing for nhse and this repellent evil government

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hello Rob. From a fellow GP in Newcastle I am so sorry for you, You obviously hold the values of continuity of care and dedication to your patients which we all strive for. I am sure you practice will be much missed.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A year on and the dust has settled . I am now working as a Locum GP and Prison Doctor , 3 days a week .The difference is amazing . I feel better , optimistic and happier than I have for years . Lifting the weight of being a Partner has been a real lesson to me . I am sure I would not have survived if I had carried on . I see my old Practice that we had to sell is being developed into a 5 unit complex , though it has been empty for a year awaiting change of use planning permission . I see many in the position I was in this time last year . All I can say is , like any breaevment , there is life after it ! And it feels good to be alive again . I did a mindfullness course last year and that was very useful . Thanks for all your kind comments !I'm Fine

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • CQC and PCC cut backs forced the closure of my small surgery in 2013.

    It was devastating for me and my patients, and bereavement is the right word for it.

    We had tears every day from date the closure was announced.

    £ years down the line I am a different GP- bereft at the loss of my surgery and my patients, but delighted to no longer have the responsibility of running a GP surgery- locums are so much easier to do - turn up- see patients- do visits - go home, but it is not what general practice is about-I have been told that I/we are a dying breed!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say