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'We were swamped'

Dr Nigel Dickson, a single-handed GP from Southampton, says he was forced to retire because his practice could not cope with the influx of patients after nearby practice closures’

Two small practices swamped my single-handed practice of 2,600, boosting it to 3,000. I was allowed to close my list at 3,000 on condition I merged with another small practice.

I’ve since resigned from my new partnership and will retire early at the end of the financial year and draw my NHS pension in April 2015 to begin the rest of my life.

We face a GP manpower tsunami next year as more and more GPs like me hand in the towel and what’s left will be unable to cope.

I’ve had just about enough as I can stomach – working harder year on year for less – forget it – early retirement it is.

People like me have put in huge amounts of our lives to keep the NHS going over last 30-40 years – my own stint has been 34 yrs. The spin doctors for current government have turned the ‘give the GPs a good kicking to shut up’ mentality into a real own goal. ‘NHS safe with us?’ It’s a joke, surely.

Dr Nigel Dickson is a GP in Southampton.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Many sympathies with your forced retirement. The NHS is a really sh*t "employer". The way people are treated after so many years of dedicated service is shocking. Wishing you a happy retirement.

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  • I have resigned as a GP Partner. I am continuing to work as a GP but in a chambers. A multitude of factors, but predominantly a PMS review which is hampered by a severely adverse Carr-Hill formula and a ludicrous service charge, have made the figures not stack up. This combined with a work intensity that is not sustainable long term has meant that at the age of 56 I have given up being a partner. i will miss the patient continuity and all of those who were so kind in their words. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.

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  • This could bost the Tories dear.

    Trusts managing a complete monopoly of primary and secondary care could become a Mid Staffs in GP land.

    Get this, doctors want to be GPs because they do not want to work for hospitals which are s***e employers. Please google bullying in NHS hospitals or read one of the many books on bullying in the NHS if you are in any doubt.

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  • Also out come April 2015. Resigned as cannot face it anymore. Moving overseas to a new post which looks like heaven compared with working in NHS. Of the practices in my cluster, 4/8 will have unfilled GP vacancies - one for nearly 2 years. It is about to implode.

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  • clearly 'you are not the right sort of GP' as you can't cope.

    what you need is a good dose of resilience training, get your English skills up-do-date, switch to 12 hour seven day a week working, take a pay cut, get organised for revalidation, CQC visit, gather patient feedback to improve your services, innovate, take on home visit DES, implement telehealth and skype consultation, be named doctor for all your patients 24 hr a day, prepare for managing practitioner assistants ....

    ... oh I now see why you are retiring ...

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  • Just got myself pensioned out early, as made no sense to continue as a partner in the current environment. Obviously the failure to retain so many GPs like me is a waste, sad for the NHS, but there is an unstoppable epidemic of idiots in many different responsible positions whose decisions are destroying general practice.

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  • Go on the NHS free occupational health

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