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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Superpractice to close surgery due to 'serious' GP staffing problems

A superpractice is to close one of its surgeries in Hull next month after a lack of GPs led to 'serious' concerns about its ability to provide a safe service for patients.

Modality Partnership, based in Birmingham, will shut one of its five sites in Hull and transfer its primary care services to two other sites in the north of the city.

From 1 August, staff working at Faith House Surgery will move to either New Hall Surgery or Newland Group Practice and the patient lists will also be divided up between the two practices.

The superpractice - which has a combined list size of 60,062 patients in Hull - had attempted to recruit more clinical staff following a period of GPs leaving or reducing their hours at the surgery.

But further retirements meant each remaining full-time equivalent GP at the surgery would have been responsible for 3,850 patients.

A report by Hull CCG and Hull City Council on the matter noted the 'urgent clinical safety implications,' which led to the CCG's Primary Care Commissioning Committee supporting the decision to close the surgery.

Last year the practice began an engagement exercise about whether to close the site so that patients had access to a broader range of staff and services.

But since then, 'the compounding issue of immediate and serious clinical workforce pressures...had seriously escalated,' said the report.

The report added: 'The committee were informed that since the beginning of the engagement exercise, three GP partners had retired from Modality Partnership Hull, a GP partner had resigned, a further five GP partners had reduced their hours and two more GP partners were retiring in the coming weeks.

’Despite a number of proactive steps having already been taken to recruit GPs, the partnership has seen a significant reduction in the GP capacity and with imminent retirements by the end of July there will be 15.8 GPs left to support approximately 61,000 patients.

'Each whole-time equivalent GP will therefore be responsible for 3,850 patients each, which is double that of the England average of approximately 1,800 - 2,000 patients per WTE GP.’

Patients were informed of the closure and have been sent a letter stating that they can select their preferred Modality practice, according to Faith House Surgery’s website.

The website notice said: ‘Following the changes, you will be able to contact the surgery through existing numbers, and access appointments at any Modality Partnership Hull site. You do not have to do anything, and there is no need to re-register.

Modality has been approached for comment.

Modality has previously expressed interest in taking on leadership roles within new primary care networks, including providing back-office support and being a ‘custodian of funds’.

Last year, Modality partnered with Push Doctor to offer video GP consultations in its practices.

Readers' comments (14)

  • National Hopeless Service

    Anybody who thinks PCNs are going to save GP world think again. No amount of superficial tinkering will help recruitment.

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  • Until there is a serious rethink and spending on GP. This will become a more common occurrence over the next 5 years. And yet the college and BMA do little.

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  • Working at scale really working eh!

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  • And there was me thinking federating was the answer, or was that super-practices, or was that networks? I’m sure the boffins at NHSE will come up with something before it’s all too late! Or maybe not.

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  • NHS England consultation document 2025. " after much investment we have reached the conclusion that networks must look to downsize into new units which we can call " practices" this will comprise a new concept of autonomous units of say 7 - 10000 patients..........

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  • One of the things a super practice is designed to do is close sites to concentrate resources and become more efficient at few sites. So not surprising really.

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  • The Modality model, treat everyone like sh1t, works when people have no choice. Patients have nowhere else to go, but GPs currently have plenty of choices where to work.

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  • Not so ‘super’ then are we?

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  • Mark Howson has it right.

    This process is not a failure or error. It is exactly Modality's business plan. I imagine patients get a terrible GP service with 3000+ patients/ GP - but it must be impossible not to have a good partnership income. Do you really think that if they had a fistful of applicants they would double the number of GPs working for them and go back to 1600 patients/ full time GP?

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  • So much for economies of scale and Super sized sugeries. Super can lead to super failures and poorly managed distant run surgeries. A sign of PCNs to come. Until they address the cheating pay to work tax, workload, stress and responsibilities and the blame culture, people will continue to leave.

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