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‘We weren’t allowed to access the vulnerable practices fund’

Dr Lars Grimstvedt tells Pulse how his former struggling GP practice was told it could not access the vulnerable practices fund

We handed back our contract to NHS England last June. We had already been taking less drawings than the average GP, then when we went from a PMS to a GMS contract – seeing an increasing demand in both clinical and non-clinical work, as well as rapidly increasing expenses – the net result was working hours increased and drawings had to be reduced.

dr lars grimstvedt 330x330px

dr lars grimstvedt 330x330 – online

We could not see a way to continue as we were. Being a small practice with a list size of just 2,000, we explored all options and when the CCG rejected our merger proposal – giving no reason – we had no choice but to resign our GMS contract. We were not identified as ‘vulnerable’. We hadn’t failed a CQC inspection and while we had some support from the CCG, we weren’t allowed to access the fund.

After the closure, we had to clear out our rented property as we were closing down, which meant selling on office and medical equipment like couches, ECG machine and nebulisers to raise money toward the costs of closure. We didn’t go bankrupt, but it was a tough time. I have had to cover my part of the shortfall with a personal loan.

Now I have a salaried job and earn much more per session, meaning I can work fewer hours for the same take-home pay and spend more time at home with my young family.

Dr Lars Grimstvedt was a partner at Studley Health Centre in Warwickshire, and is now a salaried GP in Worcestershire

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Readers' comments (5)

  • This is the reason why GPs should all be salaried within the NHS. The RCGP and BMA roundly opposed a proposal from the house of lords about considering a salaried service. Why have'nt they then come to the rescue here?

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  • National Hopeless Service

    No OOH Anon this is the reason we should be funded more appropriately not less by forcing all into salaried slaves.

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  • Cobblers

    And the take home story is?

    Currently being a partner is a mug's game. You are hoping, against hope, that all will be well in the end.

    Time to have that discussion with yourself and your family. Would it be better to take control of your own destiny? Dictate your own workload and pay? Then get out. Last man standing is likely to be bankrupt (redundancy, PFI payments etc).

    Anyway TFI Friday!

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  • In the good days, partners were taking home twice what they were paying the "salaried slaves". Why not consider equal remuneration to all GP's and no risk to partners etc. Makes sense to me. I left partnership when I was asked to take on personal liability.

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  • Join the LMC or CCG and lick the boots of NHSE officials and you will be given what your little heart desire:)Unless you have self respect and show them the finger and carry on.

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