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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Tenth GP practice hands over contract to foundation trust

A tenth GP practice has handed over its contract to Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in a bid to provide 'resilience' to the practice and ensure its 'long-term security'. 

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is now running Oxford Surgery, meaning it is the tenth practice to come under its management, serving a population of 60,620 patients

The trust said that by acquiring the latest practice, it is able to 'redesign services' and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

The trust began providing GP services in 2017 when it announced it would be directly responsible for the delivery of care of eight GP practices as part of an 'open-ended' pilot. Last year, it acquired a 5,000-patient GP practice.

With its latest acquisition, the trust said issues around 'scope of responsibility, funding, differing objectives and drivers will be removed' so that 'clinicians will be in a position to design effective, high-quality clinical pathways, which will improve appropriate access and positively impact on patient outcomes'. 

The trust said in an online statement that Oxley Surgery will 'now have extensive administration support to help manage workflow and secretarial tasks to release more clinical time'.

It said: 'By investing in GP practices, the trust can redesign services, improve the health and wellbeing of the local population and prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital.'

RWT chief executive David Loughton said: 'I am delighted to welcome Oxley Surgery to RWT and look forward to working together to continue to provide high-quality services for our patients.

'This is an exciting time for GP surgeries working with us as we have helped improved efficiency in areas such as recruitment, finance and patient access.

'Within each practice we have extensive administration teams to support workflow optimisation, care navigation and secretarial tasks to release more clinical time.'

He added: 'This means that with the patient at the centre, we can alter the way patients move between the primary and secondary care interface. Our vision is great collaboration that supports the best interest of the patient.'

Dr Joseph Fowler, GP at Oxley Surgery, said: 'Joining the trust provides proactive resilience for us. I feel working with the trust will ensure a good standard is maintained.

'It will provide long term security for the practice which I am pleased about.'

Earlier this year, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust took over three GP practices, with GPs warning the takeovers could put the trust in an 'extremely powerful position'.

In September, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership announced it would run its third practice after the GPs had no choice but give their contracts back as they were 'unable to recruit new partners'.

And last summer, Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust was forced to close a 5,000-patient GP practice because of ‘significant difficulties’ recruiting GPs and an 'over-reliance' on locums.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Cobblers

    A quick look at Google shows Dr Fowler to have qualified in 1981 so I suspect he is looking for a way out. He's the only doctor there it seems. A quick tie up with the Trust and off-loading of redundancy responsibilities and retire into the golden sunset. Cynic moi?

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  • Does anyone have any evidence whether hospital trusts leads to better staisfaction (or same) and reduced admissions and costs?

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Who are they staffing these practices with, I wonder?

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  • David Banner

    Re Cobblers

    Spot on. Last Man Standing bankruptcy dodged, its the Trust’s problem now. Must be a massive relief for Dr Fowler.

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  • clinicians will be in a position to design effective, high-quality clinical pathways, which will improve appropriate access and positively impact on patient outcomes'.
    Complete admindroid bollocks!

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  • Smart move Dr Fowler. Avoids last man standing scenario.

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  • Wouldn't be a problem in Medway - the contract would be given to DMC without any procurement at £145 per patient and additional funding as in the last 18 months 5 surgeries have been handed to them. Come to think of it, if existing practices were given that type of funding, they wouldn't need to relinquish their contracts in the first place. But then that is equality and democracy NHSE style or let's put it 'Kent and Medway variant'

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  • This was d...what they mean is we will dump everything on GP...what they forget is a sizeable amount of their income comes from outside of the area...they may not get their way.

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  • Unscepted is so right . Trust patients receive 25% more for admin alone. I think the extra funding provided would have sustained all GP practices that were taken over. But the NHS has always been thus. Some GP surgeries get 200 , others 120/ patient. Of course, there are likely to be some variation as say London vs Fermanagh, but profit per patient year can vary from 120 to 40 pounds. Trusts are all better paid per patient and perhaps while we may lose independence on the swings, we may gain workload controls, safety and stability on the hobby horses.

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