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Another 10,000 GP patients displaced amid latest practice closure

Another 10,000 GP patients displaced amid latest practice closure

About 10,000 patients in Bournemouth will have to change their GP practice, after a health centre announced its intention to close.

GP partners at Winton Health Centre said they have made the ‘difficult decision’ to end their NHS contract on 31 July, although they did not define their reasons.

The ICB told Pulse that ‘well known ongoing workforce and recruitment pressures’ coupled with ongoing financial pressures meant the partners at the health centre are ‘no longer able to guarantee delivery of safe primary care services for registered patients.’

It comes as many other GP practices are handing back contracts over issues such as recruitment difficulties and workload.

In a message to patients, the partners said they had been working with other local partners to explore options for a merger or takeover to enable the surgery to remain open, but ‘unfortunately without success.’

The message added: ‘Therefore, Winton Health Centre will close on 31 July and the surgery premises will no longer be used for GP services after this date.

‘As a result of the closure, all patients will be transferred to a different practice. This transfer will be done automatically, and patients do not need to do anything to continue to receive care.

‘NHS Dorset have written to all our registered patients to tell them which local practice they will be transferred to before the practice closure.’

Dr Paul Johnson, chief medical officer at NHS Dorset, told Pulse that the ICB had also explored options for a merger or takeover but without success.

He said: ‘Since the current GP partners at Winton Health Centre notified us of their intention to terminate their contract, we have been exploring options for a merger or takeover of the surgery, however these have been without success meaning the surgery will close after 31 July 2023.

‘Last week we wrote to all registered patients to inform them of this. As a result of the closure, patients will be transferred to an alternate practice from 31 July 2023, and we will be writing to everyone shortly to inform them which one they will be transferred to and what other options they may have.’

According to a report by the BBC, other recent nearby practice closures included included the North Harbour Medical Group, Portsmouth (9,000 patients), Abbotsbury Road Surgery in Weymouth (9,000 patients) and Beech Grove Surgery in Brading, on the Isle of Wight (4,500 patients).

Meanwhile, a patients’ group in Shropshire is looking at buying its local GP surgery building, to save it from closure and make it more attractive to new doctors.

And the BMA has called for urgent action to save general practice in Northern Ireland, after the 15th GP practice in a year handed back its contract.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Jonathan Heatley 13 May, 2023 8:53 am

I am on the point of retiring age 67 after 38 happy and fulfilled years as a full time GP. It was a wonderful job and I feel sad that it has fallen so low. I try to understand what is going wrong and I have made the following observation;-
We used to write succint notes and were able to see 8 patients an hour or 24 in a session. This managed the workload fine and appointments were readily available. Things have become more litigious and complex, and now GPs are expected to write notes expecting every case to be analysed by lawyers at some future date. This is time consuming and boring and generates acres of negative findings. Its not just us, — have you recently waded through those 111 or A&E notes that go on for pages only to anounce a nose bleed somewhere hidden in the small print? This takes the joy out of the job and it has NOT reduced medicolegal cases- quite the opposite. The BMA campaigning for a maximum of 24 cases a day is the natural response but will only compound the situation further. The public are in despair about the situation. The only bright spot I can see is that chatgbt or a health version will soon take over a large proportion of GP work.

Anthony Gould 13 May, 2023 9:42 am

More patients, more complex (thus longer) consultations, fewer GPs, lower pay, meetings of limited value
have all created a perfect storm. Market forces do not apply to the NHS except for locums so too few nurses and doctors as well as fewer clinicians from abroad.
Meanwhile MPs are being paid more and more.
Difficult to see when the NHS will turn the corner.

Dylan Summers 13 May, 2023 11:35 am


Agree to some extent but I don’t think note taking is the key thing leading to longer consultations.

The key thing is the vicious circle of more activity generating more activity – I’ve been working for 20 years and in that time I’ve seen: we test more, we prescribe more and we refer more.

Every one of the three activities – tests, prescriptions and referrals – has the potential to generate – guess what? New tests, new prescriptions and new referrals.

Drivers fuelling this vicious circle of increased activity include chronic disease management protocols and clinical guidelines.

Not on your Nelly 13 May, 2023 3:46 pm

Unlimited and unrealistic patient expectations, lack of ability to self care, lack of appointments in secodary care and ability for everyone to reject referrals constantly for the lack of a box being ticket, rudeness, lack or respect, no support from the gmc or nhse…..the list goes on and on and on and on….

Ravi Sastry 13 May, 2023 9:32 pm

his assertion is exactly what increased documentation has done to clinical practice. More activity. Our clinical negligence claims haven’t decreased with more defensive medicine. Have patients become more complex in the last 20 yrs or do you think we know little bit more of vast medicine! In the past were patients less savvy, lacked health education, accepted untoward events better, more patient to see if things settled down, less mental health angle to every illness .

Jolyon Miles 14 May, 2023 7:46 am

JH and DS have it. Medico-legal worries and more complex work have greatly reduced capacity. Everything else was there before. Many of the problems I used to see as a medical registrar in OP 35 years ago are now routine for GP.

Truth Finder 15 May, 2023 2:54 pm

This is what happens when we let others run us. More managers, more paper work generated and he get us to write more down.