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Three out of five GP practices to close in crisis town

Three out of five GP practices to close in crisis town

Bridlington in East Riding of Yorkshire is set to see the closure of three of its five GP practices, with the remaining two to register all patients.

Currently, three of the GP practices – which all form part of the five-practice strong Bridlington PCN – operate on APMS contracts due to expire in March 2023.

However the providers have decided not to renew them, and the ICB does not intend to seek new contractors.

GP practices in the Yorkshire coastal town have notoriously struggled to retain and recruit new staff, ultimately resulting in most surgeries adopting APMS contracts.

Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) told Pulse these contracts were causing ‘uncertainty’ in the system, with the practices ‘struggling to move on with the Network DES’ because they are too focused on ‘day-to-day survival’.

An ICB spokesperson said: ‘Like many parts of the NHS over the past few years, Bridlington has experienced challenges recruiting and retaining staff and has seen a reduction in clinical and administrative staff employed by those providers delivering primary care services.

‘In addition, there has been an increase in the number of GP appointments and general workload in primary care. This, in turn, has put the current providers under significant pressure and has meant that opportunities for maximising patient experience haven’t been fully utilised.’

Moving to just two practices in the town will reduce ‘complexity’ in the system and concentrate staff, they added.

Meanwhile, the PCN hopes the shift to two larger practices – Humber Primary Care and Practice Three, which will each serve around 19,000 patients – will help improve retention by offering staff greater career development opportunities.

Dr Priya Reddy, clinical director for the PCN based in Practice Three, said it should also help embed multidisciplinary ways of working, including staff hired under the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS).

She said: ‘The idea of having a larger practice is to embed that way of working in the system. But you can’t do that easily without a larger team. You need a pyramid structure with one GP at the top and lots of members of the team, including those hired via the ARRS,’ she said.

She added that ‘that system simply doesn’t work’ in smaller practices, and requires a larger team.

Just one remaining independent contractor GP practice

The three APMS practices – Field House Surgery, Practice One and Wolds View surgery – will cease to operate from 31 March 2023.

The plans mean just one GP practice in Bridlington, Practice Three, will now be run by GP partners.

The other practice which will remain open – Humber Primary Care – was formed by the merger of Practice Two and Manor House Surgery in June.

They were both already run by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, following takeovers in 2021 and 2019 respectively.

At the time, this raised alarm over the ‘disproportionate’ numbers of practices in deprived areas losing their independent partnership model status.

NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB said the consolidation plans were being driven by local GPs.

Will Uglow, primary care lead for the ICB’s East Riding place, said: ‘Practices are struggling day-to-day to get by, so we see this as a stake-in-the-ground moment, because it can’t continue. This new direction is being driven by the primary care in the town itself.’

He said that clinicians are ‘prepared to stay on longer’ with just ‘one way of working in the town’.

He added that their training practice – Practice Three, which will remain open – has previously struggled to offer opportunities to trainees as they are fully doctored.

Mr Uglow said: ‘What we want to do in Bridlington is to have fewer but larger practices that give all clinical staff mentorship and leadership opportunities and some greater assurance in the work they’re doing.’

In 2018, Bridlington was one of many areas denied Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF), causing plans to develop new premises to be scrapped.

Bridlington GP shortages had also left practices forced to close their patient lists in 2016.

A Pulse investigation last year revealed that 800 GP practices have closed since 2013.

Further, our recent Lost Practices investigation found that at least 474 surgeries across the UK have folded with no replacement, with the impact felt by 1.5 million patients.



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

Patrufini Duffy 11 October, 2022 1:34 pm

Brings a new meaning to the word hole-istic.
One massive hole.

Truth Finder 11 October, 2022 3:45 pm

It shows the system is flawed and not fit for purpose.

Turn out The Lights 11 October, 2022 5:55 pm

This will not work just more shifting of deck chairs on a sinking ship.

David jenkins 11 October, 2022 6:12 pm

“has meant that opportunities for maximising patient experience haven’t been fully utilised.’”

what sort of drivel is this ?

newspeak – straight out of george orwell !!!

Richard Greenway 11 October, 2022 8:00 pm

Not sure how the ICB spokesman finds any positives in this situation.

Retention of GP partners is crucial to the continuation of General Practice.
Without this – you won’t get recruitment in. They seem to have lost most of their Partners, and this is the sad result.

Patrufini Duffy 11 October, 2022 8:10 pm

Then give “it” to an American corporate. Plan worked. Divide and conquer.

paul cundy 11 October, 2022 11:51 pm

Dear All,
So decipher the spin and it amounts to three APMS service providers handing back their contracts. May we see the financials behind their contracts? What was their funding per patient relative to a standard GMS NHS contract?
If it were superior how can the ICB expect the remaining practice(s) to survive without additional support.
If it were less then QED.
If it were similar then what lesson the involvement and management of local providers?
Potential lessons for all
Paul C

John Evans 12 October, 2022 8:36 am

The key issue is the funding flow to the remaining practices. If all of the funds move then economy of scale may leave sufficient funds to reward the GPs adequately.
However, it did sound like the plan was to use nurses, assistants to provide some of the service.

The case for that model is unproven despite the first wave proponents. Just as with first wave fund holders, APMS – the favourable terms or niche circumstances were blindly extrapolated.

European neighbours have managed healthcare with far less hysteria. Yet we have been infatuated either with post war NHS socialist ideals or with US capitalist dogma – both completely deluded.

Hello My name is 12 October, 2022 9:21 am

‘What we want to do in Bridlington is to have fewer but larger practices that give all clinical staff mentorship and leadership opportunities and some greater assurance in the work they’re doing.’

Everyone’s a leader when theirs no one left- in this car crash! 😂