Exclusive A GP practice in Brighton and Hove has taken on almost 10,000 patients overnight following the CQC’s immediate closure of a nearby surgery last week, Pulse has learned.
NHS England has assigned the entire 9,500 patient list from the Goodwood Court Medical Centre, which was closed a week ago following a CQC inspection, to the neighbouring Charter Medical Centre.
The Charter Medical Centre said it could not comment on how it would cope with the influx, referring instead to NHS England, which said the practice had ‘worked at pace to provide additional clinics and will also be employing additional staff to support patient care’.
NHS England said it was writing to all affected patients to explain the new arrangement after agreeing a contract with the GPs at the Charter Medical Centre that will provide ‘the additional resources it needs’ to secure access to local GP services to both its existing and new patients ‘at the same standard’.
A spokesperson said: ‘Following urgent action by the CQC to protect the safety and welfare of patients at Goodwood Court Medical Centre, NHS England’s priority has been to make sure patients can continue to access local GP services.’
NHS England suggested the GPs would cope with the thousands of extra patients through a combination of additional locum GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses and other health support staff.
But the spokesperson added: ‘It will be up to the GPs at Charter Medical Centre to decide what they do as part of the contract.’
The Goodwood Court Medical Centre was closed immediately after inspection by the CQC on 10 June, leaving around 10,000 patients having to use a walk-in centre.
A report in the Argus said the CQC inspection came after the regulator received complaints about the practice from members of the public, but patients had not received any warning about the closure and appointments had to be cancelled at short notice.
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the CQC, said: ‘It would be a massive challenge for any practice to take in so many new patients so quickly and so this practice will need significant support and understanding from NHS England and the CCG to be able to do it effectively.
‘They will also need to be confident that they can recruit the necessary additional GPs and other staff to ensure they not only can rise to the challenge of providing a good service to their new patients but that they also do no compromise their current service to existing patients.’