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Practice suspended by CQC in crisis town closes down for good

A practice in Plymouth has permanently shut down following a sudden temporary closure from a CQC inspection.

CQC inspectors visited Barton surgery in Plymstock on 24 October and closed the surgery immediately from 28 October to 25 November amid ‘serious concerns’ for patients.

But NHS Devon CCG has said during the closure, the contract holder, Dr Steven Nimmo, informed them he will ‘no longer be providing GP services.’

Commissioners have therefore written to the surgery’s 2,700 patients advising to register with two nearby practices, approximately two miles from Barton surgery – Wycliffe surgery, which has a list of 6,500 patients and 10,700-patient Friary House surgery.

But the letter, seen by Pulse, said two other surgeries have closed their lists – 12,000-patient Church View surgery and 10,000-patient Dean Cross surgery.

It said: ‘During the period of suspension, the contract holder for the practice, Dr Nimmo, has taken the decision to cease providing GP services at Barton Surgery with immediate effect. This means that Barton Surgery will not re-open.’

It added: ‘You do have the option to register with any practice of your choice with an open list, provided you live within their practice boundary (please note, Church View Surgery and Dean Cross Surgery are currently closed to new patients).  ‘

A spokesperson for Devon CCG, said: ‘After the CQC took urgent action to protect patients by temporarily suspending the practice, the GP at Barton Surgery informed us he will no longer be providing GP services and we have written to all his patients to them know. The CQC inspection report, which will detail their finding of inspectors, will be published in due course.’

Barton Surgery is still available to supply urgent prescriptions from 25 November to 29 November to patients who will run out of medication in the next seven days. 

The CQC inspection report for Barton surgery has not yet been published, but the CCG stated it will be available ‘in due course’.

It follows the announcement of the closure of another Plymouth practice in September. Park View Surgery announced it will be shutting its doors on News Year’s Eve as it is ‘too small to be sustainable’, according to the CCG. 

Pressures faced in Plymouth in recent years has led to a fifth of practices handing back their contracts between 2015 and 2018.