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Large practice reports over 7,000 patients per GP

Large practice reports over 7,000 patients per GP

A large practice in West Cumbria has an excess of 7,000 patients per GP since the middle of December, following an exodus of GPs.

The number of full-time equivalent GPs at Fellview Healthcare, which covers a patient list of 24,000, has dropped from 12 to 3.3 whole-time-equivalent GPs over the past few years.

North Cumbria Primary Care Alliance (NCPC), which runs the practice, said it is facing difficulties due to ageing GP workforce, individuals leaving the area and GPs choosing to work as locums.

It also faces particular difficulties around GP in West Cumbria due to rural locations, such as lakes and mountains to navigate.

The Fellview practice operates over four geographically distinct sites, serving some of the most deprived communities in the North West.

An NCPC spokesperson told Pulse that GP and other staff wellbeing remains a concern, and patient access and experience have been ‘adversely’ impacted by the Fellview GP shortage.

They said: ‘We work as part of a cluster of North Cumbria Primary Care practices in Copeland, who despite also having workforce challenges have mobilised to support Fellview when needed.

‘We have made significant steps to develop a multi-disciplinary composite workforce to deliver services, but some of the challenges surrounding GP recruitment are replicated across other healthcare professions.’ 

They said that there has already been an increase in patient registrations as patients move from Fellview Healthcare. 

The spokesperson added: ‘We are working with our PCN partners and the ICB team, to support Fellview Healthcare and will continue to work together to support the practice and develop workforce solutions which meet our short, medium and long term needs.’

Dr Neil O’Brien, medical director for the North East and North Cumbria ICB, told Pulse that there are a range of initiatives in place to attract and retain more GPs to the area of North Cumbria.

He said: ‘When it comes to attracting the next generation of doctors to the region we have our Find Your Place campaign which encourages medical trainees to choose our region for their GP training – recognising that we have so much to offer including high quality training programmes and great places to live.

‘We also have a proposed new medical school at the University of Cumbria due to open in 2024.

‘We would like to reassure people that GP recruitment continues to be a key priority and focus for us.’

Earlier this month, an APMS contract tender has been launched for another Cumbrian practice which saw its partners hand back their GMS contract in the summer.

Partners at that practice were forced to throw in the towel in August due to the weight of workload related to unregistered tourists, for which they no longer receive top-up funding.



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

Turn out The Lights 22 December, 2022 9:37 am

Tins of Beans on a conveyor belt.Human Beans.Personalised care Baah Humbug.

Stephen Fowler 22 December, 2022 10:40 am

Offer GPs £250k a year for a strict 37.5hr/week salaried post (still less than half Claudia Winklemann’s salary from the publicly funded BBC) and I’m sure you’ll get some recruits

Bonglim Bong 22 December, 2022 12:53 pm

With a total practice income of 4.2 Million – the money must be going somewhere.

Patrufini Duffy 22 December, 2022 7:51 pm

The medical school will have you some GPs by 2036. If you can persuade a new kid on the block to stick around.

Truth Finder 23 December, 2022 3:58 pm

New doctors will emigrate the way things are going. They need to stop the leaking bucket before pouring in more water.

Anonymous 28 December, 2022 8:13 am

7k patients per one GP is not safe. They have either employed a lot of Noctors so the stats look a bit skewed or are cashing in on their blissful incompetence.

Either way, patients have to realize UK does not have leading healthcare system anymore. Much worse cancer detection rates and outcomes than other European countries for past 20 years, now time for primary care disintegration.