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Patients baffled as five GPs leave one practice on the same day

Patients baffled as five GPs leave one practice on the same day

Five of seven GPs left a practice in Derby with just two days’ notice, leaving patients confused over what had happened.

A letter on the city centre Osmaston Surgery website said on Friday 28 April, Drs Warner, Artus, Rao, Kamath and Swamy confirmed they were leaving the surgery just two days later.

No explanation was given for the mass exodus which left two remaining GP partners in place at the training practice which serves more than 15,300 patients.

Pulse has unsuccessfully attempted to contact the practice for comment.

In the notice to patients, the practice said it was still open and patients would be signposted to ‘an alternative safe clinical service’ if appointments were fully booked, including NHS 111, pharmacy and a walk in centre.

‘The remaining GPs and all our staff are working extremely hard to keep the surgery open, safe and to keep our service going,’ the surgery statement said.

Remaining staff include Dr Bhanit Patel and Dr Toral Patel, believed to be husband and wife, as well as a team of locum doctors.

A spokesperson for Derby and Derbyshire ICB said: ‘We are aware of the position at Osmaston Surgery and we are working with the remaining practice partners who are committed to continue to provide ongoing primary care services for their population.

‘The partners have provided assurance that they have recruited additional staff to support the practice team and further staff are planned to be recruited in the near future.

‘We will continue to work with the practice over the coming weeks to provide support during this period of change.’

The practice is rated good by the CQC after last being inspected in 2018. A note added to the inspection page on 4 May said: ‘We reviewed the information and data available to us about The Osmaston Surgery on 4 May 2023.

‘We have not found evidence that we need to reassess the rating at this stage. We will continue to monitor information about this service.’

A CQC spokesperson told Pulse: ‘We are monitoring the service closely and in contact with the ICB concerning the care being delivered at the service.’

Local news site Derbyshire Live reported that patients were shocked by the news with someone finding out as the news spread on social media.

One patient Naomi, told the paper: ‘It’s just weird. They didn’t announce it before. It seems a bit odd that they’ve announced it on Friday and they’ve all gone on Sunday.

‘It’s a massive surgery and now it’s a situation of everyone going to find another GP and them all being inundated with patients.’

This week, the Government’s recovery plan for general practice has been criticised for lacking a strategy for retaining existing GPs.


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

SUBHASH BHATT 12 May, 2023 6:38 pm

They must be salaried partner. A partner need to give 3 months notice.

Bonglim Bong 12 May, 2023 10:07 pm

I think a partner needs to give the notice period that is within their partnership agreement. It is not specifically 3 months (mine is more than 3 months for example). Many also say that only one partner can resign at a time.

Most agreements will also include a rule about how many (or what percentage) of the partnership is required to change these rules within the partnership agreement,. With a husband and wife partner within the group it is very likely that the agreement would either say it needs to be unanimous OR five out of seven. It wouldn’t be six out of seven as that will give the could an undue, unfair advantage in decision making.

I very much suspect that this agreement included a clause that 5 out of 7 can change the rules – and they changed the rules so that they can all resign at the same time with minimal notice….. and then resigned.

John Graham Munro 13 May, 2023 12:12 am

I love ‘black humor.

Anonymous 13 May, 2023 6:12 am

Salaried asked for payrise. Partners said no. Salaried put their notice in. Anyone would do the same. We are not in the 1950s anymore.

Jonathan Heatley 13 May, 2023 8:39 am

CQC found the paper work and forms done, so passed it as good and totally missed the deep seated stress.
Another example of how CQC measures the wrong things and is a huge waste of time and money.

Dr No 14 May, 2023 1:08 pm

Yep. The CQC is like a an aggressive but very stupid dog. Every time they come, I know where the problems really are, the difficult areas. They sniff around in the areas which have no influence on day to day care, and completely miss the important stuff. Government stooges.

Anonymous 15 May, 2023 6:51 am

Look up their Google reviews. This place needs to change pretty much everything including staff.

Wasifali Siddiqui 15 May, 2023 4:39 pm

There are usually multiple factors leading to such an outcome; 7 drs for 15300 patients seems a good spread of workload even if few are part time. A calculated guess would be as @ Anonymous suggested, payrise related dissatisfaction.
@ Subhash Bhatt please note, there is nothing like a salaried partner. Salaried GPs need to give three months notice per BMA contract and it could very well be these drs were salaried GPs and may have handed in their notice much before and the other two drs who are partners, chose to continue running the shop with locums in an atmosphere of uncertainity. However, the CQC’s actions here are very interesting.

David Church 15 May, 2023 9:02 pm

‘Salaried partner’ is a term for an illegal fraudulent tax/responsibility arrangement and exploitation of employed GPs. It was, or should have been, eradicated 30 years ago, but some new GPs are taken in by established GPs using the term incorrectly. I don’t know if this applies in this case, as the details have not been shared, but some unscrupulous Partnerships were still trying to use the term in the early years of this century, to exploit new GPs and subvert certain rules.
Any GP who thinks they are working in a ‘salaried partner’ relationship whould contact MDO and their Union (such as the BMA) for advice immediately.
There are very few situations where 2 days’ notice is sufficient. One would be a ‘Partnership at will’ under the 1898 Partnership Act ! If employees, there must have been a very serious breach in order to avoid a longer notice period – but the fact last year’s pay deal has just been rejected could form such a situation.
Clearly there is a serious problem there, now if not before, but that problem could be a nationwide one. I was curious that someone commented 15,300 patients between 7 doctors was a good spread of workload. That is at least approx 2,200 pts per GP if they are all full time. If any are less than FT, it is more like 2,500. Compared to practices where the establishment number is meant to be 1600 to 1800 per GP, this is a masssive workload. Some practices have less than 1,000, if some GPs are PT.

Matthew Jones 15 May, 2023 9:09 pm

I hope they didn’t enter into a leasehold agreement recently with the intention of releasing their equity from the practice then running away. I suspect a Judge will look upon this dimly when this inevitably lands in court.
I suspect there to be GMC involvement too!

Jamal Hussain 17 May, 2023 9:31 am

Anyone want to work in this practice run by a married couple of GPs where 5 doctors left together? It has terrible google reviews apparently and all the staff are terrible according to one of the comments above. Put your hands up? What could go wrong? Plenty of patients per doctor so no lack of work.