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Patients sign petition opposing ‘redundancy’ of ‘invaluable’ village GP

Patients sign petition opposing ‘redundancy’ of ‘invaluable’ village GP

Patients have signed a petition opposing a GP’s redundancy, after their surgery announced it is looking at ‘reducing the number of clinical staff’ to remain ‘financially stable’.  

In a statement on its website, Nettlebed Surgery said it has ‘not yet made any final decisions about staffing numbers’ and that ‘discussions with the team are still going on’.

The Oxfordshire surgery did say the costs of running a GP practice ‘have increased significantly over the last few years’ and that it is reviewing its costs to ‘make savings’ and ‘ensure patients continue to get good quality service’.

The patients’ petition claims that Dr Jules Barton has already been made redundant by the surgery during the process and calls for the GP to be reinstated.

The petition, which has gathered more than 400 signatures, said: ‘Dr Barton has been an invaluable asset to our community. She is not just a doctor; she is a friend, a confidante and the best medical professional we have ever had at the Nettlebed surgery.

‘Her removal from her position has left us all feeling lost and underserved. Dr Barton’s dedication to her patients’ health and well-being is unparalleled.

‘Her comprehensive knowledge, empathetic nature and unwavering commitment have made her an irreplaceable figure in our community healthcare system.

‘We understand that decisions like these are often complex and multifaceted; however, we firmly believe that reinstating Dr Barton would be in the best interest of our community’s health care needs.’

The surgery said it understood the process is ‘causing concern’ in the local community and that it will share more details in the coming weeks.

It said: ‘You will all be aware that the costs of running a business such as a GP practice have increased significantly over the last few years – this includes mortgages, rents, utilities bills and salaries.

‘As a result, the team here at Nettlebed Surgery has been reviewing costs with the help of independent experts to explore how we can make savings and ensure our patients continue to get good quality services.

‘Our review has identified a number of ways to reduce our costs so our practice can stay open safely and be financially stable in the long term.

‘This includes better management of our services and resources, changes to booking procedures and appointments, signposting patients to the most appropriate care for their needs, the introduction of digital technologies and the possible reduction of the numbers of clinical and admin staff we employ.

‘We understand this is causing concern among our team and in our local community. However, we must make some difficult decisions now to ensure the future of the surgery and the continued care of our 4,000 loyal patients.’

When asked to further clarify the situation by Pulse, the practice declined to do so.

Pulse also tried to reach Dr Barton for comment.

Earlier this month the new owner of GP at Hand, eMed, announced a large-scale redundancy consultation, said to be affecting ‘mainly GPs’.

In January, a practice in Surrey said it is making three GPs redundant due to ‘new ways of working’, including the use of ARRS staff, and virtual rather than physical consultations.

And BMA England’s GP Committee chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer recently warned general practice has suddenly gone from a recruitment to an employment crisis.



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

Not on your Nelly 25 March, 2024 7:25 pm

No one cares. Petitions make no difference. Decision are made well before and the partners have a right to male choices to keep the business viable. The people signing losing nothing either way so save your time and see thr cheaper noctor or PA.