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‘This is like a bereavement’

We have just two days left working as GPs here until the practice closes and the outpouring of emotion from patients has had me in tears nearly all morning.

I like to think I’m a pretty resilient chap – I’ve ridden motorcycles all over the world and kept pretty fit – but nothing could have prepared me for the bereavement that we are going through with our patients.

I had really hoped the surgery would be able continue as a practice but it was not to be.

A mixture of increasing workload and dropping income meant there was no way we could safely carry on. My partner and I are spent. But I have been at this practice for 26 years and I feel like a rat leaving a sinking ship

I thought I’d stay until 65, but I would not survive. I feel for my lovely patients.

RIP the NHS family doctor

We have to sell the practice as we have a huge mortgage and redundancy packages to pay for staff, not to mention the other accountancy costs to wind down a business.

NHS England is now offering neighbouring practices £25 for each of our patients they take on.

When you also consider around half a billion pounds is being spent on our local hospital, you’d have thought the NHS buying our practice would have been a better use of money than spending tens of thousands in incentives to other practices to take our patients on.

We have been silent until now, but it has to be said that NHS England has not been much help to us at all.

How will the other local practices cope? Through the QOF?

It’s a sad day for a practice that has been here in Brighton for nigh-on 100 years. But no one except us and our patients really seems to care that our old-fashioned, cradle-to-grave partnership is done.

I am lucky and can go because I will be 55 soon; a new chapter will open for me.

RIP the NHS family doctor.

Dr Robert Mockett is a GP in Brighton.