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Hospital trust takeover of GP practices could 'benefit' nurses


Practice nurses are expected to keep their jobs and may benefit from enhanced support following the emergency transfer of some GP services in Derbyshire to a local hospital trust.

In a shock move blamed on staff shortages, health leaders have announced that the Holywell Medical Group, which covers patients in Chesterfield and Staveley, will no longer be able to provide GP services.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will step in as an “emergency caretaker” up to March next year, running services under the name Royal Primary Care in one of the first examples of a secondary care provider taking on primary care services in recent years.

Under the arrangement commissioned by NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, three of the medical group’s five GP surgeries will continue to provide a full range of services and two will close.

“All current clinical staff have been given the opportunity to transfer over to Royal Primary Care”

CCG spokesman

Practice staff were told about the change at a meeting earlier this week while patients were informed in a joint letter from the CCG, NHS England and Royal Primary Care.

A spokesman for the CCG said practice nursing roles would be subject to TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – regulations designed to protect employees when a business changes hands.

They could also benefit from additional support and training from the hospital trust, he suggested.

“Continuity of care for the patients is a top priority and all current clinical staff have been given the opportunity to transfer over to Royal Primary Care,” he said.

“Practice nurses will be subject to TUPE. They will have access to education via the Chesterfield Royal Hospital and will have support for revalidation as well,” he added.

Doctors from Holywell Medical Group said the situation was the result of ongoing difficulties in recruiting staff, especially GPs and the financial pressures of having to use more locum doctors.

“We’re looking forward to bringing GP, primary care and hospitals services together in ways that will benefit all our patients”

Gavin Boyle

However, the change has also been hailed an as opportunity to strengthen links between GP and hospital services, as part of wider efforts to provide more integrated care.

“This is the first integration of primary and secondary care in the North Derbyshire area and it is an exciting new challenge,” said Dr Nadine Kale, senior partner at Holywell Medical Group.

“The support provided by the Chesterfield Royal Hospital will free up more GP time to see patients which was previously spent on the managing the practice,” she said.

Chesterfield Royal’s chief executive, Gavin Boyle, said the organisation was already looking at ways to strengthen services on offer at the three remaining sites.

“We are delighted to step in to sustain these services for local people and we’re looking forward to bringing GP, primary care and hospitals services together in ways that will benefit all our patients,” he said.


Readers' comments (10)

  • What a Brilliant idea. When I was a practising psychiatric nurse, in Portsmouth, we did, in fact, have a locus GP working at the Hospital, for a couple of days a week.
    If there was a need to get a medical opinion for one of the 'patients', they. Call them 'clients' these days, he could be 'paged', and would call in to the ward to deal with the matter concerned.
    I don't know if or when this practice was discontinued since I retired in 1997, but it was a valuable asset, in a pioneering Psychiatric hospital in its day.

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  • Of ourse, I meant, locum. ....?

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  • Bloomin' word spell! It's got mind of its own, Dammit!

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  • this was my GP's ...we were given two days notice by letter, it's an absolute disgrace senior staff must have known with more than that amount of notice and patients should have been told with more advance notice.

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  • So after this GP consortium left the NHS some years ago in the mistaken belief that they were better off and so would the patients be not to mention the fact that GP's salaries have just about doubled over the past 15 years or so, after all that and the fact that all the GP's and nursing staff enjoy NHS terms and conditions and the vast majority of non clinical staff in such places don't, after all that and it's not been run correctly and so has failed as I believe the others are due to close too early in 2016, after all that it's going back to NHS control!...yes the good old NHS will pick up the tab after select groups have profited and mismanaged the service!
    Shame and disgrace!

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  • There are still GPSIs (GPs with Special Interests) who work a couple of shifts a week in the local Acute Hospital in Portsmouth. Although in our case I wouldn't want them managed by the Acute Trust, it can't manage itself!

    If you've got a good, well managed acute trust managing the GP surgeries could be a good idea. Certainly very supportive for the nurses working in those surgeries training wise.

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  • I'm a Practice Nurse and really feel for the staff that were given such little notice.

    This is your life, your mortgage, your career and you deserve more respect.

    A couple of positive thoughts to help boost your moral ..... you might get 8 instead of 4 weeks annual leave now you work for the NHS not the GP's?! ..... and the RCN may decide to support you again?!

    But I have to say the news hasn't come as a big surprise. Although, we're told very little about what's happening on a business level I gather the goal posts keep changing for Enhanced Service Payments, QOF and even heard a rumour that the practice is now "fined" for patients that end up in hospital.

    2 words spring to my mind ..... Politics and Money.

    2004 - GP's manage their practice with a vested financial interest and an end to working unsociable hours.

    Out Of Hours is privatised but realise they can't make any money out of it.

    NHS 111 isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Patients go to A&E which is on overload everywhere.

    Bed blockers can't get placed into social care quick enough.

    All services are connected but completely fragmented and unless it's their job and comes under their budget they'll pass it over to someone else.

    We're just the monkeys doing the donkey work.

    I can see it going full circle and in another ten years they'll introduce the same thing with a different name and go through the whole process all over again.

    Not that I'm cynical or anything!

    Thinking of you and I hope some good comes out of it.

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  • bob cat

    Interesting experiment, it would fit well into the move of patients/clients into more primary care based care with an overall corporate view. It would also transform GP's into the system rather than them being independent entities.
    The other issue it starts to address is the 7 day working plan but with everyone inside the tent as it were. It would fit very nicely into the mooted discussions of pushing GP practice to fail so that plans like this can be enacted so apparently 'reasonably'. Slowly, slowly....
    I'm not surprised there was so little notice, GP surgeries don't operate under NHS T&C's and don't recognise unions.

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  • "2 words spring to my mind ..... Politics and Money."
    Another example of the Public Sector destroying competitors.
    The RCN or the NMC dosen't want anything to do with training Nurses in the Private Sector bye the way.

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  • HCSW

    @ Iama Cynic | 15-May-2015 8:30 am

    Of ourse, I meant, locum. ....?

    From my memory...

    -us if a male, -a if a female, -um if unspecified.

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