Doctors' surgery closure sparks petition

By Mal Butler

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

 

STUNNED Yarmouth residents have been officially informed, in a letter sent out today (Wednesday), that the town’s doctors' surgery is to temporarily close from March 28.

Services will be relocated to Brookside Health Centre, Freshwater, during the closure, which many residents fear may be permanent.

A letter sent to patients said Dr Marshall was retiring soon and Dr White was leaving to take on other medical roles.

According to the letter, the three remaining doctors have asked new GPs to join them, with little success, and now felt that in order to manage the 11 thousand patients of the practice, a fresh look at how services were provided, was needed.

A petition has been started against the closure and Dr George Thomson has been invited to address the town council, at Yarmouth Primary School, on Tuesday. The public meeting starts at 6.30pm.

Reporter: Mal Butler

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by David Walter

2nd March 2014, at 11:17:25

It is specious to use the per capita fee to justify your case. What matters is practice income, costs and hours required together with the less tangible factors such as environment, status, and future. Status? Most doctors use the 'Dr' prefix in their non-professional lives. Does the maître d' really need to know you're a doctor?

GPs in Britain don't get rewarded as much as they would like. They never cease telling us that. But they never have been happy, in my memory. When did you ever hear a doctor or nurse say "It's a good job, rewarding and well-paid"? Why have people, since the inception of the NHS, competed tooth-and-nail to get into med school and qualify if they knew the conditions were not to their liking?

I respect your right to work where you like but I can't get my head round generations of doctors all dissatisfied with their rewards. Surely they are not all stupid?

Job security is not your issue? Hands up everyone who has ever enjoyed that

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by Arn Veda

2nd March 2014, at 10:21:38

The average number of consultations per person per year is around 4 to 5 depending on where you look (and that's 2007 figures - https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/General-practice-in-England-an-overview-Sarah-Gregory-The-Kings-Fund-September-2009.pdf). The number is higher now, and if I had more time I'd dig out a reference. I'm sure you can find the actual figure.

You may call it a specious argument - the reality is that no-one wants to work in your town, GP jobs across the country are unfilled, and newly qualified GPs have a huge choice in where they work (including abroad). Believe me, out of the many things we are worried about, job security is not one of them.

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by David Walter

2nd March 2014, at 09:17:47

".. on average, a GP surgery has an income of around £80 per year per patient regardless of how many times that person is seen..."

By itself, that's a specious argument; one piece of information taken out of context. It all depends, of course, on the health and attitude of the patients. A healthy and stoical population will seldom consult their GP. An unhealthy population with a dependency and 'rights' paradigm will, when frightened by the media desperate for more new content, see the GP before the third burp on a Monday morning.

When people have to work every hour God gave they don't visit GPs unless they (think they) must.

Out of context, that £80 is meaningless

Give me just a penny for every person in the UK and I'll be laughing.

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by Arn Veda

1st March 2014, at 21:46:45

You may think that is the case David, but the fact is that our junior colleagues have absolutely no problems getting gainful employment elsewhere. Typically, a newly qualified GP emigrating to Australia earns double what a GP earns here, for fewer hours. This is a fact, and several colleagues that I know personally have left, to not return. The fact remains that, on average, a GP surgery has an income of around £80 per year per patient regardless of how many times that person is seen. This is remarkable value and is now unsustainable - the system cannot cope.

Keeping up to date is easy for us - we have excelled at exams all of our lives and your theories about becoming unemployable simply do not hold up given the current doctor shortage and recruitment crisis.

There is a storm coming, and doctors aren't the ones in trouble. But you know that already - you can't find someone who is prepared to work in your nice sounding part of the world.

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by David Walter

1st March 2014, at 20:25:50

Arn, Yes, I understand. I subscribe to Pulse online just to skim the headlines and most of the stuff is disgruntlement. Just one thing to keep in mind. This is NOT just a recession. This is a global financial crisis and nobody can see the way out. There is so much debt in the system that everyone's pension pots are already destined for the black hole (think Cyprus). Good public sector pensions will not be available for long, certainly not for the boomers. If you are still able to work, unless you have considerable capital under your own management and control then don't give up the job before it gives you up. Especially medicine where things move very fast and you'd quickly become unemployable without re-training, exams and re-certification.

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by Arn Veda

1st March 2014, at 18:48:10

Hi David,

Yes, deep down of course we know that most people are reasonable and sensible (we work with the public every day and on the whole it's a pleasure). It's just that due to sustained media and government battering there is very little good will left and GPs are starting to either leave/retire or make decisions that put their families first. Sometimes it only takes a small amount of nonsense for it to become the straw that breaks the camel's back.

This government has brought in so many detrimental changes that many (?most) older docs (>55) are now planning their exit across the country, so you won't be alone in this.

All of that aside, I hope you find someone suitable and if things are as you say they'll have a lovely life to look forward to.

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by alan naylor

1st March 2014, at 18:40:00

David Walker yes one can but not in the long term which is needed in any domestice and homely enviroment better off joining the navy

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by David Walter

1st March 2014, at 18:30:57

John and Arn -- We all know that there are trolls all over the Internet. For the right person, both Freshwater and Yarmouth are dream practices. Never hear any trouble or see bad manners. It's an older and ageing population so a terrific opportunity for doctors with special interest in geriatrics. Aside from the career side of things, it's a small enough community to know other professionals from all walks of like and large enough to be varied. Our biggest let-down is 'Le Shopping' - if that's your thing, not mine - but P'mth and So'ton are just over the water, hovercraft 10 mins. I think most of us buy a lot online, but probably the same 'over there'.

If you have a chance to take a temporary posting to test the water, contact George Thomson at Brookside, Freshwater, where you will undoubtedly get a warm welcome. In West Wight crime is very low. In my parish (Shalfleet) the monthly Police crime reports average two crimes per month for trivial things. It's a good place.

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by John Leigh

1st March 2014, at 16:36:53

Mark Sanger, you still don't get it do you? Your comments are so out of order that doctors will look elsewhere for jobs (there are many available) and let your part of the island stew without a GP. Any GP who knew there was someone with an attitude to doctors like yours in the practice population would run a mile. As Arn Veda comments, there are many GPs reading this (I'm one) and believe you me, there is no way on God's Earth I'd apply for any job on the IOW after reading your remarks.
I will be not alone.
Please reflect on the great disservice you have done to the residents of the IOW by actively putting doctors off applying for your vacant posts.

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by Arn Veda

1st March 2014, at 15:24:05

As a passing GP I'd alert you all to the fact that this thread has been linked to by the UK's biggest Doctors' website and plenty of people are watching the comments. Reading some of the views here, I wouldn't bother looking for a job here even if I was on the market.

Ridiculous comments like the ones from Mark Sanger reflect badly on your community and will make it even harder for you to find a Doctor. You'd do well to show him to be the marginal case he hopefully he - there is a whole cohort of GPs whose only experience of your town is this thread.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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