NHS Doctor Fired via Text Message Minutes Before Shift Ends, Ending 24-Year Career

Dr. Cosgrove, a 24-year NHS veteran, was abruptly fired via text just before his shift ended, sparking outrage and highlighting the GP shortage crisis in England.

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NHS Doctor Fired via Text Message Minutes Before Shift Ends, Ending 24-Year Career

NHS Doctor Fired via Text Message Minutes Before Shift Ends, Ending 24-Year Career

Dr. John Cosgrove, a doctor with a 24-year career in the NHS, was abruptly fired via text message just 15 minutes before the end of his shift, effectively ending his long-standing tenure with the health service. The incident has sparked outrage and disappointment, with Dr. Cosgrove expressing his frustration at the sudden termination of his career.

Dr. Cosgrove, 49, from Formby, Merseyside, had been working in a locum capacity covering intermediate care in nursing homes. However, when the NHS surgery lost its contract, he was offered a bank contract by the new organization, Primary Care 24. After just his third shift under the new arrangement, he received the devastating text message informing him that his services were no longer required.

"It was a shock and pretty discourteous," Dr. Cosgrove said, despite the terms of his zero-hours contract. He attempted to get clarification from his managers but received no response until he shared his story on Twitter, now known as X. Following the public attention, the director of Primary Care 24 called him to apologize for the manner of the communication.

Dr. Cosgrove believes this incident may mark the end of his NHS career, stating, "Contractually they did nothing wrong, but it was no way to finish it." He expressed concern about the bleak job market for NHS GPs, attributing it to the failure of successive governments to address the GP staffing crisis adequately. The number of GPs continues to decline, making it difficult for patients to access family doctors, despite recent changes aimed at retaining staff.

Why this matters: Dr. Cosgrove's experience reflects the broader problem of GP shortages in England, which has significant implications for the NHS and the quality of healthcare. The long-standing issue of the GP shortage crisis has not been effectively resolved by successive governments, leading to challenges in patient access to primary care and the well-being of healthcare professionals.

Primary Care 24 acknowledged the issue and stated that Dr. Cosgrove remains employed as a bank GP with the organization, with the option to choose clinical shifts within the NHS as he wishes. The organization apologized for the manner in which the information was communicated to him. Dr. Cosgrove now plans to focus on his growing private practice, as the NHS introduces other clinicians into primary care to replace GPs due to the ongoing shortage.

Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Cosgrove, a 24-year NHS veteran, was abruptly fired via text 15 mins before shift end.
  • He was offered a bank contract by Primary Care 24 after the NHS surgery lost its contract.
  • Dr. Cosgrove believes this incident may mark the end of his NHS career due to the GP shortage.
  • Primary Care 24 apologized for the manner of communication and said he remains employed as a bank GP.
  • The GP shortage crisis in England has significant implications for the NHS and patient care.