Up to 80 Staff at Plymouth GP Surgeries Face Job Losses

Up to 80 staff members at five Plymouth GP surgeries may lose their jobs due to financial problems and falling patient numbers. The surgeries, operated by Fuller and Forbes Healthcare Group, have lost 5,352 patients over five years, resulting in a £624,000 loss in NHS payments.

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Trim Correspondents
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Up to 80 Staff at Plymouth GP Surgeries Face Job Losses

Up to 80 Staff at Plymouth GP Surgeries Face Job Losses

Up to 80 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, at five Plymouth GP surgeries may lose their jobs due to financial problems and falling patient numbers. The surgeries,formerly knownas Mayflower Medical Group, are operated by Fuller and Forbes Healthcare Group, which took over the practices in late 2023.

According to the company, 35% of the workforce, equivalent to 42-44 full-time jobs, are at risk of redundancy, which could affect up to 80 individuals. The surgeries have lost approximately 5,352 patients over the past five years, resulting in a loss of £624,000 in NHS payments. In the first quarter of this year alone, the practice lost an additional 312 patients, equivalent to £150,000 in staff costs.

Why this matters: The potential job losses and financial struggles of these GP surgeries reflect a broader issue of funding and resource allocation in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). This could have long-term consequences for patient care and access to healthcare services in the region.

The current expenditure on employed staff is £5.5 million, with an overspend of £2.6 million, equivalent to an extra £74.29 per patient per year. "We find ourselves in a challenging period that necessitates difficult decisions," said Dr. Mark Fuller and Methven Forbes, company directors, in a statement.

The five surgeries, located at Stirling Road, Ernesettle Medical Centre, Mount Gould, Trelawny, and Mannamead, have a combined 34,000 patients. Fuller and Forbes Healthcare Group was chosen to take over the surgeries from Livewell Southwest CIC in late 2023, with a 10-year contract starting on April 1, 2024. The company began a redundancy consultation with staff on April 2, 2024, which is still ongoing.

The potential job losses have raised concerns among staff and patients. "It's disgusting what they are doing to the patients," said a worker at one of the surgeries. Paul Meddes from the GMB union expressed his worries, stating, "I'm very concerned for our members and the people that live in Plymouth. We have paramedics on maternity leave scared for their jobs."

The job losses could affect thousands of patients, some of whom are already experiencing lengthy queues for appointments. MP Luke Pollard has called for patients to receive the service they deserve, citing years of problems at the surgeries. As the redundancy consultation continues, the future remains uncertain for the staff and patients of these Plymouth GP surgeries.