A GP surgery in Warwickshire has been forced to sell medical equipment in order to cover the costs of closing their successful practice.
Studley Health Centre has setup a crowdfunding page in order to solicit donations, with the surgery needing to raise £50,000.
This includes redundancy payments, with over £3,000 having been raised thus far.
The practice had already applied for vulnerable practice funding from the CCG.
But Studley Health Centre was found to be outside of the criteria for this £10 million fund, which is still in pilot status.
As the surgery increasingly sought solutions, it also made a plea to the authorities to merge with another local practice.
But this request was rejected by NHS South Warwickshire CCG.
In this climate, the practice had no choice other than to return its contract, with the surgery closing at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, 2,000 patients in the local area must seek alternative arrangements.
Yet minutes from NHS South Warwickshire CCG had reflected that patient satisfaction at Studley Health Centre was ‘high’, compounding the sad demise of this practice.
But Dr Lars Grimstvedt, one of the three part time partners at the practice, explained that the ability of the practice to continue operating was compromised once the surgery’s PMS funding was removed.
This apparently occurred to the ongoing PMS review process.
“We had to clear out our rented property as we were closing down which meant selling on office and medical equipment like couches, ECG machines, nebulisers, anything that was portable. We had to sell equipment to pay for the cost of closure. We didn’t go bankrupt but it was a very tough time,” Grimstvedt commented.
Partners at the practice have been forced to meet the financial shortfall from their own bank accounts for the meantime, with some of the partners from the practice reflecting that working as salaried GPs elsewhere is better paid.
Although the closure of the Studley practice will hugely impact on patients in the region, the demise of surgeries is becoming an all too familiar story.
Only days ago, a practice in Brighton close, representing the seventh surgery to close in under two years.
Lewes Road Surgery had served nearly 2,500 patients, with many of these forced to rely on a local walk-in centre.
The situation can be seen as indicative of the crisis facing general practice, with many authoritative bodies calling for further investment in this key aspect of the healthcare system.