An NHS foundation trust will take over the management of a GP practice owing to problems with the recruitment of doctors.
Lister House surgery has been unable to enlist enough GPs to ensure its survival, and will thus be overseen by the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust from 1st August.
The trust reportedly has the ability to offer attractive career prospects to trainees, and the promise of delivering a wide variety of work settings.
However, there have been some negative consequences of this decision, with the practice potentially being forced to close its branch surgery.
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has indicated that the owner of the surgery premises intends to sell up, thus depriving the trust of a location for GPs.
The Somerset partnership is not the first trust to take over a practice, with several other similar situations emerging in recent months.
In many cases, partners are now becoming salaried employees, as the financial difficulties in the NHS begin to affect every sector of the healthcare system.
The Lister House practice noted in a joint statement with the trust on the practice website that the partners will remain in their roles, but any departures would be replaced by a director of the trust.
“A number of the current GP partners are leaving or retiring and the practice has not been able to recruit new GPs to ensure the practice can continue. As a large, county-wide NHS trust, and one which provides a wide range of services, they can offer GP recruits a range of roles across a variety of settings. The trust has already advertised nationallyand received a very good response. The trust is convinced that this could be attractive to newly qualified GPs wanting to increase their experience and boost their career or to experienced GPs looking for a new challenge.”
Another possible negative of this deal is that the branch surgery may ultimately close, with the official website of the practice nursing that “the building’s owners intend to sell the Milverton surgery.”
However, options remain open to the surgery, with an official statement indicating that “one option is that all services will be delivered from Wiveliscombe with improved transport being provided to support access. Local people will be consulted before there is any change to current arrangements.”
The Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for running community health, mental health and learning disability services.
And despite the problems associated with the current situation, it is believed that “patients will have access to a wider range of services at the surgery” as a result of the new arrangements.