East Yorkshire practice left with one GP for 8,000 patients

A practice in East Yorkshire has been forced to close its patient list after being left with a single GP to cover 8,000 patients.

GP shortage (Photo: Robert Johns/UNP)

The Montague Medical Practice in Goole, East Yorkshire, is in the East Riding of Yorkshire CCG - which has close to the average number of patients per GP overall - but neighbours some of England's most underdoctored areas.

GPonline reported earlier this month that nearby Hull CCG has 3,185 patients per GP, which is England's highest figure for a CCG area and 42% above the median figure - while other nearby CCGs also have above average numbers of patients per GP.

The Montague Medical Practice has warned that one of its two GPs will be leaving at the end of March, leaving it with one permanent GP covering a registered population of over 8,000 patients.

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A statement on the practice's website said that ‘highly trained professional clinical staff including specialist nurses and mental health practitioners’ had been made to relieve some pressure.

However, the practice said it was struggling to recruit GPs - reflecting a chronic shortage across the country. Official data show that the full-time equivalent GP workforce has dropped by around 1,500 over the past five years alone.

The practice said it had been forced to close its list to new registrations temporarily and would not be taking on any new patients for at least six months.

A statement from the practice said: ‘This is not a decision that we have taken lightly. Over the past two years, we have faced extreme pressures on a number of fronts.

GP workload

'Our staff have been amazingly resilient, but are becoming increasingly stretched and tired since working to deliver the hugely successful COVID-19 vaccination programme on top of their routine work helping our patients stay well.’

The practice said it hoped the temporary move would give its staff a chance to ‘draw breath’.

Dr Anne Jeffreys, clinical chair at East Riding of Yorkshire CCG said: ‘The shortage of GPs is a well-recognised, longstanding national issue which is not unique to Goole.

'As a CCG, we are working closely with Montague Medical Practice and other GP practices in our area to do everything we can to attract more trained staff to the East Riding area.

‘To better support patients in today's modern GP practices, there are also a much wider range of healthcare professionals available such as pharmacists, advanced practitioners, paramedics, etc. These roles are vital in helping to increase capacity in primary care and maintain safe and sustainable services.'

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