PCT cuts force PMS practice to de-register vulnerable patients

GP practices were required to register 48 care home residents on short notice, after a local practice's PMS review considerably cut its resources.

Dr Alessi: 'We lost a very very significant level of resource following the PMS review'
Dr Alessi: 'We lost a very very significant level of resource following the PMS review'

Churchill Medical Centre in Kingston, Surrey de-registered 48 patients from Kingston Care Home, following a PMS contract review with NHS Kingston.

Dr Charles Alessi, senior partner at the Churchill practice, said that due to a loss of resources following the contract review, the practice could no longer care for all of the care home residents.

‘We lost a very very significant level of resource following the PMS review,’ Dr Alessi said.

Despite Churchill Medical Centre giving the PCT a month’s notice of the move some of the six practices who received the patients have raised concerns over how the transfer was handled.

Dr Gabriel Steer, a single-handed GP in Kingston, said that he had received insufficient notice about the five patients he had been allocated.

‘I was suddenly advised I had five new patients, who were all severely mentally disabled,’ Dr Steer said.

Dr Julius Parker, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex LMCs, said that he had been contacted by one of the affected practices and the LMC had then circulated those concerns to four other affected practices.

In light of the practice's concerns Dr Parker wrote to the DoH's primary care support service (PCSS) for PCTs, GPs and the patients they serve throughout Surrey, Sussex and south west London.

Dr Parker said that he suggested to the PCSS that when large numbers of patients are de-registered from the same address, they are not automatically processed together.

Dr Parker said that it also was important to determine whether the patients from Kingston Care Home had been de-registered under proper regulations.

Dr Parker said: ‘I have contacted South West London - the PCT cluster containing NHS Kingston - to establish whether the process was compliant with de-registration regulations.’

A spokeswoman for Kingston PCT said: ‘The NHS has a responsibility to ensure that all patients, especially these vulnerable patients, get the support they need.

‘We have therefore worked with six GP practices in the local area to share the patient list between them.

‘NHS practices are contractually obliged to accept patients in their catchment area.’

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