GP Practice Changes in Brighton and Hove

At the start of 2018, we see yet more changes to GP practices in Brighton and Hove. Unlike some previous changes these seem to herald improvements and increases in capacity, helping GP's take on more patients.
Photograph, Man in white coat holding clipboard, Front view, Shoulders and Below

The number of GP practices in the city has fallen over the last two years from 44 to 36 with GP's caring for numbers of patients higher than the national average. Across England the average number of patients per GP is 2400, in Brighton and Hove it is 2500, but some GP's in the city have 6000 patients on their list - much higher than the national or regional average.

Healthwatch is here to listen to your views, and will pass on your opinions and experiences to local decision makers. Tell us what impact these changes have had on you and your family at BRIGHTON PULSE

Rottingdean GP Surgery reduced hours

 The Saltdean/Rottingdean Practice has taken on 600 new patients transferred to them following the closure of the Ridgeway Practice last year. To keep a high quality, safe service overall the doctors and nurses wanted to concentrate their time and numbers at the Saltdean Surgery. The result has been reduced opening hours at the Rottingdean Surgery – the surgery is not closing but is reducing its hours.

The Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the part of the NHS that manages and Commissions GP services, they told Healthwatch:

“The CCG has given its agreement to a reduction in hours at the Rottingdean surgery; this decision formed part of the overall support package for the practice, which enabled it to be open to receive large numbers of new patients in a short period of time, following the closure of the Ridgeway Practice.

Last year, the GPs at the Ridgeway Practice gave the CCG six months’ notice that they were retiring from General Practice. They also indicated that they would not be making the premises available to the NHS after their retirement. As part of this process, patients received information on local practices and what they needed to do to register there.

In the light of the staffing situation at the Saltdean/Rottingdean practice and given that they are taking on approximately 600 new patients in a matter of weeks, the doctors at the practice asked the CCG for its agreement to reduce the number of hours that their Rottingdean branch was open (there was no request to close the service, just to reduce the opening hours).

The doctors at Saltdean and Rottingdean Surgery feel they are able to offer a far superior service at their main surgery in Saltdean. They believe this increased workload can only be managed safely if there is more than one clinician (doctor or nurse) available at any one time and that it is preferable that all their doctors are in one building at any one time. The CCG further took account of the fact that the main Saltdean site is purpose built, with full disabled access, modern facilities and several other co-located services.  The CCG feels this offers a higher quality service than is possible at a small branch such as Meadow Parade.”

Ardingly Practice

The Ardingly Practice currently operates across two sites - the city centre site on Ardingly Street, and the Wellsbourne Health Centre on Whitehawk Road.

From the 1st of April 2018, the practice will be dividing in two and operating as two separate practices:

Wellsbourne Health Centre:

The doctors who work at the practice now will each be based at one site only from April 1st 2018; Dr Sutcliffe, Dr Dirmikis, Dr Greany, Dr Ballantyne, Dr Beesley, and Dr McGavin plan to be based at the Wellsbourne Health Centre in Whitehawk.

Ardingly Street:

Dr Barker and Dr Turlini will be based at Ardingly Street in Kemptown and plan to move to new premises at a site near Palace Place from September 2018.

What does this mean for patients?

  • At present patients can be seen at either site, but that will not be possible from the 1st April 2018
  • Patients wishing to continue to visit Ardingly Steet need do nothing
  • Patients wishing to visit the surgery at the Wellsbourne Health Centre need to tell the surgery directly
  • You can find further details about Wellsbourne Health Centre here, and Ardingly Street here

The Brighton and Hove CCG told Healthwatch:

 “The partners of the Ardingly Court partnership have notified us that they wish to split, helping them expand services and take on more patients (from 8,500 to 12,000), thereby easing pressure on GP services in the city. We are now working to ensure this split is done in the best possible way to ensure patients who are currently being cared for by the partnership continue to have access to local GP services.”

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