Case study summary
This practice was struggling with workforce and workload challenges and was considering closing its list to new patients. As a result of investment under the Practice Resilience Programme, the practice has been able to manage the recruitment issues it was facing and is also looking to develop new ways of providing care for the patient population.
Friends Road Medical Practice provides GP services in Croydon, South London.
In the past two to three years, the practice had begun to struggle with its registered patient list and significant workforce challenges. Eventually, it considered formally closing its list to new patients. The practice felt it had been under pressure for some time for a number of reasons including a rising local population, issues with recruitment, and subsequent reliance on locum doctors.
In order to help support and stabilise Friends Road, the practice received just over £40,000 of funding from the General Practice Resilience Programme. A proportion of the funds will be contributed towards the excess cost of locum sessions in order to increase the number of appointments and meet the needs of existing registered patients, as well as new patients joining the practice. This will enable the practice to keep their practice list open.
The funding is also being used to increase the existing nursing provision to approximately 52 hours, which is an increase of 16 hours per week. This will enable the practice to provide additional and a more appropriate number of appointments, which are particularly needed for new patient registrations and the provision of ongoing clinical care.
In addition, the funding is helping increase the number of reception hours by 16-20 hours per week and the secretarial hours by 4 hours per week to cope with the additional administrative functions associated with a rising population.
As a result of this support, the practice list has been kept open. The staffing support is giving the practice the time needed to re-advertise for a salaried GP with an aim to have a GP in post as soon possible. In the short term, additional locums will be engaged to meet the continued growth and increase capacity.
In addition to increased GP time the practice has greater capacity to explore different models of care to meet the needs of the growing population. Increasing the nursing hours and those of reception and the admin team has added to the resilience of the practice and their capacity to grow in an effective and safe environment.