GP practices facing axe

John Phillips TWO GP practices face being axed by NHS Barking and Dagenham for failing to see enough patients. Health bosses in the borough are thought to be the first in the country to take action to sack GPs failing to meet targets. NHS Barking and Dagenham has spent

John Phillips

TWO GP practices face being axed by NHS Barking and Dagenham for failing to see enough patients.

Health bosses in the borough are thought to be the first in the country to take action to sack GPs failing to meet targets.

NHS Barking and Dagenham has spent �500,000 improving 21 of its 43 surgeries to drive up standards.


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But two are still below par despite the seven-month review and now face having their contracts terminated.

The trust, which had the second worst level of patient satisfaction for access in a 2008 Mori poll, admitted some of the doctors had "felt threatened" by the review, but stressed it had boosted appointments by 60,000 per year, thereby saving taxpayers �1.3million.

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The review, using traffic light-type scorecards, identified that 10 surgeries were in the red category, but five moved to amber after increasing appointments by 50 per cent, while one practice in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, went from one to five GPs and doubled its appointments.

Jemma Gilbert, assistant director of primary care at NHS Barking and Dagenham, said "If local patients are dissatisfied on access, as I read in the local papers and hear from local councillors, patients would want us and expect us as a primary care trust to do something about and not allow us to continue with poor service. It's your GP and it's your health that is going to suffer.

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