Staff leaving struggling GP practice in droves

Leigh Family Practice has three branches, including one at Bridgewater Medical Centre
Leigh Family Practice has three branches, including one at Bridgewater Medical Centre

Staff are leaving a struggling GP practice in droves while the quality of service offered to patients is plummeting, whistleblowers have claimed.

Shocking allegations have been made about Leigh Family Practice, which has been run by under-fire company SSP since August.

It is the second time whistleblowers have highlighted major issues at its surgeries, after an anonymous complainant said there were huge problems at Claire House in Ince.

Those speaking out about the Leigh practice slammed SSP for having a commercial rather than a caring ethos. One whistleblower said: “It’s a shame because it has become really terrible.

“Before SSP took over it was like a family, everything worked wonderfully and the staff loved their jobs. They still do but they just can’t work like this any more.

“All the experienced GPs and management staff have left, the admin team has left and the secretaries have left. Staff are also off on sick. There’s hardly any staff left.

“It’s so stressful because there are patients ringing up and screaming because they’re not happy with this and that. They can’t get the appointments they want, there are prescriptions going wrong, they can’t get their medication. It’s just horrible.

“SSP has taken over so many practices in the borough. I don’t know what they are doing at all, but something needs to be done.”

A second whistleblower said: “It’s the same problems as at Claire House with levels of staffing. SSP are in denial about it and are saying everything is okay.

“There’s disorganisation and no communication. SSP are running it as a business.”

NHS Wigan Borough CCG said some staff left before SSP took over and GP locums were used, but they have now recruited permanent GPs.

More GP appointments are now available and a clinical pharmacist offers support with medicine reviews and prescribing.

SSP was contacted for a statement but failed to respond before we went to press.