Testimonial - Devenish Practice

Devenish Practice went into crisis when 2 of the 3 GP partners left the practice in September 2015 and March 2016. The remaining partner kept the practice running with locums and an ANP for 3 days per week, there are just over 4000 patients in the practice. We advertised for new GPs but had no success due in part to being a smaller practice.

The practice ran relatively smoothly until summer 2017 when we were unable to get any locum cover or holiday cover for the remaining GP, over 12 months he had 2 weeks leave in total which was not sustainable.

We contacted the Board who put us in contact with the Crisis team who arranged an initial meeting to discuss our problems, they gave us advice on the best way to advertise for a new GP and also arranged remote GP support to alleviate the workload of the GP.

Dr Niall…. And Lisa kept in regular contact with us and were very supportive and non-judgemental at all times, their help and support got us through two very difficult summers.

The practice now has a new GP partner and a new salaried GP and are now an accredited training practice, which will hopefully ensure the practice will be more sustainable in the future.

I would highly recommend contacting the crisis team for support at the earliest indication that your practice may struggle in the future, the help and support you will get could make a real difference to your sustainability.

Jackie Owens

Practice Manager

Devenish Practice

Beechwood Anniversary

On 2nd September staff from the Regional Practice in Crisis Rescue Team (PICRT) visited Beechwood Family Practice in Portadown to mark the year anniversary since the contract for the practice was taken over by all 4 Federation Support Units.

Congratulations to all staff involved in this incredible achievement and it is great to see the practice flourishing and patient care continuing for this surgery.

Testimonial - Portaferry Surgery

We first made contact with the PICRT team in July 2022. We thought it best to make contact sooner rather than later, once we were aware there could be a possible crisis and knowing we would be 2 doctors down from September 22. We had been unsuccessful in recruiting either a partner or salaried GP. The practice pharmacist was also on maternity leave and we had only 50% pharmacist time. By making contact, we were able to start the wheels in motion to prevent full crisis mode. We submitted the PICRT notification form and Paula and Lisa were quick to respond and make contact with the practice, providing reassurance and guidance in the first instance. I was able to submit our ‘crisis’ dates and the team provided us with PICRT GP cover. By October, we were down another doctor (only 2 remaining) and were again able to submit a request for additional cover, with the crisis team again able to provide GP cover. The PICRT GPs we had were all good and we were even able to entice one to join the practice as a salaried GP.  

For the following 10 months, the team continued to check in with us for monthly updates and even once we had increased our clinical team, they continued to provide support and assistance. At their suggestion, we agreed and made some very useful practice improvements and before they signed us off in May 2023 we worked to implement a new triage and appointment system, opened a practice facebook page, reviewed how we give out results to patients and are currently working on our care navigation. 

We have found this service has been invaluable for not only the support for our GPs, but the whole practice team and also our patients. The one piece of advice we can offer is to ask for help at the first sign of trouble that rather than waiting to becoming a ‘practice in crisis’. 

Ann-Frances Byers 

Practice Manager at Portaferry Surgery​