Doctor says he's having to work for free because he's not getting enough funds from NHS

Echo: Doctor says he's having to work for free because he's not getting enough funds from NHS Doctor says he's having to work for free because he's not getting enough funds from NHS

A GP claims he is having to work for free because he is not getting enough funding from the NHS.

Dr Sankar Bhattacharjee, 63, who runs Westborough Road Health Centre, in Westcliff, spoke out after he was rapped for failings by the Care Quality Commission, which is now responsible for inspecting family doctors across the country.

The surgery was tested by the commission in five areas and failed three of them, including infection control.

However, Dr Bhattacharjee claims funding from NHS England is now so bad he can no longer pay himself a wage and the lack of funds is responsible for some of the shortcomings.

He said: “Clinically, we came out well, but it was mainly around clinical support and training, because we no longer have the practice manager.

“Because a quarter of my patients are young, I do not get the funding needed.

“I get about £18,400 a month to cover everything, including staff wages, council tax and business rates.

“It has got so bad this year I am working for free at the moment.

“I do not do it for the money, but because I go home in the evening feeling happy because of the service. But if there was someone to take over, I would go tomorrow.”

The practice was found to have put patients at risk of infection because it did not have any spillage kits to clean up blood or bodily fluids, even though minor surgery is carried out there.

Staff there were also not fully trained in infection control.

The surgery was also found not to be investigating incidents or monitoring itself properly since the practice manager left earlier in the year.

The commission report said: “We found practice policies were out of date and some had not been reviewed in more than three years.

“There had been a general slip in completing much of the practice’s administration since the practice manager had left.”

It was found to be meeting standards in two other areas, including people being treated safely and with respect and dignity.

The practice has 3,800 patients, with another locum GP, practice nurse and health care assistant.

Dr Bhattacharjee told inspectors he is underfunded by the NHS, given the size of his patient list and this was the main reason for any problems.

He told the Echo the improvements needed were minor and would be completed next month.

Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs carry out 90 per cent of all NHS patient contacts, yet a funding black hole worth £9billion has emerged for general practice in England over the past eight years as a result of investment being shifted towards hospitals.”

Comments (15)

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4:44pm Fri 27 Dec 13

runwellian says...

If the issues were minor and will be completed by next month, why couldn't they have been done in the first place?
If the issues were minor and will be completed by next month, why couldn't they have been done in the first place? runwellian

4:59pm Fri 27 Dec 13

fletch12107 says...

Works for nothing eh!!!!!! Jackanory Jackanory
Works for nothing eh!!!!!! Jackanory Jackanory fletch12107

5:04pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Hockleyt Woods says...

.............."The practice was found to have put patients at risk of infection because it did not have any spillage kits to clean up blood or bodily fluids, even though minor surgery is carried out there.

Staff there were also not fully trained in infection control.

The surgery was also found not to be investigating incidents or monitoring itself properly since the practice manager left earlier in the year.

The commission report said: “We found practice policies were out of date and some had not been reviewed in more than three years"".........


Seems to me the headline does not match the story, a decline of standards picked up by the CQC should mean that those in control of the public purse (in this case the NHS funds) should pay to put things right.

Again from the story; "Dr Sankar Bhattacharjee, 63, who runs Westborough Road Health Centre, in Westcliff.........."


The Practise should not have got to such poor standards in the first place, I wonder if the he was able to take a very good wage while this was all going on before the QC found the shortfalls?

Sorry, no sympathy, put your patients first!
.............."The practice was found to have put patients at risk of infection because it did not have any spillage kits to clean up blood or bodily fluids, even though minor surgery is carried out there. Staff there were also not fully trained in infection control. The surgery was also found not to be investigating incidents or monitoring itself properly since the practice manager left earlier in the year. The commission report said: “We found practice policies were out of date and some had not been reviewed in more than three years""......... Seems to me the headline does not match the story, a decline of standards picked up by the CQC should mean that those in control of the public purse (in this case the NHS funds) should pay to put things right. Again from the story; "Dr Sankar Bhattacharjee, 63, who runs Westborough Road Health Centre, in Westcliff.........." The Practise should not have got to such poor standards in the first place, I wonder if the he was able to take a very good wage while this was all going on before the QC found the shortfalls? Sorry, no sympathy, put your patients first! Hockleyt Woods

5:35pm Fri 27 Dec 13

emcee says...

This story should be about mismanagement not some sob story of a "hard done by" GP. No GP works for nothing unless it is through choice or because of mismanagement.
I do not see many other GPs complaining that they are working for nothing.
If things were that bad, Dr Bhattacharjee, there are always hospitals advertising for doctors and other clinical staff. How about applying for one of those jobs. At least then you will have a salary coming in.
This story should be about mismanagement not some sob story of a "hard done by" GP. No GP works for nothing unless it is through choice or because of mismanagement. I do not see many other GPs complaining that they are working for nothing. If things were that bad, Dr Bhattacharjee, there are always hospitals advertising for doctors and other clinical staff. How about applying for one of those jobs. At least then you will have a salary coming in. emcee

5:45pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Find something else to do then
Find something else to do then Nowthatsworthknowing

6:12pm Fri 27 Dec 13

profondo asbo says...

there are not many GPs that earn less than 150K per annum...
there are not many GPs that earn less than 150K per annum... profondo asbo

6:22pm Fri 27 Dec 13

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Ah shame my heart goes out to him
Ah shame my heart goes out to him CHRISTMAS CAROL

6:32pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Username2013 says...

Best Doctor I have ever had, I can actually get an appointment when I need one rather than have to wait a week for an 'emergency' appointment. He has 3800 patients who are very loyal to him, after all there are at least two doctors surgeries within walking distance. NHS should give him the money he needs to run his practice properly. Dr B actually listens to you and isn't patronizing. He explains things in ways you can understand and refers you to the hospital straight away when its required. He is a great doctor and I have no intention of moving. I have lost a lot of faith in medical professionals lately but Dr B still has my complete trust.
Best Doctor I have ever had, I can actually get an appointment when I need one rather than have to wait a week for an 'emergency' appointment. He has 3800 patients who are very loyal to him, after all there are at least two doctors surgeries within walking distance. NHS should give him the money he needs to run his practice properly. Dr B actually listens to you and isn't patronizing. He explains things in ways you can understand and refers you to the hospital straight away when its required. He is a great doctor and I have no intention of moving. I have lost a lot of faith in medical professionals lately but Dr B still has my complete trust. Username2013

8:24pm Fri 27 Dec 13

cgb says...

Actually the average GP salary is £102000 so most GPs earn way less than £150k profondo- get your facts right if you are going to comment. And as GPs are run as self employed business there are many GPs feeling the squeeze and taking less and less home.
For those suggesting a 63 year old GP go and do a hospital job or 'something else' you are also talking utter rubbish and clearly don't understand the medical training exams and experience required to go into another branch of medicine.
When will Joe public realise that the NHS is being privatised by the back door and realise what you are going to lose? Utter idiots! Think before you comment next time!!!!!!
Actually the average GP salary is £102000 so most GPs earn way less than £150k profondo- get your facts right if you are going to comment. And as GPs are run as self employed business there are many GPs feeling the squeeze and taking less and less home. For those suggesting a 63 year old GP go and do a hospital job or 'something else' you are also talking utter rubbish and clearly don't understand the medical training exams and experience required to go into another branch of medicine. When will Joe public realise that the NHS is being privatised by the back door and realise what you are going to lose? Utter idiots! Think before you comment next time!!!!!! cgb

9:16pm Fri 27 Dec 13

echoforum says...

More worrying is the size of his right hand...I'd get that looked at !!!!!!!!!!!
More worrying is the size of his right hand...I'd get that looked at !!!!!!!!!!! echoforum

6:33am Sat 28 Dec 13

Hockleyt Woods says...

cgb wrote:
Actually the average GP salary is £102000 so most GPs earn way less than £150k profondo- get your facts right if you are going to comment. And as GPs are run as self employed business there are many GPs feeling the squeeze and taking less and less home.
For those suggesting a 63 year old GP go and do a hospital job or 'something else' you are also talking utter rubbish and clearly don't understand the medical training exams and experience required to go into another branch of medicine.
When will Joe public realise that the NHS is being privatised by the back door and realise what you are going to lose? Utter idiots! Think before you comment next time!!!!!!
I don't think that anyone with half ounce of nonce is under any illusion that the NHS is being privatised by the back door, it has been happening under successive governments for decades.

I was particularly pleased to read a comment with a positive swing for The Good Doctor, unfortunately the story is not about his abilities as a doctor, more about mismanagement, probably not the best story to feature on any page of The Echo in fairness.

I am sure things will get sorted out in the short term out of necessity, to meet financial constraints that other GP surgeries also have to contend with and do so, whether admirably or not, they still do.
[quote][p][bold]cgb[/bold] wrote: Actually the average GP salary is £102000 so most GPs earn way less than £150k profondo- get your facts right if you are going to comment. And as GPs are run as self employed business there are many GPs feeling the squeeze and taking less and less home. For those suggesting a 63 year old GP go and do a hospital job or 'something else' you are also talking utter rubbish and clearly don't understand the medical training exams and experience required to go into another branch of medicine. When will Joe public realise that the NHS is being privatised by the back door and realise what you are going to lose? Utter idiots! Think before you comment next time!!!!!![/p][/quote]I don't think that anyone with half ounce of nonce is under any illusion that the NHS is being privatised by the back door, it has been happening under successive governments for decades. I was particularly pleased to read a comment with a positive swing for The Good Doctor, unfortunately the story is not about his abilities as a doctor, more about mismanagement, probably not the best story to feature on any page of The Echo in fairness. I am sure things will get sorted out in the short term out of necessity, to meet financial constraints that other GP surgeries also have to contend with and do so, whether admirably or not, they still do. Hockleyt Woods

8:53am Sat 28 Dec 13

Rambie says...

Note that there isn't a practice manager. That's because he can't afford to pay the salary to get one in. This isn't a dr who works for the money, the guy used to be a surgeon in the Red Cross. He is struggling to do what he can for his patients. The main infection control issue other than the spillage packs was open shelves with books on, it's a dust trap so he's having cupboards rather than shelves, he works 7.30 to 7.30 and as stated is a brilliant GP. He could pay a practice manager if he got rid of the other GP at the surgery, then he'd see less patients. Like everyone else in the NHS he has to juggle limited money to give the best service he can. He could have not done this interview and you'd be none the wiser but the man is concerned at the financial issues the NHS is struggling with. All the highlights this year on poor care has put more and more strain on staff 'ticking boxes' but there is less and less funds to do it with. The NHS isn't perfect but you'd all have a lot more to moan about if it weren't there. This guy is a good GP, he could easily give up and retire which would actually make him a lot better off financially than he is now, but he isn't because he cares about people.
Note that there isn't a practice manager. That's because he can't afford to pay the salary to get one in. This isn't a dr who works for the money, the guy used to be a surgeon in the Red Cross. He is struggling to do what he can for his patients. The main infection control issue other than the spillage packs was open shelves with books on, it's a dust trap so he's having cupboards rather than shelves, he works 7.30 to 7.30 and as stated is a brilliant GP. He could pay a practice manager if he got rid of the other GP at the surgery, then he'd see less patients. Like everyone else in the NHS he has to juggle limited money to give the best service he can. He could have not done this interview and you'd be none the wiser but the man is concerned at the financial issues the NHS is struggling with. All the highlights this year on poor care has put more and more strain on staff 'ticking boxes' but there is less and less funds to do it with. The NHS isn't perfect but you'd all have a lot more to moan about if it weren't there. This guy is a good GP, he could easily give up and retire which would actually make him a lot better off financially than he is now, but he isn't because he cares about people. Rambie

10:49am Sat 28 Dec 13

p george says...

sad about this.he is one of the best gp who puts his patients first.he listen and find enough time to explain and educate his patients. nhs has to support financially,educatio
naly ,personaly--the health care providers to do their best.we don't want our gp to go through all this stress.our gp is great.
sad about this.he is one of the best gp who puts his patients first.he listen and find enough time to explain and educate his patients. nhs has to support financially,educatio naly ,personaly--the health care providers to do their best.we don't want our gp to go through all this stress.our gp is great. p george

12:55pm Sat 28 Dec 13

sunnydd says...

I believe the majority of those working for the NHS try to do the best they can. Unfortunately the increasing collection of unimportant data & admin tasks has an influential impact on staff & patients.

Many joined NHS to care for patients because the jobs they did had positive outcomes for patients. The government strategies/plans are going to result in the collapse of the system to allow for privatisation.

I do not believe the GP is working for nothing, after all he must has bills, need food & warmth like the rest of us !
I believe the majority of those working for the NHS try to do the best they can. Unfortunately the increasing collection of unimportant data & admin tasks has an influential impact on staff & patients. Many joined NHS to care for patients because the jobs they did had positive outcomes for patients. The government strategies/plans are going to result in the collapse of the system to allow for privatisation. I do not believe the GP is working for nothing, after all he must has bills, need food & warmth like the rest of us ! sunnydd

5:49pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Mikkel1 says...

NO Doctor works for nothing. IF this man claims he is, let him produce a COMPLETE breakdown of income and outgoings, including wages, and in order to Prove it. Like anybody else, HE chose to do the job, and IF he runs it, he MUST have the money in the first place, or go Bankrupt.

The NHS NASTY habit of overpaying Managers and the likes, but NOT the real workers.
NO Doctor works for nothing. IF this man claims he is, let him produce a COMPLETE breakdown of income and outgoings, including wages, and in order to Prove it. Like anybody else, HE chose to do the job, and IF he runs it, he MUST have the money in the first place, or go Bankrupt. The NHS NASTY habit of overpaying Managers and the likes, but NOT the real workers. Mikkel1

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