Views & Reviews Personal View

Why I had to resign from my general practice

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 18 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h940
  1. Holly Hardy, general practitioner, St Martin’s Surgery, 378 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol BS4 2QR, UK
  1. hollyhardy{at}

The inability to recruit new staff after partners retired meant that Holly Hardy, a GP, was left with no other choice—in a story indicative of problems throughout general practice

I recently made a life changing decision: I resigned, with the very real risk that 6000 patients would be left without a GP and that all 12 of my staff would lose their jobs.

St Martin’s Surgery was a longstanding family practice in Bristol. However, two partners retired within 18 months of each other, leaving just two part time partners, of whom I was one. We were unable to recruit and retain permanent replacements, so we worked additional sessions and used locum cover to maintain care for our patients. Often we were in the surgery, or working at home, until midnight.

We approached NHS England, the local medical committee, and neighbouring practices for help, exploring the idea of a merger or of joining a federation. However, we could not reach a solution. After a gruelling …

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