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Independents' Day

Another GP practice to close due to recruitment problems

Another GP practice is set to close after a health board was unable to attract a single applicant to take on the contract.

Some 2,500 patients are set to lose their local practice when the Nantyffyllon Surgery, based in Maesteg in south Wales, closes on 1 October.

The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health board, which has been running the practice with the help of locum GPs following the retirement of its single-handed contractor, said not a single applicant came forward despite widespread advertising.

This is the latest in a string of closures caused by the UK-wide recruitment crisis which Pulse recently revealed has seen more than 160,000 patients displaced in just two years.

The health board’s local director Hilary Dover said patients will now be reassigned to practices in either Bron-y-Garn, Llynfi or Woodlands.

She commented: ‘Unfortunately we were unsuccessful because no GPs applied. To ensure the future of general medical services for the surgery’s patients, the health board has discussed with the three neighbouring practices the patient list being moved to their services.

‘This will result in the closure of Nantyffyllon Surgery on 1 October.’

Earlier this month Pulse reported on a similar situation in Scotland, where a health board failed to attract a single applicant despite offering £80,000 a year, a golden hello and a relocation package.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the GPC is setting up a ‘rescue service’ after finding one in 14 practices could close next year.

The problems, closely followed by Pulse via the Stop Practice Closures campaign, have shown no signs of abating as a fifth of training places have gone unfilled across the UK this year.

For Wales, 15% of places were unfilled but Pulse learned that the 107 trainee posts taken up this year covers little more than half of the anticipated training needs.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Not a single applicant !?

    Would I be right in thinking that these areas have always had difficulty recruiting doctors? I'm aware that certain places historically have never been popular and have in certain instances attracted IMGs to help and provide services.

    Now IMGs with MRCGP have the option of the world rather than the welsh valleys hence the dearth of interest

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  • 4:11pm
    IMGs have always had the option of working over seas, no different from anyone else, nothing has changed there...what are you on about?

    The issue is the lack of Drs generally, not about IMGs somehow suddenly being able to leave the country? ...obviously it'll be practices that historically struggle to recruit that suffer most first. Struggle maybe...but they weren't actually forced to close...until now it seems.

    This government does give a fig.

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  • @ 7;27

    I don't know, I mean the situation reminded me of the bbc series "the indian doctor" where a fictional doctor ran a surgery in a sleepy welsh village in the middle of nowhere!

    now since the RCGP has taken control of GP training and alienated many potential GPs (and IMGs) from applying for training (perhaps because of the dreaded CSA) im wondering if this situation will compound??

    I know a husband and wife GP couple -middle aged who look after a clinic in rural England and wonder, just wonder if they were born 20 years later and had there time again whether they would get their training and stay in the middle of nowhere or catch a plane to sunny Australia, like a lot of newly qualified doctors are doing now???

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  • Yes uncertain times indeed ...we do seem to be in a period when the people running the country are dead set on dismantling primary care, along with a passion for 'sticking it ' to GPs. It's almost vindictive.
    British primary care is incredibly cost effective but they don't value this at all and want an expensive private USA model instead ...hopefully with as few pesky irritating Drs as possible. It's like the country is being run by folk with some kind of anti Dr 'chip' obsessed with all things state side. (I guess that's Mr Hunt for you)

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  • ill tell you why they couldn't recruit in Scotland. 80K plus golden hello. whoopee doo 80k -10 or more for insurtance 15 -30 % for pension depending if salaried or partner plus a couple more for other things take off tax and wow whats left. Until saleries are 125K or more GPs will move abroad where 200k is easy or locum where 150K is possible if u pick and choose and travel a bit and 80 k if you don't but at least youre free of NHS bollox. The only reason some people are taking 80k jobs is they don't realise they can earn 150k as a locum. certain face book groups may soon spread the word and I thjink fewer people will be taking these offers up.

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  • The old boys have sucked it dry and left a burnt out wreck for the next generation who are being offered less than half their market rate given their training, expertise and the risk involved. Hope the old boys enjoy their big houses while they can as there will be fewer and fewer of the younger generation to look after them. Well done FOR NOT protecting the profession that gave you so much.

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  • Which 'old boys' do you have in mind? Most of us worked very hard, had higher morale (for many reasons that included not chasing the money) and didn't spend much, if any time on the proverbial golf course.
    The people who really us all done are those who proposed and voted to sell the Crown Jewels of family, whole person and continuing care down the QoF Swannee for a right royal mess of potage.

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