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Practice sheds 880 patients as GP quits

A practice in a recruitment troublespot has axed 880

patients following the departure of a partner.

Dr Geoffrey Smith recently announced he was leaving the partnership after being worn down by paperwork and Government targets.

He said he intended to take a pay cut to work as a locum and for an out-of-hours co-


Dr Rob Dawson, senior partner at the practice on

the Gateshead-Durham border, said the three remaining partners are now left with 9,000 patients and will have to remove 880 patients in Durham from the list.

'When Dr Smith made the decision to resign we had no option,' he said.

Last autumn, a nearby Gateshead practice was forced to close a branch surgery with the loss of 2,750 patients after three partners quit.

Dr Dawson added that GPs in Durham had been 'excellent' in taking on the patients and making the change as seamless as possible.

He said: 'What is a very frustrating situation for the remaining partners is being eased a little by our GP


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