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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Health board-run practice having to run sessions with no GPs

Patients and local councillors have raised concerns about a health board-run GP practice running some sessions with no doctors.

The Pen y Maes Medical Centre in Wrexham - a town that has seen six practices hand contracts back recently - is relying on locum cover since it was taken over by the health board last year.

Local councillor Gwenfair Jones said while on some days there were four doctors available, on others there are none with nurses left to staff the surgery.

Patients and councillors are planning to attend a board meeting this week to call for more to be done.

Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board, who are currently running the practice after its previous partners retired, said they were ‘actively looking to fill vacant salaried GP positions at the practice, and will be interviewing for Advanced Nurse Practitioner posts next week’.

The statement added: ‘We continue to work hard to develop a plan for the long-term future and success of the practice, and apologise for any difficulties patients have had in booking appointments,’ a spokesperson said.

Dr Eamonn Jessup, North Wales LMC chair said he knew the situation in the practice well having done locum sessions himself.

‘The situation is that there are not enough GPs available currently to service the needs of the populations in these areas,’ he said.

He added that the health board have to manage the surgery as the only option when GMS fails but they are struggling just as much as anyone else to recruit and find cover.

‘Whilst the current situation is safe, this situation inevitably puts more pressure on out of hours and emergency department services.

‘Patients can’t get their heads around a surgery without a doctor. It feels rather like a pub with no beer and there is great difficulty in trying to get patients to think about whether a medical presentation could be better handled by another health professional rather than a doctor.’

Dr Jessup recently penned an open letter warning that most of North Wales was at risk of losing general practice provision altogether if recruitment problems were not addressed.

 

 

 

 

Readers' comments (9)

  • 'It feels rather like a pub with no beer'

    That because there it is a pub with a permanent open bar and exhausted underpaid bar keepers!

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  • Cobblers

    So it would appear that it is OK for a Health Board practice to run with no doctor cover.

    Could you imagine the crapfest that would rain down on a GMS practice if it ever tried to do that? The NHSE would go for breach of contract, the CQC would close the practice down on grounds of safety, and the GMC might take a view on removing the GPs from the medical register.

    Ah but because it is the secondary sector nothing will happen. Until people start dying.

    North Staffs anyone?

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  • AlanAlmond

    ‘The situation is that there are not enough GPs available currently to service the needs of the populations in these areas,’ he said.

    Not a problem of any interest to anyone in the wider media it seems. No doubt someone will correct me and tell me the disappearance of your local GP is big news somewhere, but as far as I can see the UK media establishment doesn’t give two hoots. There’s too much else for people to worry about, unaffordable housing, BREXIT and Mrs Mays cough.

    Healthy people with clever looking thick black rimmed glasses and quif hair cuts are the ones who analyse the news for us on the BBC. They don’t often need to see a GP..it anit an issue of much interest to them...so it anit on the news.

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  • Welcome to the future. Primary Care run by nurses. They'll miss us when we're gone.

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  • Doctor McDoctor Face

    Editor the link to Dr Jessups letter isnt working....bit like the NHS

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  • Mr Mephisto

    As far as I am aware the GP practice in Portadown featured in the Pulse article "First ever APMS contract awarded in Northern Ireland" has has two advertising trawls aimed at recruiting salaried GP's to work in this practice. As far as I am aware they received NO APPLICANTS! To quote Cilla Black "Surprise Surprise!"

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  • 'Health board-run practice having to run sessions with no GPs'

    There is a manager somewhere who has this as an example of 'transformation' and 'innovation' on their C.V.

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  • eastern europe gps underway .. not to worry .. who can bearably understand english leave alone welish

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  • How come CQC does not shut this down?

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