A practice in North Wales is set to close after the two GPs partners in charge decided to resign as a result of workload pressures, leaving a whole town without GPs unless new recruits are found.
The local health board confirmed to Pulse that the health centre at Blaenau Ffestiniog, with a population of 5,000 people, will close in January next year after the GPs had resigned, but said there are plans to open a new surgery on another site.
However, the new health centre will not open for 12 months, and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board told Pulse that they are looking for new GPs to work out of the current practice.
According to local reports, town councillors are seeking an urgent meeting with the health board to discuss the potential crisis in local GP cover in an area with a major recruitment problem.
In a statement, the health board said: ‘The two GPs in Blaenau Ffestiniog have given notice of resignation of their contract, which will take effect at the end of January 2015. The major reason for the resignation is the workload pressure.
‘The health board will be advertising for new GPs to take over the contract and will also look at other ways in which primary care services can be provided in the area.’
Pulse understands one of the GP partners at the practice plans to retire, while the other is moving on. The health board said it is planning to set up a new primary and community healthcare centre in the town, where a new GP surgery will eventually be sited.
He said: ‘The news the remaining two doctors will be leaving is shocking and terrible for the area. As of right now everything is up in the air, we have no idea what the future holds and that doesn’t help the doctors who are already under so much stress.’