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Surgery saved following ‘Will you be my GP?’ campaign

A Cornish village’s appeal to find a GP and stop its only surgery from closing has succeeded after another practice stepped in to help.

The #WillYouBeMyGP campaign sparked international attention, after local residents in the fishing village of Mevagissey joined forces to urge GPs from across the UK to move to their area to serve the practice’s 5,300 patients.

The community launched the appeal after Dr Katherine James, the only GP partner at Mevagissey Surgery, announced plans to retire at the end of next month. 

Following the successful campaign, GPs at Veor Surgery – 30 miles away in Camborne – have agreed to take on the practice and employ more staff to support Dr James, who has changed her mind and decided to stay.

NHS England and Kernow CCG reviewed eight proposals to tackle the potential closure of Mevagissey Surgery after it became clear that it would not be possible to disperse patients to other practices.

The campaign also resulted in three GPs showing interest in becoming salaried GPs at Mevagissey Surgery and their details have been passed on to Veor Surgery.

NHS England’s director of primary care, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: ‘A lot of hard work has gone in to ensuring the Mevagissey practice stays open for its 5,300 patients and it is vital that we retain and support experienced family doctors like Dr James.

‘It is good to see surgeries collaborating in this way, which is exactly how we envisage practices large and small working to support each other, providing a wider range of services to patients who can get the care they need close to home.’

Dr James, who will be resuming her role in due course, said: ‘I am really pleased I can continue caring for the patients of Mevagissey Surgery.

‘I have been overwhelmed by the support that everyone has offered and the hard work to achieve this positive outcome for the community.’

Nick Kaye, partner at Veor Surgery, said: ‘When we saw the local TV coverage of the community campaign to find a GP for the surgery, we all agreed we wanted to help.

‘The communities’ response was inspiring, and we are so pleased we were able to work with Dr James to keep GP services in the heart of Mevagissey.’

He added: ‘With Dr James’ experience and our support, we are confident we can provide great care for patients. As a pharmacist partner, I will be working from Mevagissey for half of the week and we are already recruiting urgent care practitioners and GPs to strengthen the existing team.’

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