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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.