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GPs hand back contract in area hard-hit by closures

A GP practice in north Wales has handed back its contract, becoming the latest among a raft of local practices to do so.

The Rashmi Surgery in Old Colwyn, Conwy County, will stop providing services in January, leaving the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to find an alternative for patients.

Other practices nearby have also handed back their contract, with the health board taking over running of the practices directly.

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the Welsh GPC, said: ‘Surgeries handing back their contracts to the health board is a real-time demonstration of how some general practices are at breaking point and see this as the only solution open to them.’

She said this comes as a GPC Wales survey recently showed that 82.1% of GPs have ‘serious concerns about the sustainability of their practice’.

According to the BBC, the 1,200 patients will not need to register at a different practice.

A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson said: ‘The health board is responsible for making sure that everyone in north Wales has access to GP services.

‘Over the next three months, we will keep patients and other members of the local population informed of our progress, and will respond to any concerns and questions.’

In September, it was revealed that 20 Welsh practices handed their contracts back in the last 12 months, including eight in the Betsi Cadawaladr University Health Board area.

Amid the trend, the health board has set up a model for GPs to work salaried in the practices that they run.