A Welsh GP practice has warned it will have to shut unless it is able to recruit additional GPs, likening itself to a sinking ship.
Staff at Borth Surgery in Ceredigion announced ‘with a heavy heart’ that the practice will close without new recruits, as the current situation is ‘unsustainable’ and ‘the ship is sinking.’
One of its doctors currently works one day a week, looking after diabetics and covering for another GP when she is off, as she ‘does the rest with support from other health care professionals.’
A spokesperson from the surgery said: ‘We have been looking for new GPs for several years now and have had some doctors interested only to find out in the end they have decided to go elsewhere.
‘This has now happened again. We are still actively looking for someone to join the surgery.
‘Prescribing pharmacists, advanced nurse practitioners and physicians associates have joined the practice team but unfortunately, they are unable to work without the full-time supervision of a GP.
‘We have also explored the possibility of merging with other local practices yet, to no avail. We formed a federation with other local practices.
‘It has enabled us to do the administration of four other practices and to become a training practice for GPs. We also take medical students from Cardiff and Swansea and trainee pharmacists on placement in the surgery.’
The staff also said that they worked with the local health board to try and find a solution for years and will continue to do so.
They added: ‘In short, we have done everything we possibly can to keep going and make the practice viable. However, without GPs to hold the contract with the Health Board for General Medical Services none of the above is possible and the surgery will have to close.
‘General practices across the UK are facing the same problems; however, it is hitting rural general practice and the communities that they serve harder. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.’
The Haxby Group, which run 13 GP surgeries across York, Scarborough and Hull, serving more than 92,000 patients, was forced to shut its practice in Stockton on the Forest, as it could ‘no longer provide a safe service’ due to difficulties in recruiting reception staff.