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Cornish town organises ‘flash mob’ to attract new GPs

Cornish town organises ‘flash mob’ to attract new GPs

A town in Cornwall has organised a flash mob and produced a music video to attract new GPs to their surgery.

Residents of Lostwithiel, in South East Cornwall, set up a campaign and created their own recruitment song and video to attract new GPs, after one of the partners at the town’s practice decided to retire.

The song and video, which aim to persuade GPs to relocate and ‘make a long-term commitment to community’, were released on social media today (14 February).

Dr Justin Hendriksz, the current remaining practice partner at Lostwithiel Medical Practice, said he felt a more creative approach was needed to find newly trained or existing GPs to care for the town.

The song also aimed at showing that the community is understanding about the stresses and strains that GPs are currently facing and highlighted the natural beauty and cultural backdrop of the town.  

Dr Hendriksz said: ‘Despite the beauty of rural Cornwall and the lively, positive community of Lostwithiel, as a medical practice we have struggled to recruit new GPs through the usual route of adverts in all of the relevant medical publications.

‘We’re all very aware of the alarming number of GPs leaving the sector, so we know we’re not the only practice to be finding it such a challenge to find the right incoming doctors. 

‘We’re very proud of our historical work and service to our local Lostwithiel community and we really need to find our medical successors to take on our mission of treating patients with the “right person, in the right place, at the right time.”’

He added: ‘Of course I’m biased, but there really is nowhere better to be a GP, and myself and my outgoing team have always felt beyond valued and appreciated in this very special community. 

‘The whole community has got behind this idea and I sincerely hope the campaign pop song and video reaches the right people to come and find their ultimate job and home right here in Lostwithiel.’

Dr William Howe, who will be retiring at the end of March, said: ‘Lostwithiel is a fantastic community and I have loved my time serving the people of the town.

‘I have worked here for over 30 years and it has been a wonderful area to raise a family. The medical practice has a great team and whoever is able to fill the new position will be extremely lucky, despite the current shared challenges in the profession at large.’

The news comes amid a UK-wide shortage of GPs, although NHS England has said it’s long term workforce plan is imminent.

Yesterday, Pulse reported on a practice in Scotland has announced it will terminate its contract with the NHS due to ‘a national shortage of GPs.’

Patients at Invergowrie Medical Centre in Dundee were told the practice is set to shut permanently in June in letter from NHS Tayside, which said the practice would remain ‘fully operational’ until its closure.