Exclusive: Welsh recruitment crisis forces GP partner to quit practice

A GP partner in Wales has handed in his notice to the local health board because the recruitment crisis and rising workload has made it 'impossible to carry on'.

Dr Church: No longer able to cope with rising workload and lack of GPs.
Dr Church: No longer able to cope with rising workload and lack of GPs.

This is the latest practice facing such severe difficulties that it risks closure or must be managed by the health board.

Practices across Wales are struggling to stay afloat due to workload and workforce difficulties, and direct management from health boards is draining hundreds of thousands of pounds from healthcare budgets, GPOnline has revealed.

Dr David Church says he is no longer able to cope with rising workload and lack of GPs and has had to hand Machynlleth, Corris and District Medical Practice in mid-Wales to the health board.

‘Falling apart’

The lack of GPs in Wales has meant that the practice cannot recruit the doctors it desperately needs, Dr Church said.

‘We should have four GPs, but there are currently only two, and it falls apart when I’m not here,’ he said. ‘I’ve been doing all I can for the last two years, and for the last six months, I’ve been doing more than that.’

Powys Teaching Health Board says it will manage the running of the practice from the end of July, with Dr Church and the other GP partner, Dr Juliana Hood continuing to practise there.

‘Powys Teaching Health Board is working closely with Dr Church, Dr Hood, and their staff to ensure as little disruption as possible during the cross-over period,’ a spokesman said.

Patient responsiblity

The health board has tried to limit the practice list size, and has helped with advertising, but to no avail, Dr Church said.

‘I‘m not criticising the health board – it’s just that there are no GPs out there who want a job,’ he said.

‘In some ways it’ll be a relief because I know I don’t have to be here all the time. On the other hand I feel some responsibility morally for the patients, and there are going to be days when not everybody can be seen,’ he added.

* Exclusive: Thousands wasted on managed practices as recruitment crisis hits

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