Welsh town hit by third practice contract resignation in a year

A third GP practice in a year has resigned its contract in Wrexham, north Wales.

The 6,500-list Forge Road Surgery will be taken over by the local health board in December after the three partners gave notice on their contract.

Local press reports say the announcement comes just weeks after another Wrexham practice, Borras Park Surgery, announced it would hand its contract back. A third practice has already been taken over by the board following a contract resignation at the end of last year.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it was working with the practice to ensure services continue beyond 2018.

Practices across north and mid Wales have been under pressure due to the acute workforce crisis. In 2015 one the largest practices in the UK to collapse, the 18,000-patient Pendyffryn Medical Centre in Prestatyn, went under after partners were unable to recruit enough GPs to keep the practice going.

At that point, around 10 practices across Wales were under health board control. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it now has 8 practices under its control. GPC Wales has warned that directly managed practices were creating ‘huge financial burden’ for the NHS with ‘significantly higher costs’. Managed practices cost £30 per patient more to run each year.

Commenting to the local press on the Forge Road Surgery closure Cllr Paul Rogers said it was ‘vital the health board ensure residents are kept informed of the situation and that the level of service is maintained’.

A spokeswoman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: ‘We have written to residents to notify them that Dr Buky, Dr Padmonkar and Dr Khalifa have given notice that they will be ending their contract with the health board to provide GP services from 31 December 2017.

‘There is no need for patients to take any action or to register with a different GP practice. We are working with the practice to plan how patients will continue to receive local services from January 2018 onwards.

‘Until then, normal services at Forge Road Surgery will continue to be available as usual, and we will be writing to patients again before the end of December to confirm new arrangements for the practice.’

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