The owners of a Flintshire-based GP practice are hoping to tackle a shortage of doctors after employing two new members of staff.
Patients at the Marches Medical Practice, which has branches in Broughton and Buckley, have been informed only to attend in an emergency on a number of occasions in the last month with temporary closures also taking place.
It comes as the partners who run the two sites have struggled to replace a doctor who recently retired, while illness and maternity leave have also added to the low staffing level.
However, it has now been announced that two new members of clinical staff have been recruited.
The partners said the situation they had encountered was ‘unprecedented’ and hoped the additions would help to address the shortage.
In a statement posted on Facebook, they said: “As you are no doubt aware, there is a severe recruitment crisis within general practice nationally.
“This has led to the closure of over 580 practices in the UK since 2013, with nearly 140 GP surgeries closing in 2018 alone.
“We appreciate that asking patients to attend for emergencies only, and to travel to one site of the practice has been unprecedented and apologise for inconvenience caused during these times.
“We would however stress that these decisions were made by the partners and implemented by our management team at our request so that we could ensure that we provided the best, safe, service to all of our patients.”
“We are pleased to announce that we have appointed two new members of clinical staff recently and look forward to welcoming these new members to the team over the next months.”
They added: “We are extremely grateful for the understanding shown by the vast majority of our patients during this time, and always welcome feedback – both positive and negative.
“However, we would stress that abusive comments towards our practice staff and management team are not helpful to anyone in this challenging time and will not be tolerated.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).