Medical centre forced to ask patients to self-care due to staffing issues
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A medical practice is being forced to ask patients to self-care and only contact it with 'urgent medical problems' after an increasing number of staffing issues.
Beccles Medical Centre announced last week it would be losing another of its full-time GPs, this time to 'long-term sick leave'.
This follows on from a turbulent six-month period which has seen four GPs retire and another four hand in their resignations.
The centre is having to rely on temporary clinicians to provide care.
Sadie Parker, director of Primary Care with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which oversees the medical centre, said: 'Although Beccles Medical Centre is experiencing some staffing difficulties, they have been able to provide cover by using locum doctors and have recruited other clinicians so patients who need to see a clinician can continue to access appropriate medical care.
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'We appreciate this could be a worrying time for patients and would like to ask them to continue supporting the surgery by self-caring where possible, as well as using pharmacy advice and NHS 111 where appropriate.'
The CCG say they are working closely with the medical centre to resolve the problems and intend to keep patients informed along the way.
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The surgery previously blamed 'increasing workload pressures' and 'diminishing resources' as contributing factors.
A spokesman said: 'Many practices, both locally and nationally, are experiencing difficulties in recruitment and retention of GPs.
'Beccles Medical Centre has and continues to look at innovative ways to help its patients, which includes use of other health professionals such as advanced nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, paramedics and pharmacists to work alongside the existing GPs.'
He added: 'The practice is making progress with recruiting into these posts alongside locum GPs in this transition period.'
The spokesman said: 'The practice has been well supported by its patients and the doctors value the messages of support they have received.'