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Surgery warns of "collapse" over doctor shortage

Patients of a large GP practice in Denbighshire which is struggling to fill vacancies are being urged to protest to politicians.

A GP practice in Denbighshire says a shortage of doctors could see it collapse. Credit: PA

Doctors at the Pendyffryn Medical Group at Prestatyn have warned that they are under such pressure that they may have to cut back on some services offered and that patients will have to wait longer for appointments.

Last week one of the practice’s partners, Dr Eamonn Jessup, who is chairman of the North Wales Local Medical Committee, warned that the shortage of GPs in North Wales was so desperate that the region’s service was “only three years from collapse”.

The Pendyffryn practice used to have nine partners but there are now only five, and three of them are over 58 years of age.

In a note to patients they apologise for delays in fixing appointments, explaining that they face “extreme difficulties” in replacing GPs who have left.

“The resolution of this is beyond the influence of the practice or indeed the local health board by itself. If you wish to support a sustainable GP service in Prestatyn we would be most grateful if you could discuss this with your local politician."

The British Medical Association “GP cares campaign” is calling for a long-term, sustainable investment in GP services and the RCGP has an on-line petition which the Prestatyn patients are urged to support.