'I exhausted every other avenue' - GP asks doctors on holiday in Cornwall to work shifts

The practice covers Portscatho, as well as Tregony and St Mawes.

A GP practice in Cornwall has suggested doctors holidaying in the area could work shifts, after it said locums had become in 'short supply'.

The general manager of Roseland Surgeries sent out a tweet asking for any medics staying in the county to help fill shifts in Tregony, Portscatho and St Mawes.

Nicola Davies posted: "If you're a GP coming down to Cornwall on holiday, and you fancy a locum session or two (to help pay for the extortionate costs of the hols) please give me a shout... you might like what you see!"

Speaking about the appeal, she said: "Our stretch is in this beautiful little part of Cornwall and we're a holiday hotspot, and we always get busy.

"So, the September before, I plan ahead. For us, there was a little bit of a curve ball because I had a partner resign to relocate, so I had a gap in my availability of GPs and struggled to get locums to fill those sessions.

"I exhausted every other avenue that was open to me. There are locum websites out there... nobody was pinging back with any availability.

"I just thought, 'Okay, I've got quite a few doctors that I follow on Twitter and quite a few doctors that follow me, so chances are because Cornwall is staycation central this year, there may be a GP on holiday who might want a taster of what it's like to work in a Cornwall practice.

"I hate to say it, but I was looking outside of the box - I had to think of something different. And that's why I did it."

But it is not the first time that a Cornish practice has welcomed doctors who are on holiday.

Dr Paul Cook, a GP and chair of NHS Kernow Clinical Commission Group, said: "In general in Cornwall, we've been doing this over recent years through Kernow CIC health, which is a GPs organisation.

"Often people say, 'Wouldn't it be great to work here' or 'I wonder what it's like to work here' or, 'I wonder what sort of opportunities there are'. We're just giving some sort of guidance about how to find out.

"In general, Kernow Health has been very proactive in advertising for people to come down. And in the past, we have offered various packages or opportunities for people when they're down on holiday, if they're down for a couple of weeks and want to earn a bit of extra cash by doing a couple of shifts, to pay for their enjoyment as well.

"It's actually suited a number of people and off the back of it, we've had people that have moved down and settled, which is great."

The tweet has received a positive response from many GPs and even some nurses, while more than 1,000 people have liked it.

Asked what Nicola would say to prospective doctors, she said they offer "a really great working space" and the practice can "give you an example of what it is to work as a GP in Cornwall, which you may find really attractive".