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Committee calls for health board update on work to reduce GP shortages in Wrexham

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, May 16th, 2019.

Calls for information on what is being done to resolve GP shortages in Wrexham and further afield have been made by councillors.

Members of the council’s safeguarding, communities and wellbeing scrutiny committee had been set to discuss the issue at their meeting with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board at their meeting in January 2020.

However councillors yesterday called for the item to be brought forward due the situation seemingly “getting worse” locally.

Cllr I David Bithell said: “We all have concerns over GP issues in Wrexham.

“Would it be advisable to bring the meeting forward to this year? It feels a long way away considering the amount of people who are waiting for GP appointments in Wrexham.”

The comments were echoed by Cllr Brian Cameron who said that GP shortages and issues with patients booking appointments was getting worse.

He said: “Back in 2012/2013 when I raised it, it was was in relation to the closure of the surgery in Hightown.

“Ever since it has been on every single Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) meeting and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, in fact it is getting worse – a lot worse.

“I think it is time that we should have some results.”

However there were questions over what new information could be expected during such a meeting, with the committee reminded that they debated the issue at length with health board representatives earlier this year.

During January’s meeting it was revealed that on average there is 2000 patients per the equivalent of a whole time GP in Wrexham – which is one of the highest in the UK.

At the time reassurances were offered that work is being done to recruit more GPs to Wrexham and across north east Wales.

But Cllr Bithell said that things had “deteriorated further” since the January meeting, with Cllr Cameron calling for the scheduled meeting in October to discuss mental health services to be extended to allow for a debate on GP shortages and recruitment.

Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones also asked if it would be possible for more information to be brought to the October meeting to discuss what contingency plans are in place to deal with winter pressures on the local health service.

It was agreed that the committee request to extend the October meeting to allow for an update on GP shortages in Wrexham.

Since the meeting at the start of the year it has been announced that Alyn Family Doctors, who operate health centres in three villages were once again looking to

In more positive news locally, it was recently confirmed that three surgeries under the management of BCUHB would be handed over to Dr Karen Sankey and Dr Gayle Knights of the community interest company (CIC), the Community Care Collaborative.

Over the next few months ownership of the three practices will be transferred to the Community Care Collaborative, starting with Hillcrest in July.

This will be followed by Forge Road in September and Borras Park in November.

Patients registered at these practices do not need to take any action.

The health board will be working with the Dr Sankey and Dr Knights to complete the contractual arrangements over the coming months.

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