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Frustrated patients to protest against the inadequate staffing of local surgeries

Frustrated patients will publicly raise their concerns about staffing provision and the future of local surgeries at a protest tomorrow morning.

The protest, which has been organised by Friends of Pen-y-Maes, will take place outside the Catrin Finch Centre where Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board chiefs are due to meet for an executive board meeting.

It has been organised as a result of growing concerns about the staff provision and future of the Pen-y-Maes Health Centre in Summerhill.

The surgery has been managed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board since October 2016, however there have been growing concerns about the number of GPs available and the future of the surgery since the health board took over.

Similar concerns have also been raised by patients at Borras Surgery, Forge Road and Ruabon after the surgeries were taken over (or due to be taken over) by the Health Board.

Last week 160 patients from Pen Y Maes, Borras Surgery and Forge Road attended a meeting to discuss the issues at the surgeries and how their futures could be secured.

A poster created for tomorrow’s protest says: “Calling all Pen-y-Maes, Hillcrest, Beechley, Ruabon, Borras Park and Forge Road patients.

“We are all protesting against the inadequate staffing of our surgeries and surgeries set to become health board managed. Please turn up with banners and signs ‘Save Pen-y-Maes Health Centre/ Hillcrest/ Beechley/Ruabon/Borras Park/Forge Road (delete as applicable) and whatever else you deem necessary.

“We are beginning at 9:30am on Thursday 21st September outside the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University. Please bring friends, family and neighbours, we need a huge turnout and we must all stand united to make the health board stand up and listen.

“The executive board are meeting at 10am on that day in that venue. We will not accept this anymore.”

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s protest, councillor for Gwersyllt West, Gwenfair Jones said: “The turn out last week just shows the strength of feeling not just as regards Penymaes but also GP practises at Forge Road and Borras which between them have around 30,000 patients.

“Despite repeated requests we are not getting the service that we deserve, a total reliance on locums means that some days there are 4 GP’s other days there are none.

“We are aware that a number of GP’s are interested in taking over the contract at Penymaes but are losing interest because of the Health Board’s failure to resolve issues and who want to manage the practise themselves like in Prestatyn forgetting of course that it costs a third more there than what it did when it was run on a GP contract.

“The Health Board are meeting this Thursday 21st September at 10am at the Catrin Finch Centre at Glyndwr and we the campaign groups will be there to give them a warm welcome and to make sure patient’s voices are heard.”

Wrexham.com asked Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board for a comment on the staffing provision at the surgery and what plans there are to make improvements. We also asked if there is any comment on last week’s patient meeting and if there had been any communication with relevant parties.

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We remain committed to providing a high quality service at Pen y Maes, which includes working to fill vacant posts at the practice. We are actively looking to fill vacant salaried GP positions at the practice, and will be interviewing for Advanced Nurse Practitioner posts soon.

“We continue to work hard to develop a plan for the long-term future and success of the practice, and apologise for any difficulties patients have had in booking appointments.”

Patients are invited to meet at the Catrin Finch Centre at Wrexham Glyndwr University at 9:30am tomorrow (Thursday 21st) morning.

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