GP shortage leaves island without a surgery

6th May 2022 by NASGP

GP shortage leaves island without a surgery

A GP shortage on Alderney in the Channel Islands has led to the closure of the island’s GP practice, BBC News reports.

Island Medical Limited announced earlier this week that it would close today. Alderney, part of Guernsey, has a population of 2,102.

Last year Pulse reported that almost 800 GP practices had shut since 2013, including a whopping 96 in 2020.

Rural practices have been hit particularly hard by the GP workforce crisis. Last year NASGP reported on a practice manager in Cornwall who was featured by BBC News and Metro after her tweet inviting GP locums for work and jobs at her surgery went viral.

NASGP members including Dr Chloe Evans have supported rural GP by working as part of schemes such as Rediscovering the Joy of General Practice in the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, says: “My heart goes out to yet another GP who has had to quit their job because of an inexcusable lack of support and GP workforce planning. This story stands out because of the particular demographics of it being a small island, but the same story is being played out almost daily in towns and cities across the UK.

“We rely far too heavily on the commitment and dedication of GPs, taking our tenacity for granted, then being all surprised with the revelation that we’re actually human, just like anyone else.

“In 2022, there is tried-and-tested remote working support in place that the NHS has access to from NASGP’s Remote Digital Chambers, that NASGP members have been piloting. Rolling this out at pace could go a long way to solving problems like this before they arise.”

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