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Uncertain future for Shropshire GP practice in struggle to recruit new doctor

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Difficulty recruiting a new GP means a Shropshire doctors' practice is facing an uncertain future as one of its two surgeries may close.

Doctors at The Meadows Medical Practice, which has surgeries in both Clun and Knighton, have launched a consultation to ask patients what they think should happen, and will be holding a public meeting on June 21.

Hilary Fowles, practice manager, said: "Primary care services across the country are currently under extreme pressure.

"We at The Meadows now feel we have reached a significant crossroads in our service provision and, unfortunately, are having to consider very carefully how we can continue to deliver safe and reliable medical care to the communities in the Clun Valley and Knighton."

She said the practice had so far been unable to recruit a much-needed new GP, to replace one of the senior partners set to retire later this year, leaving the practice with "no alternative" but to consider other options.

A consultation document outlines four possible courses of action: Doing nothing; closing either the Clun site or Knighton site to focus services at just one surgery; keeping both open but with reduced services; or simply continuing to try to recruit more clinical staff to expand at Knighton.

The consultation document, drawn up by doctors Roger Davies, Juliet Bennett and Wendy Jane Walton, says: "We are proud of our practice and have always striven to offer the best service we can to all our patients. We are aware that the publication of this document will cause unease and concern to our patients, our staff and the wider communities we serve, it is a source of unease and concern for us too.

"We have not entered into this process lightly but we have come to feel that we have no alternative.

"If we do not take action now to address the issues we see facing us we risk the entire future of the practice and we look for the support and understanding of our communities in addressing these challenges and moving forward to a sustainable future."

The public meeting will be held at Knighton Community Centre from 7pm.

The consultation document can be seen at themeadowsmedicalpractice.co.uk

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