We are writing to you as a partnership of doctors about some of our current difficulties in providing continuity in service to you. As you know from various media, the NHS is experiencing great difficulty with the recruitment and retention of GPs. This situation is likely to continue for some time as very few doctors now choose to become GPs and those who do have a large number of options available to them, many of which don’t fit with the traditional model of General Practice that we offer here at Newent. This is the new reality for General Practice and is unfortunately starting to affect our ability to recruit doctors to Newent Doctors Practice.
We currently have an advertisement out for a new doctor to replace Dr Mathias who has been recruited to work at a practice nearer to his home. We will try our best to get a permanent doctor to cover this list of patients for the future but at the current time you may meet other doctors who are here to provide temporary cover until one can be found.
We are trying to continue to keep access to the services here as prompt and efficient as you are used to and as part of this we are employing other health professionals to work alongside the GPs, such as our pharmacist Jackie. If your issue is about a medicine dose change, a new medication from the hospital or a side effect then she can help with this rather than your GP. We have also trained our receptionists to be able to identify the urgency of problem you may have, so if a receptionist asks for a brief summary of your problem, this is so that the more urgent cases needing a fast response time can be highlighted to the doctors.
The other thing to remember is that you don’t need to see the GP for every minor ailment. You know more than you think you do! Many self-limiting conditions can be managed perfectly well from the comfort of your own home. There are several really helpful websites to provide support such as www.patient.co.uk or the NHS website. In addition to this there are many others to advise for example the pharmacist, health visitor or school nurses, district nurses or if your problem is related to recent hospital treatment then the hospital can help directly.
We would appreciate if you could bear with us for the moment. We will continue to do our best but any help you can give us would be very much appreciated.
Dr Henson, Dr Stenson, Dr Underwood, Dr Bray, Dr Dargan, Dr Harper and Dr Baxter