A Doncaster doctor has warned that GP surgeries in the town are at breaking point – amid claims the country is on the brink of a primary care crisis.
Dr Dean Eggitt, a GP at Oakwood Surgery in Cantley, has warned that the borough’s GP practises are currently stretched to the brink.
There are a number of practices in Doncaster that are really struggling with capacityDr Dean Eggitt
His warning comes as it was reported that at least 100 GP surgeries across the country are reported to have applied to stop taking on new patients.
None of Doncaster’s 43 surgeries have officially stopped accepting patients – but Dr Eggitt says mounting pressures on primary care resources this year has led to two of the borough’s practices considering closing.
Dr Eggitt said resources are so stretched patients in Doncaster were forced to wait more than 16 hours for a visit from an out-of-hours doctor last weekend.
“It is a very worrying issue,” said Dr Eggitt, who represents the town’s doctors through his role as a medical secretary.
He added: “You will find it difficult to get any GP to comment on this on the record, but they are all worried.
“There are number of practices in Doncaster which are really struggling with capacity.
“Doncaster, like many parts of the country, is experiencing a recruitment crisis for its GPs – which has a knock-on effect on all aspects of care from surgeries to the hospitals they would normally train in.”
The recruitment crisis means there are currently 11 GP vacancies in the borough that surgeries are struggling to fill.
Dr Eggitt: “Due to an inability to find GPs to work in the out-of-hours environment, we are currently employing GPs from out of the area to come here.”
Nationally, practices are struggling to cope with a rising demand from patients, a lack of resources and a GP shortage, the British Medical Association’s GP committee chair said this week.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “GP services are reaching breaking point as they struggle to cope with rising patient demand, falling resources and a shortage of GPs.
“Closing their list is the only option to maintain safe care to their local community.”
A survey by GP magazine Pulse has claimed to show a ‘shocking shortage’ of GPs.