Calls for an investigation into a ‘serious state of affairs’ at a Pembrokeshire health centre are being made this week.
From the end of this month, there will only be three GP s at Tenby Surgery - to serve a town with no minor injuries unit and a 60,000-plus summer population.
MP Simon Hart, Tenby Town Council and county councillor Michael Williams are all voicing concerns about the GP situation and also the difficulty being experienced by patients in getting appointments.
Councillor Williams said that at 8am last Tuesday, there were 16 people queuing outside the practice waiting for appointments, and that the phone lines, which open at 8.30am, can then be engaged for up to an hour.
The surgery is now telling patients that only book-on-the-day GP appointments are currently available ‘due to national recruitment shortages’.
Tenby Town Council has asked Hywel Dda Health Board chairman Chris Martin to look into the situation, which it says is ‘causing great anxiety within our community’.
Mr Hart has raised the issued with the health board and the Welsh Health Minister, and said: “The surgery agrees that this is a serious state of affairs and needs urgent correction.“ He added that the practice manager had told him that demand for the services has risen at the same time as GP numbers have gone down.
“Despite extensive advertising, they have so far been unable to fill the vacancies,” he said. “Uncertainty over the future of Withybush is also acting as a deterrent to professionals who may be considering moving to the area.”
A spokesperson for the board said they were aware of the challenges being faced by the practice and there had been several meetings as a result.
She added: “We will continuously monitor the delivery of services and continue to support the practice to to overcome what is hoped to be a temporary situation.”