GP Responsible For 4,300 Patients ‘Struggling To Provide Safe Service’

Multiple Retirements And Problems Recruiting Places Strain On Sole GP In Area

24.04.2015

Specialist medical negligence lawyers have revealed their concerns following reports a doctor effectively forced to provide care for an "unrealistic" number of patients has said he is struggling to provide a safe service.

Following the retirement of GPs in the Llyn Peninsula area of North Wales, Dr Arfon Williams found himself responsible for 4,300 residents and a seasonal holiday population. The area has also struggled to attract new GPs.

The average patient list size for GPs in England is around 1,600 patients, leaving Dr Williams responsible for 2.5 times more patients than is standard.

Dr Williams said: "We cover a rural area from two sites so it is now going to prove incredibly difficult to provide a realistic, safe service for our patients, but we will endeavour to do so.

"I want the health board to recognise the severity of the situation here on the Llŷn Peninsula, and more generally in Dwyfor."

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: "Senior medical staff and managers recently met with Dr Williams to discuss his concerns.

"The difficulties in recruiting GPs is a national issue; however, there are particular problems in specific areas of North Wales.

"We fully recognise these issues and work is ongoing to identify and agree measures to alleviate the immediate problems and to develop a strong recruitment base.”

If you've experienced negligent treatment due to rushed or over-worked GPs you might be entitled to compensation. Visit our GP Negligence Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
"The issues raised in these reports are incredibly worrying and it is vital that the NHS and authorities in Wales work to ensure that all patients in the country have access to the necessary standard of GP care and support that they require.

"It should be recognised that reports also indicate that these GP recruitment concerns are not necessarily isolated, so investigations should also be held into similar concerns identified across the rest of the UK.

"Patient safety should always come first and everything possible must be done to ensure that standards do not fall in light of these issues."
Julie Lewis, Partner