General Practice in Crisis: A Statement from GP Practices in Littlehampton, Rustington and East Preston
As your local GPs and practice teams, we are sadly aware that our patients are finding it increasingly difficult to get the appointments and services that you have come to expect from us.
This is frustrating for us and we would like to take this opportunity to share with you the reasons for the current situation, and assure you that we are all trying very hard to make sure you can get the best possible care.
As you will have heard in national and local headlines, the NHS is under significant pressure; health services are seeing more patients than ever before, people are living with more complex health needs and there are severe financial challenges.
Over recent years the investment in general practice has reduced, whilst at the same time the workload is rising dramatically.
Sadly, young doctors and nurses do not want to work in GP surgeries, and the pressures on existing GPs and the appeal of places like the USA and Australia, mean they don’t want to take over from local doctors across the country when they retire.
Angmering Medical Centre, Arun Medical Group, Fitzalan Medical Centre and The Lawns Surgery have all been advertising for GPs this year and haven’t been able to recruit. Here at Westcourt Medical Centre we have finally managed to recruit a GP after eight months of searching.
You may have heard that Arun Medical Group in Littlehampton have given notice to the Clinical Commissioning Group to end their contract for GP services from 31st October 2016. This is a blow to their patients & staff, and also to the remaining practices in the Arun locality.
Despite the pressures, we are still committed to providing you with the best possible service and are working well together to share ideas, staff and premises.
We have also diversified our teams and many of you have already been looked after by our Nurse Practitioners, Paramedic Practitioners, Community Pharmacists and Proactive Care Teams and without them we would be really stuck.
We all want the NHS to continue and we are working hard to make sure this happens. Please work with us and help us – the NHS is there for us all to use responsibly.
Please think about where you can get the most appropriate help; we have lots of great pharmacies across the town and they can provide advice, support and over the counter treatments to help you to look after yourself confidently.
Thank you for taking the time to read this - help us to make sure we are available when you need us most.