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GPs accuse health officials of 'bullying'

14th February 2013

GPs in Wrexham have said they were faced with "a naked attempt at bullying and intimidation" after they told the health board they were concerned about the safety of their patients.

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They have written to the health minister Lesley Griffiths after they were threatened with a £60,000 penalty after shutting down one of their surgeries - in Hightown - because their workload was too high.

Dr Coward, senior partner at the Gardden Road practice at Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham, said they had to shut down the surgery and added "to keep an open door policy would kill us."

He explained: "We have got three surgeries and cannot cope. Last year we tried to get a fifth partner to try to save the position but he left the surgery after just three months due to stress. One of our partners has been ill but has struggled back to work."

"It's an incredible pressure cauldron to be in. We know that we are in a chronically precarious position in our GP clinics." 

He added that they had spoken to the health board since 2011 but they had not been helped, so had written to the health minister so they could raise awareness of what was happening and avoid compromising patient safety.

A spokeswoman for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: "We agreed a temporary closure for four weeks to allow the practice to implement actions to rectify the situation and met with the partners and agreed a plan for reopening the branch - this agreed plan was not fulfilled by the practice."

"We are now in a position where the health board has significant concerns regarding the ongoing failure of the practice to provide services in Hightown for the patients that normally attend this branch, some of whom have difficulty in travelling to the main surgery."

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