TY Elli Practice is currently experiencing a shortage of doctors which has resulted in the practice taking the unprecedented step of closing its list for new patients for a period of 6 months.
In addition, many of the doctors that remain are now working on a part-time basis with some reducing sessions with a view to also retiring soon. The practice has 2 branches one at Vauxhall and one at Machynys.
Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for Glanymor Ward said:
“As a patient myself at Ty Elli surgery, I know that a lot of people are understandably concerned with the latest developments and I share their frustrations.
“I will be writing to the Health Board urgently to seek assurances that every step is now being taken to address this issue quickly on behalf of the community.
“Wales, of course is the birthplace of our cherished NHS and we are rightly proud of that contribution. It was founded on the principles of being free and accessible to all. As a result, those in a position to do so should be fighting for the very best and not settling for services that are just better than nothing.
“Our NHS staff are doing their best despite the pressures that they face but they need support. This is just the latest in a series of GP shortages with the recent problems in Burry Port, Kidwelly and Trimsaran. Wales has fewer doctors per head of population than most European nations.
“In the National Assembly, Plaid Cymru AMs have been raising these issues time and time again with Labour ministers – when are they going to take some responsibility?
The Welsh Government is sitting on its hands and refusing to take workforce planning practices seriously. There is an urgent need to be much more proactive in ensuring there are levels of staff required to deliver essential services.
“Plaid Cymru’s detailed plan to train and recruit 1,000 extra doctors and offer financial incentives to attract doctors to difficult-to-recruit areas will help to ensure healthcare is provided if, when and where we need it.
“Today, our NHS is one which is in need of renewed leadership in order to ensure that it works at its best for staff and patients across Llanelli who clearly deserve better.”
Jill Paterson, Interim Director of Commissioning, Primary Care, and Therapies and Health Sciences for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “Hywel Dda University Health Board has approved Ty Elli surgery’s request to temporarily close their patient list. This is a standard contractual process and the Health Board has undertaken an assessment of local challenges as part of this request.
“We’d like to reassure existing patients that this will not affect them although new patients will need to register with an alternative practice within whose boundary they live. No patient will be without a GP practice because of this temporary closure.”