Residents I’ve spoke to since the closure of Oulton Medical Centre are shocked and concerned about the loss of their local GP practice.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will reveal the full reasons for the closure in due course. However, it is unfortunate that it appears that Oulton is just the most recent victim of the GP shortage crisis. Right across the country, there is a shortage of GPs. Many have closed because they’ve been unable to recruit new doctors.
Rather than closing voluntarily because of shortages, Oulton Medical Centre became the first practice in the country to be closed under emergency powers by the CQC. GP Online, reporting on the closure said: “they had been unable to recruit a permanent GP. This placed many demands on the two GP partners.”
Just like the teaching profession, this government – through dangerous politicking and its catastrophic top-down reorganisation of our NHS – has sent morale plummeting in the medical profession. This government has created a GP workforce crisis by training fewer GPs, whilst many older doctors take early retirement because of the added bureaucracy imposed through the top-down reorganisation.
In some areas, almost forty per cent of GP posts in England remain unfilled. This is unsustainable and dangerous. Unless we wish to see a repeat of events in Oulton, it’s paramount that we act now. In Waveney, all levers of power are held and exercised by the Conservative Party.
On behalf of Oulton residents, I therefore ask the Conservative Waveney District Council, Conservative Suffolk County Council, Conservative Member of Parliament, and Conservative Government, what they plan to do to tackle the GP crisis here, in Waveney.
Cllr Jane Murray
Labour Councillor for Oulton