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Beccles Medical Centre welcomes new practitioner to ease GP shortage

PUBLISHED: 11:32 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 October 2017

Beccles Health Campus.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles Health Campus. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A new care practitioner has joined a medical practice suffering ongoing staffing issues to allow GPs to use their time more efficiently.

Beccles Health Campus.
Picture: Nick Butcher Beccles Health Campus. Picture: Nick Butcher

Emma Williamson, an emergency care practitioner, joined Beccles Medical Centre, in St Mary’s Road, last week.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We are pleased to announce the arrival of Emma Williamson, a highly experienced care practitioner who has previously worked for the East of England Ambulance Service.

“Using her considerable experience, her role will involve assessment of patients who present as acutely unwell.

“She will provide appropriate and timely medical advice, treatment and support in close liaison with the practice’s urgent care team, which includes a GP.”

The spokesman added: “Home visits take much longer than surgery consultations and, given the large practice area Beccles Medical Centre serves, it is envisaged the new way of working will help utilise a more efficient use of the GPs’ time.

“Emma will also provide help within the practice and liaise with our well regarded community matron team.

Ms Williamson will be working at the centre for five days each week.

News of the practitioner’s arrival was well received on the centre’s official Facebook page with many people who rely on its services welcoming Ms Williamson and wishing her luck.

The centre also recently welcomed locum doctor Dr Lauren Whittaker, who joined the centre on Tuesday, October 10.

It is hoped these additions will help ease the staffing issues which previously forced the practice to ask patients to self-care and only contact it with “urgent medical problems”.

The past seven months has seen four GPs retire, four resign and another take long-term sick leave.

The centre previously blamed “increasing workload pressure” and “diminishing resources” as contributing factors to its staff shortage.

Beccles Medical Centre has been working with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to recruit news GPs to the surgery.

A spokesman, giving an update on the current situation, said: “The practice will continue to recruit into vacant posts and is making good progress on meeting the challenges faced by the national lack of GPs and other primary care clinical disciplines.”

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