Is­land in shock as GPs re­sign af­ter six months

The Oban Times - - News -

TWO GPs have re­signed from a surgery on the isle of Mull af­ter less than six months in the po­si­tion, writes Louise Glen.

The ap­point­ment of doc­tors David Wheater and Heather Royal at the turn of 2015 was meant to sig­nal the end to a bleak pe­riod in the is­land’s his­tory.

News of the doc­tors’ de­par­ture means there will only be one func­tion­ing salar­ied prac­tice on the is­land, at Salen, run by Dr Frank Te­u­nisse.

Plans for an is­land-wide prac­tice have fallen through be­cause of con­tin­ued staffing con­cerns.

A spokesman for NHS High­land said: ‘Doc­tors Wheater and Royal will con­tinue to work with NHS High­land un­til the end of Oc­to­ber, de­liv­er­ing med­i­cal ser­vices to pa­tients in Tober­mory.’

In a state­ment from both GPs, doc­tors Wheater and Royal said: ‘We have ap­pre­ci­ated the sup­port and guid­ance that has been pro­vided for us over the last few months and have en­joyed work­ing with the prac­tice group and mem­bers of Lorn Med­i­cal Prac­tice in Oban.

‘Their ex­pe­ri­ence and ad­vice in prac­tice mat­ters has been in­valu­able.

‘We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to make pos­i­tive changes over the next few weeks and months and will sup­port the lo­cal team in help­ing where we can to re­cruit to our suc­ces­sors.’

A spokesman for NHS High­land con­tin­ued: ‘A doc­tor has of­fered to pro­vide ser­vices in the Ross of Mull and Iona un­til he retires, but un­der a gen­eral med­i­cal ser­vices con­tract.

‘We have de­cided to take a prag­matic ap­proach and have put plans in place to ad­ver­tise the Bunes­san prac­tice as soon as pos­si­ble in line with na­tional leg­is­la­tion en­abling in­ter­ested sin­gle handed GPs to ap­ply.

‘Mem­bers of the lo­cal­ity team have met with lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and staff in Bunes­san to in­form them of this de­vel­op­ment.

‘With re­gard to older and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, our highly ex­pe­ri­enced is­land com­mu­nity team lead has moved to Mull for three months to en­hance the skills of our ex­ist­ing staff en­sur­ing good chronic dis­ease man­age­ment for the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple on the is­land, which has al­ready had a pos­i­tive im­pact.

‘We are also look­ing at how best we can in­te­grate our health and so­cial care teams in the var­i­ous lo­cal­i­ties on Mull to en­sure care is de­liv­ered in a timely way to those who need it most.

‘We recog­nise we have, over the last two years, been un­suc­cess­ful in our re­cruit­ment for salar­ied GPs so are ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of dif­fer­ent ways to re­cruit doc­tors un­der a dif­fer­ent con­trac­tual ar­range­ment.’

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