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Dear Patients,

You may have gleaned from brief mention by the media, of the difficulties being experienced across the country with regards to the staffing of General Practice. (This is all staffing not just GP’s).

Whilst this is not so much an issue for major cities like Manchester, Leeds and London, coastal towns and many more peripheral areas are suffering quite badly and are very much at crisis point.

Our Partners are currently working increased hours, in order to minimise the impact on your care, and all our staff are working extremely hard in difficult circumstances in order to keep the service running. Unfortunately there will be times when we need you to be even more understanding of any delays, waits and use of other services.

To that end, we have had to look at the non-contractual, Non-NHS work, with a view to deciding what can and cannot be done with the limited time and resources we are working with. It is important for you to know that GP’s are under no contractual obligation to fill in forms nor write letters for patients to other agencies that are out with the NHS contract. This includes letters for Solicitors, Gym’s, Holiday firms, DVLA, DWP, PIP, medicals, letter the Courts and Councils. We have done this in the past as an additional service for our Patients, but this is no longer sustainable in the current climate.

For those pieces of non NHS work that we deem are necessary, it is important that, before submitting any request, you will need to ensure the following:

• Give plenty of notice; allow 21days for completion of work as these are not deemed a priority for the Doctors and will only be completed when and if the Doctor has the time after completing NHS contractual obligations.
• Any fees associated with this work need to be paid at the time of the request, otherwise this will again cause further delays in completion.
• Any request that requires a sharing of medical information with a third party needs to be accompanied by a signed and dated consent form.
• Please remember the Doctor has the right to decline to do this work.

I apologise for any inconvenience this decision may have caused, but we have to prioritise our NHS Work. We will, of course, revisit this decision if and when we are back to a full complement of Staff.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support.

Yours sincerely

Dr M E Williams
For and on behalf of the Partners

If you have any queries please contact Rachel on 01253 957666