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Patients angry as GPs leave Lyme Regis surgery
PATIENTS have been left angry and confused after Lyme Regis Medical Centre revealed two doctors are set to leave at the end of October.
The news comes as the centre , run by Virgin Healthcare, is still searching for a replacement for a doctor who left six months ago, when they first gained control of the centre.
There has also been further unrest after patients said they felt nursing hours were being cut at the practice.
John Hounsell said he thought it was a ‘complete tragedy’ the two doctors would be leaving the centre.
Mr Hounsell said: “I am not very happy at all. I feel Virgin has lost the trust of a lot of people in Lyme Regis and their management of the centre has gone very much downhill.
“It’s gone from being able to book an appointment immediately to having to wait a week to 10 days for one, and everyone is feeling let down.”
Dodie Hills, who lives in Fairfield Park, said she had written to MP Oliver Letwin and to Virgin to express her concerns about the departures.
Mrs Hills said: “I feel very strongly that come the end of October we might not have any doctors left in the surgery.
“I feel it has got progressively worse since they took control and I know many people share my views as it is now incredibly difficult to get an appointment without a long wait. When they took over, we all said what we wanted was sustainability and continuity with the service so that we could be seen by doctors who know us and we know they will be there for a long time.
“This just hasn’t happened.”
In response, a spokesman for the practice said: “Two of our doctors are due to leave Lyme Regis Medical Centre in October after deciding to take up partnerships in Weymouth and Dorchester. While we are sorry to see them go we wish them all the very best for their future careers.
“Both doctors are moving on following their first posting after training which is by no means unusual. We are recruiting full time replacements and have arranged for appropriate cover including a well-known and well-liked doctor to cover on a short term contract until these posts are filled.
“Our nursing hours have increased not decreased since we took on the Lyme Regis Medical Centre, including the recruitment of a fully qualified district nurse who was not in place prior to our involvement.
“One nurse is off on short term sick leave and, as is normal in this type of situation, we have covered this absence internally.
“The availability of patient-facing time is not affected.”