Patients asked to help tackle GPs shortage in Gosport

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Plans could see patients need referral to visit A&E

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PATIENTS are being urged to help deal with the potential shortage of doctors in Gosport.

According to the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, a number of GPs are due to retire in the town in the near future and, like many other areas of the country, there are problems in recruiting replacements.

Now, anyone registered with a Gosport GP practice is being asked to take part in an online survey as the town braces itself for a shortage.

GPs from all 11 practices in Gosport are exploring how working together can help them transform primary care – and solve the potential crisis.

Dr Donal Collins, chairman of the steering board for the initiative, said: ‘Our first stage has been for all 11 practices to agree a collective vision for an accessible, high quality and comprehensive health and social service for the people we serve.

‘This may mean much closer co-operation between some GP practices than there has been before.’

The news to work more closely together and involve patients has been welcomed by Councillor Peter Edgar, who represents Gosport on health boards.

But he said it would only work if patients make sure they take the time to fill out the survey.

He said: ‘For a long time now we have seen GP surgeries working as islands and only dealing with their patients – they need to adapt the way they work.

‘With a more networked approach, patients should have a better service. We know there is a problem with GP recruitment and I applaud the way this is being tackled. But this will only work if people make sure they take the time to fill out the survey and have their voices heard.’

The survey will be put on the websites of all 11 GP practices and people have until the end of May to complete it.

It comprises of 35 questions in tick-box options.

It includes questions about extended access to GP services and if patients would be happy to be offered an appointment at somewhere other than their own GP practice by a healthcare professional.