A GP surgery in Newport which has nearly 7,000 patients is set to close down before the end of this week.

On Thursday, June 30, St Bride’s Medical Practice will close its doors, the health board has confirmed.

The Duffryn practice’s future has been in the balance for a number of weeks, following an announcement by the practice’s lead GP who revealed that she would be resigning her contract.

GP Dr Natasha Collins took to social media in late April, revealing that she had been unable to recruit enough salary and partner GPs “to safely run the practice”.

In the weeks that followed, the Aneurin Bevan Health Board has been tasked with finding a solution for roughly 6,700 patients who are registered at the practice, ahead of Dr Collins resignation coming into effect on June 30.

Today, a spokeswoman for the health board told the Argus that as of Thursday, the practice will close, with patients being transferred to “alternative practices in the area.”

It has been confirmed that St David’s Medical Practice will take over the premises which St Bride’s used to occupy, and will absorb 4,000 of its patients.

Meanwhile, the Bellevue Group Practice is taking on 2,000 patients, while a little over 700 patients are set to move to the Malpas Brook Health Centre.

Remaining patients, of which it is not known how many there are, will be “transferred to practices close to their homes”.

In recent weeks, patients have received letters confirming that they have been transferred to new medical practices.

According to the health board, all of the practices who are accepting new patients have confirmed that they have the capacity to be able to do so.

Statement from the health board in full

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board told the Argus: “Following Dr Collins’ resignation and the outcome of the Vacant Practice Panel process, it has been agreed that St Bride’s Medical Practice will close on Thursday 30th June 2022 and patients registered at the Practice will be transferred to alternative practices in the area.

“St David’s Medical Practice will utilise the St Bride’s premises to take on approximately 4000 of its patients, 2000 patients will move to Bellevue Group Practice, and just over 700 patients will move to Malpas Brook Health Centre.

“The remaining patients currently registered at St Bride’s will be transferred to practices close to their homes.

“The GP practices accepting these patients have all confirmed that they have the capacity to accommodate them."

How did we get here?

On April 15, Dr Collins of St Bride’s wrote: “By now a lot of you will have seen the letter from the Health board informing you that I have resigned my contract.

“I am devastated but COVID-related and family circumstances have led to GP resignations at the practice and despite advertising for salaried GPs and GP partners since November we have been unable to fill the posts to ensure we can provide enough GP cover to safely run the practice, and it is always my aim to provide exceptional clinical care at St Brides.

“Previously we have used locums but since the pandemic there are much less around and we just cannot find enough of the cover required. 

“Therefore please be clear that it is a shortage of doctors that has left me with no option but to resign.”

In the aftermath of this announcement, the health board said that “As the health board has an obligation for all residents in its catchment area to be registered with a GP, we will consider all options over the coming weeks to ensure the practice continues to deliver General Medical Services following Dr Collins’ departure.”

It is understood that the options on the table included finding a new GP partnership to take over the practice, and a situation in which the health board themselves take over the operation of the practice.