GP surgery under threat by pothole-ridden roads

A GP surgery near Bridgnorth is under threat because substitute doctors are refusing to travel along a road littered with potholes to get there

This is an edited version of an article first published by the Shropshire Star.

Highley Medical Practice said it is struggling to find cover when staff are ill or on holiday as doctors do not want to risk damaging their vehicles on the way in to the surgery on Bridgnorth Road.

The assistant practice manager wrote to the village’s county councillor Dave Tremellen for help.

They said their usual covering staff were instead choosing to work in other practices that were safer to travel to.

Councillor Tremellen said it was a ‘crazy’ situation and is worried about the possible impact it could have for patients.

“I received an email from the assistant practice manager asking for help in sorting out the Highley to Bridgnorth road because believe it or not, locums were refusing to travel to Highley due to the state of the road and a few of them had hit potholes,” he said.

“I was stunned. I knew from the public meeting I called last year about the difficulties facing our surgery that there was a problem getting locum cover because we are a fairly remote rural surgery but had no idea it had got so bad.

“My mood went from stunned to mad when the full implications of what the surgery was telling me sank in.”

Shropshire Council confirmed road repairs in and around Highley are planned for March, including a patching scheme on the B4555.

A council spokesman said: “We have already agreed with Highley Parish Council and with Councillor Tremellen to carry out patching work on the B4555 and some adjacent roads on March 3 and 4.”

This comes as other GP surgeries in the area are also facing increased pressures.

Albrighton Medical Practice has reduced the number of routine appointments its GPs will take in efforts to tackle an ‘increasing workload’.

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Five-minute phone calls have been introduced among other changes to replace some face-to-face consultations.

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