Salaried GP Owain Greville on working in Rhondda


Owain Greville is the lead salaried GP in a practice in Treherbert at the top of the Rhondda Valleys. He began working in Cwm Taf health board area as a locum after he qualified and trained in the community.

The practice had been run by partners who retired and the health board took it over, employing four salaried GPs and a number of locums to serve the 6,000 patients.
“Like many parts of the UK, there is not enough GPs full stop, and not many of those want to commit to a partnership,” he said.

“I was offered a chance to come here to work while being a locum. I wanted to take it on because of the interesting challenge and learning opportunity here.

I would say that within 7-8 months I had learned more than I had in the previous two and a half years as a locum. The learning curve took in managing people, how a GP practice works, and the importance of the support from staff and colleagues.

I have gained experience with patient groups and clinical incidents too. A key reason that he decided to work in the community was the attitude of patients towards their family doctor. You are valued as a GP and respected. It’s a traditional Welsh mining ethos society with traditional community based values.

You are respected and appreciated. And because we are in Wales we don’t have the issues around privatisation and commissioning and provider split that has been contentious in England recently.

Being a GP here is what the NHS is all about, I feel. The Inverse Care Law applies, where the challenge is to ensure that people in more deprived areas, who are sicker than those in more affluent areas, have access to the best possible care.” he said.

“The GP Cluster here is particularly active allowing for more co-operation and collaboration. Properties in the Valleys are cheaper overall than the cities and there is the added advantage of some spectacular scenery. If you want to, you can travel just 10 minutes away to eat your lunch alongside the highest A road in Wales. It’s a fantastic view and there’s an ice cream van too.”

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