Dr Rachel Bennett is one of the newest additions to staff at the Forest View Medical Centre in Treorchy.

She grew up in an NHS tradition as her father was a dentist while her mother worked as a health visitor until their retirement.

When she started medical school in Cardiff, she already knew that she wanted to be a GP.

“I always wanted to be a GP from day one. That was my impression of what a doctor should be when I first joined up,” she said.

Originally from Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan, Dr Bennett, 34, qualified from Cardiff School of Medicine in 2005.

She was a junior doctor at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, and Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, before GP training in practices in Rhondda.

“I was attracted to come because this is very much a practice with a plan going forward, following best practice. I feel very well supported by the partners and other staff here,” she said.

“The work is interesting and varied; I think the patients are great, while the geography is fantastic as well.

“It’s an area where demand is high and I believe a doctor can make a difference.”

Patients at Forest View had made her feel welcome and they valued a full-time female GP as part of the team, she said.

Meanwhile, Josh Davies, 21, has also joined the team as a healthcare support worker, after five years in the NHS in Cwm Taf where he has worked in Accident and Emergency, sexual health, a phlebotomist and in a GP surgery.

His work includes new patient assessments, blood pressure tests, ante-natal screening, taking bloods, and shared care tests in collaboration with hospitals.

Josh, from Penygraig, said: “There is such a need for health services in the valleys and I believe that the people here deserved the best care from the NHS that they wouldn’t get from anywhere else.

“I feel supported here by the partners, GPs and senior nursing, and receptionist staff and part of a team rather than being on your own. I have my own clinics but having that support gives you more confidence.”

Josh brings another skill to the practice as a Welsh speaker. “I think being able to communicate in Welsh if they wish is very important for patients.”

Practice partner Dr Westley Saunders said: “With the ever changing face of general practice in the Rhondda I am delighted to welcome Rachel and Josh to the team.

“These are the first of the doctors, nurses and clerical staff who we are recruiting in order to deliver effective and high quality General Practice to our expanding list size.

“With the 1,900 patients who moved from the Horeb Practice and a list size of over 10, 000 patients the future is exciting for Forest View and the community we look after.”