MP to hold meeting over huge patient backlog at city surgery

Jerome Mayhew will meet partners of the Taverham Partnership surgery over the struggles for patients to book appointments

Jerome Mayhew will meet partners of the Taverham Partnership surgery over the struggles for patients to book appointments - Credit: Google Maps/UK Parliament

A huge backlog of patients struggling to access a GP at a city surgery has been described as a "serious issue". 

And hundreds of people who use the Taverham Partnership surgery in Sandy Lane have been faced with delays of up to 35 minutes as they wait for an appointment.

One 61-year-old patient, who did not wish to be named, said: "On Monday I tried 10 times to ring the surgery but I couldn't even get in the queue or do anything online.

"You are not allowed to go to the surgery to make an appointment so I wrote a letter which my husband put through their door."

Some patients have been cut off as they wait on the phone.

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew has a meeting lined up with partners of the surgery within the next 10 days to see what additional support can be offered to patients.

Broadland Conservative candidate Jerome Mayhew giving his speech at The General Election 2019 result

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Mayhew said: "The surgery has a particular problem with the size of its call handling system, which is not designed for the current level of demand, making it hard to get through.

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"We all know that the backlog of cases from Covid has increased demand." 

It is understood the existing call system for the surgery has a waiting limit of eight, but the surgery has 1,000 calls a day at peak times.

County and district councillor Stuart Clancy: "This is a serious issue without any doubt. I have never seen it this bad before and I have lived in the area since 1963.

"I know there are problems at other surgeries in the city as well.

Stuart Clancy, Vice-Chairman of Norfolk County Council'’s Environment, Development and Transport Com

Stuart Clancy, Vice-Chairman of Norfolk County Council'’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee. - Credit: Archant

"The management and administrative process seems to be distinctly lacking on the face of it." 

A spokesman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group said: “GP practices across Norfolk and Waveney are incredibly busy right now, as are many other NHS services.

"We understand it may be frustrating to wait for some time on the phone, but we urge people to continue to be kind and patient to GP practice staff; they have and continue to work incredibly hard to provide the care you need.

“Phone lines are very busy due to the exceptional levels of demand during the winter season."

Analysis

Medical services across the board in the city have already warned they are stretched.  

Earlier this month pharmacy patients warned they risked losing out on their medicine due to a shortage of staff meaning the sites were closed.  

Following complaints from customers in Norwich, Lloyds Pharmacy confirmed that recruiting new pharmacists had become seriously difficult, saying: “Simply put, there are not enough pharmacists to meet demand and the reduction in the number of pharmacy graduates is compounding the issue.” 

And last month it was revealed that two thirds of children in Norfolk  have not seen a dentist in over a year amid a county-wide shortage of NHS dentistry which has been made worse by the pandemic. 

NHS England said it is in the process of procuring new dental services for Norfolk, for new services for adults and children for routine as well as urgent appointments. 

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