A surge in housing developments across Hucknall and the recent school place crisis has got residents rattled with many claiming GP surgeries are also over subscribed.
Hucknall residents have been raising concerns about the pressure being put on doctors’ surgeries across the town at Area Partnership Group meetings held throughout the year at Under One Roof.
Access to appointments and seeing their own GPs, who know their medical history, are the most common complaints and Carers’ Group chairman Jim Radburn has been trying to find answers
After being told he would have to wait four weeks to see his GP, he has taken his concerns to Healthwatch, the ‘consumer champion for healthcare’.
He says: “I have asked Healthwatch to take my complaint forward to a higher level as it is only through the Government that changes can be made.
“I am doing this not just for myself but for anyone else who has had the same frustrating experience.
Jim, who lives in the west of Hucknall, is seeking support for his initiative from MP, Mark Spencer.
Mr Spencer’s case worker, Liz Kelly, has told Jim that previously no rules had existed about waiting times to see a named doctor. However this changed at the end of June, but only for people over 75, and this would be monitored by NHS England.
Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group, the body responsible for planning and buying NHS Services and ensuring the quality of local healthcare locally, said they are aware of the concerns in the town.
“We held a series of Voice for Health events in summer 2013, during which patients raised concerns about the impact of proposed housing developments on GP availability,” said Sam Walters, chief executive officer. “In response we organised a community meeting where patients met representatives from NHS England and discussed the situation, appointment availability and patient satisfaction.
“Following the community meeting, which took place in October, we are continuing to liaise with NHS England, Hucknall practices and local patients to identify the best solution for Hucknall as the town grows.
“To ensure any potential solution has involved the community, we will be supporting a patient group that will meet monthly and feed directly into the Steering Group. This group will be chaired by a patient in Hucknall from one of the Practice Patient Participation Groups. The Steering Group is made up of local GPs, NHS England, public health and patient representation.
“At the moment, no option has been ruled out and as a team we will look in detail at the expected growth and future plans to find a way forward which is in the best interests of the patients of Hucknall and the existing practices.”