‘Shocking shortage’ of GPs in Horsham sparks a public backlash

New concerns are being expressed by people in Horsham over lengthy waits to get a doctor’s appointment.

Readers have taken to the County Times Facebook page to express their concerns after a letter told of a ten day wait to get a doctor’s appointment.

Health

Health

Worried residents have taken to social media to voice their views. Many have spoken out on the County Times Facebook page following one man’s revelation that he faced a ten day wait to see a GP.

Others say they have waited even longer for a doctor’s appointment. This follows a BBC report which revealed that Horsham and Mid Sussex is the second worst area in the country for GP access.

The Royal College of GPs called the news ‘shocking’ and said shortages of GPs could put care at risk.

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On the County Times Facebook page, Alan Arnold said: “It took me 17 days to get an appointment at Park Surgery earlier this month.”

Mattie Whythe added: “Same here, then a 90 minute wait until I was seen, really gone downhill.”

Jeremy Quin MP revealed this week that Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group - which monitors and pays for local health services - was looking at ways to bolster its service.

He said: “As part of this plan the CCG are looking at the potential for Horsham Hospital to become a vibrant local integrated primary and community hub: offering treatment for minor injuries and minor illness across seven days a week and later into the evenings.”

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However Paul William Arnold said that his surgery was ‘full of people with just coughs and colds’.

Geoff Oborne added: “If people didn’t waste doctors time... or not bother to cancel appointments things might be a bit better.”

Some readers painted the situation in a more positive light with tales of excellent service.

Sharon Gregory said: “Holbrook Surgery is fantastic. Lovely staff and normally always manage to get same day appointment.”

Helen Andreou added: “I find Courtyard Surgery extremely helpful and I have never had a problem. I don’t see anything wrong with waiting a couple of days”

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Various solutions were suggested to the problem including offering appointments with specialist nurses and having triage nurses answer the phones.

Cherie Lee said: “I think that people need to start understanding that it would be humanly impossible for people to always see their own doctor.

“People’s expectations need to adjust to the changing needs of an ever increasing population and ever increasing demand on the NHS.”

Rachael Howard took a pragmatic approach. She added: “Best course of action is to never fall ill!”

Meanwhile, Members of the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group say that they are working closely with local GP practices to develop new ways of working to meet growing demand.