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GP surgery denies overloaded claim

PUBLISHED: 14:53 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:12 30 June 2010

FEARS have been raised that a new £2m Great Yarmouth doctors' surgery is struggling to cope with the number of patients.

Marie Field, of Harley Road, Yarmouth, said her daughter Sarah called the Nelson Medical Practice, in Pasteur Road, on March 8 to receive treatment for eczema, but was told the earliest appointment was the following Friday.

FEARS have been raised that a new £2m Great Yarmouth doctors' surgery is struggling to cope with the number of patients.

Marie Field, of Harley Road, Yarmouth, said her daughter Sarah called the Nelson Medical Practice, in Pasteur Road, on March 8 to receive treatment for eczema, but was told the earliest appointment was the following Friday.

However, the surgery has strenuously denied it is overloaded and has stressed that any patient who seeks an urgent appointment will always be given a same- day telephone consultation with a GP and called in if need be.

Ms Field, a borough councillor representing Caister, feared the practice's staff had been struggling with an increased number of patients since the surgery moved from Churchill Road, Yarmouth, in February.

She added that the surgery, next to the Cobholm and Lichfield Resource Centre, already catered for many patients, including a number from Caister, but had taken on more from the surrounding area.

Ms Field hoped a new surgery could be provided at Caister to cater for villagers who used the Nelson centre, and said she had been involved in talks with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney about using land at the bottom of St Nicholas Drive.

Lindsey Smith, practice manager at the Nelson, said in a statement: “Our appointments system is designed to ensure that every patient who needs to see a GP can do so quickly and conveniently and, as such, we reserve a number of slots each day for urgent cases.

“Any patient who requests an urgent appointment will always be given a same-day telephone consultation with a GP and will be called into our emergency clinic during the afternoon if necessary by the on-call GP.

“If the patient does not feel their case is urgent, they will be asked to ring back the following morning at 8.30am to book an appointment for that day.

“Alternatively, all of our patients are also given the chance to pre-book an appointment and we will offer the patient the next available pre-bookable appointment.

“We allow for up to five weeks in advance bookings.”

“We are always sorry to hear when a patient feels their treatment at the Nelson Medical Practice has fallen below the high standards we expect.

“In these cases, we would encourage them to contact us directly so that we can fully investigate the circumstances of their complaint and answer any questions they may have.”

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