10:01AM, Saturday 06 November 2021
A clinically vulnerable resident has raised concerns after being told he would need to wait three months for an appointment with a doctor in Marlow.
Iain Murray, from Bisham, began experiencing pain in lymph node areas of his body and attempted to book an appointment at The Doctors House.
He said that, as phoning through the surgery takes between 30-40 minutes, he made an appointment online instead. He picked the general appointment – not expecting his slot to be as late as January.
He said: “I’m the guy that’s trying not to put pressure on the NHS by saying it’s an urgent appointment when it’s not. People are pressing ‘urgent’ because they want to be seen.
“A three-month wait isn’t right. I needed an appointment within the week.”
He added: “I’m not slagging off any doctor, I’m slagging off the system.
“There’s only one GP practice for Marlow and Bisham, so the pressure on it is unreal.
“It seems extreme, but due to my ongoing kidney disease, we will have to sell our house and move in January. GP (access) is key.”
Mr Murray has called for a second surgery to be set up in Marlow.
Since posting about his experiences on social media, Mr Murray has been contacted by the surgery and was given an appointment within the next two weeks.
NHS Buckinghamshire CCG said that in August 2021, Bucks practices arranged more than 206,700 appointments with patients – an increase of more than 3,000 from August 2019 (pre-pandemic).
Practices are also now working to deliver the COVID booster vaccination programme on top of their usual work.
A Bucks CCG added spokesman said: “There is greater demand on primary care services than usual for this time of year and COVID-19 continues to impact on staffing levels, as staff members become ill or have to isolate.
“Practices are offering face-to-face appointments to anyone who is assessed to need one. This judgement is based on the clinical need of the patient and whether an individual may have a condition which requires greater support.”
The CCG is currently working to assist in staff recruitment, sourcing temporary support, improving online appointment booking systems, and tailoring support and training for practice staff.
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.