Major booking issues at Ipswich super surgery sparks staff recruitment

Chesterfield Drive GP Surgery Picture: ARCHANT

 Chesterfield Drive is one of three GP surgeries, along with GPs on Norwich Road and Deben Road, which have merged to become Cardinal Medical Practice - Credit: Archant

Ipswich's super surgery has pledged to recruit more staff as a pensioner invited for an appointment could not make a booking. 

Since turning Chesterfield Drive, Norwich Road and Deben Road GP practices into Cardinal Medical Practice in July patients have had issues booking an appointment with the surgery. 

Last month, this newspaper highlighted the concern of patients who described how they were turning to A&E instead of the surgery. 

The surgery serves an estimated 30,000 patients' healthcare needs. 

Deben Road Surgery in Ipswich. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Deben Road has also merged to become Cardinal Medical Practice - Credit: Archant

One of these patients, David Standring, has been on hold since Wednesday, August 4 to get a booking for his 74-year-old wife Pauline Standring. 

Mrs Standring, who has diabetes, had been invited to the surgery for an appointment last week. 

And Mr Standring, 69, has been more than 20th, and up to 40th at one stage, in the phone queue still had no luck before raising the issue with this newspaper on Tuesday. 

The couple, who have been together for nearly 50 years, are both pensioners, having worked in Ipswich factories when they were in employment. 

He said: "For a phone call it must be eight or 10 pence a minute on a landline.

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A spokesman for the Cardinal Practice said: “We have been in touch with Mrs Standring, have offered our apologies and made an appointment.

“We know there are issues with our telephone system which means some patients are waiting longer than usual to have their call answered.

“We also know how frustrating it is and we sincerely apologise for this. We are doing everything we can to resolve the situation, including recruiting more staff. All our staff are working very hard.”

Norwich Road GP surgery rated 'Good' by CQC.

Norwich Road GP has also merged to become Cardinal Medical Practice - Credit: Gregg Brown

Mr Standring has struggled also to get an NHS dental appointment and after his old dentist scrapped NHS appointments and offered him a Denplan of £200. 

He said: "I can't afford that". 

So he is still waiting for an appointment despite ringing NHS 111 to access an Urgent Dental Centre.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman has said: “We continue to support the most vulnerable by providing exemptions from dental charges for certain groups – nearly half of all dental treatments, over 17million, were provided free of charge in 2019-20.”

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