Online Cardinal Medical Practice GP booking system 'praised'

 Andy Yacoub from Healthwatch Suffolk. 

Norwich Road, Chesterfield Road and Deben Road GPs merger into Cardinal Medical Practice led to difficulties that have since improved according to Andy Yacoub from Healthwatch Suffolk. - Credit: Gregg Brown/ Sarah Lucy Brown

Cardinal Medical Practice's online booking system has been "praised" after patients struggled to get appointments at the Ipswich GP surgery.  

Patients were having difficulties getting through to Norwich Road, Chesterfield Road and Deben Road GPs after the merger into Cardinal Medical Practice in the summer but the situation seems to have improved.  

Andy Yacoub, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, said the GP surgery with around 30,000 patients is seeing "praise" for its online systems' "ease and effectiveness".  

He added: “What’s needed next is a proactive encouragement to use these available digital services, while also making it clear that although this is the preferred method of communication, this is not the only one – and any individuals who may struggle or be intimidated by using it, can still call in.” 

He added that lots of GPs in Suffolk are getting criticised due to issues like "decreasing access, and responsiveness" as pressure on their services increase in "remarkably trying circumstances".  

ipswich homeless modular units

Ipswich Borough Council housing portfolio holder Neil Macdonald an Whitton councillor Christine Shaw at the new modular units in Ipswich - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

Christine Shaw, an Ipswich borough councillor for the Whitton Ward, who is also a patient at the practice said the situation has "completely" changed at the surgery where patients are having similar routine issues to other GPs.  

Ms Shaw: "I think the situation is a lot better than other GPs in Ipswich." 

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Maria Manning, another patient, said: "I have been quite poorly over the last three weeks. I have been using the Ask GP service and it's been absolutely fabulous.  

"Doctors have been great and forwarding prescriptions onto chemist. No complaints from me." 

Some people, who have been places 50 or 37 in the phone queue, still have issue getting through to the surgery but it's hoped that more people take up the online service.  

A spokesman for Cardinal Medical Practice said: “Over the last few months we have successfully recruited new staff. We have also introduced the AskMyGP service, enabling patients to contact us and access services more easily, which we know has been well received. 

“Like all other GP practices we still face many challenges during this incredibly busy time, but it’s certainly pleasing to hear positive feedback on the work we’re doing. 

“We thank our patients for their continued support and our staff for all that they do.”