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Long wait for new surgery

PUBLISHED: 05:00 17 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

PATIENTS who have already been waiting up to a week to see a GP have now been told they could wait eight years for a new surgery to be built in their town.

PATIENTS who have already been waiting up to a week to see a GP have now been told they could wait eight years for a new surgery to be built in their town.

Stowmarket faces increasing pressure on its health services with more than 1,200 extra houses planned for the north-east of the town.

More than 80 patients gathered in the Hillside Community Centre for a public meeting to hear the Combs Ford surgery was "fit to bursting".

Mid Suffolk District Council planning officer Stephen Andrews also revealed the earliest a new doctor's surgery could be accommodated in the development scheme by builders Crest Nicholson would be "five to eight years down the road".

But Dr David Campbell, one of the area's GPs, claimed he had told Suffolk Health Authority of his worries over expanding patient numbers six years ago.

"We're scurrying around like scared rats. We shouldn't be in this situation because the health authority should've planned ahead," he added.

Plans being discussed in the meantime to tackle the problem include setting up a mobile surgery, expanding the practice on Violet Hill or establishing a surgery on land owned by Tesco near its superstore.

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