Doctors defend decision to change appointment system at Chatteris surgery

PUBLISHED: 10:57 16 September 2010

George Clare Surgery, Chatteris

George Clare Surgery, Chatteris

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DOCTORS have defended their decision to change the appointment system at Chatteris' George Clare Surgery.

The morning walk-in surgery will be scrapped on October 4, after more than 50 years of the service being offered, and replaced with an appointment system.

Despite strong opposition from the George Clare Patients’ Group, which held a packed meeting, staff believe changes had to be made for the good of the surgery.

Mike Wilde, practice manager, said: “All seven doctors and myself at the surgery fully support this decision and we’ve had more support than opposition.

“The present system doesn’t work and we’ve got to make changes for the people who, by way of questionnaires and comments, believe that we need a new system because the old one wasn’t working.

“This system has worked nationwide for more than 10 years and has already been implemented successfully in a number of practices around the area.

“We can understand and appreciate that our patients are passionate about these changes but it’s not fair for people to have to wait in a surgery for anything up to an hour-and-a-half to see a doctor.”

Councillor Florence Newell has criticised the decision and said: “The only other time I have seen Chatteris people so angry was over the closure of the police station.

“The system has worked perfectly well for years and people don’t see why there has to be a change. They are very dissatisfied and have approached Steve Barclay MP about the whole thing.”

A spokesman from the patients’ group said: “We feel we have carried out our duties in making the situation public and allowing doctors to understand patients’ feelings.”

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