GPs’ surgery to offload patients

Swindon Advertiser: Mum of nine Michelle Martin with the letter she received from Abbey Meads Medical Practice Mum of nine Michelle Martin with the letter she received from Abbey Meads Medical Practice

VILLAGERS in Blunsdon have been given just four weeks to find a new GP practice before being struck off their current surgery register.

Residents were informed by Abbey Meads Medical Practice at the end of January that they would be ‘removed’ from its list in a month’s time as they lived outside of the surgery’s boundary, and that they needed to make room for an influx of new patients.

In a letter to patients seen by the Adver, senior partners explained that new housing developments planned close to Abbey Meads had left them no choice but to ask some of their current patients to leave.

“We traditionally have accommodated patients who reside outside the boundary, but can no longer do so,” they said.

“Our practice continues to grow due to an increase in housing development within our boundary. We and our district nursing team are finding it difficult to cover the large distances between our patients and it is increasingly difficult to provide safe care in emergencies.

“We have not taken this decision lightly and ask that you register with a practice close to your home. After one month, if you have not registered with another practice, we will remove you from our list.”

The news came as a blow to residents, some of whom have been registered with the practice for many years.

Michelle Martin, 38, and her family have been with the Abbey Meads Medical Practice since they moved to Blunsdon seven years ago.

The mother-of-nine, from Ermin Street, said she was appalled at what she described as the practice’s cavalier attitude and staff’s apparent disregard for patients.

“It was not until three weeks ago that we received the latter from them giving us a month to find a new surgery,” she said.

“When I moved to Blunsdon I was told that I was within their boundary. But now they are saying we are no longer within their boundary, which I think is absolutely ridiculous.

“They say it is because of an increase in housing development but patients who are already registered with them should be given priority.

“If we don’t find a new surgery we will be struck off their list. It’s appalling.”

Registering at Blunsdon’s GP surgery was not an option due to its limited opening hours, she said, while the surgery’s initial recommendations of Whale-bridge and Merchiston Surgery, in Highworth, turned out not to be viable options.

Planning applications for housing developments of more than 2,000 homes at Tadpole Farm and Abbey Stadium have been approved by Swindon Council. Further proposals have been lodged at Abbey Farm and on Ermin Street.

Blunsdon Parish Council chairman Ian Jankinson expressed his concern at Abbey Meads Medical Practice’s unexpected move.

“I know it’s happening to some people in Blunsdon and the reason given is that it is because a number of houses are proposed for the area,” he said. “But they have not been built yet. I am concerned for residents because the other alternatives offered don’t seem viable. There is a surgery in Blunsdon but the opening hours are not as good as they are at Abbey Meads.

He said he was expecting answers from the Abbey Meads surgery as well as Swindon council leader David Renard.

A spokesmanfor NHS England (Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon & Wiltshire) said: “Abbeymeads Practice wrote to a small group of patients in Blunsdon to request that they register with a practice that covers the Blunsdon area. “Unfortunately, the details given about alternative practices were incorrect. Abbeymeads immediately wrote a second letter to the same group of patients, with details for Westrop Surgery and Merchiston Surgery, who are accepting patients from Blunsdon.”

Comments (8)

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10:06am Wed 26 Feb 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Won't these new developments have their own doctors surgeries then? Of course not, because the developers have already told us they'll have no impact on existing infrastructure...
Won't these new developments have their own doctors surgeries then? Of course not, because the developers have already told us they'll have no impact on existing infrastructure... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

10:28am Wed 26 Feb 14

DiDiDI says...

A perfect opportunity for the Blunsden Surgery to increase their hours and the service to their residents, I would have thought.

As a patient of the Abbey Meads Surgery, I support their efforts to preserve a service for the local population. I don't think it is reasonable for someone who needs to see a doctor for a non-urgent, but still important matter, to have to wait 3 weeks, which is what the situation is at the moment. Hopefully shedding patients who are outside the boundary will help.
A perfect opportunity for the Blunsden Surgery to increase their hours and the service to their residents, I would have thought. As a patient of the Abbey Meads Surgery, I support their efforts to preserve a service for the local population. I don't think it is reasonable for someone who needs to see a doctor for a non-urgent, but still important matter, to have to wait 3 weeks, which is what the situation is at the moment. Hopefully shedding patients who are outside the boundary will help. DiDiDI

10:57am Wed 26 Feb 14

swindondad says...

Abbey Meads Surgery has been oversubscribed for ages. They are not taking new patience from about a third of their acknowledged catchment area it.(not from the EAST of Cricklade Road.

So something did need to be done.

The fact that the surgery gave out the wrong information does not surprise me.

http://www.abbeymead
sdoctors.co.uk/index
.php?id=120
Abbey Meads Surgery has been oversubscribed for ages. They are not taking new patience from about a third of their acknowledged catchment area it.(not from the EAST of Cricklade Road. So something did need to be done. The fact that the surgery gave out the wrong information does not surprise me. http://www.abbeymead sdoctors.co.uk/index .php?id=120 swindondad

11:34am Wed 26 Feb 14

josephsmum says...

Merchiston service is appalling!
Merchiston service is appalling! josephsmum

4:58pm Wed 26 Feb 14

bradley red 1 says...

josephsmum wrote:
Merchiston service is appalling!
so is abbey meads!
[quote][p][bold]josephsmum[/bold] wrote: Merchiston service is appalling![/p][/quote]so is abbey meads! bradley red 1

8:40am Thu 27 Feb 14

DiDiDI says...

Abbey Meads patients often have to go to the Crossroads Surgery to be able to get appointments, blood tests etc. Not sure that is within the boundaries, but then it's better than not being able to see a Doctor at all.
Abbey Meads patients often have to go to the Crossroads Surgery to be able to get appointments, blood tests etc. Not sure that is within the boundaries, but then it's better than not being able to see a Doctor at all. DiDiDI

8:42am Thu 27 Feb 14

DiDiDI says...

josephsmum wrote:
Merchiston service is appalling!
So complain, get on their patient liaison group and get it CHANGED!
[quote][p][bold]josephsmum[/bold] wrote: Merchiston service is appalling![/p][/quote]So complain, get on their patient liaison group and get it CHANGED! DiDiDI

1:54pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Smudge6530 says...

swindondad wrote:
Abbey Meads Surgery has been oversubscribed for ages. They are not taking new patience from about a third of their acknowledged catchment area it.(not from the EAST of Cricklade Road.

So something did need to be done.

The fact that the surgery gave out the wrong information does not surprise me.

http://www.abbeymead

sdoctors.co.uk/index

.php?id=120
They're actually NOT taking on anyone. I moved into Abbey Meads in mid-February and have been told to register elsewhere.

So, I should hope that there is no Abbey Meads G.P. service for Blunsdon; think I'm wrong to suggest such an opinion? Try this, I live at Hugo Drive, I can see the surgery from my bedroom window as it's only 150 metres away, approximate straight line.

As someone who lives so close, and who is officially walking disabled with no personal transport, I find the whole situation untenable. Having been told to register at another surgery, either the Homeground or Taw Hill surgeries, both of which involve me having to walk greater distances and also the added cost, and inconvenience, of two separate bus journeys each way.

What makes it worse is that I CANNOT even register with the practice for a future vacancy, should one arise; now, that's utterly disgraceful!
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: Abbey Meads Surgery has been oversubscribed for ages. They are not taking new patience from about a third of their acknowledged catchment area it.(not from the EAST of Cricklade Road. So something did need to be done. The fact that the surgery gave out the wrong information does not surprise me. http://www.abbeymead sdoctors.co.uk/index .php?id=120[/p][/quote]They're actually NOT taking on anyone. I moved into Abbey Meads in mid-February and have been told to register elsewhere. So, I should hope that there is no Abbey Meads G.P. service for Blunsdon; think I'm wrong to suggest such an opinion? Try this, I live at Hugo Drive, I can see the surgery from my bedroom window as it's only 150 metres away, approximate straight line. As someone who lives so close, and who is officially walking disabled with no personal transport, I find the whole situation untenable. Having been told to register at another surgery, either the Homeground or Taw Hill surgeries, both of which involve me having to walk greater distances and also the added cost, and inconvenience, of two separate bus journeys each way. What makes it worse is that I CANNOT even register with the practice for a future vacancy, should one arise; now, that's utterly disgraceful! Smudge6530

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