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Stretched surgery to get 1,000 more patients
11:46am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
AN over-stretched surgery has about 1,000 new patients after the closure of a neighbouring practice.
Dr John Cormack, GP at Greenwood Surgery, in Tylers Ride, South Woodham Ferrers, claims it is bursting at the seams after patient numbers grew from 3,000 to nearer 4,000 in little over a fortnight after the closure of the town’s Clements House Surgery.
Mr Cormack said: “In a rather crazy way they gave the patients hardly any notice they were closing it down so people have been rushing around trying to get themselves registered elsewhere.
“A letter saying the surgery was closing at the end of the month was originally supposed to go out on September 9, but that was delayed, so there’s been this huge rush of people.
“We’ve had people queuing out of the doors and had to set up a separate desk in the reception area.
“It’s been a lot of pressure on the staff.”
Mr Cormack claims his surgery is already severely underfunded, with him having to work for free, supported by a team of highly-qualified nurses, because there is no budget for any doctors.
In 2011, he was joined by about 400 patients and staff for a march on Downing Street to protest about the practice’s lack of funding.
He said: “We have the promise of funding to cover the cost of taking on these patients, but the most difficult thing for us is that we have this weird discriminatory system here.”
Clements House Surgery, in Knight Street, was shut on September 30 after a “pre inspection” by the Care Quality Commission found the building did not meet required standards.
Dr Souymo Gorai’s contract had been terminated in May last year and Central Essex Community Services ran the surgery under a temporary contract.
Patients were given just ten days’ notice of the closure, which Peter Blackman, chairman of SWF Healthcare 2000 Group, described as “completely unacceptable”.
Some staff will remain at the surgery until October 30 so enquiries from callers and visitors can be dealt with, but no medical services are available.
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