New GP surgery to open thanks to local Healthwatch
When people complained that they couldn’t get GP appointments in Tottenham Hale, local Healthwatch decided to find out the root cause of the problem.
As populations change, health and social care services need to change too, otherwise people can be left without access to the care they need.
Since 2009, hundreds of new homes have been built in Tottenham Hale. But as the number of residents increased, so have the number of complaints to Healthwatch Haringey about local GP services.
We spoke to Michael Wilson, Director of Healthwatch Haringey to find out more.
What was the issue?
After hearing numerous complaints from people about difficulties booking appointments with their GP, we decided to investigate. We found that since 2001, the number of people living in the area had increased by 30%, but primary care provision hasn’t grown at all, despite numerous complaints about access and quality.
The GP practice where most residents were registered was overwhelmed by the demand from their 8,500 registered patients. A survey found that 20% of young mothers were not registered with a GP and many of those who were, were unable to book appointments for themselves or their children.
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What did you do?
We raised our concerns with NHS England, our Clinical Commissioning Group and the Care Quality Commission, as we felt patient safety was at risk. We also spoke to the local Council who had approved a development of a further 1,900 homes without any reference to primary care provision.
We did further research into GP access and the availability of appointments and shared our findings with councillors and local MPs. We then wrote a report and a series of recommendations, which we shared with our Health and Wellbeing Board.
What happened as a result?
NHS England and Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group have produced a comprehensive primary care strategy for Haringey to address both the short and long-term needs of residents.
A new GP surgery is set to has open in Hale Village, with a capacity for up to 6,000 patients to help make sure that residents have access to the care that they need.
How else is local Healthwatch making an impact?
Find out more about the work local Healthwatch do to help health and care services improve.
Find your local Healthwatch
If you’d like to share your experiences of health and care services, get in touch with your local Healthwatch.