GP changes lead to patient fears over appointments

A HEREFORD patient says she felt vulnerable and distressed after changes to her GP surgery mean she can no longer attend routine appointments there.

Norma Dodd, 83, who has been registered at Moorfield House for more than 30 years, was told they are only taking emergency appointments there and would instead have to go to Aylestone Hill Surgery and South Wye Medical Centre.

She said she gave up trying to ring for an appointment because of the delay getting through and it was only after attending the surgery that she was told they would not be doing routine appointments there.

“From the letter we had saying about the amalgamation, it didn’t give any indication that this was going to happen,” Mrs Dodd said.

“I felt vulnerable when I couldn’t talk to anyone at reception.

“Until I tried to contact them twice on a ten-minute phone call, I couldn’t even get through to reception.

“I went in to talk it out with them and they said there were no appointments to be had at Moorfield’s at all – they told me I could go to Aylestone Hill or Southside but that’s no good for me.

“That’s two buses, one into town and from Tesco up there and for Southside I don’t even know what time the buses run.”

Mrs Dodd said she feels like she has been left with no alternative.

“I’ve got to change to one I can get to on a bus,” she said.

“I feel that they have jumped the gun. I don’t think the patients knew half of what was going on.

“We’re put on the backburner here and just have to go with it.

“I feel very distressed by the whole thing. I’ve always had good treatment there.”

“I’ve been with them for over 30 years and it seems as if the patients have just been ignored completely.”

“It seems my only option would be to change surgery.”

A spokesperson for Hereford Medical group said they wished to apologise that the patient did not receive information about their changes and for any distress this has caused.

She said the merger is taking place ‘to provide resilience to flourish in challenging circumstances whilst providing quality services and developing opportunities to work innovatively’.

The group has designated a central urgent care centre at Moorfield House which deals with patients who need to be seen on the same day – because of this, no routine appointments are now available there.

Patients who were previously registered with Moorfield House Surgery will be offered routine appointments at their branch sites South Wye Medical Centre and Aylestone Hill Surgery allowing for continuity of care.

If they wish to be seen at another Hereford Medical Group site, as it may be more convenient for them, they will also be able to do this.

Information was available in surgeries and online for our patients before July 1.

One further change was to open a care navigation centre which deals with all calls for appointments and general queries.

The group says its staff are working hard to ensure calls are answered promptly.

The care navigation centre is staffed Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm.

Dr Jonny Duffett, a GP partner of the group, said: “We are at a tipping point with increasing demand on services and a crisis in the availability of GPs.

“Patient contacts to surgeries have doubled in the last five years for the same population and people are living longer with more complex conditions.”

Have you had a similar issue? What do you think of the new service? Get in touch with our reporter Danielle Poole. Call 01432 845834 or email 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)