Doctors handover should be smoother

PUBLISHED: 13:25 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010

AS a resident of Ely for many years and a patient at the Octagon Surgery I was keen to attend the PCT meeting on February 20 and was hoping to learn what caused our well-respected doctors to depart after so many years service, leaving their patients in li

AS a resident of Ely for many years and a patient at the Octagon Surgery I was keen to attend the PCT meeting on February 20 and was hoping to learn what caused our well-respected doctors to depart after so many years service, leaving their patients in limbo. I also wanted to discover the future plans to run the centre after months of speculation. The meeting was attended by abut 250 patients and the mood became palpably hostile, with high frustrations being voiced over the lack of proper communication since our doctors resigned on November 1 last year.

The PCT information was presented using screen projected charts, conveying data examples from managed surgeries. We were told there are only three such other managements from a total of 76 surgeries in Cambridgeshire. No questions were allowed during screening and little helpful information was included - only the PCT's stated need for introducing yet more administrative groups to assist in administration of a new PCT surgery.

Dr Horne had apparently volunteered to stay until April 2007, but to no avail.

The Octagon Centre is now being served by doctors from the Lantern Centre Minor Injuries Unit and locums. Anger from some patients was vented over the doctors lack of knowledge of patient's medical history when attending the surgery.

Many people left the meeting early, expressing disgruntled feelings. One gentleman had asked for a reason why the doctors had left and stated his previous deep satisfaction with the service.

He said it wasn't broken, then why mend it. It is absolutely understandable that people need stable, familiar arrangements and a sense of belonging, which is all destroyed by sudden beaurocratic changes.

Replacement GPs are being advertised for by the PCT and 'open to tender', which still leaves patients waiting. Wouldn't it be nice if the retiring doctors had personally overseen the surgery handover, as would have happened in days of yore? As it is, many of us feel that the trail of destruction is becoming absolute: hospitals, schools, post offices and industries in decline.

J JULIER

Orchard Way

Ely

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