Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the news that Caradoc Surgery is showing signs of improvement for patients, according to testimony from a recent patient.

Giles has been campaigning to address the performance issues within the ACE GP surgeries, including the appalling telephony service, for over a year. And during a recent conversation with the new Accountable Officer for the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Ed Garrett, Giles was told that new performance measures were being imposed and new investments being made to ensure greater GP capacity. Encouragingly, following those changes, Giles has been contacted by a current patient at the Caradoc surgery in Frinton-on-Sea, who wanted to bring their recent positive experiences to his attention.

That patient, who was happy to share their testimony with a wider audience, said:

“Firstly, I called the Hub at 10am on a Wednesday morning in January.  It did take 25 minutes to get through, but I was given an appointment with a GP at Caradoc Surgery that morning.  After seeing the GP I was referred to see a dermatologist and I saw them within one week of my appointment with the doctor.

“Then, on 1st May, I needed a prescription, so went to Caradoc at lunchtime. While I was waiting in a short queue, a nurse asked (between seeing other patients) if there was anything she could help me with.  As I’d forgotten both username and password for the online prescription service and needed to see the receptionist she left me to it, but it was great that she checked. 

“The receptionist was helpful too and explained that as I had not renewed the prescription for two years, I would need to make an appointment with a GP for a review. Happy to do that and after returning home, I called the Hub. This time the call was answered immediately, and I was again offered an appointment later that day.”

Giles said:

“It was great to hear from this patient that there are signs of improvement at Caradoc, and I also understand that the surgery is now open till 8pm, which is helpful for working people. Moreover, there is a new on-line prescription service and a pharmacist has recently moved to just outside the surgery, which is open 8am till 10pm every day of the week. Again, these are both welcome developments.

“But while I welcome these improvements, ACE must do more, and improvement needs to be universal across all of their practices. So, I will continue to pressure ACE on this and, reassuringly, I have heard similar positive stories from patients at other surgeries. Nevertheless, I am still contacted about, increasingly isolated, incidents of poor practice at some ACE surgeries and I would ask that constituents continue to raise their experiences, both good and bad, with me so we can continue to track and improve these vital services for all residents in the Clacton constituency.”