PATIENTS at a GP surgery in Southsea have been left unable to pre-book appointments due to staff on long term sick leave.
Appointments at The Devonshire Practice are currently only available to book on the day due to staff shortages.
A statement on the practice’s website stated: ‘ We currently find ourselves in particularly difficult times; Dr Causer is currently on long term sick leave which has had a considerable impact on the availability of appointments as we now only have three part time Doctors available.
‘We have had to put special measures in place as recommended by our Governing body, NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to cope with the daily demand for appointments
‘We are currently only booking appointments ‘on the day’ and we are unable to offer any pre- bookable appointments to our patients. All appointments are booked on a ‘first come, first served’ basis
‘We are working hard to try and provide the best possible service for our patients during this challenging time.’
The surgery is due to merge with Southsea Medical Centre on July 1 in order to support current staff.
Suzannah Rosenberg, director of quality and commissioning at the NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The CCG can confirm that the Devonshire Practice is being offered extra support by the CCG while it experiences issues due to long-term staff sickness.
‘A great part of that support is being provided by staff from the Southsea Medical Centre, with which The Devonshire Practice is due to merge on July 1.
‘In addition the Local Medical Committee has provided a GP supporter – a highly trained and experienced GP that can assist during this time.
‘We are continuing to work with Devonshire to offer support and this will remain until the practice no longer requires this support.’
Ms Rosenburg added: ‘One of the many advantages of the merger will be that patients from both practices will be able to benefit from a bigger pool of staff, including GPs – which will provide long-term sustainability for both practices - and a great deal of extra resilience during GP holidays or sickness.
‘The CCG is also confident that the merger will offer patients better choice and quality of service.’