‘Everybody is feeling the strain’: Patients describe problems at Gosport GP surgeries

Kylie Chatfield from Rowner who is having problems with the Willow Group.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180219-1)
Kylie Chatfield from Rowner who is having problems with the Willow Group.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180219-1)

PATIENTS using a network of GP surgeries in Gosport have called for significant improvements after experiencing a number of issues with the service.

A group that runs four GP surgeries – at the Waterside, Brune, Forton and Stoke Road medical centres – has apologised to patients after complaints that it is extremely difficult to get an appointment.

Hannah Barnard feels that she has been let down by The Willow Group Picture: Malcolm Wells (180917-3170)

Hannah Barnard feels that she has been let down by The Willow Group Picture: Malcolm Wells (180917-3170)

Richard O’Callaghan, 78 from Gosport, was seen by a number of GPs for an 18-month period, before being diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

He says that improvements to the service are too late for him, and that had he been seen by just one doctor, his situation could be very different.

He explained: ‘I was seen by so many different doctors and they all just sent me for blood tests.

‘I looked like a pincushion and they never spotted anything – but my problems ran on for 18 months.

‘As it turned out I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer, which now can’t be treated with chemotherapy or surgery.

‘I feel that if I had seen the same doctor throughout the process it could have been spotted quicker.

‘Improvements won’t be enough, and it’s far too late for me – they need to go back to basics and rethink how they operate.’

Hannah Barnard, 30 from Pound Close, faced an eight-week wait for her son, Charlie, to get an asthma appointment.

More recently, following a cancer diagnosis she found herself unable to see her GP.

Mrs Barnard said: ‘There is almost never an appointment available at any of the GP practices.

‘I had to wait eight weeks for my son to get an appointment for his asthma – which I feel is simply down to the Willow Group not having enough GPs.

‘The front line staff at the GPs are wonderful, but they’re having to apologise for circumstances that simply aren’t their fault.

‘From the doctors to the patients who urgently need an appointment, I think everybody is feeling the strain.’

Kylie Chatfield, 34 from Pegasus Close, appeared in The News this year after having major problems with medical dosages prescribed for her anxiety.

She said: ‘I think the biggest issue people are having is with the phones.

‘It’s okay for people who can use social media to book an appointment – they now reply in minutes – but for the elderly I think the service is poor due to the phones.

‘My worry is that even though they say things will improve, it will get harder for these patients to get an appointment now, since everything is done on one phone number.’