Ottery residents struggling with Medical Centre absence

The Coleridge Medical Centre

The Coleridge Medical Centre - Credit: Archant

Coleridge Medical Practice is currently 'struggling to keep up with demand' on their services.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the practice has been offering phone consultations or e-appointments, and some of those who need to see a doctor in person are having to travel four and a half miles to Whimple or six to Honiton. 

The centre currently has 15 GPs and two Nurse Practitioners.  

Two GPs have been away due to illness, one has been on maternity leave and another on sabbatical, leading to six to eight weeks of clinical time lost during March and April due to Covid-19. 

In a statement published on its website, Coleridge Medical Practice said the delays are due to a ‘large number of appointments being requested’ for minor ailments. 

The statement said: “These conditions would previously have been managed at home without GP input, and better dealt with at a community pharmacy." 

"They (GPs) can now be contacted in more ways, the number of GPs, and GP appointments to offer, has not increased."  

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The statement continued: "We are sorry to hear of the difficulty many of our patients have been experiencing in gaining access to Coleridge Medical Centre.  

“Whether it be GP appointments or telephone calls to our reception team, this is certainly not the service we aim to offer, but we, like many other practices in the UK, are struggling to meet the current level of demand for our services.  

“Each day, we continue to do our best to deliver as many appointments as it is safe to but ultimately, we do not have unlimited resources and we are currently working to maximum capacity. 

“Unfortunately, we cannot provide unlimited appointments as this would be unsafe and it would compromise the service and care you receive.  

“Once our appointments are fully booked, we are unable to create more.”