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Patients now ‘planning sickness in advance’

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PATIENTS in Lisnaskea and Roslea attending the “oversubscribed” Maple Group Practice say the current arrangement is not working and waiting days to see a doctor is not in the best interests of their care or safety.

A satisfaction survey was compiled by the Roslea Save Our Surgery group to get feedback from patients on the level of healthcare currently being provided. It followed revelations in this newspaper that patients are struggling to access appointments due to ‘jammed’ phonelines.

Roslea SOS say while the survey response was overwhelming, many residents remain angry that they have to travel 26 miles to see a GP. They also feel “isolated and vulnerable” further to the closure of their own surgery back in April and warn that in the case of an emergency “lives are being put at risk” due to the distance.

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Only two participants said they were happy with the current situation at Maple Health Care, which is catering for up to 14,000 patients. Most people surveyed felt that the current level of service was “very poor” with many experiencing longer waiting times for a GP appointment and excessive delays when trying to get through by telephone. The survey found that the average waiting time for an appointment with a GP is three – five days, leading one patient to comment that it’s now best to “plan sickness in advance”. Another participant said she “didn’t feel safe” while another felt that the “doctor was under pressure” so the appointment was rushed.

A spokesman for Roslea SOS told the Herald: “From the findings of this survey it is apparent that the patients are unhappy with the current situation. We are very

concerned that many who completed the survey advised they are worried at the level of service currently provided.

“The general consensus is that Maple Healthcare is ‘oversubscribed’. Many patients simply cannot wait days for an appointment and instead are presenting themselves at A&E or Out of Hours for treatment. This is clearly unacceptable as it is putting patients health at risk while simultaneously putting hospital staff under increasing pressure.

“We hope that our politicians will continue to support us in our plight to have full medical services restored to Roslea. We would urge all involved to reconsider the decision to close Roslea Surgery and reinstate medical services to the area again.”


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