Patients face delays as GP surgery struggles to recruit staff

The Key Medical Practice on Exeter Close serves patients in the Kidlington and Yarnton area.

The surgery is currently struggling to fill two fulltime GP vacancies and has had to rely on locum GPs to address shortfalls.

A spokesperson for The Key Medical Practice said: “Demand for primary care services continues to remain high everywhere and practices like The Key Medical Practice are doing their best to meet patients’ needs with the resources they have.

“We are currently offering more types of appointments than ever before including telephone, online and face to face appointments.

“Unfortunately, for the last year we have been unable to recruit into two full time GP vacancies, which is a nationwide problem.

“In addition, we currently have a GP off on extended leave and one of our GPs is about to reduce his hours after taking semi-retirement. 

“We are utilising locum GPs to meet this shortfall wherever possible. 

“We are very aware this has an impact on the availability of routine appointments which we hope is a short-term problem. 

“We continue to provide a robust same day service to ensure the urgent clinical needs of our patients are met.

“We are also working closely with other nearby practices to share resources and help meet demand for services.

“Most of our patients are aware of the pressures we face and we appreciate their support.”

But others have been left feeling disgruntled.

One resident posted on social media: “Anyone know what is going on at Key Medical Practice?

“I phoned for an appointment yesterday only to be told there were NO appointments.

“When I asked what if it was an emergency “ring an ambulance” was the response, and this before all the proposed new housing has even commenced.

Another added: “I rang them this week to make an appointment, and they told me there were none left this week.

“They suggested trying again next week when a new diary would start to be filled.

“Luckily for me, they phoned me up ten minutes later to say there had been a cancellation.”

The Integrated Care Board (ICB) who are responsible for delivering primary medical care explained that they are working closely with local practices to help them improve access for patients.

Julie Dandridge, head of primary care at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB set out the measures that were being put in place.

She said: “This includes increasing the different types of staff available to see patients at GP surgeries; and groups of practices working together to offer evening and weekend appointments.

“This means people can see a health professional at a time which is more convenient to them.

“And appointments can be offered at a nearby practice or another NHS service, and can be for routine or urgent needs.

“Currently, there are more GP appointments being offered to patients across BOB than before the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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