After constituents raised concerns about access to GP services, the MP for Redditch, Rachel Maclean, recently met with the Chief Executive of the local CCG to put their concerns directly to him.

On Friday (October 2nd), Rachel met virtually with Simon Trickett, Chief Executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, as well as local GP Dr Jonathan Leach.

In recent months, a number of constituents wrote to Rachel about difficulties they were having in accessing face-to-face appointments with their GP.

Rachel said:

I put to Simon the frustrations of constituents who’ve emailed me about access to face-to-face GP appointments. I’m told face-to-face appointments are being offered when it is essential a patient is seen in person. 40 – 50% of consultations are still being done face-to-face.

“I know we’re being told the NHS is back open for business, but coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and GPs are rightly taking precautions to protect their patients. It would be unsafe to have full waiting rooms at GP surgeries.

“However, GPs, due to covid, are embracing new technologies – and I do welcome this. Patients seen within one day increased from 50% in January to 77% in May when compared to 2019. Clearly, telephone & video appointments are ensuring patients are seen much more quickly. And by seeing more people by telephone or video, which suits many people due to work & childcare commitments, it allows GPs to have more time for those patients with more complex cases who do need to be seen in the surgery.

“Of course, I will monitor this situation closely.

During her meeting, Rachel also discussed the availability of flu jabs this winter.

“I’m also aware of difficulties a number of constituents have had in getting a flu jab and I have already raised this issue directly with the Health Secretary.”