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Stamford MP Gareth Davies calls for meeting with Care Quality Commission after concerns about Lakeside Stamford’s phone system

A government watchdog could be called in discuss Lakeside Stamford’s phone system, which is causing major frustration for patients of the GP service.

MP Gareth Davies, who represents people in the Stamford and Bourne area, has called for a meeting with the Care Quality Commission after renewed concerns were raised by patients over the length of time it takes to speak to a receptionist at Sheep Market Surgery in Stamford.

Mr Davies will also speak with the head of the NHS clinical commissioning groups, who is responsible for ensuring adequate GP healthcare is provided in this area.

St Mary's Medical Centre in Stamford
St Mary's Medical Centre in Stamford

The MP’s action came on the same day George Woolf, a former teacher at Stamford School, found himself 48th in the phone queue to speak to a receptionist.

He said: “I felt totally frustrated and phoned 111 instead and they were very helpful. They were able to recommend some things I could do, but told me I would still need to speak with my GP.”

Lt Col Woolf is one of several people who has been in touch with Mr Davies concerning Lakeside Stamford, which provides GP services to more than 30,000 through the Sheep Market Surgery in Ryhall Road.

MP Gareth Davies
MP Gareth Davies

He added: “An elderly lady who attends the same church as me and who is disabled spent two hours on the phone waiting to speak with Lakeside last week, and when a receptionist did answer she was told her doctor had left the previous week.”

Five doctors have recently left Lakeside Healthcare.

Mr Davies, who puts healthcare provision as a ‘top priority’, said: “I am extremely concerned to hear about constituents having difficulty in contacting their GP practice.

“I will be speaking with John Turner, chief executive officer of the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group who is responsible for the provision of primary care GP surgeries in our area, to discuss what can be done to urgently improve this situation.

“ I have also requested a meeting with the Care Quality Commission to discuss the current levels of service being offered by Lakeside Healthcare, as local residents need quick and easy access to good local healthcare.”

The Care Quality Commission was set up to listen to what people are saying about services to help detect any changes in care.

If there is evidence people are at immediate risk of harm, the commission will take action to ensure people are being kept safe.

A Lakeside spokesman said:“It has been recognised from our patient engagement activity last year that change does need to happen,”adding that a transformation manager started at Lakeside Stamford three weeks ago and has met the phone system supplier.

“We are now preparing to implement an alternative system as a matter or urgency.”

Lakeside has arranged for locums to start work in May, who will be in place until permanent GPs start to fill vacancies at the surgery.

People can give feedback about their care through the Lakeside website www.lakesidehealthcarestamford.co.uk or by phoning the Care Quality Commission on 03000 616161 or through its website www.cqc.org.uk/give-feedback-on-care

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