During my various sessions out and about over the last few weeks, listening to local people about the issues and concerns that matter to them, a troubling number of conversations have centred around access issues to GP services in Oundle – an issue I have been actively raising over recent months and which I am now doing so again following that feedback.
I wish to be clear that this is most certainly not a criticism of the staff at the surgery, who I know are working very hard in challenging circumstances and have been for some time, with COVID-19 in particular serving as an unprecedented source of difficulty. Ultimately, however, it is vital that people are able to access the care that they need and see the right medical professional at the right place, at the right time. That doesn’t always need to be a GP, and we should utilise technology where appropriate and advantageous, but all residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, must have confidence that they can see someone in person if that is what they require, whilst obviously taking into account any infection control measures that may be required at any particular time, given COVID-19 concerns.
I shall certainly keep pressing for just that and I have already urged over the weekend that relevant senior health and local government figures locally work together to draw up a comprehensive action plan to rapidly help the surgery to improve public confidence around both capacity and access.
More widely, I am keen to understand any such similar issues people have faced across Corby & East Northamptonshire in recent weeks, so that I can make appropriate enquiries and assist where I can to resolve any specific difficulties, should that be required.