Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to the comment written by Honest John as regards GP surgeries in Newton Aycliffe. On average, surgeries in Newton Aycliffe each have 265 appointments which are booked and then people do not attend, that’s 3352 working hours per month wasted. So for those out there who complain about no appointments they may want to look at the time wasters who get appointments and don’t turn up! On top of that there are the appointments that are used for ailments that can be seen to at the chemists/opticians/dentists, but people choose to see the GP as they can access free prescriptions, even though the minor ailment scheme offers ‘free’ medication that some people are entitled to for certain conditions.

Honest John chooses a comparison between a vets and a GP surgery, maybe if a GP surgery charges for every appointment like a vet does, the availability of appointments might be better, or charging for those who don’t turn up, they might think twice about wasting appointments. The receptionists who work in these surgeries are normal human beings like the rest of us, they aren’t magically able to conjure up an appointment out of thin air, so when they advise there are no appointments, then that isn’t their fault, so shouting and screaming at them doesn’t make the situation any better. To conclude, we actually have a fabulous NHS service, and maybe the way to make it more efficient is to actually think if we really need an appointment in the first place. Because, without wasting appointments 265 more people could be seen per month!

Name & Address supplied