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Survey to help Healthwatch address GP crisis in Cornwall

Newquay Health Centre have 16,500 patients on its books and only GPs. Photo: ITV West Country

Residents across Cornwall are finding it increasingly difficult to get a GP appointment, according to a health watchdog.

Plymouth has been reported to also be struggling, following a number of surgery closures.

One couple believe GP waiting times can be quite slow. Credit: ITV West Country

They can be a bit slow on the phones and everything but it's because they're dealing with so much because they've got so much on here, they're doing their best."

– Patients at Newquay Health Centre
16,500
patients on Newquay Health Centre's books

Newquay Health Centre has 16,500 patients on its books being attended to be only 11 GP.

One practice administrator has called the volume of patient calls "quite daunting"

Tom Eggins is a Practice Administrator at Newquay Health Centre. Credit: ITV West Country

It's daunting, it is quite daunting but we do try and manage it as best as we can, we do have an emergency doctor as well if it is overflowing and there are people that do need to be seen."

– Tom Eggins, Practice Administrator
Practice Manager, Jane Meachem, says there will be a 'mass retirement of GPs'. Credit: ITV West Country

Shortly there will be a mass retirement of GPs, but we're trying to encourage the younger ones to come through, we are a training practice so we've got student doctors here at the moment and foundation doctors so hopefully there'll be a few more coming through us."

– Jane Meachem, Practice Manager

Healthwatch Cornwall have now launched a survey to find out what people make of their GP practice.

The results are set to help determine where improvements could be made and how.

It is available online and closes on the 19th of January: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/accessdoctor2017

More information can be found here: https://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk