Demand for action over medical services in Botley

The Oxford Times: Eric Batts Eric Batts

A PATIENTS’ group has demanded action over a perceived lack of medical facilities in Botley, Oxford.

Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, chairwoman of Patient Voice, has written to NHS England, demanding the problems are solved.

Mrs Pearce-Gervis, a resident of Botley, and district councillor Eric Batts, have both called for action as developers prepare to build more homes in the area, including 600 student rooms at West Way proposed by Doric and 150 homes off Tilbury Lane.

Mrs Pearce-Gervis believes that Botley Medical Centre, in Elms Road, will not be able to cope with the growth if the new homes go ahead.

She said: “Botley is growing so fast and if we don’t get another medical centre the existing one won’t be able to cope with demand.

“You can wait up to three weeks for an appointment, so people like me choose to register with doctors in Oxford, because when you are ill you want to be seen.

“We have chosen to go elsewhere, but it is jolly inconvenient and I am sure everyone would much rather go near where they live. What is desperately needed is a minor injuries unit, because at the moment the nearest ones are in Abingdon and Manzil Way in Oxford.”

And Mr Batts said: “The problem has grown over the years and unfortunately the local surgery doesn’t appear to be addressing it.”

As previously reported in the Oxford Mail, when Jericho Health Centre moved to its new £11.5m ‘super surgery’ on the old Radcliffe Infirmary site on July 6 last year to save money, its West Oxford Community Centre branch closed.

As a result nearly 6,000 patients who were registered at the West Oxford branch now have to travel to the Jericho centre a mile away – which for some involves two bus rides.

And another satellite centre in Besselsleigh Road, Wootton, is under threat and Mrs Pearce-Gervis,who is also chairwoman of Healthwatch Oxfordshire, said this could lead to even more people using the Botley Medical Centre.

Mr Batts said: “There are a lot of people who used to use the satellite at the West Oxford Community Centre, but now that has moved a lot of people are contacting me and asking what to do.

“The closure of the satellite surgery at Wootton will make matters worse, and with new homes coming to the area people will need a GP.”

Speaking on behalf of the medical centre, NHS England primary care commissioning head for the Thames Valley Ginny Hope, said: “The Botley Medical Centre is continuing to accept new patients and provide local general practice services to the growing population in Botley.

“Botley residents have the option to choose which GP practice they are registered with. There are a further 14 GP practices that patients can choose to register at within a three mile radius of Botley.

“The practice is exploring the potential to extend on their existing site, this would be subject to the required approval processes.”

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