‘GPs won’t be able to cope’

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

CAN­CER suf­ferer Tri­cia Miller from Twyford spoke of her fears if the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion dou­bled.

Tri­cia, 69, a tai chi teacher, was di­ag­nosed with

T cell lym­phoma two years ago. She told the meet­ing: “I go to the hospi­tal reg­u­larly [for check-ups]. The doc­tors tell me to come back in three months but my next ap­point­ment comes for seven or eight month’s time.

“If our com­mu­nity dou­bles it will be a year be­fore I can see them.” Tri­cia, who teaches at the Phoenix Cen­tre, in Twyford, Nordern Farm, in Maiden­head, and Bridge House res­i­den­tial home, in Twyford, lost three sib­lings to can­cer.

Dr Si­mon Ruf­fle of Twyford GP surgery told the meet­ing an ad­di­tional 10,000 res­i­dents would al­most dou­ble their pa­tient list.

“The De­part­ment of Health would not care. We would have to get on with it,” he said.

He crit­i­cised the GP surgery fund­ing sys­tem which de­layed pay­ments. “There is a long his­tory of GPs and nurses pulling their fin­ger out to pro­vide ser­vices. It’s in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult as it stands,” he added.

He told Tri­cia Miller: “I un­der­stand your wor­ries. I don’t think you’re far wrong in what you are say­ing.”

Af­ter­wards he said the short­age of GPs was a prob­lem when re­cruit­ing now.

After the meet­ing Tri­cia Miller added: “The hospi­tal just say they can’t give me an ap­point­ment any ear­lier now. With dou­ble the pop­u­la­tion here and more homes else­where it could be a year. Peo­ple will be­come more ill or even die be­cause of de­lays.”

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