Plenty of GPs for patients, says PHO

21:41, May 25 2014

Marlborough has enough GPs for every patient to be seen, says Marlborough Primary Health Organisation.

Chairman David Taylor said all but two surgeries had enough capacity to take on new patients.

Blenheim surgeries Lister Court Medical and Scott Street Health had closed their patient lists. Some practices in Blenheim only took patients within their particular catchment area.

Last week comments on the Marlborough Express Facebook page suggested some patients had faced difficulty registering with a GP in Blenheim.

But Taylor assured Marlborough's full employee sheet of GPs, plus two additional locum doctors, meant patients were not being left in the lurch.

This was a turnaround from December 2011, when the PHO placed a notice on its website warning people moving to the region that doctors' surgeries were full.


Taylor said the opening of Renwick Medical Centre had eased pressure on GP lists. Since it opened in February 1000 patients had registered with the practice creating available spaces at some practices in Blenheim.

He said Marlborough did not have a problem with people unable to register with practices.

"There are enough doctors surgeries to meet the population of Marlborough," he said.

Processes were in place so that front office staff at GP practices with a full list directed patients to other practices with spaces.

He said there were a number of reasons why a patient could not access a particular surgery.

"Either the feedback directing a patient to surgery with spaces wasn't given or they didn't hear it," he said.

"There is a safe limit of patients that practices have on their lists to provide the best level of service. Some patients may be refused because of history. For example they have had an outstanding debt with the practice. Those cases are few and far between but it happens."

Taylor advised anyone who faced difficulty registering with a GP to contact the Marlborough Primary Health Organisation.

"Don't sit back and think there is no capacity. It is the PHO's duty to deal with it and we will direct you to a practice."

The Marlborough Express