NHS at “all-time low” in north London as patients complain about waiting times at the family doctor
Confidence in NHS services in North West London is at “an all-time low” as patients wait longer and longer to be seen.
A presentation to health chiefs from Healthwatch Harrow showed that satisfaction with access to appointments is at its lowest level ever, with less than half of patients being satisfied with the service.
Regular six to seven hour waits in the Northwick Park Hospital emergency room have also been reported as people flocked there after failing to get a doctor’s appointment.
Marie Pate of Healthwatch Harrow said there were ongoing problems with busy phone lines and increasing waiting times across the area.
Read more: South London Hospital is clearing patient congestion – but thousands have waited months for treatment
She explained that the problems were partly due to a backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing efforts to combat transmission.
Marie said, “We all know what it’s like to work like this after 18 months and it’s just frustrating for patients.
“It’s not great and something needs to be done about it. The plans try to do this. “
She was quick to point out that “there are seldom complaints about the quality of care” and that most problems are related to access.
Health workers are also affected by the situation – the report found that working conditions and staff morale had a significant impact.
Harrow GP Dr. Genevive Small said, “It’s stressful for patients, it’s stressful for staff, and ultimately people want the care and treatment they need and deserve.”
She added that it was “really hard work” when every conversation was about access as well as the other issues doctors face, at least not during a global pandemic.
Dr. Muhammad Shahzad of Edgware’s Zain Medical Center urged everyone to work together to change things.
He said, “We’re all human – doctors are overworked, patients are stressed.
“There is a chasm and nobody wants it. We need to come together here so that we can end this divide. People have to know that we care. “