A SURGERY has announced it is reopening for appointments following an outcry from residents about it being open for prescription pick-ups only.

The Alfriston Surgery has changed its service from prescription-only pick-ups three hours a day, to now having a limited number of slots to see patients as well as other plans to increase services for residents.

The branch, which is run by the Old School Surgery in Seaford, has said patients will now be able to request a face-to-face or telephone call from September 13, with plans to increase face-to-face appointments even more by October 4.

The Argus reported on the incident last week after residents said they were frustrated by the limited service at the Alfriston branch.

The surgery sent a text out to their patients yesterday providing an update after the issues were raised by Maria Caulfield to the local clinical commissioning group.

Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes, said on an Alfriston Facebook group that she will “chase what is happening” after the surgery had not opened on August 9, as originally planned.

The Argus: The Alfriston Surgery will be doing limited appointments from September 13.The Alfriston Surgery will be doing limited appointments from September 13.

Ms Caulfield told the Argus: “I very much welcome this news as I am sure local patients will too.

“The Old School surgery team work extremely hard and residents will be pleased that improvements to phone services in particular are being addressed.

“I recognise that GPs are not happy that I have raised the issues faced by local residents but I have a duty to raise concerns and complaints on behalf of constituents.

“I discussed these issues with the CCG who took the complaints and difficulties seriously and I look forward to supporting the Old School team going forward.”

The Argus: The Old School Surgery.The Old School Surgery.

Meanwhile, the Old School Surgery has said there are no plans to close either site and that their range of services are now restored to ‘pre-pandemic’ status.

Doctor Raj Chandarana, executive partner and a GP at the Old School Surgery, thanked people for their patience and understanding of the pressures faced by the practice and NHS.

He said: “We will continue to strive to provide a good NHS General Practice service.

“However, we must also be realistic and state that the pressures General Practice continues to face are unprecedented, not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the significant staffing issues and underinvestment in premises and workforce over many years.

“We hope to manage these issues and continue to provide the care that our patients require as well as continuing to support the rest of our NHS.

“Our staff at Old School Surgery and Alfriston branch continue to do the best they can to assist with the needs of our patients - I personally thank them for all their hard work.”

The Old School Surgery also announced they have made changes to their telephone answering to improve the time taken to answer calls, and are actively looking on ways to reduce and stop the number of times services have to be redirected.

For more information, please visit the Old School Surgery's website.

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