1,500 patients de-registered from Watton surgery – with two weeks notice

06:30 05 June 2014

Watton Medical Practice.

Watton Medical Practice.

Patients at a Norfolk doctors’ surgery who fall outside of a new prescribed catchment area will be de-registered from the practice, NHS England have said.


Watton Medical Practice is writing to 1,500 people who are registered with them – but whose postcode also falls into another practice’s catchment area.

The troubled surgery on Gregor Shanks Way has come under pressure in recent months after concerns were raised over its ability to meet the demand for appointments.

In the last year it has been trying to recruit two new GPs to meet the needs of the 13,000 registered patients.

But practice Mary Osborne said the failure to do so has meant the ratio of patients to doctors has increased above what is deemed to be clinically safe by the NHS.

She said this ‘list review’ – which includes not taking on any new patients other than immediate family members of existing patients – is now “the only option” to ensure quality and safety of care .

“It has been an immensely difficult decision to de-register some patients, especially when we have been trying so hard to recruit more GPs so we could maintain and grow our patient base,” she said. “Patients have been, and always will be, at the heart of the service we provide. We hope that patients will recognise this is the case even now, and will support us in working through this process.”

Letters will be posted in three batches in the coming weeks, giving people two weeks notice to sign-up with another surgery.

Those practices where patients will have to register with are in East Harling and Kenninghall, Hingham, Shipdham and three in Swaffham and, according to NHS England, have been fully consulted.

Andy Beal, 48, of The Close, Stow Bedon, near Watton, is one of 10 householders in his street who have been told to register at East Harling, about seven miles away. He has been registered with Watton Medical Practice all of his life and said: “The letter was shocking. I feel that they have given us no choice and we are being forced to go somewhere else,” he said.

“There has been no public consultation or prior warning. Most of the residents here are either disabled or over 80 and do not want to go to East Harling.”

What do you think? Email or call 01362 854702



  • With reference to The Watton Medical Practice crisis, I am not at all surprised that this has happened. I moved to Watton 7 years ago and it was relatively easy to get an appointment to see a Doctor but in the last 2-3 years my average wait has been well over a week. The new telephone consultation system should have made it easier, but even now I am finding it increasingly difficult to even speak to a Doctor on the same day. The system doesn't account for people that work "unsocial" hours who may not be able to ring at 08.30 hrs in order to get an appointment. In the time that I have lived in Watton I have seen a steady growth in housing being built in the local area and the Surgery hasn't been able to cope with the steady rise in population. In my opinion, even if the Surgery manages to employ two more GP's there will be a space issue where more consulting rooms would need to be built to accommodate the higher flow of patients being seen. The car park at times is also very crowded making parking difficult. I feel sorry for the patients that need to register elsewhere, especially if they are elderly and have been attending for many years, but I suppose if the catchment area has been moved then it seems it will be a bit of a "post code" lottery!

    Report this comment


    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Yes footyboy16, let's put more pressure on our already stretched ambulance service, what a clever idea. It is obviously not nice for those 1500 patients asked to register elsewhere, but it is the NHS deeming the number of patients as too high and therefore unsafe, somebody has to go and it would stand to reason that is the patients that live the closest to another surgery.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, June 7, 2014

  • Oh great! that's just what we need...longer waiting times at smaller practices like Hingham... woopy!

    Report this comment

    Ben Pannell

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Can't see what the problem is or even why this is a news story, it's pretty normal to register with a local practice!

    Report this comment


    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • my mother was having a allergic reaction to the prescribed pills they gave her, she called for a "emergency appointment" on a monday and was told there was no appointments till the thursday and to carry on taking the pills till then. .........maby this is a blessing, if you get the letter get out while you can, she did

    Report this comment


    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Nice to hear the surgery is finally admitting it can't cope when there was the public consultation about moving to a complete telephone triage system is was always touted that they could cope with thousands more patients than they had but where does this situation really leave Watton with all the new houses being built especially the new estate behind the Academy?

    Report this comment

    Ben Norcutt

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition


Newsletter Sign Up