CONCERNS have been raised about a lack of permanent doctors at a Basildon surgery which could soon be inundated with new patients.

Existing patients say the Gore surgery in the town centre is already bursting at the seams and is without a permanent doctor.

They worry the problems will only get worse when people start moving in to the 144 new homes being built at nearby Gloucester Park.

Andrew Buxton, 42, of Roodegate, Basildon, couldn’t get a place at the surgery, but he takes his mother, who lives in a care home, along.

He said: “My mother wants to know what is going on. Everytime she has an appointment at the surgery she is seen by a different person.

“She is getting to the point where she just wants a bit of consistency because she never gets the same doctor.

“A new surgery is needed in the town centre because, with the new homes on Gloucester Park, where are all these extra people meant to find a doctor?”

Phil Rackley, Labour ward councillor for St Martin’s, has been inundated with complaints from patients who want to know what is going on.

He said: “We need to seriously think about what is going on, especially with 144 new homes being built.”

Basildon Council says it is looking at extra health care provision in its masterplan.

Ian Stidston, Director of Primary Care at NHS South Essex, said: “Unfortunately, we do have a problem with recruiting a full-time permanent GP to the Gore surgery in Basildon and locum GPs have been used for the last two years.

“We do use long term locums as much as possible to give continuity of care to patients. We can reassure patients that locums are expected to deliver the same standard of care to their patients as a salaried GP.

“We have had difficulties recruiting to this surgery due to a number of factors, which we are trying to address.

“We are in the process of finding a new provider to manage the practice as part of a procurement process which will see all GP surgeries run by the PCT transfer to new management. We hope this will provide a more stable future for the Gore and its patients.”