“IT is absolutely astonishing and shocking,” says a district councillor after her two-year-old nephew could not be seen by any GP in Didcot.

Councillor Sue Roberts, who represents Wallingford on South Oxfordshire District Council, said she was frightened after surgeries across the town were unable to assess her nephew Marley who has an ear infection.

He was unable to be seen as he and his father, Sachio, had recently moved to the town from Brighton and have been unable to register at any practice due to a lack of spaces.

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Dr Roberts said the incident highlights the national GP shortage issue and added she is ‘disappointed' in the Government as a result.

She said: “Marley was sent home from nursery on a Friday and he was holding his ear and there was encrusted blood in it - It was frightening when my son told me that.

“Sachio took the day off work with no pay and went to every GP in Didcot and they all said, ‘No we’re full’ and when he asked if he could attend as a visitor they said no.

“It’s astonishing. He went to see a pharmacist instead who said they would have been able to help but they didn’t have the right equipment to look in Marley’s ear.

“He talked to some friends who recommended he try a walk-in clinic in Abingdon but they said he wasn’t registered in Didcot so couldn’t use the service.

“He then burst into tears and he’s quite a macho chap and doesn’t cry, Sachio didn’t want to take him to A and E as this seemed abusive of the system.

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“Eventually Marley was able to be seen by a nurse and was prescribed some antibiotics.”

Dr Roberts said the incident demonstrates how ‘provisioned’ surgeries are in Didcot and highlight the ‘struggle’ to fill GP roles.

“This whole country is just collapsing under this awful tory Government,” she said. “Being a GP is an impossible job and I’m so disappointed in the Government at the minute – it’s getting everyone down.”

She added that as well as there being a national shortage in GP’s that the increase in new developments without proper infrastructure has added to the issue.

“The reason I became a councillor if because we do not need these houses,” she said. “We are in a climate crisis and we need all our land.

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“We are going to have a food issue, we need land to restore nature. Every time you concrete over land, you can’t use it for agriculture.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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