Before and during the election period I received a number of observations with regard to availability and delays for appointments at the Peel Medical Centre.
I am advised that the situation remains difficult on occasions particularly around holiday periods when locums are required.
Monday 3rd October, for instance, there were 3 normal routine appointments for 6th October and 6 appointments for 7th October.  The triage service was available if any patient required urgent attention.
I am informed that the Peel Practice undertakes 43 clinical sessions per week (14 appointments each session). Over the last year they have increased the number of patients they can see to take blood, they have increased their health care assistant capacity – they take great pride in being able to provide services to their patients that patients of other Practices would need to have provided elsewhere.  They have also recently introduced telephone appointments for patients who prefer to just speak to a GP and who don’t want to attend for an appointment. They currently have 11 clinical rooms which are fully utilised.  They are a training practice and support both the GP vocational training scheme and the Hospital Registrar training scheme.
In terms of the building itself, the Department recognises that the significant growth in Peel and surrounding areas makes it essential that Peel surgery is expanded in the near future.  This is already ear-marked within the Department’s capital planning process.
I hope this helps as an explanatory.