A SURGERY in Frinton has been told it requires improvement after patients said it was difficult to make appointments over the phone.

Caradoc Surgery, in Station Approach, received a “good” rating by the Care Quality Commission in the safety category - an improvement on the previous year.

However it received an “inadequate” rating in effectiveness and three “requires improvement” ratings for being caring, responsive and well-led.

According to the report, the surgery provides care for 7,500 patients.

The report said: “Although we acknowledge improvement plans implemented, these had not yet impacted positively on practice patient satisfaction.

“Due to very low satisfaction rates in the national GP patient survey, we found further improvements were required.

“The practice understood the needs of its population and tailored services in response to those needs.

“Telephone GP consultations were available and supported patients who were unable to attend the practice during normal working hours.”

However, for each patient category the report said: “The population group found contacting the practice by telephone for an appointment to be problematic.”

The North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group raised concerns the patient to GP ratio is too high. However Dr Vaiyapuri Raja, lead GP, said there was no cause for concern.

He said: “It’s an uphill struggle and we do have problems recruiting in the Clacton area, but if doesn’t mean we don’t have sufficient GPs working every day.

“We have three GPs working every day, with about 7,500 patients.”

There were also concerns about the clinical performance for patients with long term conditions and with poor mental health.

Dr Raja said: “People with more serious conditions need to be reviewed and monitored regularly.

“We are not that far behind, we have about 41 patients that need to be reviewed to get us up to the 100 per cent target.”

However during the inspection, the watchdogs found staff were courteous and helpful to patients.

Watchdogs praised the surgery for having clear systems to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse.