Doctors’ surgeries in Laindon and Wickford are at breaking point, the Echo can reveal.
Residents have told of long waits to see a doctor and, with 5,000 homes planned for both Wickford and Laindon, there are fears things will get even worse.
We can reveal there is just one doctor per 1,935 people in Laindon and one for every 1,767 people in Wickford.
This compares to a national average of one GP per 1,350 people and one for every 1,500 in Essex.
Tory Stephen Hillier, who represents Langdon Hills, in Laindon, said: “It is not uncommon to wait two weeks for a doctor’s appointment in Laindon.”
“I’ve heard from residents their symptoms have disappeared by the time they see a doctor. It is a bizarre situation.”
For 37,000 residents in Wickford, there are just seven practices – though London Road is to relocate to Market Road by 2016 – but the NHS has refused to say whether the new centre will be an expansion or just a move.
A total of 39,442 locals in Laindon have six practices to choose from, with Dr Marshall and Partners based in the Laindon Health Centre, off High Road, having seven doctors for 13,219 patients.
In Basildon Council’s Local Housing Plan, 2,450 homes in Laindon – mostly in the west towards Dunton – are either proposed to be built by 2031 or already have planning permission.
That includes 135 homes off Ballards Walk as announced last week by the Echo, with residents citing this as another example of Laindon being at bursting point.
However, the Echo can reveal the Knights Surgery in Knights, Laindon, will be relocated and extended to that new estate as part of the development – to hopefully help ease long waits.
Laindon resident Vic York added: “The Ballards Walk application will bring in an extra 135 families. We are going to be so oversubscribed and Laindon can’t cope with all this housing without the infrastructure to go with it.”
In Wickford, 2,450 homes are proposed to be built by 2031, with some already having planning permission.
On top this, there is the huge 560 house estate planned on the old Runwell Hospital Site, ratified by Chelsmford City Council.
Ukip’s Nigel Le Gresley, who represents Wickford Castledon, said: “With the continuing shortage of NHS budget and the apparent difficulties, for some reason, in recruiting GPs in Essex, it really worries me that Basildon Council is hellbent on increasing the Wickford population by 6,000 or so residents because of its reckless house building proposals.”