A resident has slammed patients who take out their frustrations at the NHS on their local GP, describing an increase in missed appointments this autumn as a national problem.

Julie Warren, 64, who has lived in Marlow for two-and-a-half years and is a patient at the Marlow Medical Group’s The Doctors House General Practice (GP) on Victoria Road, has defended her local provider as the home of ‘outstanding’ staff who have been put under pressure by a national strain on NHS services.

The Marlow Medical Group, which has two branches in Lane End and Hambledon alongside its Marlow base, published statistics from September 2023 on its social media pages last week, revealing that 329 patients across the practice did not attend their booked appointments over the month.

Debating the reason behind the number of missed appointments in the High Wycombe (HW) Facebook group, some residents suggested that the practice’s new Klinik booking software, which was rolled out this summer, might be to blame for the statistic.

Ms Warren, however, told the Free Press that she thought criticism of the Klinik system and the surgery itself was misplaced and that people should be less focused on criticising their GP and more concerned with “fighting to save the NHS”.

She said: “I’ve only ever had a good experience at the surgery, and I don’t think these missed appointments have anything to do with the booking system – it’s the NHS finances.

“My daughter-in-law works in a local surgery, and I have family and friends in other areas who are experiencing almost identical problems.

“I think the staff and doctors in Marlow are outstanding and I couldn’t believe people were being so rude when the new system was having some initial issues. In my experience, you can still get through to someone who will help you, which is the important thing.”

The 64-year-old added that she was concerned by the frustration she had observed among her fellow residents and countrymen towards the NHS, which she believes could be laying the ground for a disbandment of the service.

“I helped a gentleman who had fallen over in my housing block last week and we had to wait around five hours for an ambulance. I wish people would wake up and see that we’re being conditioned to blame our local surgeries when the real problems go much further than that.”

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It comes after new NHS figures showed that the number of complaints submitted against GPs, dentists and other primary care services under the Buckinghamshire, Oxford and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board had risen from 2,818 in 2018-19 to around 4,000 in 2022-23.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of GPs said: "The unfortunate reality is that our hard-working and committed GPs often end up the 'fall guys' for the Government’s failure to appropriately resource and fund primary care.

"Everyone working in general practice is trying to do their very best for their patients, but in increasingly difficult circumstances.”

An NHS spokesperson said staff are "working hard to cope with increased demand", with GPs delivering half a million more appointments each week than before the pandemic.

They added: "In line with our commitment to recover access to primary care, the NHS published a plan earlier this year, which includes upgrading telephone systems to make it easier for people to contact their general practice while more than 31,000 additional staff have joined GP teams since 2019 to deliver even more appointments."

The Marlow Medical Group has been contacted for comment.