WHEN the paper highlighted findings that our local surgery performs weakly compared with similar Mid-Essex services, no comment was available from the practice manager or the team.

The following week, presumably after careful consideration, Dr.

John Markham offered information about the beleaguered system and requested the understanding of patients at this difficult time. In reality, it isn’t possible for patients to accept lack of care and stand back, in obedient agreement that it’s a nuisance to be ill and they must not create extra pressure.

A better outcome would be to change the system and another contributor suggested adopting the older “walk-in” system to avoid the problem of missed appointments.

Online there are rants, so frank one wonders how they are accepted by the NHS, where upset patients say treatment at the first point of contact was unsatisfactory.

I think the practice and patients are turning into warring sides, affected in part by the relatively small town we share and the expectations of community spirit – but that is a waste of time, as all wars are, and there must be practical ways to change.

Lisette Skeet

Firwoods Road