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Improved Access from May 13th 2019

We have made changes to the way you access us following feedback from patients.

These changes will commence from May 13th 2019.

What are the changes?

To prevent the need to call us, you can now book for a doctor to call you back via our online booking service. These appointments are released at 6.30pm at the end of every weekday for the following weekday. Appointments for nurses and healthcare assistants are also available online.

Later in 2019 we will roll out more services for patients to use via the website and reintroduce the ability for patients to book appointments via our automated phone service 24/7.

How does it work?

When you get in touch with us, either via the website or by speaking to a receptionist, you will be called by a doctor that same day, usually within 60 minutes of your appointment slot. The doctor will discuss your problem and the best ways we can help address it.

Where possible, we aim to deal with your problem on the phone and arrange appointments at the practice only when required. This is because we recognise that people’s lives can be very busy and we do not want to take up people’s time unnecessarily.

When you are phoned back the doctor will either:

  • deal with the problem on the phone.

  • write a prescription for you to collect from the surgery.

  • ask you to come down to the surgery to see the doctor or the nurse the same day .

  • make a routine appointment for you to see a doctor or nurse.

  • arrange for you to have some tests and schedule in when we will discuss the results with you

  • arrange a home visit.

Our whole team of doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, administrators and reception will be involved in this model to help make sure you see the right person for your problem.

Please note that:

  • It would be very useful when you contact the surgery if you could give the receptionist brief details of the problem.

  • It would be helpful if you avoided phoning for routine appointments on a Monday when the surgery is particularly busy after the weekend.

  • It would be appreciated if routine enquiries were made after midday as the mornings are the busiest period for reception - this will enable patients who require a same day appointment or urgent visit to access the surgery quicker.

Has this been tried elsewhere? How will it help improve access?

Similar systems are used at many GP practices around the country and have led to improved access and patient satisfaction. It increases the access for patients who definitely need a face to face consultation.  We believe that this system enables us to provide a better service to our patients and we ask for your support.

What if I am not able to use a phone to speak to you?

We recognise that patients with access needs such as hearing impairment or language barriers may not be able to reach us on the phone.

The existing support arrangements for patients with access needs, such as interpreters, remain unchanged.

Why have you chosen to introduce this?

You may be aware that for a number of Mondays and Fridays during 2018, we trialled a new form of the way patient access our services by ensuring that any patient requesting to see or speak to a doctor was able to receive a call back from a doctor on the same day to discuss their problem and how we can best address it.

We are using what we have learnt from trialling this that takes the best aspects of the system we used and incorporated additional feedback we have received from patients.

We now want to roll out this improved way of accessing us to every day of the week.

This system should ensure that patients are always able to access a GP on the day and do not have to wait for an appointment.

It should also improve phone access to the practice as reception can deal with calls more quickly and we recognise this has been a major area that patients have wanted to be improved.

We would really welcome your feedback about how you find the new service.

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