Current Difficulties in Accessing GP Appointments

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented level of demand on our services. This is not unique to this surgery and it’s being reported from other GP practices nationally.

This is creating a lot of pressure on the systems we have in place, and we recognise that this can be the cause of frustration.

Please do try to be patient. If you find yourself waiting a long time to get through on the phone, it is because there are other patients who also need our attention and are trying to get through at time same time. If you are asked to call back to speak to someone on a different day, it’s because the person who is best suited to deal with your problem is not in on the day that you called, or is already fully booked up with other equally important patients.

Every single request for a GP appointment is assessed by a GP on the same day. The outcome of this will depend on the outcome of that assessment. It might not result in an appointment with a GP.

We have to work within the appointment capacity we have available.  Any one GP has to have a safe and manageable workload. An unsafe workload introduces risk of harm.

We always try and encourage patients to have contact with the same GP. There is good evidence that continuity of care achieves better outcomes and we believe it is more efficient.

Ensuring the above sometimes means that people are requested to phone back at a more appropriate time, or to speak to a more appropriate person.  Things which absolutely need to be dealt with urgently are dealt with urgently. Things which we are less urgent (but not less important) sometimes need to wait.

We previously had a system of patients booking in directly to face to face appointments, and that resulted in a wait of 8 weeks. This was a source of a lot of complaints, understandably, and we moved to the current model in response to that.  The current system is not a response to COVID (though it was easy to accommodate the requirements of working during the pandemic within it).

Again: please be patient. We don’t actually want to be or enjoy triaging workload as doctors, and are happiest when we’re just seeing people. We want to help you.

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Further information

Zero Tolerance Statement

Our staff come to work to care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with respect.
We aim to treat our patients courteously at all times and expect our patients to treat our staff in a similary way.

We take seriously any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour againist any of our staff or patients. if a patient is violent or abusive, they will be asked to stop. if they persist, we may exercise our rights to take action to have them removed, immediately if necessary from our pratice list.

The practice considers thratening behaviour to be:

Attempted or actual aggressive threatening physical actions made towards any member of staff.
The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language, (including raising of the voice, swearing and cursing, shouting) which threatens or intimidates staff.
In line with the rest of the NHS, and to ensure this is fully observed we have a Zero Tolerance policy in place, whereby any aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Anyone giving verbal abuse to members of the staff will be sent a letter from the Practice stating that this behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in the removal from the Practice patient list. There will be no appeal process.

We hope that you will understand and welcome this policy which is in place for the best interest of our hard working staff as well as our patients.

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