How you can help
We regularly get complaints that patients are not able to get an appointment. We can only improve our system with your help. You can do this by:
1.Cancelling appointments if you don’t need them, and letting us know with enough time to offer the appointment to someone else.
2.Booking ‘follow-up’ appointments as you leave the surgery.
3.Seeing the appropriate clinician (e.g. BP checks do not need to be done by a Doctor. One of our healthcare assistants or a nurse could do this for you).
4.Attending for regular reviews for your medication and not letting it run out.
Why the shortage of appointments?
The Partners at the Practice want their patients to know that they are doing all they can to make appointments available for patients. Ask for our 'Appointments System' information sheet. Below are some of the reasons why you have to wait for an appointment.
General Practice has changed dramatically over recent years. It has provided Health Checks, which have identified thousands of patients with chronic diseases e.g. Diabetes. This Practice now has double the number of diabetics it had registered five years ago. These patients then need regular follow ups to monitor their long term conditions. This has been great work and is saving lives, but has raised the demand for appointments in your GP surgery.
You will hear lots of stories in the newspapers and on TV about the pressures which “an ageing population” will put on resources. These pressures are already here!!! More patients than ever before are wanting appointments at their GP surgery every day.
Public awareness regarding “self-treating” simple conditions has diminished over the years. More people want to be seen in their GP surgery with self-limiting illnesses (most of which can be treated with simple measures and advice from Pharmacists).
Lots of people are turning up at A&E Departments and “Out of Hours”(OOH) services with conditions which should be treated in the Community, because they are not prepared to wait. Each attendance at the OOH service costs this Practice at least £35.
Funding for General Practice is falling year on year. This means millions of patients are waiting a week or more to see their GP, and the amount spent per patient is in decline.
Many GPs now fear that patient care will be put at risk, and 71% of GPs are predicting that waiting times will get even worse.
To protect high quality services for all patients, the Royal College of GPs and the National Association for Patient Participation are campaigning for the governments of the UK to increase funding for general practice from 8.39% to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017.
Visit www.putpatientsfirst.rcgp.org.uk to support the campaign to put patients first and back general practice.