Newsletter May 2010
For a number of years we have carried out an annual survey to get your feedback on how well we are caring for you. These surveys are now being carried out by the Department of Health, but the results are fed back to us, and they form an important part of our planning. We’ve highlighted some of the most frequent comments, together with our response.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to give us their views over the years. We welcome your feedback at all times, and hope you will contact us with any comments you would like to make.
It’s really easy to get an appointment on the day, but why can’t I book ahead?
You can book your appointment with the doctor or nurse up to 6 weeks ahead. The further ahead you call us, the more choice we can offer you. If you find it easier, you can book your own doctor appointment online. Ask at reception for details of how to do this.
Why do I keep being told to ring back on the day I want my appointment?
The next available book ahead appointment will usually be in 2 – 3 working days. We always reserve some appointments for booking on the day, so if you need an appointment tomorrow, but there are no appointments left for pre-booking, we may suggest that you ring back on the day. We always want to give you the appointment you need without asking you to call back.
Can’t I see a nurse instead?
Our Nurse Practitioners run a minor ailments clinic every morning. Your receptionist may ask about your symptoms, to decide if the Nurse Practitioner can help you.
What else can I see the nurse for?
Our Practice Nurses now do all of our chronic disease management; if you need an appointment for your regular check up for high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes, please tell the receptionist when you call and she will book a nurse appointment for you.
Who should I ask to see for a blood test?
Our Health Care Assistants can do this for you. They can help with many other things, including some dressings, ear syringing and ECGs. Tell the receptionist what you need, and she will help you decide who you need to see.
What if I need to see a doctor urgently and there are no appointments left?
We will always fit you in if you need an urgent appointment, no matter how busy we are. If there are no appointments left for today, the duty doctor will talk to you, and arrange an appointment if you need to be seen.
I’m not sure if I need to be seen today or not.
If you are unsure how urgently you need to be seen, the Duty Doctor will always be happy to talk to you.
I don’t think I need an appointment, but I would like some advice.
You may not need to come in to the surgery at all. Ask your receptionist about a telephone consultation.
I don’t mind if the doctor is running a little late, but why do I sometimes have to wait half an hour or more?
A standard appointment is 10 minutes. Sometimes problems are more complex than anyone realised, and an appointment will over-run. It may only be by a few minutes, but if it happens many times in succession, the doctor is very soon running half an hour late.
Many practices will stop the clock at 10 minutes, and ask the patient to make another appointment. This has never been our policy; we give you the time you need, and you can be confident that the doctor will not be watching the clock instead of focusing on you. The downside of this policy of course is that you may be kept waiting if the people before you need a little longer.
Please let us know what you think on this issue; are you happy to wait, knowing that one day it may be you who needs the extra time, or should we keep strictly to time and ask patients to leave after their allotted time?
Can I book a longer appointment if I think I will need it?
Yes. We encourage patients to ask for a longer appointment if they know 10 minutes will not be long enough.
Why can’t you let me know if my appointment will be late?
If the doctor is running late, we will try to let you know when you arrive. If the doctor is very late, for example if there has been an emergency call out, we will try to ‘phone and let you know. If you can let us have a mobile ‘phone number, or other daytime contact number, it makes it much more likely that we can get in touch quickly in this situation. Also please tell us if it’s alright to leave a message with someone else in your house, or on your voicemail.
I work full time; when can I get an appointment without taking time off work?
You may find our early morning surgeries helpful. Doctor’s appointments are available from 7:30am from Tuesday to Friday. We also offer late evening appointments on Thursdays.
Parking at Overton Surgery is a nightmare!
Not any more!
A number of unusual circumstances combined to make the winter particularly challenging. Swine ‘flu vaccination meant we had more clinics than usual, whilst the extreme weather meant that many people, who might normally have walked to their appointment, chose to bring their car instead. In response to your comments, we have taken a range of measures to improve access to parking places, and the situation is much improved.
Before next winter, we will be looking into staggering start times for clinics more, and promoting awareness of the health benefits of walking or cycling
Last updated on 27 May 2011.
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