We know that the media and government officials have recently been highlighting that some GP practices are not seeing patients face to face. This has meant that some patients have expressed concerns about this to us. However, we would like to reassure you that we are continuing to see patients face to face where appropriate, and are still offering the same mixture of telephone, video, online, and in-person appointments that we have offered since March 2020.
As you have no doubt experienced when trying to contact us, we are extremely busy at the moment, and are struggling to meet the needs of all our patients. This inevitably leads to longer waiting times than we would like and we understand that this will cause frustration for you. To try and help improve this, we have recently employed a new part-time salaried GP and long-term locum GP to help us manage the increased demand. We will also have more Advanced Nurse Practitioner appointments available from October.
Information on how many appointments GP practices are offering is readily available online, which means we are able to confirm that we are continuing to offer more appointments in total than we were last year. We can also tell that in the last year we saw or spoke to over 20,000 patients on the same day they requested an appointment. We know that sounds like a lot, so we’ve broken it down for you:
- Seen 1406 of you at the practice and 27 more of you in your own home.
- Spoken to 1064 of you over the phone.
- Replied to 96 eConsults
- Out of those appointments 1629 were within one day of you requesting an appointment.
That means that we had some contact with up to 35% of all our patients in just September!
In between all those appointments we also:
- Read 1056 letters about you and wrote 886 replies.
- Gave 111 sick notes.
- Issued 1975 prescriptions.
- Reviewed 157 people’s medicines.
- Referred 148 of you to the hospital.
- Performed 366 blood tests.
- Vaccinated 727 of you.
We understand that not being able to speak to the GP, nurse, or other healthcare professional you want is frustrating. Our whole team find it difficult when they can’t offer you the level of support that they feel you need. We are doing our best to offer as many appointments as we can and would just ask that you please take a moment to remember this before venting your frustration at our team.