New appointment system for GP ‘ends patient frustration’

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GPs at Woodseats Medical Centre are among the first in the country to adopt a radical new way of running their appointment system.

Instead of patients having to go through the ‘fastest finger first’ phone lottery, sometimes days or even weeks ahead, they can ring up and be put straight through to a GP for a telephone consultation or leave their number for a callback.

If an appointment is still required or requested, patients can be seen on the same day or at a later date to suit them.

Practice manager Michelle Webster said: “Before, we tended to see those people who had phoned first on the day, regardless of clinical need.

“Complaints were very high and patients saw the receptionists as barriers to getting an appointment. Now it’s great because our receptionists are saying ‘yes’, not ‘no’.

“We have dramatically shortened the time between a patient feeling they need to see a doctor and getting an appointment – from routinely around 10 days to the same day.”