Please do not shout or swear at any of our team. We are unfortunately seeing more behaviour that is unacceptable, and this will ultimately drive team members away and only make the service harder for us to deliver.
All our team members are doing their very best in difficult circumstances. To the majority of our patients who continue to be understanding and supportive, we thank you for your kindness, and appreciate your tolerance.
Demand for appointments has become significantly greater and whichever way we try to manage our appointments to provide ‘same day’ demand or pre-bookable demand, there is simply not enough to be able to see everyone when they want it. We can assure you that we have recruited additional GPs and expanded our Urgent Care Team and are continuing to recruit additional clinical staff. An explosion in demand has made appointment availability scarcer than we would want.
We understand your frustrations at not being about to get through on the phone, at having to wait longer for an appointment, or not being seen on the day that you want.
Our phone system means you don’t get the engaged tone when we are busy which we know was frustrating to constantly redial, but it also does not make it faster to answer calls, as we still have the same number of staff picking calls up and helping patients. On the plus side, it does allow us to transfer calls between the three sites and therefore operationally allow better internal communication between the teams at each site.
We also understand the desire for some patients to be seen in person, and we will facilitate this where possible and appropriate. Our pre-bookable appointments now have the option to request a face to face or a phone call and we understand that choice is important for you, and not everyone wants or needs to come in to the practice. Our ‘on the day’ appointments will be on the phone initially, and if the clinician feels that the consultation needs to be in person, then we will convert that appointment and invite you to attend one of our three sites.
It is frustrating, which we understand, but if you feel you need to talk to a clinician with an urgent matter ‘on the day’ please call us at 8.30am that day or alternatively complete an eConsult which is on our website. We have GPs, Physician Associate and Minor Illness Nurses working on our ‘on the day’ appointments – which is why the reception team will ask you for the reason for your appointment so that they can book you in with the right clinician for that day.
There are other services that are outside of the practice that are also sometimes better placed to manage your condition, for example the urgent eye service – and this is why the team will direct you to other services once they know why you are asking for an appointment that day.
Again, we thank you for your support and understanding.
The Partners of King Street Surgery