Every 3 months across the country 200 people from each GP practice are called and asked a series of questions about their local surgery. Scoring badly can have serious consequences for the services the practice provides, for example the health authority could remove services such as minor operations or annual health checks for our patients with learning disability.
At a recent meeting we discussed our on going plans for improving access to the surgery with representatives of the health authority.
This has been our lowest scorer in the survey but we have made significant improvements after employing more receptionists to answer phones, increased number of phone terminals and lines, and the new automated phone line enabling you to book appointments 24 hours a day. Please help us by using the automated service, and by delaying non urgent calls until after the busy early morning period.
We are open from 8.30am-6.30pm 5 days a week. We do not shut any lunch times or afternoons like some practices still do. In addition we have extended hours until 7.30pm two evenings a week, plus alternate Saturday mornings for routine appointments. There are few GP surgeries in Hertfordshire with more extensive opening hours.
Seeing patients with urgent problems:
We run an open surgery policy all day, everyone that has a medical problem (most commonly infections) who need to be seen that day will be seen. If the morning surgeries are full we will continue seeing any urgent cases that must be seen that day. In the afternoon if you call to be seen you will be put on the triage list for the duty GP to phone you back.
Being told there are ‘no appointments left today’ does not mean that we will not see you if you have an urgent need.
Number of appointments:
We now have a new full time partner to increase the number of appointments we offer. On top of that we also now have Fin, our minor illness and dermatology nurse.
Calling patients back:
If you have a problem/question but feel it doesn’t need a face to face consultation you can call reception to leave a message for a doctor. The doctor will call you back between sessions that day if possible. Many practices do not offer this kind of service.
If you are called for the survey we hope you remember the efforts we have gone to improving the service and feel able to mark us as high as possible as we would like to continue providing the current range of services and more.