A Brief Guide to our Appointment System
Due to ever increasing demand for appointments and in an effort to improve our practice’s service to our patients we will be introducing a new way of booking appointments.
Currently London Road Medical Practice operates an appointments system which allows patients to make a routine appointment up to 6 weeks in advance and also allows for an appointment to be made with an appropriate clinician on the same day (OTD = On the Day) as booking the appointment.
Whilst this system has been reasonably successful over the past few years it is becoming very difficult to offer both types of appointments. If we offer more OTD appointments we have to reduce our routine appointment availability to accommodate this which in turn means that waiting times to see a GP becomes extended. Likewise if we want to reduce our waiting times to see a GP we need to reduce the number of available OTD appointments.
This is largely due to having a fixed availability of appointments and trying to accommodate increasing demand for these appointments.
So as of 4th January 2017 we will be introducing an OTD Only appointment system for all of our GPs and our patients will not be able to book an appointment in advance.
This means that when a patient wants to see a GP they need to call the practice (or come to the front desk) on the day they want to be seen and make an appointment. Due to not having any pre-booked appointment on our system we expect to have many more appointments available on the day you call. We also expect that this will help to reduce the number of missed appointments due to patients forgetting they had one booked (this is currently approximately 300 per month).
However you should note the following:
Every effort will be made for all patients to see their preferred GP but if they are not working that day or are not available then all patients can still be allocated an appropriate GP or Nurse Practitioner on the same day or they can call back on a day their GP is working.
If a GP or Nurse Practitioner advises a patient that they want to see them again in the future then the patient should call the practice on the day they wish to be seen.
We expect that this system will increase the number of patients telephoning the practice to make an appointment and we have therefore allowed the system to “open” appointments for the next morning after 2pm each day so that a patient can book an appointment for tomorrow morning. This is in addition to being able to still book an appointment for today. We expect that this new feature should help to reduce the demand to get through on the telephone in the morning.
By providing this feature it also allows us to book appointments early on the day before our telephone system opens for the day.
If a patient is wanting to book an appointment with a Practice Nurse (chronic disease review, injections, smears etc) and with our Health Care Assistants (blood tests, BP checks etc) then all patients will be able to book an appointment in advance up to 4 weeks ahead.
If a patient wishes to book a telephone appointment with a GP they will be able to do so up to 2 weeks ahead.