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GP appointments made easy

THE Frome Medical Practice has announced changes to its appointment system and Walk-In clinic, with a new system coming into effect on the 15th November.

The aim is to reduce the time it takes to see a GP and to make the system easier for patients.

“The reason we are bringing in these changes is straightforward,” explains practice partner and GP Dr Rob Taylor. “Through the Patient Participation Group and of course our patients themselves, the message was that there were long waits to see a GP or another health professional.

“We have listened to those concerns of our patients and are therefore introducing Patient Connect, a new system that is designed to be much more convenient, connecting the patient to the right care, at the right time and with the right health professional.”

Under the new system, patients will call the existing appointments number on 01373 301301 where they will then speak to one of the trained care navigators who will ask for a brief reason for the call. A telephone consultation will then be booked at an agreed time for later that same day when one of the practice’s GPs will then call the patient. If the patient needs a follow up face-to-face consultation, this will usually be booked for later that day. The practice is keen to stress that patients will always be seen if needed.

“We have seen how other progressive GP practices in the country have made the model similar to our own new Patient Connect appointments system work successfully for the patient,” adds Dr Taylor. “That is what we are determined to do here, making it both easier and quicker for our patients to access medical care. We are a practice that has recently been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission. It has always been our goal to provide all of our patients with a standard of care that is second to none and we are all working hard to ensure the success of our new appointments system.”

Over the coming weeks prior to the new system coming into effect on the 15th November, explanatory leaflets will be made available at reception. Further information will be made available via the practice website (including a special video) as well as on social media. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions from patients. A Question & Answer session on the new appointments system, open to all patients, will be held at the practice on Wednesday 25th October.

The practice is one of the biggest in the South West, with a patient list of over 29,000.

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