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Patients praise new appointments system

Patients of Frome Medical Practice have praised the new appointments system launched in November, highlighting its convenience and efficiency.

The new Patient Connect system was introduced in  response to patients’ concerns regarding the time it can sometimes take to see a GP or other health professional.

Patients now call the appointments telephone number to speak to a trained care navigator who will book a telephone consultation with a health care professional at an agreed time for later that same day. If the health professional then  decides that the patient needs a follow-up face-to-face consultation, an appointment will be booked.

Some patients have criticised the length of time it can take to get through to a care navigator on the phone, complaining of having to wait up to 30 minutes to speak to someone.

However,  many patients have praised the service, saying that a wait on the phone whilst at home is more convenient than being sat waiting in the practice.

“I think it works really well! Instead of sitting up (at the) surgery for hours amongst all the illness, you now have the comfort of own home, yet still see doctor same day! So 20-30 minutes wait on the phone is worth it! said Clare Cox on the ‘Spotted about Frome’ Facebook page.

In agreement, Dani Davis said,  “I love it. No fault. Comfort of your own home whilst waiting for your appointment time to come. No dragging kiddies to wait in a room full of other poorly people. I rang at 9.20 and was contacted back, appointment made and prescription given by 12.30. Cannot stand people who slate our NHS! We are too lucky as a country. Unfortunately, most don’t see this!”

Patient Dave Watkins said, “We’ve used the service three times so far, excellent each time. I called at 8.30am and was sat with the doctor by 11am. And I could sit at home and wait, much nicer!”

Frome Medical Practice says that feedback received from patients has been both supportive and positive, despite there being some initial technical problems with the telephone system, which have now been resolved.

One of the partners at the practice responsible for introducing Patient Connect is Dr Rob Taylor who said, “At a time of increasing financial and manpower pressures on every GP practice, it was clear that our old appointments system was due for a radical overhaul. This was especially so when patients sometimes had to wait weeks to see their GP.

“For us, Patient Connect was and remains a huge undertaking, requiring an enormous amount of forward planning. However, the comments that we have received from our patients since the 15th November have been overwhelmingly encouraging and positive.

“Of course, after five weeks no system is going to be perfect. No-one here is resting on their laurels as we constantly review and work to improve the performance of Patient Connect right from that initial call from the patient.

“Perhaps this is the right time to thank our many patients who have helped make Patient Connect work. The success of Patient Connect depends on the constructive contributions made by our patients. For this, we are extremely grateful as we continue to fine-tune and monitor the performance of Patient Connect.”

For more information on how Patient Connect works, visit the practice website at www.fromemedicalpractice .co.uk and watch Dr Taylor explain the new appointments system.

Above: Frome Medical Practice’s Dr Rob Taylor.

One Response to Patients praise new appointments system

  1. Victoria Price

    January 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    The new appointment system works in an emergency or if you need a same day appointment. But you can not book anything in advance, I’m a nurse & my husband a teacher, neither of us can have our phone on us at work & you can not book advance appointments which is madness. You need to allow slots for appointment in advance, lots of people work & can not have their phone on them at all times waiting for a call back.

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