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Medical practice appointments system under review

FROME Medical Practice is conducting a review of its telephone appointments system, Patient Connect, with news of changes to the system expected in the ‘next few weeks’.

The service was introduced last year and was met with a mixed reaction from patients, with some complaining about the length of time it took for their call to be answered, and others praising the system for its convenience.

However, a survey carried out by Mendip district councillor, Adam Boyden, and a member of the Frome Liberal Democrats, Drew Gardner, revealed that of the 250 patients who responded, 66% were unsatisfied with the new system.

At the Town Matters meeting last month, cllr Boyden said, “The practice is currently undertaking a formal review on the basis of the comments received from the survey. Changes will be announced in the next few weeks, so I believe.”

Practice manager for Frome Medical Practice, Karen Creffield said, “It is now nearly six months since we launched our new GP appointment system towards the end of last year. The aim of the new appointments system, Patient Connect, has been to improve our patients’ access to their GP, by offering ‘same day’ consultations and appointments.

“Many of our patients tell us that they greatly appreciate the benefits of the new system, particularly as they become more familiar with how it works. However, the introduction of any new appointments system is a complex undertaking and we are very aware of the concerns raised by some of our patients on how Patient Connect currently does not work for them.

“At the outset of Patient Connect, we promised a thorough review of the system so that we could take into account and as necessary possibly implement changes suggested by our patients. We are delighted to say that on-going review of Patient Connect is now almost complete and we anticipate that we shall shortly be announcing the results of that review.”

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