Demand for appointments
We are aware that at the moment it is tough to get to see a doctor at the practice.
I want to share some of the reasons for this and assure you all that we are working harder than we ever have.
I see how frustrating it must be waiting on the phone to try and get an appointment and then to be told there are none. Our receptionists do an amazing job to try and fit everyone in and direct you to alternative services.
Please do not feel we are ‘fobbing you off’ if we try to advise you to get an alternative appointment with;
Recovery at Home
Or attend an urgent care Centre
We are genuinely trying to help.
Our GPs at the surgery continue to work flat out seeing as many people as we possibly can – whilst still remaining safe. The demand for appointments currently outstrips our maximum capability by about 3 to1.
You may wonder what the GPs do with our time when we are not seeing patients, well, we deal with hundreds of phone call, thousands of prescriptions, see the elderly and dying in their own homes and work with 3 local care homes to ensure the very frailest of us get the care we need.
We have just employed an experienced new GP- Dr Stephanie Stanton. She joins us from a practice in Newcastle. This new addition to our team will enable us to open up more appointments- but there will still be many of you who are frustrated when you can’t see who you want to see.
We would love to be able to offer everyone who rings up an appointment- but in reality, that would mean that all our GP’s would literally have to work 7 days a week 24 hours a day- and I suspect that still would not be enough. It would also be very unsafe; rushing, being stressed and overworked leads to mistakes being made.
You may wonder why we simply do not employ more GP’s, well we would love to, but there simply aren’t any out there to employ. In all of the UK at the moment there are less GP’s now seeing more patients than there were in 2015.
I am sorry the service you want from Herrington medical Centre is something we are not able to offer. The whole of the NHS is under tremendous pressure, and we feel that on a daily basis. I would ask that you remain kind and considerate when you contact us. Our reception staff are feeling a bit battered and demoralised.
You may want to write to your MP firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her about the experience you have. The changes that need to be made to the NHS need to come from much higher up and within the government rather from our small team.
I would like to apologise for any frustration the system is causing. It is our intention to offer the very best service to our patients that we are capable of, and it causes us all distress to see that we simply are unable to meet the demand that is out there.
Dr J Halpin