Whitewater Surgery have provided details on their new booking systems that will begin on 1st August
“We are announcing two key changes to the way we work.
1. ENHANCED TELEPHONE SYSTEM
With effect from Monday 18th July, we are implementing a new telephone system. This means that when you call the surgery you will have four options:
Press 1 to speak to a dedicated team handling repeat prescriptions
Press 2 to speak to a member of the team regarding test results
Press 3 to speak to a Secretary regarding an existing referral following a GP appointment
Press 4 to make a new appointment or to amend or cancel an existing one
In conjunction with this change we have expanded and re-organised our back office support team to enable them to focus on patient needs and provide more efficient services. The aim is that you will be able to speak directly to someone who can help you as quickly as possible.
There is no change to our telephone number.
2. NEW APPOINTMENT SYSTEM
Once the new telephone system is up and running we will be launching a new appointment system. With effect from Monday 1st August you will be able to make appointments for the same day only.
Currently you are having to wait in excess of four weeks for non urgent appointments. This is far from ideal. We have listened to your feedback. Even though we are now fully staffed, demand for appointments is simply exceeding capacity.
The new appointment process will work as follows.
– If you have an urgent or non-urgent need to see a GP or any other clinician you should call the surgery on the day you want to see or speak to them.
– Our trained receptionists will ask you key questions to determine who is the best clinician to deal with your issue.
– If your case is considered urgent, you will be called back on the same day by a member of the Duty Team (as per today).
– If your case is considered not urgent, you will also be called back on the same day by the most appropriate member of the clinical staff.
– In the unlikely event that all the same day appointments have already been allocated and your case is not considered urgent, you will be asked to call back on another day.
– Following a consultation, if the GP wants you to have a follow-up appointment, they will advise you when to contact the practice to arrange your next appointment or will make the arrangements accordingly
– The telephone lines for making appointments will be open from 8am until 6.30pm Monday to Friday. There is no change to our telephone number. Routine appointments may become limited and will assigned on a first come first served basis.
– The telephone lines will be closed between 12.45pm and 2pm daily for essential staff hand over, administrative tasks and mandatory training. An emergency line will be in place for the duration of this time each day.
– A percentage of our daily non-urgent appointments with your registered GP will be available to book online via our website
During the month of June this year we completed a total of 8,017 appointments. We had 323 lost appointments due to patients not showing up and not cancelling their appointments (“no shows”).
In addition, in the same month, we had to cancel in excess of 500 appointments at very short notice due to staff absences. That is a total of nearly 10% of our appointments not used which is not sustainable.
The new system will drastically reduce these no shows and last minute cancellations.
We want to reiterate that we are not taking these steps lightly. We know they are major changes, that most of us don’t like change and that there will be teething problems, but we also know the existing system is simply not working.
The transition (especially during July and August) will be hard and problematic, but we ask you to help us to help you. We will constantly review the new set up and make further changes if necessary.
These changes are also part of our planning for a suspected hard winter with high pressures on the NHS. We ask for your continued support and restraint when using social media to comment on our services, as many of our staff are members of the local community and can feel directly impacted. Our entire staff are doing the very best they can.
Thank you for your continued support.”