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GP appointments

From Murray Seccombe

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The government's league table (published on the BBC website Nov 18 2014) paints a pretty rosy picture of the HB Health Centre's performance with one glaring (and familiar) exception. The practice is "below average" in terms of patients' experience of getting an appointment to see a doctor or nurse.

Can the practice manager explain to us all how they intend to involve residents of all ages, genders, health conditions, etc. in finding a better system for the future?

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Can I start by saying that on the whole the service I get from the Group Practice is pretty good.

But - and it is a big but - their appointments system is a shambles especially if like me you work outside town every day.

This week I rang the practice with a couple of non urgent issues. As always the receptionist asked me what was wrong and as always I pointed I preferred to discuss that with a qualified doctor.

I was told that the next appointment was two weeks away which despite it not being an urgent issue is completely unacceptable.

So yet again we locked into the farce of me complaining and the receptionist saying do you want the doctor to ring you. I said yes, doctor rang, I talked to a trained medical professional and as if by magic was offered an appointment on Thurs morning.

Quite why I couldn't be offered a slot without this regular palaver is beyond me. The problem is their daft four week booking cycle where people with longer term conditions may rightly book slots leaving limited availability. The fact is it doesn't work.

I asked a colleague how her surgery does it and she said they have a daily open surgery from 8.30 to 10.15 on a first come, first served basis.

That might not work here but for me the appointment system is just not working and needs sorting out.

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Practice used to run a drop in session as suggested by Paul. But after arriving at 8.30, queuing to book in, you could then sit there for 60-90 mins to see a GP.

As most people are at the surgery because they are sick, waiting in an area full of people with coughs; tummy upsets; rashes etc was never very pleasant.

At least now, when you do get an appointment you don't generally have to wait too long. They need to be more flexible it's true but I wouldn't want to go back to open surgery sessions.

See also:

Report of Hebden Bridge Group Practice

BBC News: Watchdog ranks GP surgeries by risk

HebWeb Forum: Local GP appointments get worse!