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Doctor Appointments

From Vivien Aspey

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Throughout 2019 this forum was a live channel of communication and understanding of patients' experience of the services offered by the Hebden Bridge Group Practice.

Towards the end of the year I was puzzled by a dearth of comments but I have now realised that at least some were being recorded under the specific topic eg appointments, rather than the Hebden Bridge Group Practice overall.

So carrying on in 2020 with matters raised at the end of 2019, we have been informed that from next week the morning walk in service is being replaced by the service which it originally replaced, namely a telephone based appointments system of the kind that has always operated in most comparable practices. Reasons for the about turn have not been shared and it is clearly not our role to reason why.

At least people will no longer be queuing in cold and wet weather, and reduced numbers in waiting areas will hopefully also reduce exposure to cross infection.

Beyond that it is difficult to predict. The walk in service was the only access route to urgent appointments, and its introduction was accompanied by a promise of a greater number of less urgent appointments. Subsequent patient experience indicates  that these did not materialise.
So what can we expect from this reversion to the old system when there are no accompanying remarks about availability of appointments, urgent or otherwise?

Once again we will learn the answers through experience which I hope is shared here.

From Susan Quick

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Hi I'm disappointed that the walk-in at Mytholmroyd has ended.  I'm disabled and getting to Hebden Bridge surgery is a hassle, a long way to walk. The advantage of Mytholmroyd is I can catch a bus door-to-door.  

Last time I needed to see the doctor, I phoned and got an appointment in Todmorden the following day, which was perfect. Again I could catch the bus door-to-door and it takes weeks to get an appointment at Hebden Bridge. Why? And what has happened to the bus that used to go to the surgery?

From Arla R

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Susan, if appointments at Mytholmroyd are easier for you to access, then if you need an on the day emergency appointment there seems to be no reason you couldn't book one there instead of HB?

For me, as an ambulant disabled person who has difficulty with public transport and with waiting rooms, being able once again to walk to HB surgery if I need an on the day appointment is much appreciated, and means I am more likely to be able to see a GP who knows me already.

I would think that having the option of emergency appointments at three sites rather than a walk-in clinic only available mornings at one site probably gives more people better access to medical care.

From Vivienne H

Sunday, 9 February 2020

The Patient Participation Group handed out hundreds of questionnaires late last year. There were many complaints about the walk-in system, so the HBGP has now abandoned it. 

Instead, people have to telephone in the morning to be allocated one of the same-day appointments for urgent matters. So far, the feedback from people using the service is mostly positive - certainly it's much preferred to the walk-in which meant patients often waited for hours, with no idea when they would be seen.


HebWeb Forum: Hebden Bridge Group Practice (Jan-Sept 2019)