Whilst this looks good and we are pleased to be recognised for offering a high level of face to face appointments, there needs to be context behind this data
We (Broomfield Park Medical Centre) have been offering telephone calls or face to face appointments for nearly 18 months now, we were one of the first surgeries to “go back to normal” as the pandemic started to ease.
Every single patient can have a telephone call or face to face with a clinical / health care professional, its patient choice. There are occasions when a telephone call is totally appropriate, why come all the way to the surgery when you can be called and dealt with at home? Here at Broomfield, if you want a face to face appointment, you can have a face to face appointment.
Best and Worst Coventry surgeries as face-to-face GP Appointments fall
Data has been released for the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that cover the city.
Latest NHS data shown that GP surgeries in Coventry reduced the amount of face-to-face and how many were on the same day for surgeries across the city. CoventryLive has put the focus on face-to-face appointments, which is often a bone of contention in our communities.
Number of face -to-face appointments offered by PCN in Coventry
Godiva Group Practice – 7,451
Park Leys Medical Practice – 6,405
Allesley Park Medical Centre – 4,499
Broomfield Park Medical Centre – 3,891
Sky Blue Medical Group – 3,888
Jubilee Healthcare – 3,528
Moseley Avenue Surgery – 3,465
Engleton House Surgery – 3,334
Forrest MEdical Centre – 3,187
Coventry GP Group of Practices – 2,660
Pool Medical Centre – 2,543
Woodside Medical Centre – 2,519
The Gables Medicentre – 2,503
Kensington Road Surgery – 2,476
Also, I’d like to address this constant myth that we “do not answer the phones”
Reception staff answer the phones from 8am. Based on the fact we have nearly 10, 000 patients, at 8am there are probably a couple of hundred patients all trying to call at the same time. 6 receptionist answer the phones in the morning and the phones do not stop until approx. 10am, that’s why we ask for none urgent calls to be made after 10.30am; but still we have patient calling at 8am to book routine appointments (you have to help us help you).
Reception staff have other administration tasks they must complete throughout the day – opening, scanning and filing post about patients, actioning your letters from the hospital, competing tasks clinical staff have sent them about patients etc.
The reason we are so busy is because patients health and life circumstances are complex, that’s not our fault, its how things are now and we are here to try and support all of our patients the best we can. If the demand is great, we only have a certain amount of staff to deal with that demand; it would be the same in any profession (factories, solicitors, supermarkets etc.). “Get more staff” I hear patients suggest, but we only have 21 clinic rooms, where do they consult with patients? And we are a big surgery compared to most!
Instead of reading all the myths in the media and on Facebook, call the surgery and ask to speak to me the Practice Manager and we can talk through our challenges. We don’t want people to feel this way and we don’t want to feel this way either.