The latest guidance in regard to patients accessing GP appointments was sent out by NHS England on Friday 14 May 2021 stating that patients should be able to see their GP in a face to face consultation if preferred.
At Botesdale Health Centre, we have not stopped seeing patients for face-to-face consultations, where it has been deemed clinically necessary by the GP or another clinician by first speaking with the patient on the telephone or via an e-consult video link.
Therefore we acknowledge the government’s announcement via the press, but in reality in most practices in Suffolk, the day to day work has been continuing as usual, alongside the massive vaccination programme which has been delivered out of our practice to our patients and which has significantly impacted on our ability to offer the day-to-day appointments which our patients need or require.
The need to clinically ‘triage’ patients before they come to the surgery, to ensure they are not suffering from the symptoms associated with Covid, has meant that our telephone system is currently overwhelmed with calls either from, or to patients and also patients wanting to book their vaccination or ask questions before they book a vaccination appointment. We have ordered an upgrade to our telephone system to cope with the increased volume of calls, but this will not be in place until July at the earliest. We do have appointments available to book ahead to speak to a clinician, which can be booked from our website for patients who sign up to patient Access.
Therefore we are looking at how our appointments are delivered, and this is an ongoing process of revision, both looking at the best ways to serve our patient’s needs and also to adapt to new government guidance.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
The Partners of Botesdale Health Centre