We would like to thank all who took part in our recent patient survey. The information provided is valuable for us in assessing those areas where our service is meeting expectations, and those where we can improve.
The areas where our results were strongest include things like the respect and care our team show to patients, listening to our patients, and confidence in the advice our team provide.
The aspects of our practice which could improve are: running to time, the ease with which an appointment can be made, and gaining quick access to a doctor when needed. The survey results tell us that these issues seem to be common across many practices.
We are looking at what we can do to improve the situation. In the meantime it is worth explaining our arrangements for access to doctors. As most would know, a number of our doctors have been here for several years and as a result have a large group of regular patients. All of our doctors work part time and this is important to enable them to continue practicing in the medium to longer term.
A combination of part time work and a large group of regular patients can mean it is difficult to get into your regular doctor at short notice. For this reason we have a daily on-call doctor who starts each day with no appointments and with whom we book the patients needing to be seen that day but unable to get into their regular doctor.
We also keep a small number of appointments free each day for each doctor. These are specifically for situations such as an unfavourable result where the patient may need to be urgently seen. If these appointments aren’t needed then we free them up for regular patients of that doctor. These are the appointments available after 9am each morning.
At times when we are heavily booked, the reception team will ask a few more questions to try to ascertain the priority we need to give to each patient. If you prefer not to discuss this with our reception team, please ask to speak to our nurse.
We will continue to look for refinements we can make to improve the availability of appointments and will let you know as these changes are made.
The Federal government has made the Shingles vaccine, Zostavax, available free to those aged between 70 and 79. We have been progressively contacting those eligible but if you would like to pre-empt this, please discuss with your doctor next time you see them. Note that eligibility for the free vaccine will change in 2020 to be limited to those turning 70 years of age.