The GPs at the surgeries have been offering both remote and many face to face appointments each day throughout the pandemic based on clinical need. The government had promoted an increase in remote consultation options before the pandemic. During the pandemic they advised that we should offer initial telephone appointments to most patients in order to maintain our service to all and protect our more vulnerable patients from sitting next to patients with possible Covid19 in our small waiting rooms. We followed that advice.
However we have been listening to our patients and are aware that not everyone is happy with this way of working. Whilst initial telephone and video appointments may suit many, other patients may feel that it isn’t an “appointment” unless it is in person.
There is a perception that they cannot be seen face to face which is simply not the case and many of you have been seen in our surgeries. We are now offering a choice of phone or in-person appointments when you phone and we will hopefully be able to offer you what you want as long as capacity allows. Please bear with us as we try to do this and yet still try to maintain safety for our more vulnerable patients as there is still a moderately high level of Covid circulating in the community.
We will need you to let us know if you have any cough or fever symptoms and we may need to offer you a telephone triage appointment if this is the case. And if we are working to capacity and you can’t get the type of appointment when you want immediately, it is likely to be because the clinicians are exhausted and in need of a break rather than because they are lazy or underperforming.
In common with all other surgeries and hospitals we would request that you continue to wear a face covering in our surgeries. This is primarily to protect other patients who may be more susceptible to infection. We have a duty of care to all our patients and staff and would like to keep everyone as safe as possible when they visit the surgery.