Working in a GP surgery the most complained about, and the most stressful thing is lack of GP appointments.
Patients get frustrated when they have to wait days and sometimes weeks for an appointment, and often the staff trying to deal with this often get verbal abuse from the frustrated patients.
There are only so many appointments available every day, and most surgeries will go over and above their daily appointments trying to accommodate patients that have to be seen that day.
Of course, every surgery had a large volume of DNA’s which means ‘Did not attend’ or ‘Did not Arrive’ and often these will be in fact be patients that have been fitted in the same day because they said that they were really poorly and needed to be seen that same day. Missed appointments hit every surgery and is a never-ending headache for the team.
There is a practice in Highcliffe in Dorset that have a great system that I am sure helps with their appointment system and its fairly simply and yet very effective.
They run a children’s clinic every afternoon from 4 – 4.30 Monday to Friday where parents can bring children up to the age of 16 and can be seen that same day without having to phone for an appointment. It is a walk-in clinic. No having to phone and get an urgent appointment which isn’t always possible.
In the knowledge that parents can get their children seen that same day will often have them often leaving it another day in the knowledge that if the child is still no better the following day they still have the choice to be seen, that alone takes off a lot of pressure off the parents and the appointments system and therefore staff too.
Parents are not taking up appointments throughout the day thus leaving these for other patients.
I think this is a really good system, so all they have to do is find a way to reduce the large amount of missed appointments.
Have you got a system that works really well in your Surgery that helps with the daily appointments struggle.