You said… We did
A member of the Patients Group has been reviewing any negative comments received by Saddleworth Medical Practice as a result of the Friends & Family Test.
These have been acknowledged & mainly relate to the difficulty in obtaining an appointment quickly with a Doctor of choice. We do understand the frustration experienced by our patients & try wherever possible to accommodate your needs.
So far the Practice has attempted to make the appointment system as flexible as possible with 48 hour appointments being designed to help people book in with a doctor of choice within a reasonable time frame. We are aware these appointments are limited and do book up quickly. We offer same day appointments for children under the age of 5 and for any other patient who feels it is urgent that they are seen the same day. We also have 6 weeks of appointments available for booking for patients who work and want to book a routine appointment around there working lives.
We are very aware that we have a demand problem at the practice, which is due to a number of factors; i.e. a constantly growing list size, new building work in Saddleworth bringing more patients into the area, a doctor on maternity leave and we have been running with a full time vacancy since April. Our NHS contract does not allow us to close our list, so any patient who lives within our boundary is able to register with the practice. We currently have 14,300 patients out of a population of approximately 31.100
We have tried to recruit to the GP vacancy but there is a national shortage of doctors and we have so far been unsuccessful. We have, however, been more creative with our workforce and have recently employed a Clinical Pharmacist, who will see patients with minor ailments; and a Community Matron, whose role is to look after the frail elderly. In addition to this, the existing doctors are working additional sessions, were they can and we are using locum doctors to backfill both the maternity leave and the vacancy.
Your feedback from the Friends and Family test is a greatly appreciated, it helps us gauge if the improvement we are putting in place are making a difference. Next time you visit the surgery please fill one in or complete one online by clicking here.