In September 2021 we introduced a new appointment system. We took a number of factors into account when designing this system, including current government guidance and looking at how our appointments system worked before and during the pandemic.
All routine GP appointments are now via telephone consultation with the GP in the first instance. During the telephone consultation, the GP will make a clinical judgement as to whether the issue can be dealt with remotely or whether the patient needs a face to face appointment.
Why have we made this change?
Prior to the pandemic, all routine GP consultations were face to face, there was a 3 - 4 week wait for these appointments and during a standard working day, a GP would have approximately 25 appointments.
With the new system, a GP has 32 appointments in a standard working day. 24 of these are telephone consultations and 8 are face to face. The average wait is 2 days for a telephone consultation and 5 days for a face to face consultation.
Only 1 in 5 telephone consultations require a follow up face to face appointment.
Therefore under the new system, we are able to see more patients sooner than we did prior to the pandemic.
We review the system regularly and make improvements where necessary.