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Wodeland Surgery Responds to Criticism Provoked by Health Survey

Published on: 27 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 27 Nov, 2013

Doctor imageWodeland Avenue Surgery has this evening responded to a patient’s comment sent to The Guildford Dragon NEWS complaining she was told she would have to wait 11 days for an appointment.

But a spokesperson for the surgery said it is experiencing particularly high demand at this time of year and, in fact their triage* system has brought improvements.

Guildford Dragon reader Louise Emmett wrote her comment in response to an Guildford Dragon article Healthwatch Survey Needs Your Views. She wrote: “I belong to the Wodeland Avenue surgery. The reception staff are lovely and the doctors are nice enough but getting an appointment can be very difficult.

getting an appointment can be very difficult – patient

“Last time I tried to get an non-urgent appointment with a doctor (i.e. not on the day) they offered me the first one 11 days later. I did actually laugh out loud at the receptionist when she told me, until I realised she was serious.

“A couple of weeks ago I needed an appointment with a nurse within a specific time frame, about 10 days from when I went in to make the appointment but they couldn’t do that either. I finally ended up with an appointment almost a week later.

“If you call in the morning, even on the dot of 8am, you often wait 20-25 minutes to get through. Then you have to tell the receptionist what is wrong, she writes it on a list and the triage nurse calls you back up to an hour later. Only then, if she thinks it is serious enough, do you get an on-the-day appointment.

“I hate it. It’s bad enough for me if I am unwell trying to fit in seeing a doctor, but if it is for the kids it is a stressful nightmare. Not sure if I am even allowed to change surgeries but if I did, would it be any better?”

Within a few hours Fiona Morris, the practice manager for the Guildowns Group responded: “We are so sorry Ms Emmett had a difficult time arranging appointments. We would like to take this opportunity to reassure her that we take all complaints seriously and welcome feedback from patients on our current working practice.

“We are experiencing unusually high demand at the moment and our clinical audits have shown that triaging urgent same day appointments has been extremely effective in managing that demand.

triaging urgent same day appointments has been extremely effective – practice manager

“We have received many compliments from patients in the efficiency of the triage. All patients talk to a clinician rather than a receptionist and many of them can be dealt with very effectively by telephone or by our nurse practitioners freeing up GP appointments for those that require them.

“We are a large practice based across four sites and as we have many part time GPs we do try to book as far in advance as possible to ensure patients are seen by the GP of their choice. This may have been why she was offered an appointment in two weeks time. If she would like to contact me directly I would be very happy to investigate this for her.

“The mornings are indeed very busy; especially during flu season. We do encourage patients to book online via our website many patients find this easier than queuing via our switchboard and enjoy the fact that it is available 24 hours a day. You can also order repeat prescriptions and send messages to the practice.

“Our aim is always to provide the highest standard of general practice with courtesy, friendliness and good humour. We are so sorry that this was not your experience

“I hope Ms Emmett will contact me directly if she wishes to discuss this matter further.”

* The assignment of degrees of urgency to medical conditions in order to decide the order of treatment.

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Responses to Wodeland Surgery Responds to Criticism Provoked by Health Survey

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    November 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    As a family we have used this surgery over many years and found the staff extremely professional.

    Perhaps they are just too popular?

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