Ashley Centre Surgery
Written by a patient
22nd October 2019
I have been a patient at this surgery for 20 years and mostly have found the GPs there to be very good and helpful. However, of late that support has been lacking.
I can see how much busier the practice has now become with queues to the door regularly at reception. The receptionists are the first contact and they are all really lovely and helpful despite the pressure they are always under.
Something needs to be done about the new telephone system though. It has made getting an appointment easier on the day (which is great) but getting through at other times is impossible and it seems to be down to staffing numbers, which is no doubt down to funding.
The poor receptionists are dealing with patients standing in front of them continually, and you can hear the phones ringing constantly in the back ground and they are supposed to answer all calls as well. One day I tried to call to ask a simple question, and I waited 40 minutes with no idea how many callers were ahead of me. I am lucky that I live close by so instead I jumped in the car and went and stood in front of the receptionists to ask the question. One of the GPs also told me that they couldn't get through to the receptionists on the phone either and laughed about it as it's so ridiculous. I imagine that once the receptionists do eventually answer the phone that they get an earful from the patient about how long they have been waiting too. A very stressful situation for them.
One person away from the reception desk needs to be responsible for answering the phone and dealing with emails. How about a computerised touch screen check in system at the door so that receptionists don't have to do so much of that freeing up more time.
My final suggestion is that the GPs in the practice need to be updated on symptoms and treatment of the menopause, something that is going to affect an awful lot of their patients. This is the stage I am at and the care has not been great at all to the point I have paid out to go and see a private menopause doctor to put right their errors in prescribing HRT, which also they seem to be quite anti despite it's many benefits.