Chobham&west End Med Prac, 16 Windsor Road, Chobham, Woking, Surrey, GU24 8NA
Also known as: The Surgery, 16 Windsor Road, Chobham, WOKING, GU24 8NA, Lucas Green surgery, Lucas Green Road, West End, WOKING, GU24 9LU
When I get to see my GP I am always delighted with the care taken, pleased with the result of treatment offered, and generally satisfied. However it is often impossible to get an appointment with the system of ringing at 8 am in the morning because you sit listening to a recorded message/music for up to 35 minutes only to be told that no appointments remained available that day, at either Chobham or West End surgery. You may be asked if the matter is urgent and do not wish to exaggerate your condition so reply that it is not, so no appointment suggestion is made. It must be possible to have more telephone lines available to take calls, and engage staff briefly to deal with the 8 am rush, or arrange to book appointments ahead - which is no longer the case - to prevent patient frustration and potentially dangerous situations when patients are not seen when they need medical advice. It should not be necessary to go to Woking Community hospital for help when there is a local village medical practice.
Unfortunately appointments are a finite resource and the number available is dependent upon the number of GPs we have working at the practice. Our allocated budget (£85 per patient per year) will only stretch so far when employing GPs and you may be aware, as reported in the national press, there is a current shortage of GPs in the UK. So even if we had the funds we probably could not recruit! Of the appointments we do have, approximately 2/3rds are offered up for booking 6 weeks in advance, on average these are fully booked up to 2 weeks hence. Of the remaining 1/3rd approximately half are held back until the day of the appointment for medical problems that manifest themselves at short notice, these are booked on a first come first served basis from 8 a.m. and when these have gone, the remaining 1/6th are then only available for medically urgent problems that will not wait until the next day. Having more staff answering more phone lines at 8 a.m. would only work if we had more appointments to offer. You may also have heard on the news about the 1% cap on public employees pay rises, this also applies to General Practice in that our funding has been restricted year on year for the last 7 + years resulting in the Primary Care budget reducing from 11% of the overall NHS budget to below 8%. When you consider this in light of the increase in the cost of living over the same period (medical practices are not protected from increased costs) and the increase in demand for appointments, it should become apparent as to why sometimes it is difficult to get an appointment. The Woking Community Hospital is funded out of the Primary Care Budget, is that funding better being distributed out to the 14 GP practices in the area or is it better to provide a centralised service to their patients - there's the question?
This Practice has some great doctors when you get to see them - I have had recent terrible experience in getting the correct repeat prescriptions, even having to call external consultant to call them to give me the prescriptions when they had been regular for 2 years. Also being asked to give full disclosure to the receptionist rather than a qualified GP is really not welcome.
Without further details I am unable to give a complete reply to the problem this patient encountered obtaining repeat medication. I would however like to say that the prescriber (in this case the GP) takes full responsibility when issuing a prescription for medication, not the consultant who originally suggested that the patient should be on the medication. Most medications are issued for a maximum of 6 repeat issues after which time the prescriber will review the need for the medication which may well include requesting the patient to return to the surgery for a face to face review and or tests. This sometimes may appear obstructive to the patient but is entirely for their own good. Our receptionists have been asked by the GPs to request from the patient the reason for their need for an appointment. This is so that the patient can be directed to the most appropriate person for their need,s and often results in their problem being dealt with without them having to attend the surgery. Patients do of course have the right to refuse to give their reason for requesting to see a GP, and possibly waste not only their own time but that of our scarcest resource - the GP. It should be noted that all staff working in the surgery are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the GPs. David Clippingdale Practice Manager
I called on the day - 3rd January 2017! At 830 and managed to get an appointment within 4 hours. New electronic system was easy and all staff happy and friendly. Very pleased with the service