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
I have always been happy with the practice. The only complaint I have is the appointments system. It is very confusing and frustrating. If they could get this simplified I would be much happier with the service. Other than that, the receptionists are always helpful and polite (and have a sense of humour!). The surgery is bright and airy. West End parking is good. Chobham can be a bit of a nightmare. All in all they are an excellent practice.
The new appointments system is a disaster. You need to wait for at least two weeks for an appointment to see your own doctor or even a blood test. This is totally unacceptable. The doctors in the surgery are generally very good but when you have an on going condition you want to see your doctor; one who knows the history; one who knows you; one to whom you are not just another patient. Consistency is key. My daughter recently had a seriously debilitating condition. She was prescribed antibiotics and told to see if they worked. If not she was told to make another appointment. That would of meant another two/three weeks wait in agony. In the end she saw 5 different doctors and had four different doses of antibiotics, one of which was the same one but with a different name. Consistency would of saved her the suffering and reduced the time it took to fix it. In the end she was referred to a consultant who supplied the fix after a short investigation. Had she been able to make an appointment to see her own doctor within say three days there would not have been the delay. My wife recently had a blood test the results of which required another blood test. She was told that the next available slot was OVER two weeks away. She asked her doctor to telephone her and she explained the situation. The doctor said that she should say that the doctor wanted her to have the blood test within X days. Amazingly a slot became available. This should not be necessary. It wastes the doctor's, the patient's and the receptionist's time. This is a relatively new situation and has obviously been brought about by a change of process. Up until relatively recently it was possible to always see your own doctor within a week. Emergency appointments were handled within a day or two at the most with whatever doctor was available. From a patient point of view this is totally unacceptable and the appointments process needs to be refocuses on the patient, not the surgery. I could suggest a solution, but I am not being paid a healthy salary to manage the surgery. In addition the introduction of the new online "rules" regarding ordering prescriptions in very clumsy and the implementation was badly mishandled. Firstly the form that you need to fill in to get access means having to fill in information which the surgery already has. Your name and NHS number should be all that is necessary. In addition, you should be able to fill it in online. The online system itself is "clumpy" and not user friendly. The bit about having to add a note to the request is ridiculous. If you want to know where the prescription will be collected from simply have a selection of options with radio buttons. And what happens to patients who are not IT literate and have broadband available? But the worse bit is the refusal of the staff (under a dictat no doubt) to accept telephone requests for non repeat prescriptions. How can someone get to the surgery to make such a request if they are ill? Has any thought been given to that? Such prescriptions are normally extremely important. What is the difference of someone phoning for a proscription and someone going in to fill in a piece of paper?This stinks of bureaucracy gone mad. No doubt the cry will be "Data protection". I reject such a smoke screen. In addition, the implementation of the new system was totally chaotic. Again no thought had been given to the patient and the system was brought in without any warning to the patients and indeed to the staff who were not aware of the implementation on the day it was brought in. For such a large change to the process there should of been a proper project management plan involving all stakeholders. This was obviously not done. The person responsible should be given his or her P45! The computer system also appears to very limited and compounds the appointments chaos as it only works a month ahead. Any appointment which is greater than a month ahead cannot be made by the staff. How crazy is that?
I will try to respond to all this patient's concerns as best I can. The changes to the appointment system were brought about to simplify it for the patients and to give greater access to ALL patients - unfortunately the payback is that patient's may have to wait longer to see the GP of their choice. We have a finite number of blood tests which routinely are booked 2 weeks ahead. We do however hold back a few slots for use by the GPs when they feel a test can not wait that long. To access these held back slots the GP usually gves the patient a slip stating when they want the test done by, which when given to the receptionist enables them to release a held slot. The GP obviously didn't give your wife such a slip initially. It is worth remembering that we also only run a supplementary phlebotomy service, the main provider of this service being the local hospital trusts. Until last November we had an easy to use on line prescription re-order service. Unfortunately the DoH decided that it wasn't good enough and that we should use their system (the new system) as it was linked to other patient access such as appointments and viewing records on line. The requirement to see ID etc for registration with this service is policy laid down by the DoH which we have to follow. We did give patients and staff 2 months notice of the change over. The computer system is limited in certain areas, mainly due to a lack of DoH funding in Primary Care IT Infrastructure over the last few years. This however does not restrict the the booking of appointments, and we do book up to 6 weeks in advance. To go further ahead though would result in numerous cancellations (as in hospital systems) due to short notice non-availability of clinicians. I would gladly accept constructive solutions to managing the surgery, but would advise that an extensive knowledge of the Primary Care sector would be advantageous before committing oneself. David Clippingdale Practice Manager