Patients at a leading Telford & Wrekin GP surgery no longer have to pick up the phone to book appointments.
Improvements at Wellington Medical Practice mean anyone registered at the surgery can now book a nursing team appointment or a telephone consultation with one of the practice’s GPs without having to phone the surgery.
Patients do have to register for an online access account via the practice website but registration is quick and free.
Managing Partner Dr Derrick Ebenezer is one of the new team of GPs who have recently taken over leadership at Wellington Medical Practice.
Dr Ebenezer became Managing Partner on 1st November 2016. He is supported by two other clinical partners, Dr Navneet Singh who is clinical lead partner and Dr Tim O'Brien who is senior partner.
Dr Ebenezer said “The new partnership and clinical and administrative team have been working hard to support the changes to improve patient access. We needed to offer patients another way of accessing appointments”
“We quickly identified that getting in touch with the surgery on the phone to book appointments was an issue for many of our patients and this is something we are working hard to tackle.
“We are investing in a new telephone system so that people find it easier to talk to us for those patients who still choose to phone the surgery. But we are also making it easier for patients to book appointments via an online secure booking system.”
The online booking system applies to telephone consultations with a GP as well as some nursing appointments which include blood pressure checks.
The telephone consultation has major advantages for patients and doctors and is becoming more routine across GP practices nationally.
Dr Ebenezer explained: “Many patients can get the support they need over the telephone without having to travel to the surgery. The telephone consultation is a useful tool to help better understand the patient’s needs. For example test results and medication changes can occur during a telephone consultation or the contents of a clinic letter can be discussed during a telephone consultation.”
“A significant proportion of patient queries and concerns can be addressed via a telephone consultation. After the initial telephone consultation some patients do need to be seen in a face to face appointment. The GP will confirm a face to appointment time with the patient during the telephone consultation. This gives the flexibility of a same day face to face appointment to be booked or a face to face appointment time on another day to suit the patients other commitments.”
“Before the new partnership structure in November 2016, patients had to call on the same day they wanted to be seen. This was very inconvenient for patients and made it difficult for patients to accommodate the same day appointment around their other commitments. We responded to feedback and are now able to prebook appointments after speaking to a patient.”
“We also appreciate that patients are not always able to call the surgery during working hours or the first thing in the morning and so we hope the ability to book these appointments online suit our patients better.”
Wellington Medical Practice is able to accommodate many patients currently registered with Malling Health Wrekin which will close later this year.
Dr Ebenezer said: “We hope patients who were formerly registered with Wellington Medical Practice will be encouraged by the changes we are making. We look forward to welcoming new and returning patients to our practice. We have recently set up our new Patient Participation Group which gives patients a real say in how the practice develops and we will continue to improve services for the benefit of our patients.”
Dr Shailendra Allen, Board Member of Telford & Wrekin CCG said: “Wellington is among a number of practices that are making improvements to the way we deliver primary care.
“As commissioners we are encouraged by the positive changes being made and are committed to investing in these practices.”
Anyone patients who wish to find out more can visit www.wellingtonmedicalpractice.co.uk