We would like to acknowledge the unacceptable difficulties many of our patients are encountering in accessing care. The current situation is unacceptable to us, and we are certain it is unacceptable to those we seek to help.
We offer between 50-90 telephone appointments for those who want to speak with a clinician on the same day, five days a week. Many of these consultations do not require people to visit the surgery but a significant number do. In light of this, we make provision for 25-40 appointments each day for face-to-face review.
In addition to these appointments for same-day problems, we have appointments for routine matters which are provided by all the clinicians. In total, we provide in the region of 900-1100 appointments for direct patient contact per week, plus time reserved for administrative work such as processing letters from hospital appointments, blood results etc.
This is to address the needs of a practice population of 8000
Despite this number of appointments being provided, we always run out of same-day telephone appointments before lunchtime and frequently much earlier in the morning. Same-day face-to-face review appointments are nearly always full by early afternoon.
Our clinicians take a thirty-minute break in the morning and have thirty minutes for lunch. The rest of the time, they are working tirelessly to try to help as many patients as possible.
In addition to our clinician workload, there is an almost intolerable burden taken by our reception staff. They all care deeply about delivering the best medical care and become visibly distressed when they are unable to offer appointments for our patients, some of whom have tried on numerous occasions to access help.
This situation is intolerable and affects everyone, administration staff, clinical staff and, most importantly, you, the people we seek to help.
The responsibility for the current situation lies outside of Harewood Medical Practice. Everyone who works here is doing their utmost to provide the best care they can in impossible circumstances.
Nearly everyone who contacts the surgery is mindful of this and is both sympathetic and patient, however, some people’s frustration spills over into physical and verbal aggression and personal insults.
We understand how frustrating this is for our patients. We are doing our best. Please try not to take out this frustration on our staff. If you are frustrated by the situation, please raise it with those in positions of influence, not our hardworking and caring members of staff
Dr. Stephen Wild
GP Harewood Medical Practice
Associate Director Heartbeat Alliance CIC