As you will be aware, we have struggled recently with routine appointments - with rising list numbers, we have not been able to recruit fast enough, and we have also had lots of pressure on availability of space for clinicians to consult from.

We have asked for and had lots of feedback from staff, patients and our Patient Group, and taken your frustrations and suggestions on board.

The changes we have made are:
• Additional clinical capacity - we have recruited an additional GP, Dr Gallagher, and we are also in the process of recruiting another GP. We have also taken on a new Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Carrie-Ann.
• We have changed the appointment system, so the appointments are no longer all released on a Monday, rather now they are spread through the whole week and released daily at 2pm.
• We have adjusted the types of appointment and added additional telephone appointment capacity for problems that don't need face to face consultation.
• We have continued to grow eConsult which supports our on-day appointment system.
• We have increased the amount of appointments available to book online, and encouraged registration with the NHS App for booking of these.
• We have been well supported by ESPN, our Locality Network, who offer additional clinical capacity at evenings and weekends for patients who would rather be seen out of working hours.
• We have added an admin support role for the on-day appointments, to ensure we are making best use of the bookings on day (both in terms of type of appointment and clinician being consulted with).

We are pleased to say, we are now seeing all those changes paying off, and currently have good routine appointment availability in two weeks time. The system still isn't perfect, but it is as good as we can get it with the resources we have the demand we are responding to.

We would like to thank all our patients for supporting us in these changes, none of which have been easy or quick – our feedback on https://www.nhs.uk/Se…/…/ReviewsAndRatings/DefaultView.aspx… has been excellent with many heart-warming comments about the wonderful team we have.

And finally we would like to thank our staff who have been so patient and accommodating with these changes.

Published: Feb 28, 2020