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Important message for patients
Posted on 2 Dec 2021
At Wellington Road Surgery we have always prided ourselves on excellent patient access to the health professionals who work here.
We are aware that in recent months some patient have had difficulties getting through to the surgery or had to wait long periods of time to speak to a receptionist.
We thought it may be useful to communicate to our patients some of the reasons why you may be experiencing these difficulties and to highlight some of the measures we have put in place to try to address this:
- There has been a genuine increase in the volume of calls. In September 2020 we had 6509 calls, this September we had 8845 calls. Some of these calls are relating to flu vaccines and Covid booster vaccines and expected to be a seasonal increase.
- We have recruited 3 new permanent receptionists and a temporary receptionist to help with the increase in demand. Unfortunately the telephone company has confirmed we cannot have more phone lines into the surgery.
- Our staff are patients themselves and have had their own medical issues, including the need to self-isolate where family members are affected by Covid. This has an impact by depleting our workforce although we have used technology to enable “remote” working from home where possible.
- We are trying to restart chronic disease management clinics which were postponed by the lockdowns. Monitoring of these patients was heavily impacted by the recent nationwide shortage of blood bottles which called a halt to all but emergency blood tests.
- We are increasing the number of Healthcare Assistants to take bloods/perform ECG’s
- We are in the process of recruiting more dispensary staff
- We have 2 new Physiotherapists working in surgery and a new Pharmacist working alongside our established Pharmacist, Harry. We also have a Social Prescriber, who is helping to support patients who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Concerning flu jabs; we have employed an extra nurse to help with delivering vaccines in surgery and also in the homes of patients who are housebound. The numbers of patients eligible for the flu vaccine has greatly expanded this year to include all patients over 50 (previously only for over 65’s). We have been particularly frustrated by delays in receiving our stocks of flu vaccines in a timely manner due to national logistic transport issues.
- We have had retirement of 2 GP partners and our longstanding Practice Manager.
- We are delighted to say that we have found excellent replacements for these positions. Our new manager is working hard to bolster and expand all departments in the surgery.
We can assure you that we are working hard to deliver the best service possible for our patients and would be grateful for your understanding and support at this time.