Letter to Patients

Dear Patients,

With regret the Doctors at Newent Doctors Practice have decided that we need to trial an adjustment to access our ‘Duty Doctor’ (same day) system.  Over recent years, the number of people asking for same day attention has tripled.  We have been attempting to deal with three or four times the British Medical Association recommended ‘safe’ number of patients per day.  Despite employing additional staff to try and cope with this, we realise it is not safe for us to continue trying to manage this number of same day requests.

Our Reception staff have been trained to guide patients to appropriate services – this may be 111 (online or by telephone), Minor Injuries departments, or the local Chemist.  Appointments are available in the surgery with our Clinical Pharmacy Team to discuss medication issues, Musculoskeletal Specialists for back/shoulder/knee problems etc.  and our Advanced Nurse Practitioner for skin lesions and other issues.

The NHS website has sensible advice about a range of common conditions including coughs, sore throats and urine infections – www.nhs.uk or try www.asapglos.nhs.uk

In the last three years, work at our practice has increased from 10,869 to 11,757 patients (up 8%); from 95 to 140 letters per day needing processing (increase 50%); from 373 to 521 telephone calls received per day (up 40%); from offering around 1067 appointments per week to 1447 (up 36%).  We have almost doubled the number of staff to try and accommodate this.

Over the coming months we will continue to work hard with additional training and putting measures in place to ensure those patients who most need our services will be able to access them.  We are sorry that we are not able to give everyone a GP appointment when they want one, we are doing all we can to manage the unprecedented demand.  The safety of all our patients remains our priority.

These changes mean that our GP’s will have more routine appointments available to book.

We would like to thank our patients for their patience and support, and all the words of kindness – you are very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Dr’s Henson, Stenson, Underwood, Rees, Dargan, Harper, Baxter, Zatman, Cottam & Bennion.