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OTTERY: Medical centre introduces new appointment system

Friday, 07 February 2014

Coleridge Medical Centre has introduced an appointment system based on newly formed teams of GPs.
The new system will mean that small teams of GPs will collaborate to ensure they know the medical history of all the paitents in their care so if one GP is unavailable, another can step in and will already be infomed of the patient’s needs.
Dr Sam Cole explained: “Our new system will encourage you to see your own registered GP. This is by far the safest most effective and efficient way for both patients and doctor.
“It means that when you see your own doctor the appointment will be about you and your current problem rather than being asked to go over your past problems with a doctor who does not know you.
“To ensure that you can usually get an appointment with a doctor who knows you our GPs are going to work in teams.
“Therefore if your own doctor is unavailable you can see or speak to another doctor within the same team.
“Behind the scenes this doctor may already be reviewing your test results, signing your repeat prescriptions and reading your own doctor’s post.”
Patients are asked to play their part by making routine appointments well in advance.
Dr Cole explained: “For routine, non-urgent appointments we would like you to book appointments two to three weeks in advance. This enables us to manage our urgent appointments more effectively.”
He also said that phone consultation might be offered for ‘semi-urgent’ needs and that receptionists will be on hand to find the right type of appointment for all nature of ailments.
Dr Cole added: “The receptionists will be able to find the right appointment for you.
“This may be with our excellent team of nurse practitioners who will be managing most minor illnesses freeing up the duty doctor to deal with more critical episodes of illness or it may be that the duty doctor will call you back and see you themselves.
“Our appointment system has been operating at maximum capacity for the last few years. We have all been working very hard to provide enough appointments yet we realise that some of you have found it difficult to make an appointment with your own doctor within a reasonable time frame.
“Our patient size is increasing and our patients problems are becoming more complex.
“More work traditionally done at the hospital is being done by your GP or practice nurse. We have tried to take all of this into account as we designed the new appointment system.”


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