We are aware of the difficulties facing primary care at this time and how they have hugely impacted our surgery as well. We have seen unprecedented demand on the phones and appointments and this shows no signs of abating. The current system we have appears to now be adding to the problems patients are encountering on already busy phone lines, creating yet more of a bottleneck. Therefore we have spent some time deciding the best course of action and feel a change to the appointment system would be of benefit. We want to be less restrictive with phone times to help you and also to help our Reception team. We hope to spread the calls over the day more and not have a purely ‘book in the day’ system. WHEN? 1ST November 2021 From next week we will launch a new system. Appointments for a week will be released allowing future booking and additional continuity for you as well. HOW? • All appointment slots will be available online to help reduce phone demand. • You can also telephone for an appointment at any time of the day. • If speaking to Reception, they can book a face to face or telephone appointment at your request. • When booking appointments online, they will appear as a face to face or telephone slot. However, if you require something not appearing available online, then do speak to Reception. There is always the risk of all these appointments going quickly and thus having to ring for something a few days later. We need to avoid bottlenecks on the phone lines at 8 and 13:30 as this just causes increasing wait times which are unacceptable. • Emergency Appointments. We will of course have emergency appointments available and a Duty Doctor always available for any emergencies. We will review these arrangements regularly and do hope you will get behind us and support this new transition. Patients are always at the heart of everything we do. As you are well aware, we have been working hard and have never stopped seeing patients through the pandemic and are grateful for your support as well. We do appreciate your frustrations too and they are shared by us. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding whilst we convert to the new system.