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Melksham doctors’ surgery changes to ‘Call First’ appointments system

CHANGES to its appointment system, with a new ‘Call First’ service from 6th November, has been announced by the Bradford on Avon & Melksham Health Partnership, which includes St Damian’s Surgery in Melksham.

The health partnership explains, “Due to the widely reported increasing demands that our NHS system is experiencing, hospitals and GP surgeries alike are having to review the way that they are working in order to be able to continue to support as many patients as possible in a timely matter.”

Interim practice manager, Amanda Brookes said, “Our Patient Participation Group and feedback from our patients tell us that that there are long waits to see their doctor or another clinician. This is partly due to unacceptable numbers of patients who ‘do not attend’ the surgery’ (DNAs) for their pre-booked appointments. For example, in September 2017, we had 85 patients who missed seeing their GP and over 200 patients who missed their nurse appointments.

“This new system will allow us to ensure that more patients see the clinician of their choice more quickly.”

The step by step guide is available on the practice website and in the GP surgeries (Bradford on Avon Health Centre, Winsley Health Centre, St Margaret’s Surgery and St Damian’s Surgery in Melksham).

How to make an appointment with the new ‘Call First’ system.

1. Ring your GP surgery of choice, you will be asked for a brief reason for your call.

2. The receptionist will book a telephone consultation with the appropriate clinician, on the same day.

3. A clinician will call you back, you may have your concern dealt with over the phone, or alternatively the clinician may arrange for a face-to-face appointment that day.

A detailed set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ are also available in the surgery and on the website, to explain how the new appointments system works in more detail.  Pre-bookable appointments are still available for the practice nurses and doctor planned clinics, such as the well woman clinic, dementia clinic, minor operations, diabetic clinics and other long term conditions.

Bradford on Avon & Melksham Health Partnership is one of the larger practices in west Wiltshire, with 21,494 patients and four sites.

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