As with previous years, this year we have spent time looking at your access to Carden Medical Centre and considering any improvements we can make that are within our budget.
We are always keen to have any feedback on how easy you find it to use our services, and what you think of changes made.
Contacting us by telephone or at reception
We know that getting to speak to a receptionist/telephonist can be a problem - particularly at our busiest times - and that it's frustrating to wait to do that. To help with this, we have made some changes -
The busiest time for our phones is 8:30am, the time when we make urgent appointments available for that day. We have changed staff duties to have, wherever possible, 4 or 5 people answering the phone at that time, before some go on to other duties.
We have increased the number of lines available throughout the day (this lets us answer more calls at the same time).
We have employed another member of staff from 4:30pm until 6:00pm - this lets us have someone else available to answer your call or speak to you at reception before we close for the day.
We have a separate prescription line - you can order your prescriptions by calling 01224 846696. Using the separate line means these calls are not blocking any others from being answered.
We know how quickly our reception can get busy - we have installed a bell for our receptionist to let our back office staff know there is a queue, and that one of them should go to help.
Our aim, whenever possible, is to answer your call within 3 rings. When our reception/telephone staff are busy with other patients - any other available member of the administration/secretarial/management team can and will answer calls which have rung more than 3 times.
You can book appointments and order prescriptions on-line
We have opened a new on-line service which lets you look at and book any of our available appointments. This includes urgent on the day appointments which are made available for on-line booking at 8:30am.
This service also lets you quickly and easily order repeat prescriptions and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Using this service lets you book appointments when and where best for you - and also frees up our telephones for calls where some information or advice is needed.
The cost of calling us
We know that our 0845 number could be expensive for you to call from a mobile phone. This has now been changed to an 0345 number which should cost the same as a local call (you can check this with your mobile phone provider). We need this type of number as it lets emergency calls (such as collapses and chest pains) go to the front of any phone queue.
It can be difficult to have the right number of emergency on the day and book ahead appointments as we look after both routine health problems and acute illnesses. We have appointments that are released only 3 days ahead to bridge the gap between those needing something urgently and those requiring routine appointments.
We hope this improves access but we do know that demand is high for all types of appointments.
If you are very unwell
If you are very unwell and there are no appointments available, the reception team will take a message for one of the GPs to assess things and phone you back if needed.
You can also see a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse or Healthcare Assistant
We have a Nurse Practitioner – Julie Moore – who sees people in the same way as a GP. Julie can see most things and always has the back up of one of our GPs if that's needed. Julie can't see certain conditions such as: mental health problems , pregnant women and substance misuse.
We have three Practice Nurses who are well trained in managing chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension and heart disease and are able to provide reviews for those of you with these problems.
Let us know what you think
We welcome your feedback and comments and particularly any ideas for improvements in our service.
Please email: email@example.com, phone our Practice Manager or send us a note.
Carden Medical Centre.