New appointment system is ‘helping patients in need’

Dr Graham Syers, patient Teresa Dixon and practice manager Tony Brown outside The Bondgate Practice in Alnwick which has introduced a new appointment system.
Dr Graham Syers, patient Teresa Dixon and practice manager Tony Brown outside The Bondgate Practice in Alnwick which has introduced a new appointment system.

Healthcare bosses are saying that patients at the Bondgate GP Practice, in Alnwick, are benefitting from a new appointment system which is helping more people get access to medical advice quicker than ever before.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust claims that since introducing a new telephone and online booking system, The Bondgate Practice has seen a dramatic improvement in the number of patients getting access to appointments and advice on the same day.

In August, The Bondgate Practice, in Alnwick, and its branch surgeries in Seahouses, Embleton and Longhoughton, introduced the new system after listening to feedback from patients.

Just three months after being introduced, the Trust says that the new system means 100 per cent of patients are now able to get the advice they need, on the same day, from a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist working within the practice.

Bondgate patients call their usual GP practice on the day that they need a consultation and can also now use a new online booking system to request a doctor to call them back.

The new appointment booking system means GPs can talk directly with patients over the phone and are therefore much better able to judge how much time may be needed to support patients with their problems and, equally, who is the most appropriate health professional to meet their needs.

The Trust says that around 70 per cent of Bondgate patients are now having their clinical needs met by speaking directly with a GP or other health professional over the phone, on the same day, with no need to come into the practice.

Around 30 per cent of patients who need same-day advice still need a face-to-face appointment with a GP due to the complex nature of their problem and, since introducing the new model, they are also now getting same-day access.