Surgery proposes changes to calls

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

Alnwick Medical Group (AMG) has unveiled proposals to improve patient telephone contact, as the surgery cannot currently deal with the volume of calls.

In 2017, the surgery launched a one-number approach, but the plan is to change this.

Now, it is proposing to open and manage the lines, on Mondays to Fridays, as follows:

○ 01665 656000: For GP appointments, ANP appointments, results and any queries, 8am to 6.30pm, up to 15 in the queue, generally six or more receptionists answering this line during the busier periods.

○ 01665 510666: For prescriptions, 9.30am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm. Up to five in the queue, two of the reception team answering.

○ 01665 606864: For practice nurse and healthcare assistant appointments. This is normally the number you will be asked to ring if the surgery sees you every year for checks. 11.30am to 4.30pm, five in a queue, one receptionist minimum.

Branch surgery numbers will remain the same.

The surgery is also identifying those patients who would find an online system easier and is developing an action plan to see how it can get passwords out to interested patients. A new reception hub to share messages about appointment levels is also planned.

The surgery wants to hear patients’ views before it makes changes.

If you would like to comment, email NORCCG.alnwickmg@nhs.net with the word Telephones in the subject bar, or write to the practice manager at the main surgery address in Alnwick.

There will also be feedback forms in the practices. Feedback will be complied by Friday, June 1, and the results shared the following week.

Tony Brown, from AMG, said: “We cannot answer the volume of calls at present, but we are sure that some minor changes will help to greatly improve the service for our patients.”