Six weeks after going live with their new Patient Access system, Phoenix Surgery at Toothill Village Centre is reporting some excellent results – and, according to GP Dr Peter Swinyard, ‘magic’ patient feedback.
Explaining the difficulties experienced in the past Dr Peter Swinyard said: “We’ve had a problem with ensuring patients have proper access to GPs for a while and it’s not good enough.
"The whole point of being a GP is to be affable, able and available for our patients.
“In the past decade the number of appointments per patient per year has more than doubled as general practices have had to take on so many more treatments that used to be undertaken in hospital.
“GPs have been put under extraordinary pressure and it has meant that our capacity to look after people has been compromised.”
Drs Peter Swinyard and Hasan Habib. Not pictured Dr Mauro Bassanino
Phoenix has taken the radical step to overturn the ‘traditional’ booking system by telling patients they are able to contact the surgery at a time that suits them, and ask for a doctor of their choice to call them back within the hour to discuss their condition.
Dr Swinyard said: “After 30 years in practice it can be very scary to change the way you work, but the staff have been fantastic and all the patients have been well prepared.
“Most medical issues can be dealt with very safely over the phone, but if there is an absolute need for the patient to come in to the surgery we can accommodate them the same day.”
In the first six weeks of operating Patient Access, Phoenix Surgery has seen an improvement in the continuity of care of patients, and a remarkable tumble in its appointment waiting list from two weeks to the same day, every day.
Describing the benefits to patients Dr Swinyard continued: “People can choose which day they ring because they know from our website which doctor is available. So they feel they are taking greater control of their own health
"And our receptionists now have a much nicer job because they are able to say ‘yes’ more often than ‘no’ when patients need some advice.”
Call into the surgery for details or see www.phoenixsurgery.com