Patient Notice

Dear Patients

Nationally, in June 2018 there were 22 million appointments and in June 2023, 29 million appointments. Despite this, surgery waiting times have increased. It is not the situation anybody would wish but we continue working hard to address this problem.

Why are we struggling?

  • Our patients have increasingly complex conditions that would previously be treated in the hospitals.
  • Technology improvements mean patients can be managed nearer to home but this means more work in primary care.
  • Longer hospital waiting times mean patients have to be looked after by the Medical Centre teams.
  • There has been a reduction in funding (2% increase compared to 10% inflation) in real terms meaning it is more difficult to recruit staff.
  • Additional roles in primary care networks, including pharmacists, physician assistants and mental health workers are welcomed but these are shared between ourselves and four neighbouring practices. There are no additional GPs or practice nurses.

What we are doing to focus on patient services

  • Additional staff have been employed to:
  • Continue our excellent same-day access.
  • Free up GP time to focus on ongoing problems.
  • Help maintain effective contact with patients and ensure that they receive appointments as soon as possible. (This is not the situation in many surgeries where other less responsive approaches have been adopted)
  • We are providing more routine appointments.

What can patients do to help?

  • Be prepared to see other clinicians who are well-qualified and experienced in a range of treatments and advice when our staff offer this.
  • Although we continue to offer the best access possible, you might want to try to manage some illnesses at home rather than ‘phone the surgery as a first call. Please look at our Wellbeing and Health Directory.
  • For urgent same-day please ring our reception team
  • For routine appointments please ring our reception team, or, alternatively, you might consider submitting a question via our website and a GP will respond within 7 days. Visit our Appointments tile.
  • Please respond to text messages we send you with a link to online booking for blood tests and certain appointments and annual reviews as we do for ‘flu and COVID jabs.
  • Have your covid and flu vaccinations at the surgery as with helps pay for essential services

We continue to work to deliver “outstanding” services, as rated by the Quality Care Commission and demonstrated by recent survey results where the Medical Centre scored well above average on all measures.

Please consider writing to your MP and the Secretary of state if you feel let down by the current state of the NHS and the degradation of the status and funding of your local Surgery.

Kind Regards on behalf of the Winchcombe Medical Centre partners