"Long waiting time for late, rushed appointment"

About: Okehampton Medical Centre

My experience of this practice is very variable. My usual GP is good but there are extremely long waits for appointments. I waited three weeks for an appointment with a locum who was running over an hour late and then was too rushed to answer my queries. I was told to make another appointment to discuss a second problem but the next appointment with my own GP is six weeks away so I'm seeing a different doctor in three weeks.

Clearly this surgery is hugely under resourced.

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Story from NHS Choices

Responses

Response from Okehampton Medical Centre

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. We have a variety of appointments depending on the urgency of the issue and some appointments which can be used by the duty Dr who triages calls each day, sometimes Drs can have longer waiting times because they are on annual leave, or are themselves called to be duty Dr at short notice, which could be the case with your usual GP.

Doctors can run late, particularly if they have had to deal with an emergency earlier in the clinic, and I hope that patients would be reassured to know that they will be given the time required in such circumstances. Unfortunately without all of the information regarding your appointment I am not able to understand and explain the individual circumstances and reasons for the delays and waiting times that you have mentioned. Appointments are generally ten minutes and we do ask that patients bear that in mind when booking appointments, so that they think carefully about what needs addressing, and also give the opportunity of booking double appointments for those people that need them.

I appreciate your concerns about the level of resources at the practice. Nationally there are concerns about the future level of GP staffing and recruitment and we have worked hard at Okehampton Medical Centre to increase the skill mix of our staff to enable patients who can see other clinicians to do so. We have a large and highly skilled nursing team, we have recently employed a paramedic to assist the GPs with home visits and our admin staff are also trained to assist the GPs to enable GPs to focus on seeing the patients that they need to see.

Unfortunately I am unable to look into your concerns and to fully address them as you have left your comment anonymously on NHS choices. I would be very happy to discuss these with you if you would like to contact me directly on kiran.bakhshi@nhs.net or by calling the surgery 01837 52233 and asking for the practice manager (Kiran).

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