It has been brought to our attention that there have been some negative comments posted on social media sites such as Facebook complaining about The Barn Surgery. We would like to take this opportunity to respond to these negative comments:
1. Telephones – Unfortunately the telephone system at The Barn Surgery is now old and is no longer able to keep up with the huge increase in telephone calls we are now receiving on a daily basis. We are currently in the process of upgrading our telephone system which will hopefully improve the time it takes for you to speak to a person at the surgery, but unfortunately this is not a quick process. We DO NOT under any circumstance ever answer the telephone and immediately put it down on patients. We have 3 receptionists working at The Barn each day of the week, but they are unable to answer every call due to the high levels of calls coming into the surgery. Sadly if all 3 lines are busy, the line will sound engaged or sometimes will cut off. This is once again due to the out of date telephone system we currently have in place.
2. Receptionists – Our team of receptionists will do their utmost to ensure that you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible. They will always ask if your problem can be dealt with over the telephone first, if your preference is so see a doctor in person they will endeavour to provide an appointment for you on the same day however this may not always be possible or at a time convenient to yourself. Sadly on a Monday and Friday the number of people calling the surgery to obtain appointments increases by 100%, and despite having 4 doctors, 1 Nurse Practitioner, 1 Practice Nurse and 2 Healthcare Assistants offering in excess of 200 appointments on each of these day, we are still unable to meet the increasing demand.
3. GP Appointments - Unfortunately since Dr Short and Dr Kamara left The Barn Surgery we have struggled to replace them, we also have one Partner on sabbatical. We are very fortunate that Dr Rippin has joined the Practice and from September Dr Sage will return from her sabbatical and we will have another GP Dr Leanne Jackson joining us. Dr Jackson currently works as a locum for the practice.
4. Nurse Practitioners -We are also now able to offer appointments with a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner, works alongside the doctors, they are able to work independently to diagnose and prescribe for a wide variety of conditions that would have traditionally been provided for by a GP. In some circumstances they can discuss your case further with a GP or arrange an appointment for you should the need arise. They are able to deal with acute minor illnesses in adult and children such as coughs, colds, sickness and diarrhoea, simple back pain plus a lot more. Once again our receptionists can advise you if you are able to see a nurse practitioner.
5. Missed Appointments – In that last 3 months a total of 215 appointments equalling 22 hours of GP time were unused due to patients not attending appointments they had booked. This is extremely frustrating and is an unproductive use of much needed GP appointments. We would very much appreciate if you could work with us by cancelling any appointments you no longer require to allow for other patients to use these. We can send you reminders via text message if you provide us with a mobile phone number.
6. Online Access – Many patients have already signed up for online access if you haven’t, please complete a registration form on our website or ask a receptionist. By going online you can pre-book appointments up to 4 weeks in advance and order any repeat prescriptions you require.
We are deeply saddened to hear that we have recently received such negative feedback and would like to reassure you that we are constantly trying to improve the service you receive. If you have any comments or issues that you feel we should be aware of then please do not hesitate to contact us. We cannot improve if we do not hear from you!
Best Wishes from all at
Gillingham Medical Practice
(Site updated 09/07/2014)