Extended Hours for GP Appointments

Earlier this year, new data by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) showed that Rushcliffe enjoys the best doctor to patient ratio in England –  with just 1,192 patients per GP. So why is it that those of us in Ruddington wishing to see a doctor quickly often seem to have difficulty in doing so?

The Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the Ruddington Medical Centre (RMC) has been carrying out some research of its own. It discovered, during a questionnaire carried out last year, that over half of RMC’s patients (52%) still didn’t know about the ‘Extended Hours’ service – where you can book an evening or weekend appointment with a doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant within Rushcliffe.

Gavin Walker, of the RMC Patient Participation Group, writes…
“The news that Rushcliffe has the best ratio of GPs to patients in the country (RCGP, January 2019) is welcome, but there are still occasions when it’s difficult to get an appointment just when you want one.

Gavin Walker

“If this is the case, consider using the ‘Extended Hours’ service, available for patients in Rushcliffe. This allows you to make an appointment through your usual GP practice for an evening or weekend consultation with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant. These appointments are available 6.30pm- 8.00pm on weekdays and 8.30am- 12.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. At weekends, there are appointments reserved for emergencies. You’ll be asked to attend one of the three host practices: Castle Healthcare in West Bridgford, East Bridgford or Keyworth. The location will depend on the day of your appointment.

“The Extended Hours appointments are best suited for things that don’t need an ongoing review at your usual practice. Management of long term conditions are better taken care of by your usual practice. Repeat prescriptions and sick notes are not available via this service. Appointments can also be made with a nurse for dressings, smear tests and NHS health checks, whilst healthcare assistants offer blood pressure checks, ECGs and phlebotomy services.

“The popularity of the Extended Hours service means there are now two additional ways of booking appointments. If appropriate, the 111 non-emergency medical advice telephone service can book an appointment for you once you’ve been triaged to Nottingham Emergency Medical Service (NEMS). Or, you can book Sunday or Bank Holiday appointments on Saturday mornings at Evans Pharmacy in Ruddington.”

Other statistics from the 2018 RMC PPG questionnaire revealed that 94% of patients found it either ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’ to contact the surgery – with almost three quarters (74%) still preferring to do so on the telephone (direct to reception) or in person, rather than online.

You can see ALL the statistics from last year’s survey – and how they compared with previous RMC findings in 2015 and 2012 – >>HERE<<. (Please note that these figures relate purely to RMC and not to Ruddington’s Church House Surgery on Shaw Street.)

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