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We are changing our GP appointment system!


Our patients have asked us to. For quite some time patients have told us that when they need to see a GP urgently we are great at seeing them and treating them on the day. However, our “routine” or “non-urgent” appointment slots are often fully booked, sometimes weeks ahead.

This leads to frustrated patients and disheartened staff. 

What will be different?

Unfortunately there aren’t the resources to simply employ more staff. We have to use what we have more effectively. This means implementing a system that ensures patients are seen by the most appropriate member of staff at the appropriate time.

The biggest change is that we will have walk in clinics everyday arranged on a first come, first served basis. Patients will still have the option to book future GP appointments up to two weeks in advance, either by using their online account or via reception.

We will also have more pre-bookable telephone appointments so that patients can have clinical consultations with GPs over the phone where possible. These can be booked up to two weeks in advance and will save patients unnecessary trips to the surgery.

This change in the way we do things will allow us to offer an additional 100 appointments per week. 

The way you book nursing appointments will not change.

How did you come up with this new system?

We had a look at how some other GP surgeries have arranged their appointment systems successfully, and put the bits together that we thought would work well for our patients and our staff at Lilliput. The whole process has been designed with the help of our Patient Participant Group (PPG) who have helped us see things from the patient’s point of view and the plan was unanimously supported by them. 

How can I get a GP appointment?

You can get an appointment in the following ways:

  • Walk into the surgery. We will run walk in clinics everyday starting at 8.30am and 2.30pm – except for the afternoon clinic on a Monday which will start at 4.00pm. These will run on a first come, first served basis where you will be added to the list and asked to sit and wait to be called by the clinician. You can request to see a particular doctor and if they have availability at that point the receptionist will add you to their specific list. However, you will also have the option of being added to the list of the clinician with the shortest wait time if that is your preference.
  • Use your online account 24/7. We reserve a certain number of appointments so that they are only bookable online directly by the patient. You can choose any available time with any available doctor up to two weeks in advance.
  • Speak to a receptionist, either at the reception desk or over the phone. They can offer you any available pre-bookable appointment with any available doctor. They will be unable to book you into a walk in slot over the phone. 

This all sounds good. What’s the catch?

There isn’t one. Hopefully. Our main challenge is that we have no way of knowing how many patients will turn up each day for the walk in clinics, making our appointment scheduling difficult to plan.

We’re pleased that we are able to offer an additional 100 appointments per week and believe this will make a positive difference. However, there is not an unlimited supply of appointments. We may need to tweak the proportions of the different types of appointments available in reaction to demand over the first few weeks. We would ask our patients to be mindful of this initially as we work hard to get things right.

It is also likely that the walk in clinics will fill up quickly on busy days, meaning there may be some patients who can’t be seen during that clinic. These patients will be offered the option to come back for the next walk in clinic, or offered any future pre-bookable appointments available. We also have the option to book GP appointments at Poole Hospital should a patient feel they need to be seen urgently and can’t wait until the next walk in clinic. 

What if I have questions / feedback?

If you would like to provide any feedback about our new appointment system, or about anything at Lilliput Surgery, our manager, Rosie Green, would love to hear from you.

You can:

  • telephone or pop into the surgery and ask to speak to Rosie;
  • use one of our comments cards in reception (by the lift);
  • use our Friends and Family Test on our website;
  • speak to one of our PPG members who will be helping out in reception during the week after Easter;
  • write to us at: Rosie Green, Lilliput Surgery, Elms Avenue, Poole, BH14 8EE.

Download our handy appointment information leaflet:

New GP Appointment System leaflet

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