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We are changing our GP appointment system!


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

This led 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 as effectively as we can. This means implementing processes that ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate member of staff at the appropriate time.

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

We 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 save patients unnecessary trips to the Surgery.

This change in our appointment system allows us to offer an additional 100 appointments per week. 

The way you book nursing appointments has not changed.

How did you come up with this new system?

We had a look at how some other GP surgeries arrange 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 was designed with the help of our Patient Participant Group (PPG) who 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 run walk in clinics everyday starting at 8.30am and 2.30pm (Surgery doors open at 8am and 2pm respectively). 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?

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 this is making a positive difference. However, there is not an unlimited supply of appointments.

The walk in clinics fill up quickly on busy days, meaning there may be some patients who can’t be seen during that clinic. These patients are 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.

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