Current Pressures in Primary Care
Balmoral Surgery receive numerous communications on a daily basis both electronically and paper-based that arrive in the post and over the reception desk. We have protocols and procedures in place to ensure that everything is processed appropriately. Occasionally, as with any service, there will be a mistake or a human error that means something doesn’t quite go as it should, and we are more than happy to investigate such an incident.
As our patients will doubtless know, General Practice nationally is in crisis with a shortage of GPs and here at Balmoral we are currently carrying 2 whole time equivalent vacancies for GPs. We have advertised and have been very fortunate to recruit one new WTE GP who starts mid-August but we will continue to carry the one vacancy until we are able to find another new recruit. The whole Balmoral team are all working as hard as we can to ensure we provide safe and appropriate care for our patient needs. Unfortunately at this time not all patients will get appointments or responses within the timeframe they want. Our provision and response has to be based on urgency and need rather than want. We will prioritise and respond as and when time allows. We are not an emergency service and if a patient has something that they feel cannot wait when the Practice has no more appointments for that day, they should contact 111 who have access to appointments at the Urgent Treatment Centre (which also provides a walk in service when capacity allows) and who can signpost to the most appropriate service to help with their problem.
We are providing telephone, face to face and online consultations and cannot promise a timeframe within which we will definitely respond to correspondence outside of these booked clinical encounters.
We will of course revisit this and turnaround times will improve once we are able to recruit and are fully staffed again. In the meantime we are very grateful for your patience and understanding.