At The Calverton Practice, we are experiencing unprecedented pressure due to the high levels of demand on our services, this reflects many factors not in our control. This pressure means that demand for appointments can exceed our ability to safely provide care. We are not an unlimited resource; every patient contact takes time and involves decision-making episodes. Recent British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guidance is that there is a point where we should declare ourselves ‘full’. At this point we feel we have exceeded a demand within our capacity to deliver safe care.
As a result, we will be making changes to the way we manage urgent on-the-day demand. We are very sorry to be taking this step and understand that this will be inconvenient for some patients; we regret having to take this action.
The following change will take effect from Tuesday 3 January:
There will be a set number of urgent on-the-day appointments available for problems which cannot safely wait for a more routine appointment Once these have all been taken, we will declare ourselves ‘full’ and will be unable to offer any more urgent on-the-day appointments as it would be unsafe to do so. At this point we will advise patients that they will need to use a different service such as NHS 111, Walk in centres and in very urgent cases A&E.
When making an urgent on-the-day appointment, please be aware that you are utilising one of a finite number of appointment slots, and that other patients may miss out on an appointment as a consequence. An “urgent on-the-day problem” would be defined as a something which cannot safely wait for another day.
The pressures we are experiencing are common across General Practice and at Calverton we have tried to deal with large numbers of on the day requests. Unfortunately, this has now become impossible, and we need to make these changes to protect both the safety of our patients and our staff.
We thank you for your ongoing support and understanding whilst we make this change and ask that you, please treat all our staff politely and with respect, they are working extremely hard to offer the best service available with the resources we have.