Message to Patients regarding Practice Appointments

As we emerge, blinking into the light, after lockdown, GP Surgeries throughout the UK and our governing bodies, are looking back at lessons learned and starting to shape how General Practice will look in the future, for both patients and Doctors alike.

All of us here at the Rame Group Practice, want to assure you, our patients, that we are committed to providing you and your families with the very best medical care.

Yet, like General Practice throughout the country, we are facing unprecedented demand. We are struggling to meet this demand without the increased number of GPs promised by the Department of Health; a promise they have been unable to keep.

The British Medical Association reports:

  • Practice appointments have increased by 4,352,612 (+18%) compared to March 2020 and 2,817,153 (11%) compared to March 2019.
  • Appointments with a GP are up +1,908,670 (15%) on March 2020 and +1,109,083 (8%) on March 2019.
  • Same or next day appointments are up +2,720,370 (21%) on March 2020 and +3,076,173 (25%) on March 2019.

These are all the highest on record, more information can be viewed on the Pressures in General Practice page within the British Medical Association website.

These figures very much reflect our experience of ever-increasing appointment requests on the Rame Peninsula.

To maintain high clinical standards in the face of such growth in demand, we feel that first contact telephone consultations and e-consultations remain the best practice:

  • This allows us to efficiently and safely deal with problems that can be dealt with remotely.
  • It allows us to direct you to the best clinician for you, whether that is Emergency Practitioner, Clinical Pharmacist, Physio First, Social Prescriber or Doctor.
  • In turn, this frees time to target those clinical needs that are best treated with Face to Face appointments at Penntorr, Millbrook Surgery, or indeed, in patients’ homes.
  • It also frees us to provide continuity of care when and where this is most needed.

For these reasons, and in line with local colleagues and guidance, we will continue to ask you to make your initial contact with the Surgery by telephone or e-consult, rather than booking in to a routine Face to Face appointment.

We know that many of you like the efficiency of e-consultations and phone-calls, whereas many of you miss the face to face contact; as do we. Rest assured, we will see you when and where it is clinically appropriate to do so.

Thank you for your support.

Drs Barnes, Bridle, Allen, Keast and Walters.