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Changes to the way you contact your GP practice

25/10/2018

Press Release: 25 October (Healthwatch Swindon and IMH+)


Changes to the way you contact your GP practice

Patients from five GP surgeries in Swindon are being encouraged to call later in the day for non-urgent requests and enquires.

Integrated Medical Holdings (IMH), who run Moredon Medical Centre, Abbey Meads Medical Group, Taw Hill Surgery, Eldene Surgery, and Phoenix Surgery are asking patients to phone after 10am for making routine appointments or general enquiries, and after 2pm for results. The aim is that patients will avoid the busiest times and reduce waiting times on the telephone.

Calls dealt with centrally by new hub

Patients will still be able to phone their surgery telephone number with all calls from all five surgeries now being dealt with centrally via a new hub.

An apology to patients

IMH Group general manager Nigel Sweeney said: “We would like to apologise to all our patients for lack of communication around the merger of these 5 surgeries. The huge impact this had on a number of you was not anticipated and is due in part to technical difficulties with the phone system during the first couple of weeks. We are sorry if you have been one of those negatively affected by this.

We are confident that the issues with the phone system are getting better, and we are having daily conversations with the phone company, Members of Parliament and NHS Swindon Clinical Commissioning (CCG) to ensure that thus improvement is maintained.”

Patient experience

Over the last few weeks, patients have been raising their concerns over long and at times anxious waits to book GP appointments, following the introduction of the new central hub.  

A spokesperson for Healthwatch Swindon said: “Healthwatch are your spotlight on local health and social care services. We continue to receive feedback from people who are using GP services provided by IMH, especially the ongoing concerns around getting through on the telephone.

We want more services to use people’s views to shape the health and care support they need today and in the future, this is why we are in regular contact with IMH, sharing with them what people are telling us, this feedback is helping IMH to listen and learn, and to help them find ways to improve.”

Healthwatch would like to know what you think about how health and social care services could be improved. For more information visit www.healthwatchswindon.org.uk.

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Press Release: Changes to the way you contact your GP practice

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