Busy Phone lines …. And how you can help

We currently receive a massive  2,280 calls per day from our patients and allied professionals (about our patients). We are often receiving 89 calls per hour into the surgery.

We have a fully staffed reception team (and other team members) who are working tirelessly to answer your calls.

Our call system is monitored and all calls are recorded.

Our average call waiting time is 51 seconds. If our team are asked to deal with an emergency or help a clinician with something it may  take longer to answer your call.

Lines are always busiest first thing in the morning, as poorly people are trying to make urgent appointments.

If you DO NOT need urgent medical help please wait until a later time to call in. After 12:00 would be best.

If you want an urgent appointment for an on day emergency please be aware that you may need to attend the surgery. If you are well enough to work or go to school, you need to book a routine appointment. This may mean a wait, but its the only way we can actually get to see the people that truly need urgent assistance. An emergency appointment is probably not suitable. We are finding that because patients are not willing to wait for the next routine appointment, our emergency surgery is becoming overwhelmed, despite how many Doctors and Nurses we have working that day.

If you have a rash, sore throat, a sore toe or finger, or need pain relief, you can speak to a local pharmacist. There are pharmacists in Midsomer Norton, Timsbury, Peasedown, and Paulton (and other surrounding areas) who can offer expert advice. Pharmacists receive training in all areas of healthcare and are able to spot if a patient needs an appointment urgently. They can tell you if you need a GP appointment or not, and how urgent it needs to be. Pharmacists have NHS support to help with the GP and Nurse workload and are not being used enough by our patients.

We have now contacted all of our patients who are over 50 and are due a Covid Booster Vaccination.  If you haven’t heard from us please let us know.  You can also book elsewhere via the gov website or telephoning 119. You need to be AT LEAST 6 months from your second Covid jab TO THE DAY. You are now able to book your appointment via this service if you are more than 5 months post 2nd dose but you should not receive your vaccination until after 6 months.

IMPORTANT – Please do not telephone us to tell us that you had your Covid booster elsewhere, but your online record hasn’t been updated. We have no control over how other services record your Covid booster so we can not help you. We have found that this can take several weeks (months in cases) to update. We cannot speed this up for you.

Please order your medication in good time. Quite a few calls on a Friday afternoon are from patients who have run out of their medication. This is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. We are unable to get urgent prescriptions processed at such short notice as our Doctors are all incredibly busy dealing with poorly patients and cant ‘just’ pop a prescription through for you and require at least 48 working hours to process the prescription request and then the Dispensary or Pharmacy may need at least another 48 hours to dispense the medication.

You can help us by ordering medication with a good few days to spare. We prefer you to hand in a repeat slip (we have a letter box at the entrance for this). If you have trouble remembering to order you can use online pharmacies, who send text or email reminders. Or set yourself a reminder on your phone to order your medication. It takes 48 working hours days for our surgery to process your request, and a further 48 working hours for your pharmacy to dispense your medication.