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Meopham Medical Centre
Changes to the Appointment System with effect from Monday 7th January 2002

Why is the appointment system changing? Improved access to general practice is a priority in the Government`s NI-IS plan. A recent survey by The Consumers Association also showed that patients placed quicker access to their GP as the most important change they wanted.The way our current appointment system is set up makes it difficult to offer routine appointments at short notice. As a result we are making changes to allow this to happen.

What is the difference?

Most appointments in the old system could be booked at any time in advance. This led to many appointments being booked weeks in advance. At times this meant that the earliest routine appointment could be several days away, Patients who wanted to be seen quicker had no choice other than to be seen at the unbooked surgery. which was only held by one doctor each day. Under the new system all morning appointments will be reserved for booking from 12 noon the day before. This means that if you call the surgery you can expect to be offered a morning appointment for the following working day. The change will mean that we will only book afternoon appointments further in advance. We have added more morning appointments each week to help cope with demand.

What if the doctor asks me to book a follow-up appointment?

If you need to book a follow up appointment and you wish to make it in advance,this could only be done for an afternoon surgery. However, your follow up appointmentcan of course still be arranged via the new system i.e. one day in advance.

Nurse appointments

There is no change to the nurse appointments. You will continue to be able to book these as before.

Special appointments

Post natal examinations, all baby checks and minor operations will in future only be carried out during afternoon surgeries.

Please help us to help you. We ask for your patience and understanding as we change over to the new appointment system. We have tried to do everything possible to make the changeover as smooth as possible, but the unexpected may still happen.

Please understand that the receptionists will do everything they can to assist you, but can only offer appointments as instructed by the doctors. We will be reviewing how things are going on a regular basis and changes will be made if we identify any major problems.

The partners and staff hope that you find the changes we have made are a good response to both patient demand and the NHS Plan.