Felixstowe: Surgery’s GPs aiming to see more patients

Howard House surgery in Felixstowe.

Howard House surgery in Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

FRUSTRATED patients are being offered more options for appointments with their doctors thanks to a new project at one of the town’s surgeries.

Howard House in Orwell Road, is now holding trials of some on-the-day appointments and a triage slot to see if patients need urgent help, and also “walk in and wait” appointments, where people just stay for however long until there is an opportunity to see a GP.

The projects have been brought about thanks to the new Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the surgery, which is working on behalf of patients, liaising with the practice manager and doctors, to overcome problems and concerns, improve the surgery and promote health education campaigns.

PPG chairman Rex Sheppard said one of the biggest frustrations was the lack of appointments due to how busy the GPs are, and the biggest challenge to find ways to provide more.

One of the concerns at 7,000-patient Howard House is how many appointments are booked and missed for a variety of reasons. In December alone 30 patients failed to turn up.

Mr Sheppard said: “This needs to be delved into because 30 missed appointments in a month is quite a lot and all those could have been used for other patients.

“We are pleased though with the trials to provide extra appointments and are always looking for new ideas to increase these even more.

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“The problem is that people almost always want to see a doctor now – and when they ring at 8am they find the system log jammed.

“The PPG is the patients’ voice and means they can have a bigger input into what they want to see happen.”

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