GP receptionists are Bradford patients’ nemesis

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: GP receptionists are Bradford patients’ nemesis GP receptionists are Bradford patients’ nemesis

Frustration at making GP appointments and getting past ‘gate-keeping’ receptionists are among Bradford patients’ biggest gripes.

Those gripes and others have been put to a meeting of practices from across the district to help promote new ways of working which could help ease pressure on busy surgeries and improve patients’ experience.

Identifying the problems people face in accessing their GPs and suggesting how things could be improved will lead to a better use of services, says Dr Bridget Pitcairn, chairman of NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) GP quality group.

The CCG has been working with patients and GP practices as well as Healthwatch Bradford and District and voluntary and community groups to get to the heart of the access issue.

Dr Pitcairn said: “Improving patients’ access to primary care services is a priority for us.

“We know this is an area of concern for many patients and we are working closely with our member GP practices and NHS England on this important issue. We’ve had a really positive response from practices with many taking part in the review and almost all of them attending the workshop to discuss moving the ideas forward.”

Recommendations from the review include practices rethinking how their phone lines are managed, using video-link GP consultations, encouraging more on-line appointment bookings and helping patients and carers be more confident to self-care themselves.

CCG Clinical chairman, Dr Andy Withers said: “Access to GP services is not just a local issue it’s national – and it’s so important because if patients have problems accessing GP services it can have a knock-on effect across the whole of the local NHS system.

“It can result in more people going to A&E or calling the out-of-hours service, when their condition could have been dealt with in the GP surgery or with advice from a pharmacist or self-care.”

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:08pm Fri 23 May 14

Not so simple says...

It's just near impossible to book an appointment with ones GP. Working people are forced to call 8.30 in the morning to get to see a Dr and often have to take the whole day off as they got to wait hours to be seen. Ok for the dole dossers but I've noted that it's more difficult to get a precise time off the admin workers at the GP practices. Maybe a deliberate ploy of sorts as this situation is definitely no accident.

Maybe that's why more people tend to go to casualty as they get seen in about 3 or 4 hours. Has the government created a deliberate competition between GP's and Hospitals!
It's just near impossible to book an appointment with ones GP. Working people are forced to call 8.30 in the morning to get to see a Dr and often have to take the whole day off as they got to wait hours to be seen. Ok for the dole dossers but I've noted that it's more difficult to get a precise time off the admin workers at the GP practices. Maybe a deliberate ploy of sorts as this situation is definitely no accident. Maybe that's why more people tend to go to casualty as they get seen in about 3 or 4 hours. Has the government created a deliberate competition between GP's and Hospitals! Not so simple
  • Score: 3

6:24pm Fri 23 May 14

son123 says...

I usually phone and ask for an appointment. If theres no appointment for that day or the next. I ask to speak to the oncall one. If they believe they best see you they give you and emergency appointment. I live in bradford and rarely use bri as its horrendous and wait times are beyond a joke. 8 hours last yr for my 8yr old son for a steri strip!!!! I now use otley or leeds cos its faster.
I usually phone and ask for an appointment. If theres no appointment for that day or the next. I ask to speak to the oncall one. If they believe they best see you they give you and emergency appointment. I live in bradford and rarely use bri as its horrendous and wait times are beyond a joke. 8 hours last yr for my 8yr old son for a steri strip!!!! I now use otley or leeds cos its faster. son123
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Fri 23 May 14

macshell10 says...

Maybe patients should also see things from a receptionists point of view.We are not all dragons as viewed in this article and do strive to help people in the best way possible with limited resources that we have.Perhaps someone from the Telagraph might like to come and sit in the surgery where I work and see and hear the constant barrage of insults and abuse that are directed at us.It can be extremely disheartning and demeaning and most of the time we can't retaliate back because at the end of the day we try to do our job in a proffessional way and doctors surgeries cannot run without receptionists!
Maybe patients should also see things from a receptionists point of view.We are not all dragons as viewed in this article and do strive to help people in the best way possible with limited resources that we have.Perhaps someone from the Telagraph might like to come and sit in the surgery where I work and see and hear the constant barrage of insults and abuse that are directed at us.It can be extremely disheartning and demeaning and most of the time we can't retaliate back because at the end of the day we try to do our job in a proffessional way and doctors surgeries cannot run without receptionists! macshell10
  • Score: 4

8:24pm Fri 23 May 14

Steve30d says...

In general I find the receptionists at the practice I go to be excellent, efficent, reasonably friendly. With that positive attitude, they receive smiles and thank yous back.
However last time, I saw a GP was requested to make a follow up appointment for about a fortnights time. I tried doing that before I left, to save a phone call. The receptionst who was dealing with me more or less said "no I can't. The appointment book isn't open in a fortnights time". Didn't used to be the case, and hoping it's not one of these claimed improvements which are actually worse.
In general I find the receptionists at the practice I go to be excellent, efficent, reasonably friendly. With that positive attitude, they receive smiles and thank yous back. However last time, I saw a GP was requested to make a follow up appointment for about a fortnights time. I tried doing that before I left, to save a phone call. The receptionst who was dealing with me more or less said "no I can't. The appointment book isn't open in a fortnights time". Didn't used to be the case, and hoping it's not one of these claimed improvements which are actually worse. Steve30d
  • Score: 4

1:41am Sat 24 May 14

dansette says...

I live in Wyke and have noticed the gradual decline in poor service from some of the receptionists at Sunnybank Medical Centre.

I am sick and tired of trying to make an appointment with reception, my phone call is answered by a telephone machine, I am placed in a queue which can last for ages! Everytime I call I am charged but I never get an appointment, my call is disconnected, so I have to dial again and have to pay again!
I usually end up going to the surgery to make an appointment and am often faced with unwelcoming and unprofessional reception staff.
I am always polite myself, though I can understand why other patients get so angry. I hear many negative comments from people in the waiting room.

I wrote to the practise manager late last year to voice my concerns, I did not recieve a reply...I do hope thie service improves soon...
I live in Wyke and have noticed the gradual decline in poor service from some of the receptionists at Sunnybank Medical Centre. I am sick and tired of trying to make an appointment with reception, my phone call is answered by a telephone machine, I am placed in a queue which can last for ages! Everytime I call I am charged but I never get an appointment, my call is disconnected, so I have to dial again and have to pay again! I usually end up going to the surgery to make an appointment and am often faced with unwelcoming and unprofessional reception staff. I am always polite myself, though I can understand why other patients get so angry. I hear many negative comments from people in the waiting room. I wrote to the practise manager late last year to voice my concerns, I did not recieve a reply...I do hope thie service improves soon... dansette
  • Score: 3

11:42am Sat 24 May 14

Not so simple says...

macshell10 wrote:
Maybe patients should also see things from a receptionists point of view.We are not all dragons as viewed in this article and do strive to help people in the best way possible with limited resources that we have.Perhaps someone from the Telagraph might like to come and sit in the surgery where I work and see and hear the constant barrage of insults and abuse that are directed at us.It can be extremely disheartning and demeaning and most of the time we can't retaliate back because at the end of the day we try to do our job in a proffessional way and doctors surgeries cannot run without receptionists!
That is what you expect if you work in Holmewood.
[quote][p][bold]macshell10[/bold] wrote: Maybe patients should also see things from a receptionists point of view.We are not all dragons as viewed in this article and do strive to help people in the best way possible with limited resources that we have.Perhaps someone from the Telagraph might like to come and sit in the surgery where I work and see and hear the constant barrage of insults and abuse that are directed at us.It can be extremely disheartning and demeaning and most of the time we can't retaliate back because at the end of the day we try to do our job in a proffessional way and doctors surgeries cannot run without receptionists![/p][/quote]That is what you expect if you work in Holmewood. Not so simple
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Sat 24 May 14

Wroseman says...

It so easy to have a go at the receptionist as they are the front line but think for once what goes on behind the scenes? I attended this meeting and the headline is a very poor reflection on the afternoon's events. The receptionists were not the brunt of issues at this meeting, far from it, and the atmosphere was so positive in trying to help patients gain access in many different ways. I am sure the receptionists that attended would agree.
Yes there is a problem, which is acknowledged, but at least there is some focus on trying to improve the service rather than 'knocking' the poor receptionists.
I just find the headline so annoying and if the reporter was at the meeting and this is her view then I must have attended a different meeting!
It so easy to have a go at the receptionist as they are the front line but think for once what goes on behind the scenes? I attended this meeting and the headline is a very poor reflection on the afternoon's events. The receptionists were not the brunt of issues at this meeting, far from it, and the atmosphere was so positive in trying to help patients gain access in many different ways. I am sure the receptionists that attended would agree. Yes there is a problem, which is acknowledged, but at least there is some focus on trying to improve the service rather than 'knocking' the poor receptionists. I just find the headline so annoying and if the reporter was at the meeting and this is her view then I must have attended a different meeting! Wroseman
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree