Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nairn Health Care Group controversial new appointments system - petition in circulation in Nairn and Ardersier

Ed Chambers told the Gurn why he has started a petition calling for the Nairn Health Care Group to reconsider the introduction of the new appointments system,  see copy of petition here. The Gurn also understands that individuals are going door to door with the petition in Ardersier. Ed told the Gurn:

"Having had a rather negative experience of the Nairn Health Care Group’s new appointment system I wrote to the practice raising my concerns. I did receive a rather bland reply but my concerns were not addressed. I then wrote to the Nairnshire Telegraph raising my concerns and experience. By this time I was aware that I was not the only one to be unhappy with the service I was receiving. Admittedly a GP will phone back but by this stage I am at work and in my employer’s time and have to discuss my medical concerns in front of colleagues. Not my first choice and not all employers will be happy that mobile phones are left on at work. To try to get the Nairn Health Care Group to revisit the appointment system, along with a number of friend I have started this petition. I feel that the Nairn Health Care Group have given no consideration to the effect of their new appointment system on the  Health risk for the most vulnerable people in the area.

Having undertaken this exercise I was not surprised that of all the people to whom I have spoken so far I have only found 3 who are happy with this system.

I find it unacceptable that the Patient Participation Group at the GP practice have had no discussion on the new system before it was implemented and that the minutes of these meetings are not in the public domain. I could understand if this group were discussing confidential medical information but I am sure that this is not the case and therefore I can see no reason that these meetings must be held behind closed doors."


Closure said...

From experience of the new system I echo these words by Ed Chambers

It's not always easy to take a call at work especially if you're looking to gain some privacy

It reminds me of a system I experienced in the Australian outback, distance necessitated such a regime but not here in Nairn

If you're retired/not working then as long as you have a phone and are prepared to stay for the best part the day then maybe it works for you (in the case of a landline), otherwise it can mean taking a day off work just to make an appointment see your doctor

To take the system to it's logical conclusion then let GP's work from home, just keep a couple of rooms at the hospital for those patients who need to be seen, and save a whole heap of money by closing most of the clinic.

Maybe those partners at the practice who voted for the new regime would like to tell us what's so good about it, personally I'm stumped

Anonymous said...

i,for one,have got no confidence in the new appointment system, please come to nairn with your petition,i,ll gladly sign it.

Notamalingerer said...

What a load of whingers there are about the new appointments system.
They are probably the same malingering people who previously made appointments and never kept them. Thereby causing the blockage of people who were actually ill and in need of a doctor but couldn't get an appointment to see a doctor for a week or more. As for not accepting call backs at work - what a load of old tosh ! Never heard such rubbish in all my life ! Request a call back at your lunchtime or other break, the surgery and doctors should be able to satisfy this request if you explain the circumstances. Anyway, surely the employer wants healthy staff and would have no problem in accommodating a call back request. But perhaps if you are ill enough to call for an appointment then you shouldn't be at work in the first place !
The new system is an incredible improvement over the old one. Under the old system I could never get to speak to a doctor the same day ! I have used the new system half a dozen times and it's fantastic. On half of these occasions I got to see a doctor within 2 or 3 hours. Brilliant service which could never have happened under the old system.

Graisg said...

@notamalingerer Whilst appreciating that the system seems to work well for you please be conscious of the fact that some people with long term health problems are still capable of doing a day's work. Your point of view is lessened somewhat by comments such as "But perhaps if you are ill enough to call for an appointment then you shouldn't be at work in the first place !"
There is clearly a debate about this issue and it would be best articulated with a more polite style of langauge.

Jane Harkiss said...

Yes, calm down notamalingerer, there is a big difference between rigorous debate and simply throwing one's weight about!

Trying to explain symptoms to a helpful, but essentially non medical receptionist is just plain awkward. Big stress on clinic staff too - how can they be expected to know if something is urgent/non-urgent?

Anonymous said...

Surely its time for the Nairn Health Group to get its act together and do a proper survey of all its patients that have used the system so far? It should never have been implemented without a decent ask of its patients. I dare say it is fine for some and not for others but major tweaking at least is required, to satisfy the various complaints, at the very least.

Graisg said...

@anaon 9.41
You make a very good point there. Obviously there would be cost implications and, as previous comments on articles have suggested, there are those that will not wish to let the practice know their views about the service (for whatever reason). There would be no need to ask the entire population of the Nairn and Ardersier area, just those that have had an appointment since the new system began.
The results could then be made public and would be very illuminating.

Notamalingerer said...

Reply to Plookie Candlewotsit....Not throwing my weight around at all - just telling it how it is ! However, you comments seem somewhat inaccurate. By clinic staff I assume you mean a receptionist or clerical / administrative i.e. non-medical person- if this is the case then they do not make any decisions whatsoever whether something is urgent/non-urgent. They merely pass the details of the call to the medical staff i.e. doctors. My understanding is that they do not prioritise or employ any triaqe skills but just relay information so a call-back can be initiated.
And yet again it is common knowledge that the caller does not have to discuss any personal medical facts with the receptionist ! So why do all the negative people keep harping on about awkwardness and confidentiality IT IS NOT AN ISSUE !!!
Finally, all URGENT medical problems can easily be addressed by visiting A&E or calling an ambulance. Twice I have had an "urgent need" to see a doctor and both times I called the surgery, had a call back within 35 mins and was in front of the doctor an hour later. This would NEVER have happened under the old system - I know as I have had that experience on more than one occasion.
Obviously people don't like change but in my experience this is a change for the better. People need to realise that having your own personal doctor and seeing him or her every couple of weeks for a cosy chat and some reassurance are long gone.

APTSec said...


Lots of info on the group at link above including, when you rest on 'About Us', a link to the 'Patient Participation Group'which says of itself:

The Patient Participation Group consists of 20 members who meet bi-monthly. The Group aims to work with the Practice to maintain and improve the services offered. We do this by being an active two way communication route between patients and staff, and to ensure that patients views about the service are taken into account.

They also say that they need more members.

There is also a 'read more' link on the rhs of the homepage re the appointments system.


What they don't appear to say is how they will monitor the effectiveness of the changes.

Patient said...

@ Notamalingerer

People need to realise that having your own personal doctor and seeing him or her every couple of weeks for a cosy chat and some reassurance are long gone.

This is one of the reasons my GP is leaving the practice. A cosy chat and reassurance is part of the health care he provides, but can no longer do.
I suspect that other GPs will resign as well, which will leave us with poorer health care in Nairn. This is not progress and not what we want as patients

Jane Harkiss said...

@notamalingerer, how is it 'common knowledge'? Of course you have to give some details to the reception staff concerning the nature of whatever it is ailing you.

This is clearly a serious issue, and (pardon me for saying so), your overbearing, seen-all, know-all attitude to other comments isn't helpful.

Declaring as you have, that level-headed, intelligent people are just resisting change for the hell of it and want cozy chats with their own doc, is both patronising and insulting.

Good for you that your experience has been positive. Sadly, you are in the minority.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective I have found the new system works fine.

I don't nomrmally bother the doctoring system often but , as is the way with these things , I have had to do so twice since the new system was introduced.

End result?

Seen by a doctor within 3 hours of an initial phone call, which would be the stuff of dreams under the old procedure...