MARKET Rasen surgery is changing the way it allocates appointments in a bid to cut down waiting times.
With the increase in the town’s population over the past few years, there are now 9,700 patients are registered at the practice.
A recent patient survey highlighted the problem people had getting an appointment, so the surgery is now moving to a doctor triage system.
“We already partly triage now with the duty doctor, when there are no appointments available,” explained acting practice manager Elaine Lovell, “so this is just an extension of that.
“The aim is to improve on what we have now.
“We have done a lot of audit work to recognise when patient requests are at a peak and have planned the triage system around that.”
The triage system will mean patients phone into the surgery, the doctor will call them back and if it is felt a face-to-face appointment is required an appointment will be made for that day or the next day.
The doctors will still have a number of protected appointments each day to allow for continuing care.
“We have extended the phone lines to allow extra lines for the doctors to ring out on,” added Elaine.
“We would also encourage patients when phoning in to give a brief outline of what they wish to speak to the doctor about to help speed up the triaging process.”
Last year, the practice introduced two highly trained nurse practitioners, who are able to deal with many patients, who in the past would have needed to see a doctor.
The doctor triage system begins on October 1.
“We hope people will bear with us,” said Elaine.
“The patient group, who helped us to set up the system, will be monitoring the triage system and undertaking a survey further down the line.”