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Upcoming Changes to our Appointment System

Dear Patients of Well Street Medical Centre,

From Monday 9th September 2019, we will no longer offer Open Access Surgery in the morning, as we move to providing increased triage and booked appointments. 

The NHS is under a huge amount of pressure and Well Street Medical Centre is no different. This change has been carefully considered, following an 18 month audit, consultation with our patient participation group, a review of the results from the national NHS GP Survey and discussions with both our patients and staff. Whilst change can be challenging, we need to be able to offer a safe, accessible and sustainable service to our patients who remain our priority in everything we do.

Why change?

    • Audit demonstrates capacity within Open Access is not always utilised or if it is used, it is not always appropriate. GP time is increasingly precious. At a time when practices nationally are struggling to recruit, we have invested in building a skilled team to support our GPs. Care navigation and clinical triage help us to utilise our appointment capacity appropriately and ensure patients are seen by the correct clinician at the right time.

    • The NHS GP survey indicates patients would like better continuity and more appointments with specific doctors. Our popular GP team will be able to offer more appointments.

    • There are long waits in open access, which makes attending difficult for those with babies and young children, workers, carers and those they care for and the frail and elderly. Set appointment times should improve patient experience and offer equitable access to all our patient groups.

How can I book an appointment?

We can assure you of our continuing commitment to providing an accessible service and timely care including access to same day emergency appointments where clinically required. You will be able to book appointments as follows:

    1. Phone and book routine appointments with a member of the reception team throughout the day on 01538 753114. Our reception are fully trained care navigators and providing brief details of your clinical concern will help them to direct you to the most appropriate clinician or community service.

    2. Request a triage call back for urgent medical concerns between 8am and 10am. Same day follow-up will be facilitated with our GP team where required.

    3. Book a triage call back via our online appointments system.

    4. Request an extended hours appointment with a member of our Reception team, these run from 4pm-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturdays, at a variety of locations around North Staffordshire. Advanced Nurse Practitioner appointments for minor ailments are available, in addition to GP appointments, which can include referrals, requests for tests and prescriptions if required.

        We thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate our new system and would like to reassure you that capacity will be regularly monitored to ensure we are operating the best model of care for our patients.

        Yours faithfully,

        Drs Yates, Powell & Middleditch and the Team at Well Street Medical Centre

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