"Forres Health and Care Centre."

About: NHS Grampian

(as the patient),

Another complaint about the appointment system at the new Forres Health and Care Centre.

I had a sick child who I thought should be checked over by a GP a. s. a. p. The old system allowed you to book an appointment for the very same day, although I appreciate this was not always possible. You could however get a 5 minute emergency appointment if you deemed it necessary.

When you have a young child, who cannot verbalise their feelings or symptoms, you want them to be seen the same day. The alternative, I was told, is to appear at the Health Centre and wait for an unspecified amount of time. This could be hours. With a sick child? I don’t think so! Millions of pounds spent on a new building but the admin service/appointment system has deteriorated.

I wonder if the Practice Manager will respond. It seems there are other comments on this subject, that are weeks old, with no response. I cannot see any justification for this system from the end users point of view.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

Thank you for taking the time to post this feedback. I completely understand your frustrations being a mum myself and having sought reassurance about my child's health from healthcare professionals.

We aim to have a response to all Patient Opinion postings within 2 working days and where possible use the comments for learning and improvement.

It does seem, from recent activity on the site, that there there is dissatisfaction with the appointment system at this practice and I will be getting in touch with the practice manager to see if anything needs to change.

I hope to have more information for you soon.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant Patient Safety and Experience, NHS Grampian

Dear patient

The practice has provided this reponse to your concern:

I am sorry that felt dissatisfied with the appointment system at the Health & Care Centre.

There is a high demand for on the day appointments at the practice. Without the ability to assess patients requesting same day appointments could result in patients with minor ailments getting an appointment while patients with serious issues not being seen.

In order to ensure equity of care the Centre now provides an Unscheduled Care Service that meets the demand of all patients who request a same day appointment. The service is based on the condition you present with and not the time you arrived in the department. When you present at the department your details are taken and you will then be triaged by a nurse who will either treat you or arrange for the most suitable Health Professional to see you. Although there might be a short wait, research has shown that most patients are seen in under an hour. Nationally children must be seen within an hour.

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Update posted by itsnicetobenice (the patient)

Thank you for your response dated 19/02/2015. I was already aware, of the majority, of this information and so therefore it is not helpful. However, I do understand the information, despite the second paragraph which is not written correctly. The only information which is of interest to me is the last sentence. Had this information been shared over the telephone while trying to make an appointment, I may have been prepared to wait. This information should always be shared with parents of young children.