"Problems with reception staff"

About: Bolton PCT

(as the patient),

We have been patients at Little Lever health centre for several years and have always been pleased with the support of the staff and the care of the doctors and nurses.

However, I think in the past few months there seem to be many problems concerned with the reception people.

One morning I waited 10 minutes with their phone ringing to gain an appointment with a nurse. No one answered, I rang back and it then was engaged, I rang repeatedly but I think the phone seemed to be switched to engaged as they were unobtainable. I tried for two hours to get through. I find this is not an isolated incident, it happens frequently.

Although they state you can order repeat medication via the internet, I find this is not the case. I put items on the internet, when no one gets back to you (we have left as long as two weeks and been completely out of medication,) you call in and inform them. They then check the internet and print the items, you have to wait until a doctor is available to sign. I believe this is worse than just calling in, dropping your prescription and going back the next day.

This morning as stated I received a letter to request I have my check up for hypertension, I ended up having to walk to the centre to speak to the reception. I asked also if I was supposed to have nothing to eat or drink prior to the test, she did not know and had no one to ask. I mentioned that there was a notice about suggestions for the centre and could I have a form. She was unaware of any forms and gave me a blank piece of A4 paper!

What is concerning is that if there is an emergency, there may be no one will answer the phone.

I wish someone would look into this and help rectify what is going wrong.

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Response from Communications Manager, NHS Bolton


Sorry to hear you've been worried. As the Primary Care Trust for the Bolton area we've alerted all three of the GP practices based at Little Lever Health Centre to your posting, as we're not sure which one you are registered with.

It's important that you take up these issues with the practice concerned - your feedback will help them improve their service. If the Practice Manager is unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction please don't hesitate to contact NHS Bolton and we'll be happy to look into it. You can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01204 462701.

I hope your discussions with the practice are fruitful.

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