"Booking an appointment at Castle Place Practice"

About: Castle Place Practice

(as the patient),

I have to make an appointment to see my GP. When I phone I am often told that there are no free appointments for my GP that could be booked in advance for the rest of the week. However, I can phone at 8.30am the next morning to get an appointment for the the same GP for that day. I find this quite frustrating as I take my daughter to school at that time so it is difficult to phone then. Also, at that time in the morning the lines are often busy so it can take a long time to get through. I deliberately phone a few days before as it is a more convenient time for me to do so. I feel it creates more work for the Receptionists as they have to answer the phone a number of times for the same query.

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Response from Castle Place Practice

Thank you for your comments, we're sorry that you are frustrated with our appointment system. Over the years we have tried many different configurations of advance and on the day appointment slots. Our current system offers 12 pre-bookable appointment slots per GP in the mornings and 17 in the afternoons. In addition, we have 3-4 weeks worth of appointments available on our system at any time allowing patients to book at their convenience. The difficulty arises once all of the these slots have been booked. We have introduced on the day telephone triage and telephone consultations with our GPs to try to assist with the on the day demand. However, there will always be occasions when all of the appointments have been booked and patients will be asked to ring back on the day. You may want to consider registering for our on-line appointment booking system (EMIS Access) which would enable you to pre-book appointments at your convenience any time of day or night. If you would like to discuss this any further or register for the EMIS Access system please contact the Practice direct by email at castleplacepractice@nhs.net or by telephone 01884 252333.

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