Spalding surgery seeks to shatter myths about seeing its GPs
A Spalding GP practice has taken steps to help patients understand how its appointments system works.
Munro Medical Centre has moved to dispel myths about the role receptionists play in asking people about their condition before seeing a doctor or nurse.
More than 20,250 patients are registered at Munro, located off West Elloe Avenue, where staff see about 400 patients a day, according to senior practice partner Dr Graham Wheatley.
He said: "Our practice system is designed to give rapid, same-day access to clinicians when you need it quickly, combined with the ability to see your own doctor for more involved problems that would benefit from continuity of care, without unreasonable delay.
"We typically carry out around 400 patient consultations per day, more than all three of Lincolnshire’s A&E departments put together, with 90 per cent of these appointments booked either on the day or in the three days before them.
"This is done because we really don’t want people to have to wait to see a clinician any longer than they have to when they have concerns about their health."
Anthony Cronin, chairman of the medical centre's patient participation group, said: "We often get feedback from patients querying why they have to tell the receptionist about their symptoms when booking an appointment.
"Changes to the services offered by medical practices, a growing population and a shortage of GPs now means that a greater reliance is placed on other groups of healthcare professionals to ensure that a patient is given an appointment in the shortest possible time.
"In the case of Munro, depending on your symptoms, you may see a GP, an Extended Skills Practitioner, a Registered Clinical Practitioner, a Practice Nurse or a Healthcare Assistant.
"GPs are fully qualified doctors, the Extended Skills Practitioner team consists of Advanced Paramedics and Advanced Skills Nurses, Registered Clinical Practitioners and Practice Nurses deal with conditions that come within their expertise and Healthcare Assistants deal with a wide variety of treatments including phlebotomy, disease management and flu vaccinations.
"The receptionists, whilst not medically trained, have undergone basic training in medical terminology and they are able to place you with the most appropriate practitioner as soon as they are available."