A development aimed at improving appointments access for patients at a local health centre is set to come into effect on Monday, June 19.
The move by staff at Ballyclare Group Practice will allow patients who need to be seen by their doctor being able to get a face-to-face appointment that same day.
Detailing the changes, a spokesperson for the practice said: “From June 19, patients will no longer book appointments ahead, weeks in advance, but instead will be able to speak to their GP on the day and, if necessary, get a face-to-face appointment that same day.
“The practice is aware long appointment waiting times are frustrating for patients and believe the new system will improve access, continuity of care and the patient experience. The appointments system being introduced by Ballyclare Group Practice has been adopted successfully in other practices across the province.”
Patients will call to book an appointment and will be asked by a receptionist to give a description of the problem to inform the GP. The GP will call them back and will either book them in for an appointment later that day, or offer appropriate advice.
Commenting on the changes, GP manager, Sean Quinn said: “Our patients will be aware waiting times for appointments are increasing and it can be difficult to arrange to see your GP of choice.
“The changes we are making are an attempt to provide improved access and a safer service in this constrained environment. Our patients should be reassured that when they call to speak to, or make an appointment with their doctor of choice, that this will be arranged.
“Whilst there will be no booking of appointments ahead, we believe this will improve access for the majority of patients, greatly reduce the inefficiency of missed appointments and provide better continuity of care.”