News and Updates from 1st Febaruary 2023

Thank you once again for the patience, gratitude and understanding our community has shown our team at Castle Surgery.

We understand this continues to be a difficult time for everyone. At many times, the future of the NHS seems bleak, hence why our Nursing Colleagues, our Paramedic Colleagues and soon our Junior Doctor Colleagues protest to protect the NHS so that we may have a viable and sustainable service.

The demand in general practice across the country has been overwhelming. We can assure you that across the country, all practices are trying their best to recruit but staffing can only go so far if you haven’t got the staff to begin with.

We are trying to do what we can to ensure:

  • Service provided is safe
  • Service provided is sustainable
  • Workload does not negatively impact remaining staff retention – as staff being affected by illness from stress or leaving means increased workload for those that are remaining.

These are the reasons we have to limit the safe number of appointments each day. As much as we would want to be able to see everyone that contacts us each day, it is no longer feasible. This is why we have had to try and work smarter, by signposting to other services and ensuring safety netting so that all of our patients can still get help at the right place, at the right time if not consulting with us.

We are listening.

We have been conducting several meetings to drive changes at Castle Surgery.

  • Prebookable appointments
    • If your call isn’t urgent, if by the time you call appointments on the day are taken, we can place you for a prebookable call back slot.
  • Improved call queue
    • We have listened to our patients who have asked to have a longer queing system to reduce the need to redial.
    • This is still a work in progress and should ease as our new arrivals start at reception.
    • We have been in contact with our telephony providers to see what other ways we can improve telephone demand
  • Improving staffing
    • We are continually trying to recruit new staff
    • We are trying to make sure we improve the working environment to retain the staff we already have.

Things we are looking into:

  • Improvement of repeat prescription process
    • Patients for several months now have been able to request their repeat medications online
  • Online appointment bookings
    • This is a work in progress
  • Patient Participation Group (PPG)
    • To get your direct voice to help us improve services directly for our community

Other immediate changes:

  • Doorbell
    • The front door will be closed at 5:30pm.
    • You can still access Castle Surgery via the side door and gain attention by pressing the doorbell at the front desk.
    • This allows the remaining staff to answer phones and complete administrative tasks.
  • Repeat prescription box outside closed.
    • We are trying to work out a new system to stop repeat prescription slips going missing. We thank you for your patience with this.

Dr J. Montano