Where have I heard that before? In these troubled times due to the Coronavirus pandemic lots of things have changed in our daily lives. We have had to adapt to new measures and quite a number of people have, quite naturally, become afraid of going out and in many cases we have had to seek help from our friends, family and neighbours.

Just like us our Surgeries have had to adapt in the way they have to deal with their patients. As you, who have had to contact the surgery, are aware our Receptionists have had the onerous task of trying to triage our calls usually resulting in a phone call back from the on-duty clinician who would either complete the consultation by telephone or arrange a face-to-face appointment.

Since the easing of some lockdown restrictions it appears the flood gates have opened and the Practice is being inundated with calls for appointments. The pressure on the Practice at the present time is unprecedented. Hence there will be some delays in trying to answer everybody’s demands. Coupled with this call on their services from us, the patients, the Practice is trying hard to recruit more staff in every area from GP’s down to the Reception and Administration staff that are all equally important in the smooth running of the Practice. However, I am sure you will all appreciate it takes time to train new people so results do not occur overnight. Not only that, once the time has been spent on training not everyone decides to stay with us, so the whole process has to start again!

Why am I writing this? Well as a member of our Patient Participation Group we understand some of the frustrations you feel and we have passed on some comments received to the Practice. Naturally we were keen to hear their response so we could comprehend some of the problems they were experiencing. It may not help much to everyone but at least you may understand some of the daily pressures our Practice is under.

Incidentally you may not realize when a patient comes into the Surgery with Covid they have to close the affected area for deep cleaning to make it safe again. How many appointments does that waste?

Alan Camplin

Chair of The Saltaire & Windhill Patient Participation Group.