A letter to our patients

Dear Patients,

We would like to say thank you to most of our patients who have continued to be supportive and understanding during this incredibly hard time when the whole NHS is under pressure. However, we feel it is necessary to write this letter because of the few patients displaying rude and disrespectful behaviour towards our staff.

The demand for appointments has become far greater than capacity and our teams both clinical and non-clinical are working additional hours to try to meet this need.

As is the case with most practices, telephone systems are struggling to cope with the number of calls coming into the surgery whilst team members are also trying to get calls out to patients. This time of year, has the added issue of phone calls about flu vaccinations and Covid vaccinations. We strongly recommend that you call later in the day if your call is not urgent.

We are in the process of having a new telephone system installed which will be able to direct calls more appropriately and provide more up-to-date information to the caller.

Due to the pressure on appointments, triaging has become more and more important as we try to ensure that patients are given appointments most appropriate for their level of need. Our receptionists are trained to listen to your symptoms and direct your call appropriately, whether that be to a GP, a minor illness nurse, a paramedic, or to suggest that you see the pharmacist at the local chemist. If the reception team are unsure where to direct you, they always ask a clinician. You may wish to consider seeking support outside of the surgery by calling 111 for advice or, if urgent and you cannot wait, there are doctors working at Milton Keynes Urgent Care Centre on the hospital campus.

The doors to the surgery are open and have been throughout the Covid pandemic. We are of course still limiting the number of patients that we call into the surgery in order to protect both patients and staff. If a clinician feels that you need to be seen face-to-face that day, then you will be. You also have the option to choose a face-to-face routine appointment or a telephone call. With the immense pressure on appointments online booking is not currently available.

We are also aware of patients that are unhappy that they cannot remain registered at the surgery when they move to, or within, villages that are outside of the practice’s boundary. Safety in the treatment of our patients must be our priority. We are not a limitless resource and so our list size has to be maintained in order to provide health care to those moving into the new housing in the town.

We ask that you please be conscious of the fact that many of the Cobbs Garden team live locally and have found it increasingly demoralising to read negative comments on social media when they are doing their best to meet the needs of their local community. We do of course welcome feedback but ask that it is given through the appropriate channels: by letter to the surgery or via our website www.cobbsgardensurgery.co.uk – Feedback/Complaints.

Thank you,

The Partners

Cobbs Garden Surgery