The evidence gathered from talking to those sharing their experiences with Healthwatch Milton Keynes demonstrates that the current appointment system at WHC is not meeting the needs of the service users. We found that patients were experiencing difficulties with booking appointments for ongoing care, limited availability of online appointments, waiting times when phoning for same day appointments, and being advised to queue on the day for an appointment rather than being offered the opportunity to make an appointment for a future date.
Patients told us that the number of GPs available felt inadequate for the number of patients the practice serves and a number expressed concerns about levels of staffing when GPs took annual leave.
People we spoke to who had made complaints told us that they had found the process ineffective, with some patients telling us that they had not made complaints as they had heard from other patients that they would not get a response.
A number of people we spoke to expressed disappointment that the Patient Participation Group (PPG) was not supported by the practice to be effective. There was a feeling that the practice staff should be utilising the PPG and other local voluntary and user led support groups in its Social Prescribing to better address some of the health issues and inequalities experienced in Wolverton.
Patients reported being generally happy with the care they received from the GPs but many shared individual concerns including the quality of customer service provided by the reception and administrative staff with regards to triage, closures of the practice for training and information on the waiting room digital information board.