Lanark doctors want feedback in appointments saga

Lanark Doctors
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The Lanark Doctors practice has promised a “review” of their troubled new appointments service following more complaints from frustrated patients.

The Gazette has, following our story about the problems last week, heard more harrowing tales from people trying to see a doctor via first-come-first-served morning booking system, one 
angry patient claiming that she’d tried fruitessly to
 get an appointment for TEN days.

On Tuesday morning those by-passing the phone system to call personally at the surgery before 8am to try to get an appointment formed a queue of around 40 people, according to one caller to the Gazette.

Two other female patients said they were reduced to tears fruitlessly trying to see a doctor, one commenting: “This is hopeless; I spent each morning phoning and being put on their message machine, telling you are, successively, say, 27th, 15th and then first in the queue only to get the message after all that waiting that there are no appointments available that day.”

Another patient, Mr Sandy Clelland, said that he had now missed a regular, twice-yearly blood check because the surgery insisted he now made a separate appointment using the new booking system. He’d now missed the original appontment date.

The Gazette understands a group of patients are now planning a demontration outside the surgery.

The practice’s Dr Stacey Vettraino apologised for the situation and said the system was still “bedding in”, adding: “Like all surgeries, the busiest time for calls is the morning, particularly Monday mornings, and our new system tells people where they are in a queue.

“To reduce the length of time people wait for an answer, we have altered our staffing arrangements to allow us to prioritise these.

“We plan to review the new system and we would encourage patients to give us feedback.”