Doctors at a medical practice admit that some of their patients have now lost all faith in them, but have accused them of “a lack of understanding.”.
However, the GPs at The Lanark Doctors pledge they will eventually get on top of their long-running appointments problem and have invited patients to join a new ‘user group’ to advise them on the future running of the practice.
The partners of the Woodstock Road practice have issued an open letter to their 13,000 patients, recognising the “frustration” some of them are enduring with the same-day appointment system brought in recently in a bid to overcome last year’s four week waiting times to see a doctor.
Some feel the cure was worse than the ailment, with long queues forming outside the surgery in the early morning and phonelines jammed with people seeking an appointment.
In the letter The Lanark Doctors repeat an earlier promise of a review of the new system but say they have recognised that the problems have caused a permanent rift with some patients.
The letter explains: “The barriers and lack of understanding that obviously exists between the practice and some of our patients need to change if there is ever to be hope of making real progress.
“To those of you who have quite clearly lost faith with the practice, we remind you that you are perfectly within your rights to register elsewhere.”
The letter goes on to invite even the most frustrated of their patients to channel their discontent in a positive way by joining a new ‘Patient Participation Group’; anyone interested in joining the group is invited to contact Dr Vettriano at the practuce with their contact details,
In the meantime, the doctors thanked all the patients who have expressedtheir support in recent months, stating that this has been a “valuable boost to morale during these difficult times”.
At Lanark Community Council’s monthly meeting it was reported that there was to be a ‘summit meeting’ of doctors, health officials and local politicians to discuss the problems.
This is due to take place on April 29 but Lanark Independent councillor Ed Archer told the council that he felt the situation was too urgent to wait that long for a solution to be hammered out.
Councillor Archer was seeking to bring the date of the meeting forward.