"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when once we practise to deceive.
GP’s response after Cranleigh Medical Practice gets a pasting.
Is it buildings that matter – 0r patient care?
For many months The Cranleigh Medical Practice has been a bit like a punchbag for its patients.
Some of the comments made on the local Facebook Groups, are serious and have resulted in life-changing consequences however, we will not repeat those incidents here. Suffice to say that some of its 17,000 patients of the practice, housed in a very impressive £7m modern building in Village Way, are not impressed with the current service they are receiving.
However, this is not confined to Cranleigh GP’s, and not getting face-to-face appointments is having catastrophic consequences all over ‘Your Waverley’ and the country. So Cranleigh is not alone.
Here are just two typical comments:
The system they have in place is awful. Pre pandemic I had not a bad word to say about them, but now it’s horrendous! Fully appreciate the need to do online consultation and personally find in many instances it’s better. But needed to speak to someone twice last week for two of my kids, and the system doesn’t work at all!
people are not criticising individuals – just the system, for an elderly person it’s nigh on impossible. In many cases you have to do a self-diagnosis and it is a tendency for people to either underplay or overplay symptoms and without a face to face examination mistakes can easily be made. Some surgeries (with extra precautionary measures) have managed to facilitate a fairly normal practice.
I dread to think what the fall out of non-diagnosed medical conditions is going to be.- probably make the country’s Covid death figures seem like a drop in the ocean and they won’t just be mainly elderly either.
We cannot understand the claim that Cranleigh’s patients are being sent as far away as Shere and Godalming? Surely this must be wrong?
In a statement, the practice maintains it has problems with recruiting staff. However, from correspondence sent to us, staff leave the group regularly due to their dissatisfaction. Some of whom have joined neighbouring practices.
Here’s the GP’s statement – written in the first person but not signed by a member of staff.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy at Cranleigh Medical Practice – quite the opposite in fact.
One of our concerns, which I know you all share, is the difficulty for us all in matching demand to capacity in General Practice. There will never be enough resources in the NHS, so we all have to use those precious resources carefully and wisely. By resources I don’t just mean buildings, equipment and money, I also mean people. People include doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, paramedics and the many and various admin roles.
As you may be aware we have been trying to recruit to expand our admin team so we can better support the clinicians within Cranleigh Medical Practice and hence support our patients. We have had limited success so would like to encourage you all to spread the word. I’ll be honest, it is a challenging and busy place to work and our Patient Service Advisors need comprehensive training to deal with the multitude of scenarios that they face. Days can feel quite pressured and it can feel that the world is against General Practice. On the flip side, it is also incredibly rewarding and there is huge job satisfaction helping patients navigate their way round (sic) an increasingly complex NHS. Those days when you get a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from a patient make up for the days when it feels like nothing is ever quite good enough.
So, if you know of anyone who wants to work in General Practice and join a really great team please encourage them to apply. (Details are on Facebook, or they can pop their CV through our letterbox.)
We have listened to feedback from you, our patients, and one thing which we have put in place is the ability for you to book directly for a phone call or video consultation with a GP. Appointments can be made via the NHS App or Patient Access. Just in the same way that our staff discuss a reason for the appointment, we would ask that you give your reason when you book the slot. Don’t forget that for admin matters you do not need one of these appointments, you simply go via our website and submit your request that way. If more information is needed we will be in touch.
This online booking should free up some phone lines so that those of you who cannot book online are more likely to be able to get through to us. However, if you can’t get through don’t think it is because we are just ‘not answering’ it is because we are already on the phone with other patients. Just as appointments get fully booked so admin staff and phone lines get full to capacity.
If your call is life-threatening then please don’t hesitate and call 999.
I hope this helps to reassure you that we really are doing our best to provide the safest and best service we can while the NHS is still under huge pressure and the covid pandemic is still with us.
Last year, a letter that NHS England sent to GPs asked them to make face-to-face appointments available during the Coronavirus pandemic. NHS England was forced to apologise after GPs called the letter “erroneous and offensive” and claimed that it caused a “media onslaught” for suggesting that GPs were shirking their responsibilities to their patients.
WW. According to some of our eastern village followers, it is almost impossible to get through to the Cranleigh Practice. However, this may have been happening elsewhere – here, in Godalming or Farnham, but we have not received any complaints. We would like to hear from anyone there who has experienced similar problems.
There is also now an online petition calling for an Urgent Treatment Centre to be operated from the old Village Hospital in Cranleigh High Street. This has been launched by Andy Webb (nothing to do with the Waverley Web) on the Cranleigh Community Board. This will be the subject of a future post.