GP surgery to limit booked appointments

Sleaford Medical Group's tree decorated with returned medication. EMN-181221-121810001
Sleaford Medical Group's tree decorated with returned medication. EMN-181221-121810001

Sleaford’s largest GP practice has put a block on pre-booking most appointments at its surgery until into the new year due to winter pressures.

During the last week of December and first week of January, GP appointments at Sleaford Medical Group will be available on the day only.

The practice explains: “We are endeavouring to offer maximum capacity and help effectively manage demand for appointments in what is our busiest time of year.

“We appreciate this will be frustrating for some of our patients, but it will mean better availability overall. Pre-bookable appointments will be available from January 7.”

Partner Dr Elton Pardoe said: “Over the Christmas period we have ‘protected’ the standard appointments over those two weeks to only be bookable on the day as we always get a surge at this time.

“There are some pre-bookable appointments for urgent matters via the reception.”

He admitted information about it on their Facebook site had been misleading.

There is also the Urgent Care Centre at the surgery for acute problems needing a doctor. The practice is also part of a new, extended access service commissioned by South West Lincolnshire CCG. It, along with St Peter’s Hill surgery, in Grantham, offers pre-bookable appointments between 6.30pm-8pm weekdays and 9am-12pm Saturdays and Sundays for routine GP services for those that cannot normally get in during a week day. Patients book through their own practice.

○ The practice is also running an awareness campaign about wasted medication over Christmas. The practice’s Christmas tree in the waiting room is being decorated with unused and returned medication to make the public think before they order repeat medications, only requesting what they truly need.