Dear Patients

Just to let you know that once again we have introduced an on the day appointment system at Westbury Group Practice for all GP and Acute Care Team appointments for the duration of this winter. We have done this to ensure that we have some flexibility to meet both patient demand and staff availability over this Covid affected winter. Given the unpredictable progress of the pandemic, as evidenced by the emergence of the new Omicron variant, we are not able to book appointments fully in advance, as we cannot rely on past experience to estimate demand for appointments. This is also affected by staff availability: we too may have to self-isolate if unwell or if a family member is affected. Whilst we acknowledge that this reduces some convenience for patients, it does mean that you can call for an appointment on a day you are available to come in for review, and not a day dictated by a routine booking system. However and especially if you are requesting a specific clinician, it may be we are not able to offer you an appointment on the first occasion one is requested.

We continue to need to factor in capacity for Covid vaccinations, including the booster campaign, and need some flexibility into the future to be able to respond in a timely fashion as these become available.

We have also made some tweaks to our internal systems which we hope will increase your access to us, which we can assure you we take very seriously. We have changed the way our clinics are run to meet the need for acute respiratory illness in anticipation of increased demand. This already seems to be having an effect, with reduced wait times on the telephone systems for example. We would also like to reassure you that this “on the day” system is very similar to the one Westbury Group Practice has successfully utilised over the festive period for several years, and that it remains under constant review.

Thank-you for your ongoing patience as we all continue to  adjust to different and difficult times. We would like to reassure you in the meantime that we remain open and happy to serve your needs remotely or in person, whichever is most appropriate.

Yours sincerely

Dr Edwards & Partners