Helping patients to book their appointments out with opening hours, Group Medical Practice in Stornoway has recently introduced an automated telephone service at its Springfield Road base.
Jennifer Ellis, Practice Manager, said: “Our new automated phone service, available on (01851) 703145, means patients won’t have to wait until the practice opens at 8.30am or wait in a queue to speak to a receptionist to book their appointment.
“The automated service will also help us to release extra appointments in the evening and early in the morning, making it even easier for patients to obtain an appointment more suited to them.”
When telephoning the Practice, patients are now asked to press ‘1’ for the automated service or ‘2’ to speak to a receptionist, and once either button is selected they will then be directed to their choice.
However, the Practice is keen to stress that for patients preferring to speak to a receptionist, they will continue to be available from Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5.30pm on the same number (tel. 703145).
The receptionists may ask patients what the appointment is for so they can ensure patients are seen by the most suitable clinician.
Group Medical Practice, which also manages the Habost Surgery in Ness, offers in addition to GPs a range of qualified professional staff; including Practice Nurses, Treatment Room Nurses, Health Care Assistants and Advanced Nurse Practitioners.
Jennifer added: “Group Medical Practice would also like to encourage all new patients to attend a Patient Health Check with one of our Health Care Assistants.
“This is an opportunity to identify any health problems and ensure our patients are receiving the care they require.
“In addition, for patients who wish to receive a review of their medications, we offer a Pharmacist who is associated with the Practice each Friday. Patients would simply request an appointment with him when booking.”
She added: “We are also offering the flu vaccination over the next couple of months and we ask our patients to please get in touch if they are entitled to receive it.”
Once ordered, prescriptions are usually ready for collection within 48 hours and can be uplifted at their local chemist. The Habost Surgery is a dispensing surgery, which means patients can collect prescriptions from there.
Patients are asked to note that Group Medical Practice (Stornoway and Habost) will be issuing double prescriptions over the festive season, between 20th November and 3rd December, so patients have enough medication whilst surgeries are closed for the public holidays on 25th and 26th December and 1st and 2nd January.
The Stornoway surgery also features a Health Check Machine recently added within its waiting area, which is free to use and provides a discreet print-out of the user’s height, weight, BMI and blood pressure. Patients can provide the print-out to a member of staff who will add it to their medical records.