Online bookable GP appointments

Posted on:

An internal review of GP appointments booked online has been completed. The decision has now been made to stop patients from booking any GP appointments online. All GP appointments must now be booked via telephone.

The number of patients who fail to attend their GP appointment is low, but the appointments booked online generate the majority of appointments where a patient ‘did not attend’ a GP appointment. The review also shows that a large proportion of appointments booked online are booked with a GP when they should have been seen by a different clinician. An example is a patient who booked an appointment for a shingles vaccine with a doctor in a telephone slot.

GP and ANP appointments are classed as ‘unplanned care’. Contractually we do not need to make them available online. All ‘unplanned care’ appointments must go through the care navigation process. This is to ensure that the appointment is booked with the right clinician appropriate to the reason for the appointment.

It is important that we keep GP appointments for patients who do need to see a GP and minimise the patients not attending the appointments.

The Weardale Practice are starting to utilise patient invites for review\follow-up appointments with a GP. These will be sent by the GP to the patient who can then book into specific appointments slots. Appointments can also be cancelled and/or rescheduled using the original link.