Patients have their say on town surgery

A Wetherby Medical Practice is launching a new scheme to help give patients a greater say.

Wetherby Surgery, on Hallfield Lane, has set up a Patient Participation Group (PPG) this month which gives patients the opportunity to talk through any issues they may have with the practice.

The first PPG, which took place on January 9, discussed a range of topics from the difficulties of getting an appointment to repeat prescriptions, as well as positive feedback on what the surgery does well.

Dr Jacquilyn Aitkin, who has been a GP for 11 years and joined the surgery last October, told the Wetherby News this week that she believed the sessions, which will be held every three months, would help give important feedback to staff at the surgery.

She said: “This Patient Participation Group is there to promote patient involvement and how we provide a health service.

“It is good for us as doctors to find out from patients what the good things are about the surgery and what the difficult things are, and to get this from a patient perspective.”

Dr Aitkin said a top concern at the first meeting, which was attended by 13 patients, was the difficulty in getting a doctor’s appointment.

She said: “This was the main thing discussed and we want to improve this as it is a big bugbear.”

The current system involves an allocated proportion of booked appointments, urgent and morning appointments on the day from 8am.

To improve the appointments system, Dr Aitkin said the surgery has now been offering telephone appointments for patients who would like to talk to their GP, but may not be able to come into the surgery in person. Repeat prescriptions were also discussed. Dr Aitkin said patients were unaware that they can order their repeat prescriptions online from the surgery website.

The surgery, which also has a Harewood branch, offers a dispensary service from this branch for patients living more than a mile away from a chemist and who wish to collect their prescriptions from the surgery direct.

The next PPG meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 6 at 6pm at the Wetherby Surgery.