Kesgrave GP bookings start online after making appointments proves hard

The Birches Medical Centre in Kesgrave.

The Birches Medical Centre in Kesgrave. - Credit: Archant

A GP surgery in Kesgrave where appointments were described as "gold dust" has introduced online bookings. 

Patients from the Birches Medical Centre received texts this week stating all appointments were cancelled and a new website service has started up. 

Chris Pont, 40, had spent last week phoning the GP 70 to 80 times trying to get an appointment and finally got an appointment that was later cancelled via text.

He added that the online system was "much better" than the phone system, where getting an appointment was like trying to get "gold dust". 

Mr Pont said: "I believe the way that the Birches Medical Centre, and other surgeries it seems, have implemented this system hasn’t been very good at all. They simply brought the new system in and gave up on anything previously booked.

"What really should have happened here was notification that the new system was coming in, allowing people to register and a clear guide on what can happen if you don’t have internet access. I’m really not sure how elderly people living on their own will get on, as they don’t seem to allow people access to the surgery any other way.

"I had a call back the next day after I registered on the new system and all worked out in the end."

The Birches Medical Centre said in a statement: “We’re pleased to have this week launched a new service, AskMyGP, which makes it easier and faster for our patients to contact us and make appointments.

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“People can contact us 8am to 6.30 pm weekdays online or by smartphone and we’ll aim to get back to them the same day. We always try to offer same-day appointments to those who need one.

“Although it’s early days, we have had much positive feedback about AskMyGP.  We know how busy our phone lines have been and we hope this new service will help alleviate that issue.”

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