The demand for appointments, investigations & procedures throughout the NHS is far outstripping the supply. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has not helped with this issue, the main causes existed before the pandemic: fewer hospital beds, limited resources, a staff retention crisis & an ageing population. The Corner Surgery is working hard to support our patients during this time. However, we recognise that sometimes, patients are having to contact us more than once to arrange an appointment, & that patients can wait a long time in the caller queue for their call to be answered. We are truly sorry for this inconvenience.

Patients often ask us why when the waiting room appears empty, we are not able to offer more appointments.  Our appointment system is now designed to avoid too many patients being in the waiting room at any one time, to improve infection prevention & control.  Many of our patients now choose to have a telephone consultation rather than a face-to-face consultation; particularly for ongoing problems.  Also, clinical appointments are just the tip of the iceberg of activity that takes place in General Practice - please see this webpage for some other examples:

The Iceberg of General Practice

Nevertheless, 90% of clinical contacts within the NHS occur within General Practice, for just 8% of the total NHS budget in England. The Corner Surgery is providing access to more clinical appointments than ever before, & more than the number of appointments that we are expected to provide. At the moment, many of these appointments are spent supporting patients who are waiting for a hospital appointment, investigation or procedure, including requests for us to try to expedite these. Therefore, in the North Mersey region, GPs & hospital specialists have developed the following policy, to help ensure GP surgery appointments are being used appropriately:

  • For patients who have not had a first hospital appointment yet:
    • All patients on the waiting list are prioritised according to the severity of their condition.
    • Your GP may be able to write a letter requesting that your appointment is brought forward but only if your medical condition has worsened.
    • If you think your symptoms have worsened, please contact your GP surgery.
    • Your GP cannot write a letter just to move your appointment forward.
  • For patients who are awaiting a hospital follow up appointment, investigation or procedure:
    • All patients on the waiting list are prioritised according to the severity of their condition.
    • Your consultant team are responsible for reviewing you if your medical condition has worsened. 
    • If you think you need an earlier appointment, please contact your consultant’s secretary.
    • The consultant team may bring your appointment forward if they feel it is necessary.

 Thank you very much for supporting us to ensure our clinical appointments are used as effectively as possible.