Lawson Practice Appointments
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1.“Why did you change the system?”

Patients were having to wait over 3 weeks for a routine appointment and 1 in 7 (this is roughly 15% of patients) were not turning up for their appointments meaning over 100 missed and wasted appointments every week. With the new system most people can be offered an appointment on the day they contact the surgery and there are very few missed appointments.

2.“There have been lots of problems with the new system, are you going to go back to the old system?”

Patients are helping us understand the problems with the new system and we are changing it every week, to make sure it works better. Going back to the old system would just bring back the old problems.

We know it has been hard for some of you to adjust to the new appointment system. The partners have been hearing from some of you about your concerns for particularly vulnerable people who may have communication difficulties or who cannot use computers etc.

We have therefore adjusted the appointment system to ensure that patients with learning difficulties, serious mental illnesses and those with serious medical conditions/frailty or housebound are highlighted so that reception staff can ensure that they get to speak to their doctor. We hope you will notice a difference and we hope that these changes improve the safeness of the service.

3.“What about patients who cannot use the phone or internet to book appointments or speak to a GP?”

It is still possible to come in and book an appointment at reception. We have increased the numbers of appointments that can be booked with a doctor in advance, for people who have difficulty coming in, need extra time, or an appointment with an interpreter.

4.“Why is it so hard to see my own doctor?”

We really want you to see your own doctor and the doctors prefer to see their own patients. For a few months we have not had enough doctors because of GPs away on Maternity leave, sickness and sabbatical. We hope to be fully staffed over the winter months and for it to be easier for you to see your own doctor again.

5.“Can I find out when my doctor is working?”

Most doctors have regular weekly timetables. To check if your GP is working today, please click here

6.“Why can’t I get through on the phone?”

When we introduced the new system we discovered that the phone system wasn’t capable of handling the numbers of calls so we have just bought a new system which can handle more calls and monitor how long people are waiting. We have also employed some new receptionists. The more patients that book online, the fewer will need to call. So far, nearly 5,000 patients out of 14,000 have signed up so that they can book online, but at least another 7,000 should be able to sign up leaving only about 1,000 patients who for reasons of disability etc. cannot manage online services.

7. "I never seem to be able to find my doctor online!"

That might be because they're away from the Practice (annual/study leave). Please call reception to seek for an alternative

8. "English is not my first language"

Inform reception who will ensure that an interpreter is provided for your appointment. 

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