Over the last few weeks, we have had a number of questions asking why we have not increased our number of face-to-face appointments, despite restrictions easing across the country. As a practice we understand these concerns and thought we would explain why we are continuing to follow previous guidelines given to us.
All healthcare services across England have been told by Public Health England that we need to continue to wear PPE and maintain social distancing in the workplace, as well as changing our PPE and fully disinfecting our patient rooms once we have had a face-to-face appointment. As we have to take these necessary precautions, the total time for the appointment is longer, therefore the more face-to-face appointments we have the fewer patients we can see in a morning or afternoon clinic.
Looking at an average this week, in a 1.5-hour clinic, a doctor completed 11 telephone appointments, but if they were all face-to-face appointments, this doctor would only have the time to see 5-6 patients. By utilising telephone appointments, we offer more capacity and then the clinicians can bring the patient in for a face-to-face appointment if needed.
As restrictions ease more, we will continue to update you on the changes that you will start to see at Westongrove, in guidance with Public Health England.
Thank you for understanding and we hope this can ease some of your concerns.