The 10 minute per ailment/ appointment rule

Some of you seeing a doctor recently may have been aware that at times they were running very late, in fact up to an hour on occasions.

This obviously puts a strain on you the patient, the doctors and the system in general. As there are only a finite number of doctor hours available for appointments in any one day they do constantly strive to keep on time but this is not always possible as they want to deal with everyone’s ailments as thoroughly as possible.

Trying to stick to 10 minutes per appointment per ailment does help and the surgery are asking you to please bear this in mind.

I attach a notice they have asked to be put up on the website (click here 10 MINS APPT LENGTH NOTICE to read) to gently remind us of the rule.

5 comments to The 10 minute per ailment/ appointment rule

  • Carol apps

    Although I quite understand the 10 min rule sometimes it is so hard to get an appointment that more than one thing is needed sorting out and maybe had an appointment with a doctor for a long time and something more urgent appears wrong with you what are you supposed to do?

    • Peter Dodds

      Thank you for your comment Carol.
      It’s not an easy situation and the doctors are working flat out to try and look after us all as best they can bearing in mind the time available to them. They do say in their notice “The doctors will endeavor to deal with all your medical concerns within this timescale.” So, I think where we are before them, with more than one complaint, we have to trust their judgement/overall medical assessment of the situation and if they say I think you had better re-book for that problem we have to accept their view.

  • Dear Peter,
    If you have more than 1 problem covered by a variety of hospitals coupled with the fact you are very slow in explaining what the problem is/are,then 10mins is know-where long enough bearing in mind how long you have to wait for a 10min appt.,anyway.If you now have to book 2Or3 slots to discuss matters I dread to think of the delays! I’ve had personal experience with Dr Croucher,in the past,which has only required 1 appt.to discuss matters. With the increase in houses/people in the village,perhaps more Doctors are required?

    • Peter Dodds

      Dear John,
      Thank you for your comments. I will be referring all the comments made on this matter back to surgery so that they can add anything they feel helps or clarifies this sensitive subject.
      I’m sure you are quite right in expressing a sentiment that “perhaps another doctor is required.” It would solve the issue and I know the surgery would love to be in a position to do that. The problem in doing so is 2 fold. In the first place there is an acute shortage doctors, (i.e. those wanting to be GPs), available to employ. It took months last year to find the 2 new doctors (and a 3rd to cover for Dr Kanga’s maternity leave) to be found and even then they are not all full time. The second problem is of course money. I’m sure the surgery will say they just can’t afford to employ another doctor.
      As a matter of statistics our ratio of doctors to patients is just about at the recommended national average, (I’ve heard two figures for the average of 2000:1 and 1700:1 and we are 1811:1), not that I’m saying the average is adequate!
      Not much comfort I know in these comments but as I said to Carol“The doctors will endeavor to deal with all your medical concerns within this timescale.”

      • Peter Dodds

        The surgery have been following the comments made on this matter and in order to provide some more background and promote better understanding of the problems they face they have asked me to put up the following more in depth explanation from them:

        The practice are not refusing to deal with more than one concern at a time, on the contrary the doctors will endeavour to do their best to deal with all your concerns. However, there has been an increase in complaints regarding patient waiting times. There are those patients who are happy to wait and there are those who get quite annoyed at having to wait for up to an hour. We are trying to accommodate all and in so doing may upset those who feel that we are not delivering the service they wish. We understand patients have to wait a long time to for a bookable appointment and in an ideal world would like to offer more appointments, however, there is no funding available to meet that demand.

        As an alternative, patients can arrange a call back from the GP for matters where it might not be necessary to be seen e.g. if they just need reassurance on a blood test result or to discuss an ongoing condition (e.g. painkillers not working/xray back normal – what’s the next step?/saw Dr. a week ago, no better – can I be referred?).

        10 minute appointments are national and therefore we are offering what is expected contractually of each practice. In reality the majority of appointments last 15 minutes. We are not being difficult but wanted to raise awareness to patients that we may not be able to deal with ALL concerns in one appointment time and that it is possible they may be asked to book a further appointment.

        Debra Surallie
        Practice Manager