A PLAN to slash waiting times and improve access is being trialled at a Ludlow GP surgery.

Portcullis Surgery, in Ludlow's Portcullis Lane already offers on-the-day assessment by a clinician for all cases perceived to be urgent with its system of daily duty clinicians, 

But, senior partner Dr Catherine Beanland said, the team now wants to tackle waiting times for routine appointments and improve their follow-up appointments booking system.

"The aim of this new system will be to clinically assess all patients asking for a routine appointment within 14 days of contacting the practice," Dr Beanland said.

"This assessment will usually be in the form of a booked appointment either face to face or telephone call within 14 days or if this is not possible, at the very least a text from a clinician with advice and a management plan."

If your problem is urgent and cannot wait a few days, then call the practice and request a call back from the 'book on the day' duty clinician as usual.

If your problem is not urgent but is new or worsening then contact the surgery online at https://florey.accurx.com/p/M82043 or call and the reception team will be happy to help, with the surgery aiming to see or speak to you within 14 days or at least give advice and a management plan in the form of a text. 

For follow-up appointments about a problem that you have already spoken to a specific clinician about, send an online message to the above link or call the surgery three or four weeks before the appointment is needed and specify that a follow up is needed, your date range, and the clinician you wish to see.

The new system is in place from Monday, January 8.

Dr Beanland said NHS Digital data for Portcullis Surgery from July 2023 shows the surgery saw a total of 4,877 patients that month, of which 43 per cent were seen same day and 79 per cent were seen within two weeks.

"What we are seeking to do is reduce the remaining 21 per cent who waited more than two weeks to practically zero," Dr Beanland said.

"We hope this pilot will be successful and that you will soon notice a better and improved service. We will be asking for feedback regarding this pilot from you in March."