Despite the considerable growth in the village population over the last few years we have been very fortunate to retain a surgery providing great service & convenience. The demands have increased not only by way of patient numbers but also the administrative load required by law.

There are several ways in which we as patients can help reduce this load & contribute to the efficient running of our practice.

Quite clearly the telephone is very busy when the surgery opens & it would be helpful for routine enquiries i.e. test results & other general enquiries to be left until later in the morning.

From the beginning of the year 72 hours’ notice has been required for repeat prescriptions. A considerable procedure is involved from the time you make the request to ensure that you get the right medication, and all prescriptions must be signed & checked by a doctor. The pharmacy staff dispense some 12,000 items every month and at this stage a double check is carried out. You are asked to check that your medication is correct before you leave the surgery so that any queries can be dealt with immediately (once you have left the building any mistakes in medication have to be disposed of).

Have you ticked all the boxes? Do you really need all the medication from the boxes that have been ticked? A very considerable quantity of medication is wasted each month, either because it is not needed or boxes have been ticked as a matter of routine – so easy when we are in a hurry. Indeed some medications may be used very infrequently and have a “use by” date i.e. Trinitrate sprays (for angina) or Epipens (for allergic reactions). While we need to have these medications available if we are lucky they may never be used.

Finally each month a considerable number of appointments are made which are not kept. If you are unable to keep an appointment please let the surgery know in good time so that the slot can be offered to another patient.

Westfield Surgery Patient Participation Group