BaNES patients encouraged to use online booking for GP appointments

Patients in BaNES are being encouraged by NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) to make use of online systems offered by their GP practice which allow them to make appointments, order repeat prescriptions and send their prescriptions to their pharmacist electronically.

All GP surgeries in BaNES now offer an online booking system via their website, however, a recent patient experience survey showed that only seven per cent of patients were using the service and only 13 per cent were ordering their repeat prescriptions online.

By registering to book appointments online patients can see which slots are available as an alternative to speaking to a receptionist while ordering repeat prescriptions online can help patients to manage health conditions.

Patients need to visit their surgeries to register for online service, providing photo identification. They will then be given login details, and will need to think of a password that is unique to them to ensure that only they can access their record.

Dr Ian Orpen, a local GP and Clinical Chair of the CCG, encouraged patients to register for the online services offered by their surgeries.

He said: “The online services are a useful way of helping patients to manage their appointments and make sure they don’t run out of medication which can help to manage their conditions. The services mean the patient can make an appointment or order their prescription 24 hours a day at a time that is convenient for them.

“Everyone who registers for the online services will still receive the same level of service from their GP surgery and if they decide that going online is not for them they can withdraw at any time.”

The GP Patient Survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI over the past year, heard from 3,068 patients and revealed that 91 per cent of their overall experience was ‘good’ –  higher than the national average which was 85 per cent.

Of all respondents 91 per cent said they had success getting an appointment and 95 per cent said the appointment was at a convenient time. 95 per cent of the patients said they had confidence and trust in their GP.

Dr Orpen welcomed the news that 91 per cent of patients in BaNES said their experience of their GP was ‘good’.

He said: “Given the pressures that GP surgeries are under, I’m delighted that so many patients are satisfied with the experience they have with their GP surgeries. GPs and other practice staff work very hard to deliver the best service they can and it is wonderful to see this reflected in this patient survey.”