Suffolk News: Birches moves to online appointments with GP

6:00 a.m. on November 26, 2021

A general practitioner practice in Kesgrave where appointments were described as “gold dust” introduced online bookings.

Patients at Birches Medical Center received text messages this week saying all appointments had been canceled and a new website service had started.

Chris Pont, 40, had spent the last week calling the GP 70-80 times trying to get a date and eventually got an appointment which was later canceled by text.

He added that the online system was “much better” than the phone system, where getting an appointment was like trying to get “gold dust”.

Mr Pont said: “I think the way Birches Medical Center, and other surgeries, it seems, have implemented this system has not been very good at all. They just introduced the new system and have abandoned everything previously reserved.

“What really should have happened here is the notification of the arrival of the new system, allowing people to sign up and a clear guide to what can happen if you don’t have internet access. really don’t know how older people live on their own will get along because they don’t seem to allow people to access surgery in any other way.

“I was called back the next day after signing up for the new system and in the end everything went well.”

Birches Medical Center said in a statement, “We are delighted to have launched a new service this week, AskMyGP, which makes it easier and faster for our patients to contact us and make an appointment.

“People can contact us from 8 am to 6.30 pm on weekdays online or by smartphone and we will do our best to get back to them the same day. We always try to offer same day appointments to those who need them.

“Although this is just the start, we have had a lot of positive feedback on AskMyGP. We know how busy our phone lines have been and we hope this new service will help resolve this issue. “

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