Winchester surgeries under the microscope for out-of-hours telephone service

GP surgeries' out-of-hours telephone service under the microscope

GP surgeries' out-of-hours telephone service under the microscope

First published in Winchester Andover Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN INDEPENDENT patient champion group has put out-of-hours telephone services in local GP surgeries under the microscope.

Volunteers and staff from Healthwatch Hampshire called every surgery between 6.30pm and 9pm on May 29 to check they were giving vital information to patients.

They say surgeries should have a prompt, clear and audible message, with information about 999, opening hours and out-of-hours service.

Surgeries covered by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning group in Winchester fared well, and St Paul's Practice, in Alison Way, had a special mention for providing information on repeat prescriptions and self-help, but failed to mention opening hours.

Friarsgate Practice, in Stockbridge Road, was rated bottom for failing to mention opening hours and emergency information.

The Gratton Surgery, in Gratton Close, Sutton Scotney, and St Clements Partnership, in Tanner Street, achieved perfect scores.

In Eastleigh The Fryern Surgery, Brownhill Surgery, Parkside Family Practice, The Archers, St Andrew's Surgery, Stokewood Surgery and The Old Anchor Inn Surgery also achieved perfect scores.

But The Boyatt Wood Surgery, in Boyatt Shopping Centre, did not give out-of-hours information or opening times.

Twyford Surgery and Alresford Group Surgery fared well, but West Meon and Wickham Surgeries both failed to mention opening hours.

A spokesman for Healthwatch Hampshire said the results were good overall, adding: “We want to ensure that when a patient telephones a GP surgery out-of-hours they hear a good quality recorded message which contains correct and clear information enabling the patient to be signposted to the appropriate service.”

The group called 144 practices across the county.

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