Patients to learn more about changes to Haverhill GP practice

Paul Driscoll, medical director and chairman of Suffolk GP Federation
Paul Driscoll, medical director and chairman of Suffolk GP Federation

The new management team of a Haverhill GP practice is to host an information evening for patients to learn more details about proposed changes.

Suffolk GP Federation will run Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice and aims to ‘overcome the challenges’ it faces including an ‘overwhelming workload for GPs, difficulties in recruiting new members of staff and above average waiting times for patients’.

The federation will hold an information event on Tuesday, June 6 at 7pm at Clements Surgery, in Greenfields Way, to outline its plans to ‘help alleviate some of the pressure’ at the practice.

More clinical staff such as nurses and pharmacists will speak to or see patients where necessary, a new patient booking system will be introduced and there will be a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable patient behaviour.

Dr Fiona Andrews, senior partner at Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice, said: “We can assure everybody that the practice will continue to operate with our patients’ best interests in mind. However, the way we do certain things will have to change.

“The first come, first served appointment system that we currently operate will be replaced. Instead, patients will have to phone the practice in advance and they will be allocated an appropriate appointment either on the same day or later in the week – depending on why they are calling.

“We expect all our patients to treat staff with respect. Anyone deemed to be acting inappropriately will be dealt with according to our governing policies and procedures.

“This could either take the form of a written warning or – if the incident is particularly serious – immediate removal from the patient list.”

A Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice Board will be responsible for the development of the surgeries and include staff and patient representatives. It is the first time an employee and patient board will be responsible for managing a GP practice in Suffolk.

Dr Paul Driscoll, medical director and chairman of Suffolk GP Federation, said: “The focus is very much on ensuring that Christmas Maltings and Clements remains a sustainable practice for the people of Haverhill and surrounding areas including the sister practice in Kedington.”