Patients claim that there has been yet more confusion at Leighton Road Surgery, as staff were allegedly giving out “incorrect” information about proposed changes.
On May 29, residents were told by the surgery that in order to get an appointment, they had to first book a telephone consultation with a doctor, who would assess whether they needed to come in for a face-to-face discussion.
However, residents claimed that this “extra hurdle” wasted time and that phone lines were gridlocked.
The surgery then apologised in September and announced its decision to revert back to a more traditional appointment system whereby patients may choose to either receive a telephone call or see the doctor face to face.
Despite this, residents claim this is not what staff have told them. One man alleged: “My mother-in-law rang up to book a [face-to-face] appointment for my father-in-law and wanted a specific doctor.
“The staff member told her that they were ‘unaware of the changes’, and that the telephone triage system would stay exactly how it was.
“She then rang again later that same day [October 11] and was told by a different person that there had been ‘minor tweaks’ but that the system would basically stay as it was.”
A Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group spokeswoman, said: “A revised appointment system was introduced at Leighton Road Surgery on Monday, October 1.
“Patients can book appointments online up to 3 weeks in advance or call on the day they would like an appointment.
“When calling for a same day appointment patients may choose to either receive a telephone call from a doctor, who will then direct the patient to the most appropriate appointment or treatment, or they can request a face to face appointment with a doctor .
“The new system has been well communicated with staff so it is unfortunate on this occasion that the correct information was not provided to the patient.”