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‘Super practice’ pledges to

improve patient waiting times

    By Gazette Reporter  

HOLDERNESS Health the super medical practice covering 36,000 patients across the region, has pledged to improve its online access and appointment booking. It comes nine months after Hedon’s Church View Surgery, Hedon Group Practice and South Holderness Medical Practice in Withernsea merged.

But the merger of the three practices, which are responsible for seven surgeries in Hedon, Keyingham, Roos and Withernsea has not been easy with concerns voiced over accessibility.

The matter was raised two weeks ago at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s full council meeting by South West Holderness ward councillor Sue Steel. She acknowledged the process of the merger had ‘proved to be challenging’ and had not run as smoothly as hoped.

When IT systems were merged, there were periods of time when the practices had no access to GP Online, or GP Links, creating difficulties with the appointment system that had a ‘significant impact’ on those wishing to see a GP.

Cllr Steel said she had been reassured by Amalia Booker, the chief executive officer, (CEO), of Holderness Health that the work had been completed and the service is returning to normal.

“I acknowledge the requirement for the merger but there has been previous history of difficulties in achieving clinical database mergers. In this case, this has clearly caused significant inconvenience for patients and put an additional burden on staff. Hopefully lessons can be learned for the future and other services planning such a merger. I have been assured that things are now improving, and I will be monitoring the situation,” Cllr Steel said.

South East Ward Councillor, Cllr Lyn Healing concurred with Cllr Steel’s report, noting an adverse effect in South Holderness too, and said she has also been assured the IT and telephone systems will be rectified by late summer.

Holderness Health CEO, Amalia Booker, said: “We recognise that there is an issue with patients not always being able to contact us easily by phone and we are exploring ways to improve waiting times.”

She stressed: “Although we took all steps possible to minimise the impact on our patients, we recognise that some patients have experienced difficulties with online access and appointment booking. Now that the merger is complete, services are returning to normal and over the coming months, we will continue to work on making improvements.”

The CEO also highlighted the lack of GPs has been another factor which has had to be addressed.

“Because of our rurality, Holderness is particularly affected by the national GP shortage but we have recently recruited a number of additional healthcare professionals to strengthen our team. We are also delighted that two of our previous trainees will be joining us as fully qualified GPs in the autumn,” the CEO said. “We hope that as these additional staff members start in their roles, the pressure on appointments will begin to ease. We hope that patients will work with us to help us design our future service as Holderness Health and we welcome comments and suggestions.”

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