Please fill out Woodstock survey for Lanark Patients' Action Group
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The only surgery in Lanark, it serves some 13,000 patients but has been beset with problems – before, during and after the pandemic.
In June 2021, a concerned patient, Irene Donnelly, launched an online survey to gauge local opinion and campaign for change.
In May last year, we again reported that patients were still struggling to make appointments – almost 11 months after NHS Lanarkshire admitted there were challenges to overcome.
Last week, Clydesdale MSP Máiri McAllan urged the health board to take immediate action to improve health services in the town, after it agreed in December to engage with Woodstock more closely and visit the Lanarkshire (Alba) Medical Group on a quarterly basis.
Now, fed-up patients are mounting even more pressure on health chiefs to take action to resolve long-running issues at the surgery – for the benefit of both its hard-working staff and patients.
Lanark Patients’ Action Group was founded two months ago by Dawn Martin and has quickly picked up momentum in the community, with many joining the Facebook group.
Its aim is to drive change and improve services for patients in Lanark who can’t choose which GP surgery they attend, as there is only one in the town.
In a bid to collect feedback on Woodstock, the action group has launched an online survey and is now asking patients to have their say.
Irene, who is a member of the group and helped draft the survey, said: “Our aim is to be a collective voice for the patients who use Woodstock Medical Centre.
“The survey has been launched to collect feedback, both positive and negative. We want to find out what’s going well, what’s not working and where patients want to see change.
“We want to dig deeper into the community and gather feedback on how patients are feeling. We are well aware that we’re about to go into winter, when there will be further strain on services.
“We need to see improvements in services; a review of the appointment phone line system is needed immediately along with a review of the number of health professionals and GPs available at the practice to effectively provide services to our community.
“The same day appointment system, with a limited and inadequate number of appointments, is stressful for both patients and the staff at the surgery.”
While changes were made to the system following complaints, this has unfortunately resulted in yet more issues.
Irene added: “The 25 maximum person waiting system means you go through to the phone line and listen to messages for many minutes; then, once you get to choose option four to speak to a doctor, you get cut off if there are no queuing positions left.
“It’s very frustrating for patients and that morning phoneline pressure must be felt by the staff too.”
The group is also hoping to organise a public meeting to give patients a further chance to air their views.
In the meantime, patients who want to complete the survey or join the group should visit linktr.ee/LanarkPatientsActionGroup.