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Waiting times

Posted by on 10 December 2020

Our most common complaint is Doctor waiting times. Some doctors are better at running on time than others.

We are truly sorry for keeping anyone waiting as we appreciate that you have better things to do than sit in our waiting room. We realise that your time is valuable with other committments and we understand the frustration a delay may cause. We also know that if small children are kept waiting, this can also be hard for parents.

None of our staff enjoy running late either. We all much prefer to run like clockwork and to deal with satisfied patients who have not had to wait. None of us like to have to work through our tea break or our lunch hour to catch up.

However, we are a medical centre and everyday we deal with complex medical issues for which timeframes cannot be fixed. While our appointments are 15 minutes, it only takes someone requiring urgent medical attention, or someone in crisis to extend the length of a consult and make us fall behind. Sometimes patients can come in with a shopping list of issues and expect them all to be dealt with in a single consultation. Occasionally, we can identify a patient who will take longer, but more often than not; medical consultations are not an exact science.

We really appreciate those of you who are completely understanding of delays and generously accept our apologies. Your understanding helps enormously when we are working under pressure.

So, what can you do to avoid being kept waiting?

  • Book the first appointment of the day, or straight after lunch to avoid most delays.
  • Ask the receptionists which doctors are more generous with their time and avoid them! The reception staff know who has a greater tendency to run late. 
  • If you are booked with a Doctor who notoriously runs late, you are welcome to ring ahead and see whether they are on time and adjust the time you come in.
  • If you think your visit will take longer than a standard visit, please let reception know. There may be extra costs for this. If you have a shopping list of issues, we may not be able to attend to every issue in one appointment so please prioritise what is the most important to you. Please note, more than one issue that may incur extra fees.
  • Please do not book an appointment for yourself and then expect other family members to be attended to as well. If you need multiple family members seen, please advise reception at the time of booking.
  • Perhaps you also need to adjust your expectations? Be realistic when making an appointment. The time is only a guide. It is very probable you will be waiting up to 15 minutes or more. Leave plenty of time for your appointment so you do not feel under pressure.

What we will endeavour to do

  • Reception will try and let you know if the doctor is running behind when you arrive.
  • We also gently give doctors a nudge to remind them of others waiting. If you hear the phone buzzing, it means times up!
  • You are welcome to ring in and ask what the waiting times are likely to be.

In summary, if we have kept you waiting, our sincere apologies. We hope that you can understand our line of business is very personal and very unpredictable and that your appointment time is only a guide. We hope that the service you receive is worth the wait.