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Changes to the GP access centre at Alexandra Avenue - What our patients think?

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19 June 2019

It has been seven months since the GP access centre at Alexandra Avenue Health Centre changed from being a walk-in and wait service, to an appointment only service for Harrow residents.

The same numbers of appointments are still available to Harrow residents, through the new GP access service, 20,000 a year, they now just need to be booked by either calling your GP practice or NHS 111 first.

We wanted to find out what patients thought of the change to the service and in May we surveyed 152 patients who have used the new service.

Surveys were completed at the medical centre and shared online and through our local press.

The results

Overwhelmingly eight of ten people rated their experience of the GP access centre as very good or excellent and nearly everyone (96%) thought the time they had to wait to be seen was reasonable.

Seven out of ten people attending the GP access centre had been aware of the condition they needed help with for more than two weeks and six out of ten people received a same or next day appointment. Patients that waited more than three days for an appointment were asked why; all of the respondents stated that they had either chosen the date, or they were attending an annual check-up.

Of those that had previously used the walk-in (two out of three respondents) - six out of ten thought booking an appointment improved the service.

Just over one in ten people (23 in total) left a comment saying: “they preferred a walk-in service.”

Here is a selection of comments respondents left:

  • “Only used once and I was I in quickly”
  • “The whole idea of a walk-in clinic, people expect to have to wait a little sometimes.
  • “Prefer now with appointment service.”
  • “Preferred walk-in, able to just come in and see the doctor. Now I had to call my GP many times and waited few days until I got here.”
  • “I support this - and very happy. I got an appointment on the same day.”
  • “Avoid A&E, walk-in was much better with childcare.”
  • “It has improved it immensely.”
  • “Is great to have both - I was happy with walk in and now happy with appointment.”
  • “I have been using the Centre, as a registered patient, since it opened. I can only say, that since the changes, it has been easier to obtain appointments.  I have also been seen closer to the booked time, and the doctors have been better placed to give me their attention and talk through treatment options. It is a much better system.”

The full survey review can be found here. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their feedback.

Feedback on NHS services in Harrow can be sent to harrow.ccg@nhs.net