Dr McKean has decided to retire from the practice. He will stop working at the end of October. We all wish him a long and happy retirement!
We are delighted to announce that Dr Kashif Ali will join the practice in November. Dr Ali is an experienced GP who has been working in Ayr for the past 10 years. He has special interests in diabetes, occupational health and medical education and training, and we are sure that he will be a valuable addition to the practice team.
House Call Requests
Please remember that house calls should only be requested if it is impossible for you to come to the surgery. The reason for this is that we can see between three and six patients in the same time that it takes to do one house call, and it is becoming more difficult to fit in all house call requests between the increasingly busy morning and afternoon surgeries. Also, please remember that house call requests should be phoned in as early as possible. We do not have a GP who only does house calls. (If we did, then fewer patients would be seen, as the “on call GP” would not have booked surgeries.) This means that house calls phoned in after 1PM need to be visited at the end of the evening surgery, which may finish well after 6.30PM. Many house call requests which could have been dealt with between morning and afternoon surgeries (had they been requested in the morning) are phoned in the afternoon necessitating a visit in the evening, often well after 7pm. While nobody minds doing an evening house call for a problem which could not have been anticipated, it can be frustrating doing a visit at night which could have been done at a more reasonable time. Also, if a GP visits you at night, it is likely that he or she has been working for about 12 hours. We don’t wish to deter patients from phoning for house calls but it is better for patients (and doctors!) if house calls are requested early- preferably before 10.30am.
Phoning the Surgery- 08.30-10.30- please keep the lines free for emergencies!
Please remember not to call the surgery between 08.30 and 10.30 unless you are requesting an on the day appointment or a house call or your problem is urgent. Other requests, enquiries about blood results and all other non urgent matters should be made after 11am. Patients are commenting that it is often difficult to get through and, with the current funding crisis in NHS, we are not going to be provided with extra staff. We need to make sure that the first two hours are kept free for dealing with emergencies only. Also please note that if you phone from a mobile and the number is engaged, do not press redial. For some reason, our phone will sometimes not ring even if a line is free, and you will get an engaged tone again and again (and probably have to pay for umpteen calls!) This is apparently a technical issue to do with some mobile phones therefore if the phone is engaged please don’t redial but call again.
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NEW ONLINE IMPROVEMENTS- appointment booking and text messaging
You can now book appointments in advance by visiting our website www.nithsdalemerryvale.co.uk -This will be for appointments in advance and not on the day or emergency appointments. You can also order repeat prescriptions online although we do ask that you complete a quick consent form at the surgery to enable this. We will send a text message to remind you of your upcoming appointment. You can also cancel appointments using this service. It is obviously very important that we have up to date mobile numbers- if you have changed your number or wish to check that we have the right number please ask at reception.
On The Day Appointments
Both of our nurses Sister O Conner and Sister McKinlay have training and experience in the management of acute illnesses. If you have a problem which requires you to be seen on the day then you may be allocated an appointment with either a GP or one of our practice nurses. If the nurse feels that you need to see a GP then this will, of course, happen.
Like other practices, we rely on locum GP’s to cover holidays. You are probably aware of the current problem recruiting GP’s and we are having problems trying to get locum cover. If you have a problem which can be dealt with at the excellent pharmacy run minor ailments service, then please do so- this will mean that the GP’s can deal with more complex problems. If your problem can be dealt with by phone then please ask for a telephone appointment. The doctors in the practice will obviously help to try to make up for the shortage but there may be days where we have less doctors than we would wish. On such occasions we will obviously have to prioritise work to the most urgent.