Frome Medical Practice announces changes to appointment system


Frome Medical Practice is making changes to its current appointment booking system.

The changes, which are being implemented over the next few days, will mainly take place in the background and will go unnoticed by patients but there are some small, but key, changes that patients need to be aware of as the new system is implemented.

One of the main changes for patients is the way online appointments are booked. These will now be booked via the NHS App. The NHS App allows patients to access a range of NHS services in a secure and simple way and the practice has been encouraging and supporting patients to use the NHS App for several years now.   This means the current online booking system will no longer work. As GP appointments are triaged these will no longer be available online.

Over 50% of patients (aged 13+) at the practice are already signed up to the NHS App. It is fairly easy for people to sign up for the App if they aren’t already using it, but help is available with this process for those patients who need it. Further detail about that help is provided in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

There are multiple benefits to using the NHS App for booking appointments online. The NHS App is a much more user friendly and accessible way of booking appointments than the old online booking system. Retrieving log in details if you forget them is also simpler. And patients are also able to now make medication (prescription) requests via the NHS App. 

Another benefit of the new system is that it allows the practice to text messages to patients, which will enable the patient to then book certain types of appointments directly, saving them a phone call to the practice.

Gareth Hannam, Digital Transformation Lead at Frome Medical Practice, said, “The team have been working hard behind the scenes for some time now to implement the changes to our appointment system and so we are really pleased to now be at the stage where it can go live.”

“We know that not everyone has access to or finds using technology easy, but we’ve put a number of avenues of support in place to help patients use our new systems. Our Digital Health Connector is available to guide patients through the changes and can also help patients access mobile devices, tablets, laptops and data if needed.”

Practice Manager, Karen Creffield said, “We know that change can sometimes be unsettling, but we want to reassure patients that these changes are being made to improve the way they access our services, making it fairer, more accessible and easier for everyone. This improved use of more personalised technology and the NHS App for  more routine health care will free up our Care Navigators and other staff to support patients who contact us with more urgent or complex health care needs.”

Further changes to the system are planned later in the year and updates on this will be shared over the next few months,  this  will include the ability for patients to request support online, which will save them time making a phone call to the practice.

To support patients with these changes the practice has written a series of ‘frequently asked questions’, which provide more detail about the NHS App, what it is and how to use it and how to get support with using the new system if needed. 

See here for the full list of frequently asked questions.

Published: Apr 14, 2023