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Letter from our GP Partners

At Summerfield, we are always trying to improve the service we provide to you. This has to be balanced within the framework and constraints of the NHS. Recently two issues have made the partners take a big decision on how we provide our service to you going forward. 

Firstly, NHS England have deemed that this year the vast majority of our appointments must be delivered within two weeks. 

The second issue is patient preference. The partners have had feedback through social media and the friends and family questionnaires that are filled out. Although overwhelmingly positive, it is obvious to us that the vast majority of you value a timely appointment over clinician of choice. 

We have looked at various ways of achieving these objectives and have come to the conclusion that a switch to a predominately online booking system rather than reception telephony will allow this to happen. 

This we believe, will have a few clear advantages:

  1. It is apparent from feedback that many of you feel uncomfortable with reception triage despite confidentiality and their expertise at care navigating. You would prefer that the information you give is delivered straight to a clinician. This new system will allow this.
  • Senior clinical triage should ensure that our patients are offered a more efficient pathway through to diagnosis and management. These efficiencies should easily reduce the time waiting for an appointment down to the government target of less than two weeks. We really hope to achieve a wait time even less than this!
  • No 8am rush to wait on the phones in a queue. 
  • Greater flexibility and more transparent online self booking process for you once the clinician has triaged your request. 
  • Better use of our increasingly diverse healthcare team. The GP is not always the best person to deliver your healthcare need. We have a strong team of health and well-being coaches, first contact physios, social prescribers, pharmacists and mental healthcare workers.

The potential drawback that has occupied much of our thinking and planning is the obvious question 

“What if I can’t use the internet or online booking?”

It is our job, as partners at Summerfield to provide healthcare access for all of our patients, and we take this very seriously. 

The use of online services has increased over the years. From banking and shopping to booking a haircut or restaurant table. Over the years in community health care, many of you are already using online prescription services and are used to electronic prescribing. 

We hope that many of those people who are unable to use the internet, have someone who can help them as with other internet services –  a family member, friend or neighbour. We aim to hold training events to help those who have difficulty using the service. Our reception team will be also able to help. In the event of all of the above failing, then our reception team will be able to fill in the online request on your behalf via a phone call. We do ask that this is a last resort. 

We hope that you see the need for this change and are as excited as us to improve to your access to our healthcare provision. We look forward to your feedback in the coming months once this is implemented on August 29th.

For now, if you have not already, it would be a good idea to click below and register for our online services:

Register for online services:


Drs Edwards, Krishnanandan and Tran