News : Abbey Meads Patients Blast call Centre Firm
Swindon, UK, Aug, 2019 -- Patients at Abbey Meads Medical Practice are in no doubt where the blame for the surgery's damning Care Quality Commission report lies.
The practice is one of five operating under the management of Manchester-based IMH. This week, it became the fourth of those to be rated inadequate and placed in special measures following a CQC inspection.
The report followed months of trouble for patients in the town, who have faced long waiting times on the phone when attempting to book appointments since IMH took over back-office functions in the autumn.
Abbey Meads patient Helen Ravendale, 48, said: "The only thing that really needs to improve is the booking system.
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"It can take an hour, two hours, to get through and you’re still having to ring through the next day. The staff in here they’re brilliant they’ll do what they can but a lot of it is out of their control.
"Up until they joined the partnership it was a fantastic practice. It’s since they’ve changed the way they book appointments and having to go through this main hub it’s caused a lot of problems."
Trevor Collins, 29, a patient of Abbey Meads who was sent to Moredon for an appointment, told the Adver: "I tried to get an appointment this morning, I went down to Abbey Meads they gave me an appointment here.
"I’ve come here and they’ve told me I haven’t got an appointment. I’m not happy with it, not at all."
The CQC said Abbey Meads had significant issues with regard to patient safety, service quality, leadership and governance.
Paul Yeo, 72, said: "I was disappointed really because the staff are pretty good. I’ve not had problems with them but it’s getting an appointment that’s the problem.
"I tried ringing up the number this morning and couldn’t get through, so I thought the only way is get a bus and turn up here. It’s so annoying that you can’t get through, it used to be a good system but hasn’t been since IMH took over."
Sami Harper, 28, has been a patient at Abbey Meads for eight years and said: "Trying to get an appointment is quite hard whether it’s over the phone or if you come in.
"They might even send you elsewhere. Other than that, everything else seems to be fine."
Graham Barans, 80, added: "The problem is the telephone system, once you’ve got through it’s fine.
"I believe they’re trying to change. It’s shameless, but I suppose it takes time really."
Deputy chief inspector of general practice for the south of England Ruth Rankine said: "There needs to be an urgent overall improvement within the practice for the sake of its patients."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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