Why we’re running an on-the-day appointments system

Along with other General Practices across Scotland, we’re currently experiencing extremely high demand for our services. At times of high demand many General Practices decide to switch to an on-the-day appointment service, to make sure that every appointment they have available is used to the best effect.

Our on-the-day appointments system allows us to keep as many appointments as possible available each day for patients who have urgent health concerns, along with a limited number of appointments for patients who have ongoing concerns.

We understand that only being able to book same-day appointments can be inconvenient, but at the moment we believe it allows us to offer the safest service possible. We keep the on-the-day appointment system under review on an ongoing basis.

Pre-booking appointments can mean appointments aren’t used efficiently

When we offer pre-booked appointments, we find that some health concerns have resolved by the time the appointment is due, or that people have found appropriate help from other services, such as their local pharmacy. This – and people not attending appointments for other reasons – can mean that our appointments aren’t used as efficiently as possible.

Pre-booking appointments can lead to long waits for routine appointments, for health concerns which haven’t been assessed by a clinician

At times when patient demand exceeds the Practice’s capacity, pre-booking appointments can very quickly lead to the first available routine appointments being a number of weeks away and only a small number of appointments being available each day for new urgent health concerns. This is also not ideal for patients and – we believe – not as safe.