Wellington Scoop

Masterton doctors working to reduce waiting times

News from Masterton Medical
In a move to reduce wait times, Masterton Medical is reminding both staff and patients of the importance of keeping an eye on the clock.

Robyn Wilson, Masterton Medical’s General Manager, says wait times occur in every medical practice and they can be frustrating. “Often there is a legitimate reason but sometimes it can simply be due to doctors and patients losing track of time.”

“We appreciate that everyone’s time is valuable and want to increase the efficiency of the service we offer and improve the experience for our patients. We are asking all our doctors to keep to time, particularly where appointments are for routine matters. We are also calling on our patients to help the GPs stay on schedule by being punctual for appointments, discussing a maximum of two issues per consultation and keeping to the 15 minutes allocated.”

Mrs Wilson recognises that there will always be instances when appointments run over time. For example, when a patient is acutely unwell, has received some life-changing news, or if there is an emergency that requires the GP’s expertise. However, she says this should be the exception and not the norm. She adds that where a GP is running late (for whatever reason), Masterton Medical staff will let patients know when they check in.

Where an appointment is for a routine medical issue, Masterton Medical says patients can help reduce the time they (and others), spend in the waiting room by:

• Ringing in before the appointment to check if the GP is running to schedule.
• Not being late – even arriving five minutes early for an appointment.
• Keeping to the 15 minutes allocated to the appointment.
• Remembering that each 15 minute appointment is for one person.
• Discussing a maximum of two issues per 15 minute consultation.
• Booking a longer appointment if there are more issues to discuss, or more time needed (additional fees will apply).

Mrs Wilson says if a patient has been waiting longer than 30 minutes to see a GP they should inform the reception staff.