C. Patient concerned that now coronavirus is over why are more appointments phone than in person - March 2022

RThank you for your feedback. Sadly Coronavirus is not over with 17829 active cases in our area as of March 7th 2022, and we have a duty to protect you and other vulnerable patients. As you know we only have small waiting areas, and rather than keep people waiting outside, we stagger our face to face appointments through the day and conduct telephone consultants in between. For alot of our patients this is more convenient than coming down to the surgery which may involve taking time off work or college, travelling in on public transport, or trying to park near the surgery! Of course if you need an examination then a face to face appointment will be arranged for you. Or maybe you just prefer to communicate face to face, and that's fine too!  Whatever your reason for needing a face to face appointment, if we can ensure your safety and that of others then this will be allocated to a face to face appointment with the GP. Social distancing measures reducing the number of people in rooms together (staff or patients), enhanced cleaning, and wearing of face coverings, are still very much necessary protections at the moment.

You might also find this document helpful Why are GP practices working differently.

Thank you


C. Patient very very happy with e consult service. Very impressed and extremely thankful for the introduction of this new service
Wanted to thank us all with how efficient our service was regarding this. April 2020

R. Thank you for your comment. I'm really pleased that you have found the online consultation system useful. Whilst this was something we were planning to put in place, it all had to happen quicker than planned when we were directed to do less face to face contacts in the new world of COVID19. We were sure how our patients would take to it but so far it seems to be a useful tool for those able to use it. It won't replace us making appointments by other means but until we are directed to re-introduce online appointment booking, it will be the only way patients can request an appointment online. Booking appointments by phone and in person will remain it's just that this tool seems to give people opportunity to seek help from approved online sources, be directed to the most appropriate service and tell us more about their symptoms and expectations before they speak to the Doctor, meaning that time can be better used helping to find a solution than questions about the problem. We will also be conducting a patient satisfaction survey with those who have used the systems to get their feedback on it.

Thank you again,

Sally (Practice Manager)   

Q. Verbal request "Patient asking if there is any way we can add our surgery name on the text messages...husband got a text to say referral paperwork was ready and he went to his own GP not realising it was regarding his wife as he thought it would be too soon for it to be hers as they only came in yesterday" Nov 2019

A . Thank you for your comment. Our text messages used to say Dr Glencross reception at the beginning until last week when they now say our practice code, B85058, instead. As Dr Glencross retired in June our IT department thought it was better to have a generic email address showing on the SMS but you are correct, we did not consider how this would affect patients in families where they share a mobile number but may be registered at different Doctor's surgeries. We have amended our standard text messages to include Rose Medical Practice. Thank you for your very helpful comment. Wishing you the best of health,

Sally (Practice Manager)

Q. Comments slip "Now under new management, we hope the great service continues, one request is if a physio could be added to the surgery service?" July 2019

A . Thank you for your comment. Whilst we would love to be able to offer lots of extra services at the surgery we are restricted by our building for space for additional services and Primary Care (GPs) are not yet funded to provide this kind of service.

However, due to the extended hours/access in the new GP contract, we are pleased to be able to offer appointments with physiotherapists at a few other local venues; at the Elmwood Surgery in Holmfirth, Armitage Bridge and soon at the University Health Centre too.

These should be for new (acute) problems, rather than ongoing issues, Appointments are normally available within 2 weeks and our reception team can book these appointments for you upon request. 

Wishing you the best of health,

Sally (Practice Manager)

Q. Comments slip "Please keep to appointment times" (May 2019)

A . Thank you for your comment. I do apologise for the delay you experienced being seen on this occasion. We do try very hard to stick to our appointment times but unfortunately, sometimes there are clinical issues which mean a surgery can run late.

Whilst we can't always elaborate on the reasons for this due to protecting patient confidentiality, we will try and let you know when you arrive if the clinical staff are running late and offer you the opportunity to rebook if you can't wait.

I will remind the clinical staff to apologise to the patient for any delays in their appointment times at our next team meeting. Running late is very stressful for them too because it normally means they have had an extra patient squeezed in as an emergency or a computer problem!

Wishing you the best of health,

Sally (Practice Manager)

Q. Comments slip received requesting music during intimate procedures (December 2018)

A . Thank you for your comment. We have now added a piece of spa-like music to our nurse's computer and tested the sound levels to ensure it is working. We have discussed with the nurse and she will offer to play the music during intimate procedures to help patients relax during what can be a stressful appointment. Volume levels will be monitoried to esure the patient can still hear the Nurses comments during the procedure and it will not be used where patient's using hearing aids may find the sound an iritation. A brilliant suggestion, Thank you!

Q. Comments slip received requesting a water dispenser (April 2018)

A . Thank you for your comment. In the past we have had a short trial from a company to provide a water dispenser in the waiting room. Unfortunately it became more of a health and safety hazard than anything else as patients let their children use and play with the machine. We are also short for space downstairs and the machine would have to be placed in the upstairs waiting room where our reception team would be unable to supervise it's use and deal with any spillages quickly. However we are always happy to  patients with a cup of cold water on request. Stay cool!

Q. "It is difficult to make an appointment for the doctor as the phone line is so busy" on an friends and family slip, anon, March 2018

I'm sorry you have had problems getting through on the phone. We do have a dedicated appointments line between 8-30-10-00am and ask that prescriptions and tests results are requested after 10am to help ease phone congestion. The phones are quieter after 9.30am so if you can, please call back then. The National Patient Survey Results 2017 show that 94% of respondents found it easy to get through to us by phone. Many of our patients have found online booking the quickest & easiest way.

Q. Friends & Family Test Form (Nov 2017) Cold in surgery today

A. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you found the surgery cold on your last visit. We did have some comments last Monday, 27th November that the surgery was cold so we turned the thermostat up from 22 to 25 which seems to make the difference. Unfortunately in an old building with high ceilings, visitors wearing coats and staff in shirt sleeves it difficult to maintain a temperature comfortable to all. However we do have some portable fan heaters available for short uses so if you do feel cold please let reception know and we may be able to set up a heater in that area for the duration of your visit. Thank you! 

Q. Comments slip received re Reception (March 2017)

A. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you were not acknowledged at reception on your arrival for your appointment. I would love to have the luxury of a member of staff greeting visitors full-time but unfortunately our staff level and the demands on the team do not allow this. We do try to stagger lunch breaks but I'm afraid it will still result in less staff available in reception from 12-2.30pm and they are understandably busy. I note you used the check-in screen in the waiting room as you arrived - if you'd rather speak to a member of staff please feel free to use the bell provided on the reception counter to alert them to your presence and, as soon as they are free, they will come forward to help you. I have also asked the reception team to try and ensure one of them is sat at the front desk (tasks-permitting) although at busy times please be understanding if this may only be a smile or nod of acknowledgement.

Q. Verbal comment at reception desk re radio (June 2016)

A. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you found the diabetes educational programme we were playing in the ground floor waiting room boring. Unfortunately we can't always suit everyone in our choice of radio station or music. The radio signal reception in our building is rubbish so rather than having to go out and retune it in every few ours we found playing those educational programmes from a memory stick as a solution. I have taken your comment son board though and will source something a little more interesting to put on the radio, and for now it is tuned to Capital radio. Thank you! 

Q. Friends & Family comment received re GP (May 2016)

A. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you feel the GP does not like it that you have a family member that is a Doctor and therefore would be extremely unlikely to recommend us as a surgery. As your comment was anonymous it's very difficult for me to respond to you without more information.  In generic terms I have raised the issue with Dr Glencross and he says he is generally quite happy when a patient of ours has a family member who is a GP as it is helpful in diagnosis, discussing treatment options and in aiding patient eduction and compliance with treatments. He is not aware of a specific incidence where this has not been the case which makes it difficult to respond satisfactorily to your note. Can I please ask that you contact me or complete a comments form with your contact details when you next attend the surgery and we can try and address your concerns.

Q. Comments slip received re Surgery Team (March 2015)

  A . Thank you for your comment. I'm very grateful that you have taken the time to give us some positive feedback and pleased that you think that we are one of the best GP surgeries. We do strive to provide a quality, caring service that meets our patients needs so I'm always happy to pass on praise to the team when this has been achieved. It's not pleasant to be ill and that sometimes a hearing ear and some advice and information can help our patients cope better with their illness. I have passed on your comments to the team to give their morale a needed little boost at this very busy time of year. Thank you! 

 Q. Verbal Comment received re Engaged Tone (January 2015)

 A . As an option for our patients we purchased an additional phone number to contact the surgery last year which is not an 0844 number. The 01484 500921 number you used on this occasion that is advertised on our letterhead, leaflets and website does not provide the queing functionality you may be used to from calling our 0844 number. Calling the 01484 number means that you are only charged from the minute we answer the phone not while you are in a queue therefore, if you are the 2nd caller on this number you will experience an engaged tone and have to re-dial. If you prefer not to get an engaged tone please use the normal surgery number of 08448 15 10 22 and you will be able to get through in turn to a receptionist without having to keep redialling when the line is busy.

Q. Comments slip received re Surgery Team (October 2014)

 A . Thank you for your comment. I'm delighted our practice team have provided you with an excellent service and continue to help you with your needs. I have passed on your comments to the team to encourage them to keep it up and let them know that their efforts are recognised and appreciated by our patients. Thank you! 

Q. Comments slip received re Stair Lift (September 2014)

 A . Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you've had difficulty with the stairs today. I agree that our building is not best suited to those with restricted mobility and indeed those of us who work here know what work here know that working in a building over four floors is quite a work-out! We have, a couple of years ago, investigated our options with regards to Staitlifts when the local Health Authority had grants available for building improvements. Unfortunately the surveyors advised us that providing a stair lift was actually more of a health and safety risk than not providing one, as it would mean users exiting and alighting the seat on the first landing - meaning they still had 3 stepts to climb and the added danger of falling down the stairs when getting off the seat. It would also only be possible to use it under constant staff supervision.

As many of our patients noted in our 2013 Patient Survey, making structural adjustments to a building of this age is prohibitive. However we do our best to make it as accessible as possible. Please ask the receptionist when you book your appointment if it can be made for downstairs when the Doctor's consulting room is available so that the nurse can bring her equipment downstairs to see you. The receptionist will be happy to arrange this for you with prior notice. 

 Q. Comments slip received re radio in upstairs waiting room (August 2014)

A . Thank you for your comment - and for bringing your own pen! I do agree a pen that works it a good idea, thank you for letting me know. I've restocked again with pens and will monitor the situation as somethines these 'walk'.

Because the radio in the waiting room is acessible, we do not mind if patients adjust it to another station if they prefer. We do tend to leave it on Radio 2 as this seems to suit most people and the music and chat is suitable for the setting. If you do find the station has been changed or is not properly tuned in please feel free to adjust the tuning or let a member of staff know at the time and we will be happy to do this for you. I'm sorry that on this occasion it was not well tuned in and irritated you.

Q. Comments slip received requesting a water dispenser (June 2014)

A . Thank you for your comment. In the past we have had a short trial from a company to provide a water dispenser in the waiting room. Unfortunately it became more of a health and safety hazard than anything else as patients let their children use and play with the machine. We are also short for space downstairs and the machine would have to be placed in the upstairs waiting room where our reception team would be unable to supervise it's use and deal with any spillages quickly. However we are always happy to  patients with a cup of cold water on request.

Q. Comments slip received noting concerns over overhearing conversations in other rooms (April 2014)

A . Many thanks for your comment. We were very concerned to hear that you were able to hear confidential conversation whilst in our waiting room. In order to prevent any further incidents such as this we have purchased a PRS Licence so that we are able to place radios in both waiting rooms. This has a dual purpose of entertaining our patients while they wait as well as helping to prevent anyone being overheard in other areas of the building, protecting patient confidentiality. 

Q. Is it possible to receive an automatic email to confirm that my repeat prescription request through the website has been processed? (OCT 2011)

A. Thank you for your suggestion on how we can improve the repeat prescribing service through the website. At the moment there is no functionality to automatically email patients back when we have received and processed their requests. Due to the volume of requests we receive through the website the reception team do not have capacity to individually email patients to confirm their prescriptions have been processed. They do however mark those requests as approved online.

I have spoken to our website developer this morning, and they have confirmed that the user does get a notification within the prescriptions manager, and can view the status of requests within the “history” section. They did previously have an email-back system when the function was first developed, but removed it due to the number of problems practice’s experienced with it. It seems this was largely down to the automatic replies ending up in the patient’s spam folder. These were often missed, or automatically deleted by the user and they assume they haven’t got a reply – as a result the phone traffic to the surgery increased dramatically with patients calling to check if their request had been received. This had a large impact on tying up the phone lines for other patients trying to call the surgery, as well as reducing the capacity of the reception staff to deal with other tasks. Hence the development of the history section where a patient can log on and check the status of their request.

Overall the most time-efficient way for GP practices to process repeat prescriptions requests is for patients to drop in their right hand side order slips into the surgery and many operate this alone as a repeat request system. We realised that this does not fit into some of our patient's lifestyles and therefore have gone to considerable expense to provide the website which allows patients to order their repeat medications 24hrs a day 365 days a year.

We continue to be very pleased with the uptake of this service and are continually developing the website to provide more up-to-date information for patients as well as extra functions like the ability to complete online surveys through the site. I do hope this letter clarifies why we are unable to develop this system for you at this time. If you do have any other suggestions of content and functionality for the website we would be very happy to consider them – especially where they do not impact on the workload of our hardworking team. Yours Sincerely, Mrs Sally Rees


Q I get a month’s supply at once and a larger prescription would mean less parking problems, less pollution, less fuel costs to me and the world, I would not have to rush round my job to visit the surgery to collect the prescription and then rush to the chemist costing more fuel and parking problems when a larger prescription would cure all these problems, save the world eh! (From the Patient Survey Jan 2012)

A. The Department of Health directs that prescriptions be issued for a month because the NHS is partly funded by prescription charges. Therefore when we issue scripts for more than one month it is taking away the funding that pays for NHS services to be there when you need them. We do appreciate the comments re the fuel and hassle or ordering every month but there are many chemists who will happily, order, collect and deliver your items to you on a monthly basis. There is also waste to think of because if we do a script for two months and your medication changes, the old medication has to be disposed of and cannot be reused. Unfortunately this isn’t something we can change until directed to do so from above.


Q. I am dissatisfied with paying more to call the surgery because of the 0844 number - why does the surgery have this? (From the Patient Survey Jan 2012)

A. We have chosen this system because it enables us to provide a much better service to our patients, to increase access to the surgery and to offer a better quality patient experience. 

This system allows us to offer our patients a better telephony solutions including;

·+ Prevention of our patients experiencing the brick wall of an engaged tone, and having to call again or use their telephone provider’s expensive call-back function

·+ Immediate re-direction to the on-call service when the surgery is closed rather than an answer machine with a telephone number on to write down and redial

·+ The ability to cancel appointments when the surgery is closed

·+ Being automatically directed to the most appropriate member of staff for your call

·+ Receiving timely information via the recorded messages regarding our flu clinics & training days

Being placed in a queue is not to everyone’s liking.  No solution ever pleases everyone.  But we believe it to be infinitely preferable to not being able to get through to the surgery at all. The popularity with patients of surgeries using enhanced telephony - and the significant increase in quality of experience, access and service - is further borne out by the National GP Patient Survey data.  You may have received a copy of this survey in the post.

This analysis confirms that the introduction of enhanced telephony results in improved access for patients and increased patient satisfaction in GP practices using enhanced telephony:

*· patients find it twice as easy to get through to the surgery on the telephone;

*· patients find it more than twice as easy to speak to a doctor on the telephone;

* patients find it 3 times as easy to obtain test results on the telephone; and 

* more than 9 out of 10 patients obtain test results easily on the telephone, compared with 1 in 3 nationally.


Anti-0844 campaigners have been circulating material to surgeries and the media claiming they will be in breach of their contract if they continue to use 084 numbers. They simply have got their facts wrong.  The use of 0844 numbers is not and never has been illegal.

The Directions from the Secretary of State make clear that any NHS organisation is free to choose to continue with an 084 number.  All that is required is for the NHS organisation to satisfy itself that the cost of calls to the NHS body is no higher than equivalent calls to geographical number. The Department of Health has confirmed that they are satisfied with the evidence that shows that our telephony provider, NEG Telecom, conforms to this Direction.

You might also find it useful to know that the British Medical Association has confirmed to us that NEG Surgeryline calls are “no more expensive than making an equivalent local call. This does not mean that the use of 084 numbers in itself has been banned.“

Some of our patients may be on a call package, where by they receive a package of free minutes for a monthly amount. It is often a miss conception that people receive ‘free minutes’ as in fact they simply pay up front, in their monthly fee, for any calls that they will make. If the amount of calls made does not reach the monthly amount then the provider retains the difference and in fact their customers may pay more for calls than they needed to.

Also with some of these call packages, the telephone provider may charge above the local rate for 0844 numbers and this is stated in their terms and conditions. That is where some patient’s telephony providers overcharge their customers. Other providers also use the rounding up method of calculating call charges rather than per second billing and this can distort the actual cost.

While we sympathise with some patients who find that their package does not include 0844 numbers, it is their choice, and we would recommend that the patient speaks to his or her provider as they would be able to advise which plan would be best for them especially if they calls 0844 numbers regularly.

With regards to mobile phones, you will note that the BMA guidance states that "In terms of call tariffs, the call rates which patients are charged depend on their mobile phone service provider. It is a matter for individual members of the public to ensure that they are happy with the terms and conditions of the mobile phone arrangements that they enter into with their mobile phone provider."

You can be confident that both this practice and our telephone provider NEG have fulfilled their obligations under both the terms of the Government's guidance and the relevant legislation.

To enable our patients to contact the surgery free of charge we have a website at www.glencrosssurgery.nhs.uk where you can order your repeat prescriptions, access opening times, health and travel advice, or inform us any changes to your details. Patients can also attend the surgery when reception is open 8.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, fax us on 08448 15 10 23, email us on reception@gp-b85058.nhs.uk or contact by post on the address above.

We are also happy to provide a ‘call-back’ service although this may be later the same day due to the demands on the phone lines and staff during busy periods. We also offer telephone consultations when the GP or nurse will call a patient on their home, work or mobile phone after their surgery session.


Q. When asking patients in the survey about how easy it would be for people with disabilities to move around the surgery and how we could improve this, you commented that we should have a stair lift or lift to access the nurse's rooms upstairs (Feb 2013)

A. As many of you noted, making structural adjustments to a building of this age is prohibitive. However we do our best to make it as accessible as possible. Patients who voice their concerns over the stairs are offered appointments at a time when the ground floor room is free so that the nurse can bring her equipment downstairs to see those patients in the Doctor's room. Minor Surgery however, cannot be performed in this room due to the equipment and fixtures necessary. Please ask the receptionist if this is something you need and they will be happy to arrange this.

Q. We appreciate the parking issues inherant from being situated close the othe town centre and have again requested the council provide more 1 hour stay spaces on the local streets to rpelace some of the permit holders only parking. Unfortunately their reply was not encouraging.... (Feb 2014)

Our Reference: CP310509


Dear Mrs Rees


Thank you for contacting the Council to report the problems patients have parking on Wentworth Street and your request for some parking to be made solely available for patients here.


I am sorry but we cannot reserve individual parking on the adopted highway. If you do not have access to private off street parking available at these premises, then patients must find the nearest legal place to park.


I have visited the site and noted that there was no available free parking in the residential permit parking bay and this was taken up wholly by residents displaying their relevant permit. I also noted that residents were also parking in the Ltd Waiting/Permit parking bays on the opposite side of the road. So if I was to agree to your request to change the permit parking bay to limited waiting for your patients, it is highly likely the residents here would strongly object given that they would not be able to park near their homes.


That said, there were a number of free parking spaces outside the church and in the shared bay opposite. I realise this is some distance for patients to walk but given the proximity of the town centre we would encourage your patients to use sustainable methods of travel whenever possible.


Kind regards

Karen North

Senior Traffic Investigation Officer

Streetscene and Housing

Flint Street

Tel: 01484 221000


27.02.14 Dear Karen,

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that it would not be possible to individual parking. My suggestion was more to make both sides of Wentworth and Fitzwilliam Ltd Waiting/Permit parking bays including the free spaces outside of the church. The reason for this is so that it will ensure more Ltd Waiting parking bays are available for patients without causing problems for local residents. The free spaces outside the church are full by 8am in the morning with people who work in the town centre so at the moment cannot be utilised by our patients. Having worked here for 6 years now I know how early you need to be here to get one of those spots! We do encourage patients and staff to use the buses as we are so close to the main bus routes and advertise this on our practice leaflet, but I do think this option should be considered very seriously as it will better meet the needs visitors to the two local surgeries and dental practice without impacting on the local residents ability to park outside their homes. I would be happy to audit the spots available over a week at different times if this would add weight to our cause?

Kind Regards

Sally Rees




Thank you for your further email. I am sorry that your request was mis-recorded.


In order to bring into effect the changes you have requested here I would need to process a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO. This is a long legal process which costs around £5000 and takes around 9-12 months to complete. It is needed to allow enforcement of the lines/signs on  site. So before starting the process I have to be certain this is the correct thing to do and will not simply move the problem elsewhere.


 As I explained at the time of my visit, the residential parking bay was full and residents were also parked in the mixed residential/Ltd Waiting bays on the opposite side of the road which suggests that parking is still at premium in this vicinity for local residents who's needs must be placed first. So unfortunately I cannot consider changing the residential bay at this time. In response to your request to restrict the unrestricted part of the road in front of the church, I can confirm that there were spaces available for parking here as well as in the mixed bays on the opposite side of the road. In addition there is very limited unrestricted parking close to the town. So if we were to advertise these changes, it is likely the drivers who choose to park here would strongly object.

 With this information in mind, I am sorry I cannot justify processing changes here at this time with the sole intention of trying to benefit patients visiting the surgery.

 Kind regards

Karen North

Taken forward with local Councillor - see Patient_Viewpoint_Group_Report_March_2014.pdf for more details.



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