Anima FAQ

Answers to some of your questions about the new booking system

We have made changes to the way you book an appointment. The aim is to make it easier to get an appointment and to do away with the 8.30am rush for appointments which is neither fair or clinically appropriate.

Now, to get an appointment a team of clinicians will go through your symptoms and will make sure you get the help you need as fast as possible.

This “triage system” means that a team of clinicians will assess your symptoms before giving you an appointment based on your clinical need rather than the time that you contact the surgery.

That means that we have done away with the 8.30am rush for appointments! You can call or book online at any time during the day and we can make the appropriate appointment for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have been asking for feedback from patients to make sure that this new approach is meeting your needs.

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions we have received from patients about this new system.

Does this system disadvantage those who can’t get online?

No. Patients can, and will always be able to, phone us. The online option is an additional way you can book an appointment. What we do ask is that anyone who can go online does so – as it will free up the phonelines for others.

Is the system difficult for those that don’t speak English?

No. If you use the online system than it can be automatically translated into most languages. You can also write your answer in any langue. Note that following patient feedback we have asked for an Arabic option to be added for our Arabic-speaking patients.

Is the plan to prioritise those that need same-day appointments and make others have long waits?

We will prioritise based upon clinical need for example we’d want to see a young baby with an uncontrollable temperature, or a diabetic with foot issues sooner than we would someone who has had pain in their shoulder for the past 3 weeks.

However, most people who are not getting same-day appointments are telling us that they like the fact they can choose an appointment time that is convenient to them. We can even send you a link so you can pick your own time and date.

What we are trying to do is ensure there are always appointments for urgent needs, but then providing convenient appointments for others within the next few days - usually the next day.

Are there lots of questions we have to answer which are a waste of time?

We collect information when you contact us to allow our clinicians to decide on the urgency. We are also sometimes able to solve the issue without you even having to wait for an appointment. The questions we ask are really important and spending time helping us at this initially stage will save you time in the long run.

Is it really that there are too many patients and not enough appointments?

No. If our patient numbers increase then then we increase the number of appointments we provide. The issue before we introduced this system was that demand was concentrated at the start of the day which overwhelmed our phone system and meant that some people who really needed an appointment couldn’t get one.

Will the practice call me when they decide to give me an appointment?

It won’t necessarily be a phone call.  We will contact you in different ways depending on how you made the appointment. So, for those who used the online system: we will respond through the Anima App and you will get an email, and a SMS message if you have provided us with your phone number. If you contacted us by phone then we will call you back. We do need patients to ensure they keep an eye out for our communications – particularly  if they have asked for an urgent appointment.

What changes have you made following patient feedback?

  • We have changed some of the standard text responses to make messages clearer
  • We have changed the appointment system, so less appointments are available first thing and more are available later on, so that you have time to get ready and get to appointments.
  • We are continuing to review the appointment capacity in relation to patient demand (times and dates)
  • We are reviewing if and how we can encourage patients to contact us later in the day for less urgent issues.