Appointment Changes 2024


We would like to update you about changes happening at your surgery.


The last few years have been challenging. You will be aware from the media that surgeries nationally have been under pressure due to rising demand, increased workload, and staff shortages. Our population in Totton is ageing, with more complex medical problems, and there has been an increasing amount of work given to general practice from the hospitals. We have also had the COVID pandemic to manage and deliver the vaccine roll out.


We are aware from patient feedback that there is a lot of unhappiness around access to our surgery. This reflects the national picture and is not a result of the merger of our two surgeries into one organisation – New Horizons Medical Partnership. The merger has in fact made us more resilient and able to cope with staff changes and the challenges we are presented with.  


We are pleased to let you know that with effect from March 2024 we are introducing changes which we believe will address the demand for appointments and improve our service to you, our patient.



  1. More face-to-face appointments.

Telephone triage has been used extensively over the past 3 years and has been very effective. However, there is an appetite for more face-to-face appointments - so we are reducing telephone triage slots and providing more routine and urgent face-to-face appointments.


  1. More routine appointments.

Seeing your usual GP is better for your care, provides continuity, reduces hospitalisation rates and leads to better satisfaction for patients and doctors. We are keen to shift emphasis from on the day care to more routine care, which is largely more appropriate.


  1. Use on-line booking and stopping e-Consult.

We have used a system called e-Consult over the past 2 years -this has had variable success. Some feedback has been very positive, but for some patients, this has been less accessible. It has produced a 2-tier service so, we are severely reducing this service from Wednesday 28th February.

Direct patient on-line booking into routine surgery appointments will be re-introduced. These will be available on-line from 7am Monday – Friday to book for up to a week ahead at the surgery. Appointment access will be via the NHS App. We would encourage you to book an appointment with your own GP if possible, to ensure continuity of care. Please do not use this system for urgent on the day appointments, which may require admission to hospital.  If you feel your appointment request is urgent, we ask that you call the surgery to be directed to our Urgent Care team. 


  1. Urgent Care Team.

This is for patients who may need admission to hospital or have an urgent medical need and may be accessed by calling the surgery directly.


  1. Surgery Website.

Some forms that were available through e-Consult will now be available through the surgery website found here at

 Further information about the surgery is available on the website.


  1. New Telephone System.

We introduced a new telephone system in 2023. Our phone message is important and keeps you up to date with changes. The telephone options will change. Please listen carefully to the whole message to make sure the right option is selected.


  1. Healthier Together App

Please download this App if you are a parent of a child. It provides lots of information about childhood and adolescent problems and uses a traffic light system to help guide you about whether you need to contact the pharmacist, your GP or go to the hospital.  It has worked well throughout Hampshire and has been shown to be a very helpful resource, getting the right treatment at the appropriate time.


  1. Demand out stripping resources.

Overwhelming demand is still happening. We are trying our best to shape the service we provide to give you high quality patient centred care.


Unfortunately, despite our very best efforts, there may still be days when the demand for urgent care has reached a safe capacity.  You will be notified about this on the telephone whilst in the queue. 


There are many other services available for you to access when we are unable to offer you an urgent on the day appointment and you may be directed to a pharmacy, a walk-in centre or the Emergency Department for further advice. 


We know that at times in the past getting access to medical care has unfortunately led to anger and abuse being directed at our frontline reception team which, in turn, has led to poor staff well-being.  This is not fair and is unacceptable; the wellbeing of our staff is very important to us.  Please always be aware that our frontline staff, including our care coordinators, are following instructions from the Doctors, and are trying to find you the best appointment possible.  This appointment may not always be with a doctor; you may be correctly redirected to an alternative, more suitable appointment.  


Demand for appointments has increased hugely and it will always be exceedingly difficult to meet that demand, but we are trying. Our surgery appointments in 2023 increased by almost 10% on the previous year - 53,386 in 2022 to 58,696 in 2023. We have listened to what our patients and staff have said.  As a result of this we want to make changes for the better.


We are aware patients want to book ahead for appointments; however, we must balance that wish by considering the increased number of patients who fail to attend their appointments.  Patients who Do Not Attend (DNAs) their appointments increased from 1,947 in 2021 to 2,596 in 2023, that’s fifty each week or ten a day. If you are unable to attend an appointment, please let us know so we can reallocate the appointment slot to another patient.


The volume of phone calls from our patients has also increased. The average number of calls per week in 2023 was 3,079 which was much higher than in 2022.  In the first four weeks alone of 2024 we have had up to 3,666 calls per week; this is an additional 600 extra calls per week.


Please bear with us through the change period and please take the time to provide your feedback. 


Importantly, remember our team members are doing their best for you to provide the highest level of health care for you.



Yours faithfully,



The Partners



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   code to find Information and download the

   NHS App to your phone, Or visit:





  Use your smartphone’s camera to scan the

  code to find Information and download the

  Healthier Together App to your phone, Or visit: