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Ball Tree is under significant financial pressure – as are many GP surgeries – please help us to keep your surgery open.

  • We are a caring organisation but did you know that your surgery is also a caring small independent business?
  • We can go bankrupt, we can close.
  • We have to watch our pennies.
  • With your help we look forward to serving you for many years to come.
  • We have to earn our income from the NHS and we only have this income to run our business. We cannot charge for NHS services.
  • The income that we receive from the NHS is not increasing fast enough to meet the increased costs that we have
  • We are not protected by the NHS and we don’t have the scale of a large hospital to be able to make a loss
  • We only have one option to help us which is to cut costs
  • Unlike other businesses, we cannot ’charge more’ for our services as we are lucky that NHS services to patients are free
  • We don’t want to cut our services, which is one option for cutting costs
  • Another way to cut our costs is for our patients to use us more wisely, reducing the amount that we spend on our administration and by patients not missing appointments or booking unnecessary appointments. We think that you would prefer this option.
  • Also, unlike other businesses, we have very little flexibility and are not able to invest in new technology or provide many additional services that could help increase our income. We are controlled by a very strict contract and much of what we do is governed by national decisions and agreements.
  • There is a huge amount of change about to happen in the NHS – much of it may ultimately be for the better – however at the moment, there is not enough investment in the system and the real risk is that the positive changes won’t happen as there will be far fewer GPs remaining

Please help to keep the costs down at your surgery:

  • Is your mobile up-to-date?
  • Please register for our online services
  • Please tell your friends and relatives to provide us with email and mobile and to register for online services (we can reduce our postage)
  • ALWAYS reply to our first letter, text or email if we write to you to invite you for an appointment – this is really important – it will save a huge amount of time and cost
  • Use our NO THANK YOU online forms if you don’t want to come for a particular vaccination or health review – reduce phone calls
  • Please order your medications ON TIME – allow at least 48 hours and opt for paperless prescriptions (reduce pressures on reception and on GPs)
  • Please don’t book urgent appointments for medically non-urgent matters. We are one of the few remaining surgeries in the area that will see you on the day (AM or PM) if you are feeling seriously unwell – even if our usual appointments are already full.  We will have to change our policies and reduce our access if patients continue to use these extra urgent appointments for medically non-urgent matters.
  • Please be polite to our reception team and please don’t demand the impossible – they really are there to help you – however they are asked to follow policies created by the GPs for a reason. Please answer their questions.
  • We work very hard to provide a good level of access to appointments. If you have to wait a while, it is because we have very limited resources and demand is increasing. Missed appointments lead to longer waits and less availability.
  • We have not cut any services but more people are trying to use the services we provide.
  • There is no more money for additional staff and no physical space for us to have any more staff even if we had the resources.
  • ALWAYS tell us if you cannot make an appointment AS SOON AS YOU CAN – so far your surgery has lost over £14,000 since April 2016 through patients not turning up.
  • Please use us wisely or you will lose us – think before you call – do you really need to see a GP – could you self-care – see a pharmacist – wait a few days to see if you get better by yourself? http://www.nhs24.com/selfhelpguide/ http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pages/hub.aspx
  • Several surgeries have closed recently due the pressures that GPs face. We, just like others, are also at risk of closure unless we have increased investment or a reduction in activity.
  • Please tell your friends and relatives to use us wisely as well – if you know someone who misses appointments or doesn’t use our services wisely – explain to them that you want your surgery to stay open and ask them to remember this when booking appointments..
  • Our local NHS CCG is working to help support GP practices as they are aware of the risks we face – however they are limited by central NHS cutbacks.
  • Please help us to continue to help you.

Use our online suggestions box for your ideas!

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