Out of hours GP co-op, Westdoc has appealed to patients to be mindful that the service is only for patients who require urgent GP care.
The out-of-hours service will be in operation today, St Stephen’s Day, as well as after 6pm on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 December.
Westdoc will also be available on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 December, and after 6pm on New Year’s Eve. On 1 January, patients should contact Westdoc for medical care and on 2 January, they should call their own GP before 6pm or Westdoc after 6pm.
Siobhan O’Sullivan, Westdoc CEO, said that last year’s experience last year had showed that the majority of calls to the Westdoc service were made in the mornings, which caused unnecessary delays for many patients.
“In many cases, the calls were not urgent cases and/or were calls which could have waited until later in the day. We ask callers to be aware that the mornings are particularly busy and if they feel that they can wait until later in the day to call, then they are likely to have a shorter waiting time for an appointment,” she said.
Dr. Oliver Whyte, Westdoc Clinical Director, echoed this request and said that Westdoc’s primary concern is to provide urgent GP care to patients who become ill outside of regular surgery hours.
“It is critical that these patients can access the Westdoc Service promptly. If patients call for non-urgent or routine matters, it prevents the system operating at its best for those who really need it.”
Westdoc will be providing its normal range of services as deemed medically appropriate, including free nurse advice.
Westdoc is an appointment service only, so if patients of Westdoc GP members require urgent or emergency GP care, they can call 1850 365000. Where possible, patients should contact their own family doctors.