Ellon patients are to set to enjoy a range of upgrades to their medical practice in the town.
New practice manager for Ellon Health Centre, Anne Marie Walsh, has introduced various new initiatives in a bid to improve services for patients.
A new website has been launched - www.ellonmedicalpractice.co.uk, which allows patients to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions through an online booking system.
Anne Marie Walsh said: “The previous website was extremely complicated to keep up-to-date and make additions.
“The new website is managed through the practice and this will enable us to keep patients informed and up-to-date with any new developments.”
Patients can access the booking system online by completing a registration form available from the main reception desk.
Ms Walsh adds that there are added benefits to using the new online system.
She said: “The patient needing to make the appointment or repeat prescription can do so 24/7 and it also frees up the phone lines for other patients to get through.”
Ellon patients are also able to take advantage of a free texting service which sends a reminder of any appointments that they have with the practice.
If patients can no longer make their appointment or wish to cancel they have the option to text back again, free of charge.
Mrs Walsh adds: “This automatically frees up their appointment, which can then be utilised for another patient.
“In the first month alone this has seen a 10% reduction in ‘did not attend’ patients.
“This service only costs the practice £50 a month and can also be utilised to send out health campaign reminders. “These letters would normally cost the practice a £1, which includes the paper, envelope, stamp and administration time, therefore freeing up resources to be used for the benefit of the patient.”
The Patient Participation Group has also been re-introduced which is there to listen to patient views and opinions and to improve patient experience within the centre.
The group meet approximately every six weeks, in the Health Centre, from 6pm to 7pm, with the next meeting planned for April 28.
The group are also in the early stages of designing a patient satisfaction survey along with the practice manager to help make further improvements.
The group are keen to get more patients involved in this group.
If anyone is interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 337 1150.
Patients may notice a difference to the centre throughout the year as Anne Marie has also secured funding since starting her post to upgrade the facilities.
Flooring throughout most of the building will be replaced with vinyl which will be easier to clean and will help maintain hygiene standards.