You may have seen from our recent posts that the surgery began moving to a new computer system on Friday 7th July. We made the decision to change computer systems due to ongoing and frequent problems with our old system for both staff and patients. This change has taken much longer than we were originally advised by our computer support teams and there have been many pitfalls we were not expecting. All surgery staff are working exceptionally hard to iron out these problems and get us back up to speed, all whilst trying to get to grips with a completely new computer system themselves.
Even without the additional burden of a new computer system the demand seen by general practice over recent years is unprecedented, we are endeavouring to serve 27,500 patients to the best of our ability with very little funding or resource. Unless you have worked in an NHS funded service you cannot begin to understand the pressures we are under. Every single staff member has chosen to work in the NHS not because of pay benefits as they could all earn more elsewhere, but because they want to make a difference and help people – every day I see the staff at Marlow bending over backwards to help and do their absolute best to serve the patients of Marlow with very limited resources at their disposal. And every day I see staff coming in early, staying late, working through lunches, clinicians discussing pathways to best help poorly patients, a clinical triage team of nurses, doctors and paramedics sorting through a relentless demand for appointments deciding which are urgent and which can wait. These are the same staff that carried on coming in to work all through COVID, terrified for themselves and their families but knowing they had a responsibility in their role to care for others so they continued to show up, both admin and clinical teams alike. And all of whom I am immensely proud.
Now I am seeing these same staff subjected to daily abuse – swearing, bullying, intimidation and in some cases even physical violence. At least one staff member being reduced to tears is a daily occurrence, as is being told ‘if I die it will be your fault’. These are daughters, mothers, sisters, brothers who are all just following procedures put in place by our GP partners. Then they get home after an incredibly long and difficult day only to read endless complaints about the surgery and it’s staff. By all means have your say – like all human beings we do make mistakes and we do get things wrong but try to remember this is not for want of trying.
Please please try to bear with us whilst we work through this difficult phase – your understanding and patience would be so very welcome in what is an incredibly difficult situation for us all.
Practice Manager, Marlow Medical Group