The Job We Love And Do

Every one of us at Hastings & Rother Healthcare would like to thank you for your continued support since the beginning of the pandemic. 

We recognise that it has been a challenging time for patients and empathise if any frustration has been experienced towards some of the infection prevention measures we have adopted to ensure that you and our staff remain safe.  The majority of patients have understood the principles behind our safety measures and we would like to thank you.

However, a small minority have felt the need to express their frustration towards the team, which has been upsetting and challenging at times.  Please remember we come to work to do a job that we love and take pride in.  None of us expects to be abused or threatened whilst doing it.


We thought it might be helpful to address some of the recent perceptions towards General Practice:


When are you going to open?


We are open!  We have been open throughout the pandemic offering face-to -face and remote consultations depending on clinical need.  We are currently operating a closed-door policy.  We have recently reviewed our infection prevention risks and vaccination rates and we can confirm we will be unlocking our doors 1/11/21.


When are you going to start seeing people again? You are not seeing patients!


We have continued to see people throughout the pandemic.  In September 2021 we offered 3,708 face- to -face appointments.  Unfortunately, 498 people failed to attend their face-to-face appointment. As a team, we had 14,114 interactions with patients during September 2021.

I want to see a GP?


In September 2021, 8,607 appointments (combination of remote and face-to-face) appointments were booked with a GP.  Of those, 8,534 were on the same day.


We operate a full triage system, which allows us to direct you to the best clinician to meet your needs. Sometimes this will not be a GP and sometimes this will be via a remote consultation.


You can never get through on the phone/you don’t answer your calls?


We have experienced an unprecedented increase in demand.  For example, in September 2021 we received 20,151 incoming calls, compared to 17,454 in May 2021.  Our data shows us that our busiest day for calls is Monday, with an average of 926 calls per Monday during September 2021.  Calls can often exceed 1000 per day.  We receive significantly fewer calls on a Thursday and Friday (approximately 200 fewer). We continue to recruit reception colleagues and have made a commitment to invest in additional resource to address the increase in demand we have experienced. 


I have waited hours to get through on the phone!


Our average waiting time during September 2021 was 13minutes and 55 seconds.  However, at busy times such as Monday morning, this can peak to 40 minutes. We agree this is not acceptable. As such, we are looking into the feasibility of a call-back system and have increased the availability of Engage Consult queries, alongside a recruitment campaign to employ more reception colleagues.

Our official appointment data for the past six months across our whole organisation:

Some things you can do to help us help you:


  • Mondays are our busiest day of the week and we receive the highest volume of calls. If your condition is non-urgent/acute, please contact us later in the week. 


  • Last-minute requests – please plan ahead where you can. For example, if you require a repeat prescription or have a general query please allow us time to manage this within a reasonable timeframe. Our standard turn-around time for prescriptions is between 3-5 days.


Consider if we are the right service. Pharmacies can provide advice in relation to: 


  • Treating minor health concerns such as:  aches and pains, sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache, cystitis, skin rashes, teething, red eye
  • Non-prescription medicines such as pain killers and anti-inflammatories
  • Dispensing of NHS prescriptions
  • Disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicine.

Once again, we would like to thank all of our patients who have supported us throughout these difficult times.

Hastings & Rother Healthcare.


Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough or loss/change to sense of smell or taste.

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