HYNDBURN'S largest medical practice has scrapped its controversial same-day appointments system.
Peel House in Avenue Parade, Accrington, which has 14,800 patients on its books, says it has made the move to make it easier for them to see a doctor and to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st century.
The current system, which has been running for a few years, means patients cannot pre-book appointments, which working people in particular have found difficult.
From Monday, when people ring up they will be asked if they wish to be seen that day, speak to the doctor on the phone or wait and see a doctor of their choice.
Dr Roy Wallworth, senior partner at the practice, said: "We recently conducted a survey of our patients. The majority like the fact that they can get an appointment the same day but for people who work the system was found to be too difficult.
"We also found that some patients were getting appointments on the same day for conditions which could have waited while others with quite significant problems ended up having to try again on another day because all the available appointments had been taken.
"This new system has been designed to give patients more choice by giving them a range of options to meet different people's needs."
Carole Pilkington, practice manager, said: "If a patient wishes to see a specific doctor, they will be offered the next available appointment or the receptionist will be able to indicate when the doctor is likely to be available.
"If the patient wishes to be seen on the same day, they will be given an appointment with an available doctor or nurse. All the nurses and doctors in the practice will be working together to cover this service on a rota.
"The new system will need to be reviewed to see if it is working and we are sure there will be some teething problems.
"However, a great deal of work has been put into ensuring that it works for everyone - patients and health staff.
"The bottom line for us is that the system evolves into something that provides patients with choice, convenience and a bit of control."