Have you ever put a query into our askmyGP system on a Monday morning and found out that it has taken longer than normal to respond to?
One of the fantastic benefits of our system is that we can track every query that we receive. We can investigate when it is received, how it was resolved, who resolved it and how long it took. This is helpful as fascinating patterns begin to emerge. This allows us to try to manage our systems, but it also allows our patients to maybe use our system in a different way.
Mondays are busy in healthcare. In almost every setting Mondays are the busiest day, whether that be in Accident and Emergency Departments or GP surgeries. Some people have problems over the weekend and put it off until Monday, some people are encouraged to visit the doctor by friends and family who they see at the weekend and do it on Monday, some just are more likely to make a call at the beginning of the week than the end. There is even some evidence you are more likely to have a heart attack on a Monday morning, possibly due the stress of the start of the week.
Our data shows that Monday mornings are busy for us, really busy. In fact, our figures show that the number of askmyGP queries on a Monday is significantly more than any other day, consistently. We add that to requests that come in over the weekend and we can end up dealing with over 800 queries on a Monday. By any measure that is a lot.
The graph below shows our last few weeks. This Monday was extremely busy, but the trend is consistent and clear to see.
So, what does this mean for you? If you are sick and need to be seen then it is important you contact us anytime, including on a Monday. For those however who have a routine query, something that can be resolved at any time, it may just be worth pausing and thinking – do I need to do this on a Monday? Putting your request in at another time might just lead to a quicker response and really help your surgery out by spreading the workload out a little during the week.