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Changes to the Appointment System

From the 22ndJuly 2019 our Appointment System will be changing to a Triage Service. 

All practices are struggling to meet the increasing demand for appointments, but the growth in our patient population as a result of local housing developments has placed an extra strain on the practice. We recognise the situation is difficult for patients, but it is also having an impact on practice staff. Clearly something has to change.

Over the past few months we have been listening to patient feedback about our appointment system and looking at ways to improve it. We have recruited more doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses, but this alone is not enough. The appointment booking system needs to be changed, and for this reason we are introducing a Triage Service.

Triage is an assessment by a trained health care professional and is designed to ensure patients are helped in a timely manner by the most appropriate health professional. This system is used throughout GP practices and hospitals and has been shown to enable patients to access their health care system more effectively. 

When you contact the Health Centre the first point of contact will continue to be one of our Reception Team. We have trained our staff to use Care Navigation to help you obtain an appropriate appointment. This will not automatically be with a GP.

We have a large team of health professionals at the Health Centre who in many cases will be able to provide an alternative to a GP appointment. These include nurse practitioners, practice nurses, heath care assistants, physiotherapists, health visitors, dispensary staff and a clinical pharmacist, plus we can advise when using the services provided by community pharmacies would be an appropriate option.

To ensure you always see the right person at the right time, Reception Staff will need to ask more details about your problem. Please try to assist them - all information is treated in the strictest confidence.

If it is felt an appointment to see a GP may be necessary you will be placed on a Triage List for one of our Triage Team (composed of GPs and a nurse practitioner) to speak to you about your problem. As a result you may be offered an appointment with a GP, or it may be possible to deal with your problem over the telephone without the need for you to attend an appointment at the Health Centre. 

If the GP has asked you to make a follow up appointment or you have received a letter requesting you make an appointment this will be dealt with by the Reception Team.

We are keen to reduce the high early morning demand for appointments that is so frustrating for patients. Using a triage service will help spread the workload throughout the day, so that it will no longer be necessary to queue at reception early in the morning. It may take a little longer to book each appointment using Care Navigation but we hope the phone wait at any time will be reduced. The Triage Team will be available throughout the day and will aim to call you back within the hour.

As with any new system we anticipate some teething problems during the first few weeks, resulting in some initial disruption to the appointment system. We will endeavour to keep this to a minimum, and will always ensure urgent issues are dealt with on the day. 

We recognise that for some patients this may be a significant change but we believe it is necessary. We are confident it will bring a significant improvement to your appointment making experience.

As always, we welcome your feedback about the new system.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during a very difficult time. 

ATTENTION - CHANGES TO RESULTS/PRESCRIPTIONS LINE

The results line will now be opened between the hours of 14:00 - 15:00.

The prescription line will now be opened between 10:00 - 13:00, this only applies to patients that DO NOT use our dispensary. There are currently no changes to the dispensarys' telephone line.

STAFF TRAINING CLOSURE DAYS

Wednesday 5th June 2019 1pm - 6:30pm

Wednesday 4th September 2019 1pm - 6:30pm

Wednesday 2nd October 2019 1pm - 18:30pm

Wednesday 6th November 2019 1pm - 6:30pm

Wednesday 4th December 2019 1pm - 6:30pm

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