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Actions to Help

 

We fully appreciate it can be frustrating trying to get through to Reception or waiting in line when collecting your medication.

The Practice has and is still receiving an unprecedented increase in the numbers of contacts over the past months. The management team are always looking at implementing ways of improving our service. Some examples of this are as follows:

-Recruitment - we are taking on more patient advisors and dispensing staff, as well as a new Nurse Practitioner, Psychologist and GP recently.

-We regularly employ locum GPs and practice nurses to help deal with the demand

-We offer a new service where patients can email in to say they are planning to collect their medication that day so we can ensure it is ready when they arrive

-We have a delivery service for our most vulnerable patients which helps reduce the number of patients attending the dispensary

-We monitor the queues constantly and address the situation daily

-We have Practice "huddles" with key staff involved to discuss a plan for the day

-Messages on the telephone system and website are there to give information to our patients and are checked and changed regularly. Occasionally these messages may be out of date temporarily due to situations changing quickly

-Monday has always been our busiest day as demand increases yet further after the weekend - this is carefully considered with more clinical appointments available

-We have an "all hands-on deck" approach every morning where all available staff trained to answer phones do so

-We have a monitoring system on the phonelines where the team can see the calls waiting throughout the day. They then react accordingly, deploying more staff to this area

-We signpost patients who can be dealt with by a pharmacist to a chemist, and others to our Livi GP Service, dentists, social services or opticians. This in turn reduces the pressure on GP appointments and phone calls

-Clinic layouts and planning is discussed regularly at meetings with management and clinicians so these can be adjusted to meet demand - we do not currently advance book further than 2/3 weeks ahead with GPs to ensure we have capacity on the day

-We interact and meet with our PPG (Patient Participation Group) to share concerns and ideas

Unfortunately, quite often the demand on the service outweighs our ability to routinely offer every patient what they request and in the time frame they would like, so we must prioritise those in most need. If your need is urgent and you have stressed this to the Patient Advisor, rest assured you will be dealt with that day.

Although we would all like to think Covid has gone away, unfortunately it is still regularly affecting staffing levels. We will still be offering a vaccination service up to the middle of June and then again in the Autumn.

Routine enquiries will take longer than usual to be dealt with at this time.

We do hope this goes some way to explaining what we are doing to improve our access for patients.

Thank you for your understanding.

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