New Appointment System
CHANGE TO OUR APPOINTMENT SYSTEM
From 11th March we will be running a new appointment system. Our aim is to provide appropriate and fair access to all patients while ensuring we manage demand within our available resources. Above all we wish to provide care that is safe and appropriate to patient needs. There will be a period where both patients and staff become familiar with the new system and we will be grateful for your understanding during this time.
Access to a GP by triage
Appointments with our GPs will be moving to a triage system. This means that the receptionist will no longer book an appointment for you with the GP unless the GP has already given you a time and date for the appointment to be booked. Instead, if you wish to see or speak to the doctor, whether for something urgent or routine your request will be allocated to a GP who will call you back on the same day that you make your request.
How the system will work
- Our lines will be open from 08.00 Monday to Friday to take requests for appointments.
- If they are unable to resolve your need by phone they will offer you a face to face consultation with an appropriate clinician. This may be a same day appointment or an appointment booked for some time in the next four weeks depending on their discussion with you.
The receptionist will ask you to provide as much information as you can regarding your needs. If you require access to a GP they will place your request on the call back list of one of the GP's available that day. The GP will call you to discuss. By sharing the triaging of calls among our GPs the intention is to provide a service that is more responsive and which ensures that those with the most urgent need are prioritised and given face to face appointments where necessary.
What stays the same - access to nurse, clinics and general enquiries.
Patients will still be able to book appointments with our nurses via the receptionists. These appointments will not be subject to triage, except where after speaking to a GP they decide that you should see a nurse. Our reception staff will be available to help with administrative and general enquiries as well as prescription requests.
Why we are changing
Many practices around the country are moving to triage systems in order to adapt to growing patient demand and difficulties in recruiting doctors. Several other Practices in Ashford are already running similar triage systems. Although the system is about managing demand it is also about providing appropriate access for patients. It is also about the safety of ensuring no individual GP has too many patients to deal with on a single day. The new system is not an attempt to deal with fewer patients overall but to provide a means by which patients can access a clinician appropriate to their needs more efficiently and which enables us to be responsive. We do not intend that the new system will lead to less demand and it is not our intention to discourage patients from contacting us. Our objective is to achieve an appropriate balance between the types of GP consultation (face to face, phone, urgent or non urgent) and the particular needs of our patients. Our current system is not flexible enough to achieve this.
If necessary we will modify the system and continue to review how it performs. We will seek to keep patients informed of any changes and to discuss the system through our Patient Participation Group.
We acknowledge that there will be a period of adjustment for both patients and staff and we are grateful for your understanding during this time. We assure you of our best efforts at all times to make this work well for all.
Please click below to view the new appointment system at Ashford Medical Partnership - St Stephens.
New Appointment System
Extra appointments now available at GP practices in Ashford
From 1st October 2018, evening, weekend and bank holiday appointments will be available with range of Primary Care health professionals in Ashford.
This is part of a national drive to improve access to Primary Care services and give people the opportunity to have an appointment at a time that suits them.
These extra appointments, alongside existing services, will allow patients to pre-book routine appointments with healthcare professionals between 8am and 8pm each weekday as well as appointments on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
Appointments will be provided from practices in different locations within Ashford, not necessarily at the patients’ own surgery, but the health professionals treating them will, with their consent, be able to see their full medical records.
Anyone needing to make an appointment should contact their GP practice in the first instance.
Trained reception staff will know when appointments are available and with which healthcare professional. They will be able to book an appointment at either the patients’ own surgery or one of the other practices providing appointments within Ashford. Patients should advise the receptionist if they particularly want an evening or weekend appointment.
Please note, these extra appointments will be available for pre-booked care. It is important to remember that anyone who needs medical assistance when their practice is closed should continue to dial NHS 111.
We would welcome feedback on this new service – please either complete a Family and Friends Test questionnaire at the practice when attending for your appointment or alternatively email the CCG patient experience team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our aim is to provide a friendly, high quality and accessible primary care service to our patients that meets their needs and improves their health and well-being.
We will achieve this by:
- Ensuring that our patients are respected as individuals and their care plan is planned with them in a holistic way to maximise their health outcomes and wellbeing.
- Creating a welcoming and caring environment which is evident and experienced by our patients whenever they are in contact with the practice.
- Ensuring our services are safe and that they are provided in a suitable environment with up to date equipment.
- Maintaining a team of appropriately trained and skilled staff able to continuously deliver services to a high standard.
- Providing sufficient capacity to meet the needs of our practice population in a timely and responsive manner which is sensitive to our different patient groups.
- Embedding a culture of continuous learning and professional development in our organisation and supporting our team to attend regular training.
- Making sure our practice is well led by appropriately skilled managers and clinical staff to ensure our staff feel valued and they understand their roles in delivering our services.
We want to know what you think about your experience here at the practice so if you have any compliments, suggestions or complaints you can leave feedback at NHS Choices on the following link:
Health Help Now is a free website or mobile app that you can use to find the most appropriate local health service for common symptoms and advice for people of all ages. Visit www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net or search "Health Help Now" in your app store.
The WaitLess app combines current waiting times at all urgent care centres – drawn from the official NHS system – with up-to-the-minute travel information, to help people decide which urgent care centre to head to for faster treatment for minor injuries. The WaitLess app is free to download from iTunes and Google Play.
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(Site updated 25/04/2019)