Appointment hub draft patient statement
Appointment Hub: you said, we listened
We are planning significant changes to our appointment system starting 12 Sept 2023 and now welcome comments from our Patient Group about the below draft patient information.
Please send your comments by 6pm on Tuesday 5th Sept 2023 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Appointment Hub: draft patient statement page 1
On 12th September 2023 St Martins Practice launches Appointment Hub. We know it has been difficult to reach us by phone recently. In response, we are launching Appointment Hub: all appointment requests for the GP or nurse will come via an online consultation form before an appointment is allocated. The hub team (GP, Nurse and Care Navigator) will review all requests and work out the necessary timescale for the appointment, and the most appropriate healthcare professional.
The Appointment Hub team will respond on the same day to all online forms that we receive by 11am (Monday to Friday, as currently). This may include sending you a message, calling you on the phone, or booking you an appointment. If same day care is needed because the issue is clinically urgent, then a same day face to face appointment or telephone advice will be arranged.
The online form can be completed on a smartphone or a computer, by either the patient or a carer; patients without such access can call or visit us for our Patient Support Team to complete the online form on their behalf. This is quicker & more efficient than phoning the practice.
This triage system will make sure patients with the greatest need are seen first and ensure the practice manages its workload safely and efficiently.
Appointment Hub: draft patient statement page 2
Why are you changing your appointment system again?
We have listened to patients’ dissatisfaction with our current system. We want an appointment system that works better for patients while also allowing us to continue work safely, and that better allows us to prioritise work and better uses the full range of healthcare professionals that now work in the primary care team.
Our primary care team now involves many different healthcare professionals from mental health workers to physiotherapists to pharmacists and our aim to try to get you to the right healthcare professional.
As you may know, the pressures on General Practice are higher than they ever have been with an increased workload and insufficient funding and staffing. Sadly, our Appointment Hub is not enabling us to provide additional GP appointments however we hope it will improve patient and staff experience.
Why can’t I just make an appointment to see a GP if that is what I want?
Primary care has changed. There are lots of healthcare professionals within the primary care team and seeing the one most suited to your issue is quicker and more effective. Demand has grown for GP consultations and to manage this, new roles have been funded as an alternative. These new roles include physiotherapist, healthy minds workers, occupational therapist, pharmacist, dieticians who all bring their own specialist knowledge to help improve your care.
Will I need a login to complete the online form?
No. No login is required in order to complete the online form.
The online form function integrates with the NHS App, so it is an option to access the online form via NHS App. This is an option, not a requirement. We encourage patients to get the NHS App which can then be used for both contacting us online, ordering repeat prescriptions, and viewing medical records, all in one place.
I have not got a smartphone
The online form can be completed on a smartphone or a computer, by either the patient or a carer. We can send responses by text or by email. Patients without either a smartphone or a computer can ring us or visit us, and then our Patient Support Team will complete the online form on their behalf. We will then respond by telephone call.
I would like to see the same GP that I saw last time: will this system help?
We agree that our continuity of GP care could be improved. Patients’ prefer it, and so do we. For ongoing issues, the Appointment Hub team can review your notes and offer care with the same doctor. For example, patients with complex health needs or for the same episode of care such as a review of a condition they have already seen the GP or nurse for.
If the request is for same day care, then we are less likely to be able to provide continuity of GP.
How quickly will I get help?
You will be able to submit your request online yourself from 6am-4pm. You will be able to ask to submit it on your behalf by phone or in person from 8am-4pm.
The Appointment Hub team will respond on the same day to all online forms received by 11am daily (Monday to Friday, as currently). This may include sending you a message, calling you on the phone, or booking you an appointment. If same day care is needed because the issue is clinically urgent, then a same day face to face appointment or same day telephone advice will be arranged.
11am is the cut off time for requests for same day GP appointments. We will respond the same day.
4pm is the cut off time for any requests for routine GP or Nurse appointments. We will respond by 11am next working day.
After 4pm, if you are so acutely unwell that you may require a hospital admission, please ring the practice for same day assistance from the duty doctor.
How long will I wait for a routine appointment?
In the future, we are aiming to offer routine GP appointments within 2 weeks but as we also want to ensure continuity of care (see above) you may have to wait longer to see your preferred GP. If demand for routine appointments is high the wait may be longer but the information you have submitted to us will help us ensure we know it is safe for you to wait.
We appreciate that longer waits are frustrating; sadly this new system is not enabling us to provide additional appointments and so we are still in the situation of having more demand for our GP appointments than we are able to supply.