Letter to Patients
The Partners of Inspire Health want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to continue to provide a safe, effective service despite the present and ongoing pressures throughout the whole of the NHS care system. We understand how difficult it can be to get through on the phones and that at times we are sadly not able to meet your ideal expectations.
Despite all our doctors, nurses, other health care professionals and our dedicated admin staff and managers, working diligently long hours to provide your care, our capacity at times cannot meet the demand. Often this leads to non-urgent issues being managed as an urgent problem due to lack of alternative appointments being available. This then causes difficulty safely managing genuine emergencies. As a result, we need to ensure, above all else, that we provide a safe service to you, our patients. To do this we need to be able to see the most acutely unwell and vulnerable patients as a priority over those with more minor or longer standing issues.
We have noted the feedback from recent patient questionnaires and are keen to start addressing some of your concerns, in particular with regard to access to appointments, getting through on the phone and continuity of care. We have been encouraged to receive positive feedback from yourselves regarding your clinical care during face to face or telephone appointments and we endeavour to maintain this high level of care.
In order to address your concerns, we are planning to change the process for accessing help and appointments in the practice. It is in line with national requirements that have been set for us and is similar to what many other practices in our area have already implemented. We plan to move towards electronic submissions of your clinical or administrative need, which will allow for a timely triage (preliminary assessment to determine urgency of need) of your clinical requests by a senior GP and a quick response with an appropriate action, without the need for you to spend long periods of time on the phone. We will however continue to take calls and convert them to this form of request for those unable to navigate the electronic submission themselves.
We very much appreciate your understanding and support for the changes that we need to make to facilitate this process.
From 27th February our new system will begin.
So, we will be asking, wherever possible, that patients submit their care requests to the practice via the electronic AccuRx programme on our website – it will be clear and easy to find on the website. The link for this will also be on our social media accounts and is https://florey.accurx.com/p/C81084.
Some of you are already using this and finding that it works well. If you are not able to do this, we can do it for you over the phone, however, to avoid blocking the phone lines for urgent issues, we would encourage AccuRx online use if a friend or relative is able to help you. These messages are saved within your record and a senior GP will review your request and arrange a response within the day with the details of either relevant advice or signposting, an appropriate call back or a face to face review at an appropriate date, place and time, depending on the urgency and type of request submitted. We will also aim to maintain continuity of care if you have a usual or preferred clinician, where possible.
The senior GP will decide on which appointment to book with most appropriate health care professional. This may be a GP, trainee GP, medical student, an advanced clinical practitioner, pharmacist, paramedic or physician associate, all of whom are supported and supervised by our experienced GPs and is consistent with what we presently offer.
Every patient is important to us and will always be managed safely and appropriately, but this may mean that at times you may have to wait somewhat longer for a review in order to ensure those of you who need urgent care are able to access this.
This electronic referral process will be open between 7.30am-10am daily. Clinicians will start triaging at 8am. Any emergency or very urgent issue before 8am will need to be triaged through 111 as it is at present. If we reach our maximum number of triage requests before 10am, will we have to close off access early for that day. So, after that time in the day, if there is an emergency, this will need 111 or 999 triage. If it is not an emergency but clearly requiring an urgent response before the end of that day and cannot wait for electronic triage submission the following day, then we ask that you call the practice for urgent assessment. On the rare occasion that we then reach our safe limit for urgent clinical response due to unexpected surge in activity or staff sickness, we will give clear advice to patients about how and where to seek the help required.
We hope that this will provide a safer, more efficient service, however this will require co-operation and understanding from yourselves.
Finally, we wish to thank you all in advance for your help and support in making this change successful for your benefit.
The GP Partners of Inspire Health