How to access your GP service, and our response to the NHSE guidance. Our current position.
1. We are open, as we have been right through the pandemic and still want and need to know if you are unwell or worried about your health.
2. We run a “phone first system”, so please phone, leave some details with the admin team and one of the clinical team will call you back, generally the same day. Please give the admin team some details, it helps us prioritise our work which means patients get the care they need in a timely manner- we will always deal with the most unwell patients first.
3. Please be polite and patient patients. We are working flat out, and we will not tolerate abuse of staff.
4. A lot can be dealt with over the phone or even by text (if we need a photo for example), videocall or electronic consultation (using Engage Consult from the front page of the practice website at www.beaconsfieldroadsurgery.co.uk). Please do not send in an online consultation if you have already phoned us; this causes disruption to our triaging services, and takes a consultation space from another patient. Engage Consult is an alternative to the traditional consultation, not a personal messaging service.
5. Note that not everything requires input from GP practice staff, we may need to signpost you to other services. These services have been set up locally to ensure we can cope with demand safely and ensure that those who need input from the practice can be dealt with.
6. If a face-to-face appointment is required clinically (please note that is NOT the same as face-to-face on demand), this will be offered, and we will ensure an appropriate clinician will have a sensible amount of time to deal with this.
7. All the points above mean we can deal with greater numbers of patients, with better access and run a better service.
8. The senior clinical team is made up of highly trained and highly experienced clinicians, supported and supervised by Dr Parker and Dr Radia. You will be given an appointment with a suitable member of the team. Not all of them are doctors, not all of them are regular practice staff. We work as a team. If it turns out after speaking to you that they need support to deal with your problem, they discuss matters with one of the senior clinical team. We do not have enough doctors and cannot get more as things stand, though we are trying to recruit. This is a totally different model to the one we were able to use a few years ago, when we had more doctors, and the system may be unfamiliar to you. But it works, it is effective, and it is safe.
9. Demand is enormous, much higher than previous years. Capacity is limited, a clinician can only deal with one patient at a time and our buildings are old and no longer fit for purpose. It may be frustrating if you have to wait for a response. We have several hundred calls a day, mostly in the mornings. If you are waiting longer than you would like, it is because we are dealing with someone else.
10. That said, even if we are full and at capacity, we will never turn away from an urgent problem so please communicate with the admin team if you feel your need is genuinely urgent. (Please be honest with staff regarding urgent matters, we reserve the right to tell patients that their issue is not urgent, and they will need to rebook routinely)
11. If you struggle with access for some reason, for example you are elderly or are not digitally enabled, please let us know and we can and will work around that for you.
12. If you are unhappy with how we have to run things, we always listen to constructive feedback via the correct channels (https://www.beaconsfieldroadsurgery.co.uk/patient-info/complaints-compliments/). Please talk to us about any issues you have with the service we provide. We can’t consider how to change things if we don’t know there is an issue.