20th April 2022
Our Facebook page has all the latest and quick updates but the longer ones will be copied to here.
Phones – Probably one of the most frustrating aspects of our service is our phone system. Once state of the art it has now been superseded by many new innovations. We have been looking at alternative options since last year and narrowed down to the one that we felt offered all the functionality we needed at an affordable price. I’m pleased to say we signed the contract last month and are now waiting for the installation date. It will not be immediate as there are multiple levels of work needed but we hope to be live in 6-10 weeks at the latest. The new systems offer many things, better control, routing and reporting from our side and a vastly enhanced interface for patients. No more short repeated answerphone loops, introduction of intelligent queuing, multiple choices, decent music, more pertinent information and so on. (Phone systems are not normally something to get excited about but this one really is sexy!). We will keep you updated when we have a better idea of dates and install, the main number will not change.
New staff – Some of you may have already spoken to Daria our new receptionist and Wayne our new Advanced Nurse Practitioner and we welcome them both to the team and they look forward to helping you.
Healthcare Monitor – We now have Healthcare Monitors at both sites. These machines measure your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. Whilst we will invite you in to use them when we need this information we also encourage you to use every time you are in the surgery or if you have any concerns. This type of information, especially built up over time, is invaluable detail for all clinicians and can make prescribing much quicker and easier and avoid an extra visit. Machines are free to use and the results are recorded and saved electronically. You do not need to check with reception, just pop in and use. There will be a proper screen around the Woolwell one soon.
Prescription Hub – We have done a soft launch of this and are now happy to let everyone know about it. The Hub is working in the background with a dedicated team processing any prescriptions we receive and well as some reviews and alignment work. It is staffed by Medicine Coordinators, Pharmacy Technicians and Clinical Pharmacists.
There is a dedicated number for patients to call 01752 973555 between 10:00 and 14:00hrs Monday to Friday for any prescription queries. Please note it is ONLY for queries or issues they will not take any prescription requests which still need to be online or in writing using the usual methods.
Long term condition reviews – Those of you that need yearly reviews will now find that we will be doing as close as possible to your birth month. This is to spread the demand over the year, allow you to know when to expect the review and generally improve efficiency. If you need to be reviewed sooner or urgently that of course will be dealt with. There will be a full and detailed letter going out over the next few months to each of you that this applies to.
Masks – Whilst the country is reducing the need for lots of protection against Covid, masks are still required in all Healthcare environments. Covid may be the most prevalent communicable disease at the moment but there are many others circulating. Unless medically exempt please wear a mask at all times in the surgery, unless requested to remove, by a clinician this is to protect you and everyone around you. There will be hand sanitisers available in multiple areas, please use at least when you first arrive.
Covid – We have never closed or stopped face to face work and managed to keep any Covid spread out of the surgery, not only keeping staff and patients safe but also meaning that we could keep up a similar level of appointments. We are making more adjustments all the time to try and be as efficient as possible whilst still keeping everyone safe from any bugs!
eConsult – we will changing to a new system over the coming weeks which we hope will be more flexible for patients and quicker for us to process. It will still be accessed via our website it will just look a bit different but hopefully you will find it clearer, easier and faster. We are aware some surgeries now insist an online form needs to be completed by everyone needing an appointment but that is not a route we intend to go down at the moment. It is an incredibly useful route but we also intend to keep phone calls as an option for requesting advice or asking for help (which may be turned into an appointment if appropriate).
Booking appointments – we hope soon to be able to open up more appointments to be booked online particularly with the nursing team. If you don’t already have the NHS App we do recommend downloading it as it opens up a lot of useful options for you.
That’s about it from us for now, more updates when we have them!