The new ‘Duty Surgery’ – launch date 4th November 2013
Why are we changing our Duty system?
We continually strive to offer the best service we can within our finite resources.
Our Sit and Wait service has been running for a few years and over the course of time, the number of patients attending the sessions have increased which, at times, has made the wait to see a clinician longer. There was also no control over when, during the session, patients would turn up and at times our waiting room would be full to capacity!
Therefore with our ‘new’ Duty system, we will be able to manage the numbers seen by the Duty clinicians but also ensure all patients are dealt in the most appropriate and efficient way.
What is a Duty Surgery?
The ‘Duty Surgery’ is to help patients who need medical attention before the earliest pre-bookable appointment.
How will it work?
The first point of contact for patients is with one of our highly trained Medical Reception staff who have been asked by the GP’s to obtain a brief indication of the problem. This will enable patients to be dealt with by the most appropriate clinician in the most appropriate clinic.
Patients will be asked to provide the following:
• A brief outline of the symptoms
• How long have they had them
• Whether they have previously seen a GP or nurse with this ailment?
Depending on the outcome of these questions, the reception staff will either book an appropriate routine appointment with a clinician, book an appointment in the ‘Duty Surgery’ or ask the Duty Clinician to telephone the patient.
If the Receptionist books an appointment in the ‘Duty Surgery’ the patient will be given a timed appointment slot.
If the Duty Clinician rings the patient, they may be able to deal with their concern over the telephone or they may offer one of the following options:
• Face to face consultation with the Duty Doctor.
• Telephone consultation with the Duty Nurse.
• Face to face consultation with the Duty Nurse.
• A routine appointment with the patient’s usual doctor.
• A routine ‘telephone consultation’ with the patient’s usual doctor.
What are the times of the Duty Surgery?
Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 11.15 am and 2.30 pm – 5.00 pm
How will I access the service?
If patients feel they need to see a ‘Duty Clinician’ they are asked to telephone our appointments line on: 01249 713019
Prior to doing this we would recommend all patients think about their symptoms and consider whether there is anything they can do before contacting us. For example there are many ‘over the counter’ medicines designed to reduce pain and other symptoms. Pharmacists are highly trained professionals who will guide you in your choice of remedies for a range of ailments. They will also recommend that you see a GP if they think it is necessary.
We also encourage patients to help us keep their records up to date with their current address and contact telephone numbers.
Do I need to know anything else?
• The Porch provides urgent medical care for patients from Monday to Friday between 8.00 am and 6.30 pm
• Our dedicated Emergency line number is 01249 714949.
• Our Duty Nurses are qualified to prescribe medication.
• Our Duty Doctor is also responsible for attending urgent home visits throughout the day. As these, obviously, cannot be planned there may be occasions where longer delays are unavoidable. However, our Reception Team will keep you informed when the Duty Doctor leaves the building.
• If a Clinician is going to ring you, it is important that:
We have an up to date contact number
Patients are available when they ring (they will be given an approximate timescale)
If the clinician fails to get a response first time, they will only try ringing on one more occasion.
When patients receive telephone calls from the surgery, our actual telephone number is not identified. Therefore, if a patient is waiting for a clinician to ring, this information is important.
Whilst developing our revised system we have collected a lot of statistical data to ensure the changes we have made have been based on facts. We have also consulted with our Patient Reference Group and gained their views. We are optimistic that these changes will make the patient journey through the practice more effective and efficient.
We will continually be reviewing how it is working and may make further changes along the way. Your feedback is important to us and we would welcome hearing from you about things that have worked well and also suggestions on ways in which you feel we can make adjustments that might improve our service.