Three female GP’s have been recruited Dr Sophie Henderson, Dr Fiona De Ferars and Dr Jo Nash (daughter of the previous GP at the practice) increasing over and beyond the national average for GP appointments per practice population, also providing appointments for female patients.
From feedback we have had from the community this has been highlighted as a major issue. We understand this so what we decided to do is be proactive in our recruitment process to meet this need. The practice has employed a dedicated Urgent Care Practitioner to provide more appointments and also offer a visiting service for housebound patients to help the already heavy load on emergency services. A phlebotomist has been employed to give patients more appointments,this will help secondary care demand as there are issues with accessing blood tests and investigations needed after outpatient appointments that would normally be done at hospital in other parts of the country.
This will also allow more experienced nursing staff to provide care and appointments for more complex needs. We are opening up the branch surgeries to not only provide easy access to nurse and blood taking facilities but also we are putting in place regular GP clinics with senior GP’s. We understand the difficulties faced by our practice population being isolated so the branches need particular attention. We believe strongly as a practice that patients should not be deprived of the best care the NHS has to offer due to them living more rurally.
Extended Opening Hours
We are very keen to offer late night opening on Thursdays to offer more face to face appointment to the working patients unable to come to the practice during normal surgery hours. There are issues about using the main site at Camelford so to negate this we look at offering this service at Delabole.
A dedicated phone line has been set up for blood results to free up the main phone line to allow patients to get appointments. We know that patients have had issues with being on hold or long waits getting through to the practice so we believe this will help this. Feedback from patients in person, via social media and through the complaints process, has been found consistently to be a major issue. This will help this issue, it will also free up appointments so more appointments available for patients. As patients ourselves we have had these issues with GP practices so we have decided to make a change, look at a solution and feel this is one that will be very useful. We have written a leaflet to be given to every patent when they have a test to explain the procedure. These changes have been discussed with the previous chair of the patient participation group and have been welcomed. What we do need to do is re-introduce the “PPG”.
In liaison with the previous chair and in accordance with guidelines set out by NHSE we are recruiting patients to build a new group for all ages and demographics to help develop the practice with a PATIENT focused approach rather than an old fashioned paternal or doctor knows best approach. There are other practical changes including an automated check in at reception to improve the flow through the reception, reduce queuing times to allow more phone calls to be taken. A prescription box has been installed so if patient are waiting to ask for repeat medication they do not have to queue. This box is also labelled as a box for written enquiries as well as a suggestion box. Many surgeries across the country use patient access which is an App allowing patients to order medication on line but also book appointments as well as check their medical records this is going to be rolled out over the next few months. It will also give access to their vaccination history including any covid-19 vaccines given.
We believe in transparent health care and learning from issues that may arise. So we have a robust significant event process looking at such events with the primary aim of implementing change and protecting patients. For this reason we have dedicated oversight by senior GP’s Dr Norris, Dr Pande and Matron Anna Fisher. We have regular clinical, practice and Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting including monthly meetings with the community mental health team which includes consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sean Lynch. Our MDT meetings include a social services representative and we take a holistic approach with helping meet the needs of our elderly and vulnerable patients. All meetings are attended by clinical staff. With the increased number of clinicians’ working at the practice a major limiting factor holding us back with our plans in offering gold standard care to patients is the availability of clinical space. We are opening up the Delabole branch surgery for clinics as outlined above but also the other branch surgery at St Breward . We are investing in both sites to improve patient experience. We are securing a 10 year lease at St Breward to secure medical and dispensary services for the local population. We are also in the final stages of application to NHSE to allow dispensing at Delabole branch this will allow our patients access more services closer to home this if approved will also allow refitting and expansion at the Delabole site which is much needed. Our aim is to provide excellent and holistic care to our patients. We hope that what we have put in place so far and our further plans will provide this but will continue to work with our patients and the community to continually improve the health care we provide.