Practice Improvements from 1st January 2024

Posted by: nicolafalcon - Posted on:

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Wood Lane Medical Centre has been working with the NHS Digital Transformation Team in a pilot scheme to help support digital improvements within general practice.

We have been reviewing patient feedback received via Friends & Family feedback, NHS Choices, the National Patient Survey 2023 and in person or over the telephone to understand common issues and look at ways in which we can improve access for our patients.  

With guidance and support from the Digital Transformation Team, we identified the following areas to focus on and have formulated the following plan:

With guidance and support from the Digital Transformation Team, we identified the following areas to focus on and have formulated the following plan:

Telephone Queues

Patients have been unhappy with lengthy telephone queues, particularly at the start of the day when urgent appointments are released.   

To address this, we will be introducing a new telephone answer message, with a shorter welcome message and improved guidance and signposting for our patients, directing them to the most appropriate information or advice depending on their medical needs.

Appointment Availability

Feedback from patients has shown that some patients may have to wait up to 5 or 6 weeks for a routine appointment to see a GP.   Our plan to address this is to introduce a new system where routine appointments will be released on 2-week rolling basis.  Routine appointments will be released each day for GP appointments in 2 weeks’ time.

We are committed to providing at least 50% of our routine GP appointments available to book online via the NHS App or Patient Access.   In addition to this, we will also be releasing a number of “on the day” Telephone Triage appointments for online booking each weekday to help release capacity on our telephone lines.  This will enable our staff to answer urgent calls from patients and other care providers in a timely manner. 

Later routine GP appointments, between 5pm – 5.30pm, will be introduced during the week to provide greater access for patients who work, commute or attend school / college / university.

We will continue to have access to the local Extended Access Hubs who provide additional GP, Nurse and HCA appointments during the evenings and weekends.   As well as these local services, we are also able to utilise a new “Same Day Urgent Care” GP service offering both telephone consultations and face to face appointments.  This service is currently located in Mead House, Hayes.

Patchs Not Available

Feedback from patients indicates that access to PATCHS may not be consistent and, on occasions, may have been unavailable for a number of days.  
We will endeavour to provide a consistent number of PATCHS available each weekday.  However, access to these will depend on the daily level of patient demand and may need to be closed at short notice to accommodate unexpected clinical staff sickness.  
PATCHS are released at 7.30am each weekday for both admin and non-urgent clinical enquiries and can be access via the NHS App or our website.

Following the embedding of these improvements, we will be reviewing our system reports and seeking patient feedback so we can continue to monitor access and address any issues.

Thank you for your on-going support.