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We are always trying to help you gain access to appointments, particularly over the telephone and so we are now introducing a new online triage system named accurX Triage which we hope many of you will find very helpful. We want to make sure patients are getting the advice they need at the right time from the right person the first time they contact the surgery. We have spent many months researching systems and we believe accurX Triage is the best option for you as patients and for us as a surgery.
From 28th September 2022 it will be the only way to submit any non-urgent medical & all admin queries – https://florey.accurx.com/p/H84040
This service is available from 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday. If you require assistance outside of these times please call the practice on 0208 979 5150.
Patient Access App can still be used for requesting your medication.
We know many of you will have questions about how accurX Triage system will work and worries about the effect it will have on your care and so within this letter we are trying to address those concerns.
Firstly, here is an example of what you will be asked to fill in the triage form
What if I do not have access to the internet or struggle to complete forms?
Please telephone the reception and they will fill in an abbreviated form on your behalf.
Can reception make me an appointment instead?
From now on, whether you visit in person or contact them by phone, they will no longer be booking you routine doctor’s appointment. They will help you complete the form for medical query if you struggle to do it yourself.
If you contact the surgery and say you want an urgent appointment what happens next as this letter states that reception will no longer be making appointments?
We will continue to have a duty doctor every day to deal with emergencies. There will be an option of booking urgent appointments with the duty doctor on the day, but if not medically urgent, the doctor will ask the patient to fill in the triage form & attend to your query within given turnaround time.
Triage tool list the emergencies before you submit the medical query.
How long will it take to fill in the form?
For medical queries if will take 5-7 minutes. For administrative or simple issues it is shorter
How long will it take to hear from the practice?
For all medical issues the practice will get back in touch at the latest by the end of second working day after you submitted your query but much quicker in urgent cases.
When the surgery contacts you it will either be by text, email or by a phone call. You may be offered either an appointment, advice, or help direct and arrange your care from appropriate healthcare services in the community that we work with, such as a social prescriber, pharmacist, nurse etc.
Why do I need to complete a form or answer the questions the reception team ask me?
So that the team who look at all the information submitted can provide you with the appointment or advice you need with the right person in the right time period. Hampton Medical Centre now has a number of additional practitioners working alongside the GP’s. These include First Contact Physiotherapists, Social Prescribers/Community Connectors, a Practice Pharmacist and a Trainee Nurse Associate. It may be more appropriate for you to see or speak to them.
Will I get an appointment quicker if I speak to reception instead?
As per the previous answers, the reception team will no longer be making routine GP appointments with patients directly. All methods of completing the triage forms, either online, in person or over the phone and these will be assessed equally.
I don’t feel comfortable telling reception about my medical issue
Please be assured that anything you discuss with a receptionist will be treated with absolute privacy and respect. All staff within the Hampton Medical Centre’s team, including receptionists, sign a confidentiality agreement, meaning anything you discuss with them is not shared inappropriately.
What if English is not my main spoken language?
In the same way that clinicians frequently use an official translation service on the phone the receptionists will also be able to access this if the patient they are speaking to is on the phone or in person in the surgery.
Will I have to fill in the same questionnaire every time I need an appointment?
For each new contact you will be asked to fill in an online questionnaire. We are, however, making changes to the way follow up appointments are arranged. Currently clinicians will often ask patients to speak to reception to book subsequent appointments for relevant investigations such as blood tests and then, following that, book a follow up appointment with the GP or other clinician. Instead we aim to be booking these for you during your first contact avoiding the need for you to contact the surgery again just to make the appointments we have already agreed.
Does this mean I won’t see a GP anymore?
No the idea is the opposite. AccurX Triage is just a preliminary way of collecting information to ensure you are seen by the right person in the right way, not a way of deflecting medical issues that need contact with a GP. We foresee providing many more face to face appointments in comparison to the percentage currently being offered (where clinically necessary).
We will continue to update this document as we identify any other commonly asked questions or concerns that any of our staff are hearing.
Thank you for your co-operation during this time of change towards better access.
Hampton Medical Centre Team
Why are we making this change?
This change should make it easier to submit requests to the practice and ensure that requests are seen by the most appropriate member of staff and dealt with in an appropriate timeframe. Appointments will be prioritised according to need, rather than who gets to the appointments first. The benefits of using online consultations are:
Who will be interpreting these forms?
The medical form will be triaged by the doctor, the admin queries by the admin team.
If the receptionist will not make an appointment how does the patient get an appointment on the day if they say they need to see a doctor as they are unwell?
The triaging GP will be able to determine the urgency of the request and deal with more urgent queries on the same day.
All queries will get a response within two working days, with many being dealt with on the same day.
If the patient completes the form either online, in person or over the phone who will get back to them? A patient could become very anxious waiting for a response for up to 2 working days.
After the triage (admin/clinical) the appropriate team member will be in contact with the patient – that might be a receptionist, secretary, pharmacist, physiotherapist, nurse, Health Care assistant, Social Prescriber, Mental Health Worker – depending on the nature of the query submitted.
Will the patient still have a choice of which doctor they see?
There is an option to specify which doctor the patient would like to see. We will try to meet this request, doctor’s availability permitting. We will also ask the patient if they are happy to wait for the consultation with the requested GP, but this may mean that the patient will have to wait longer than 2 days for their query to be dealt with.
What if the time/day of the appointment doesn’t work for me?
There is a section on the form where you can write down the times that you aren’t available, which our team can avoid when getting in touch with you.
What happens to a request that I send overnight or at the weekend?
The form is available during working hours. The form is not available during evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays for patient safety.
Dr Nunes has already said that she recognises a patient should establish a relationship with 1 or 2 doctors. How does this system fit in with this?
As above, there is an option to specify which doctor the patient would like to see. We will try to meet this request, doctor’s availability permitting. The triaging GP would have access to patient’s notes and be able to book the appointment with the doctor who already knows the patient.
Can I request an appointment on behalf of someone else?
Yes, you can submit the form on behalf of the patient (although please write on the form that you are doing so) and can put the contact number that we should either contact the patient or their representative on. Please note that due to patient confidentiality we cannot discuss anything about one of our patients unless they have explicitly given permission for us to do so.
Will my request be saved to my record?
Any request you submit about a medical issue will be saved to your record so that whoever calls you or sees you about your problem has your information to hand. If you send us a question about an administrative issue we will only save this to your record if we think it would be helpful to do so (or if you ask us to).
What if I don’t have a mobile phone?
You can still use the contact form if you don’t have a mobile phone, you just need access to the internet such as on a computer or tablet device. You do need to provide a contact number of some kind but this could be a landline if you don’t have a mobile phone.
Will this disadvantage me or my elderly or vulnerable relative?
For those with access to a mobile phone or internet, the new online form will be a more convenient way to contact the practice, which should free up our phone lines for those who really need it – especially those who cannot access the internet for whatever reason. If you or your relative cannot use the form please contact us on the phone as you normally would and we can deal with your query or make you an appointment as you need.
In the past if you rang up to get a blood test appointment, bearing in mind some patients have regular blood tests, this was immediate. Under this system will they need to complete a form and wait up to 2 days to them make an appointment.
We are requesting for the clinicians who ask the patient to have a blood test to book the appointment for the patient during their consultation. For some regular blood tests (i.e. monthly ones) we would be able to book the next appointment at the time of patient having the first test.
Patients will still be able to book nurses appointments on the telephone. We will ask the clinicians to book any follow up blood test appointments, dressings, injections in advance at the time of the first visit.
The letter mentions that under the existing system patients spend a significant time waiting on the phone. If the receptionist is helping patients to complete a form it suggests that the waiting time will be even longer and can be stressful for the patient and also the receptionists manning the phones?
Unfortunately, this will be unavoidable at the start of changing to the new system. We will encourage the patients who can use the triage from their phone/tablet/computer to do so, and to release the phone lines to the ones who might struggle with technology or may need our reception team’s help because of other issues.
We will change our telephone system recording, add details to the website and display posters in the waiting room. We also plan to have a text message campaign to inform the patients of the upcoming change.
Online resources for the patients: