Changes to the Appointment System from April 2018
Notice of Thanks to Patients.
The NHS has just seen one of its busiest winter seasons and flu seasons to date; services nationally have battled to cope with extreme demand coupled with adverse weather conditions and unprecedented levels of flu and viral illnesses.
Throughout the NHS routine surgeries and clinics were cancelled in both hospitals and GP surgeries across the country whilst acute demand was met.
During this pressured time Lime Grove Surgery have offered an on the day triage service. This service was to ensure that the very unwell patients that needed seeing the same day were able to be seen and treated during these pressured times, whilst anyone who felt they needed to speak with a clinician could do so over the phone the same day with appointments, advice and medications allocated accordingly in relation to their individual clinical need.
Whilst this system was necessary to protect the welfare of all our 8200 patients during this extreme season we acknowledge that this did not allow as much planned access for patients to book into who wanted to attend for more routine or chronic conditions.
We, as many NHS services are, are still dealing with the residual effects of this winter and are looking at ways to improve the routine appointment booking access for our patients whilst still ensuring that patients that are very unwell on the day can be seen and treated promptly.
From April 2018 we will be combining the current on the day triage service alongside a bookable daily urgent clinic for very acute or rapidly deteriorating clinical conditions to try and gradually improve the availability of routine bookable appointments, and allow swifter access for the most unwell patients that day.
During the initial 3 month transition period we hope to see a steady improvement in routine bookable appointments and will be monitoring the effectiveness of this.
Local developments and negotiations also hope to see wider opening hours for Lime Grove Surgery in the near future including some weekend and evening appointments with the government’s recent proposals.
To allow these changes to help improve services we need your help to ensure that appointments and clinical time is used effectively.
Ways you can help
- Please only request an urgent on the day appointment if you have an acute illness or have had a rapid and severe deterioration in a chronic complaint; please be prepared to answer some basic questions about your urgent appointment request from our reception team.
- Please do not attend the surgery in person requesting an urgent on the day appointment as the receptionists will be unable to ask you confidential questions at the reception desk regarding your symptoms and you will then be required to speak to the on call clinician over the phone instead. Patients that walk down to surgery to request urgent appointment unfairly compromise our disabled and less mobile patients
- Please try and ensure your contact details are up to date and give permission for text message reminders and text alerts if you miss an appointment.
- Please register for the online services – this allows you to see all forthcoming appointments available to book and order medication online, you can use the online platform on your PC or tablet and via a smartphone app – you can register for online services at reception
- If you have a minor injury then please use our fantastic local resource at the Whitworth Minor Injuries Unit at the Whitworth hospital , this resource as with many NHS facilities relies on patients use to evidence its need in the community in order to secure its onward funding
- Please cancel unwanted appointments as valuable clinic time is lost when patients fail to attend; even a late cancellation gives us the opportunity to reallocate the appointment to another patient.
- Please ensure you order your regular medications in good time, allowing 72hrs notice for routine prescriptions
Thank you for your patience, understanding and help to support the NHS and your local GP surgery during these pressured and changing times.
The Lime Grove Team
All surgeries are booked by appointment. These can be made in person, or by telephone or online with SystmOnline.
Patients are free to book appointments with any doctor of their choice, although we do recommend seeing the same doctor for the same episode of illness, if at all possible.
At busy times additional emergency surgeries may be organised to ensure that patients who need to be seen quickly are seen that day by the duty doctor.
Book online with SystmOnline:
For more information about registering for online services click here
All clinical staff are happy to offer advice by telephone when a surgery appointment may not be required.
If you would like telephone advice from a doctor the receptionist will ask for a contact number, a brief description of the problem, and the duty doctor will phone back at some point that day.
Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a particular doctor, a telephone appointment slot will be booked when the doctor is next available.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.