Please see the below letter;
We are writing to let you know about upcoming changes at Linthorpe Surgery. We will be changing the way you contact us, so that we can manage the appointments system more safely and fairly.
We are well aware how difficult it is to get through to the surgery in a timely way. We have made changes to both the phone system and appointment availability over the last few years and have also provided the online e-consult system as another method of seeking help from us. Despite these changes, the demand remains very high.
From 7th June will be asking you to use e-consult as the first and main method to contact us if you possibly can. E-consult will be familiar to many of you already, and is accessed via our website.
The online questions will allow you to tell us your need, whether medical or administrative. Please give us as much information as possible to help us to direct the right help to you in the right timeframe. Forms with insufficient information will be returned to you for further completion.
If you are unable to do an E-consult, our reception staff will take you through the questions via the phone, so an Econsult can be done on your behalf.
If you come in person to the front desk, you will also be asked to fill in an Econsult form.
Therefore, you will no longer be able to book an appointment directly by phoning the surgery or coming to the front desk. Our intention is that ALL requests should go through the same process.
What will happen once I’ve submitted an econsult?
All requests for an appointment will be looked at by an experienced GP on the same day and assessed according to need rather than want.
If your problem is urgent, you will be phoned back and offered a same day face to face appointment or a same day phone appointment with a GP or clinical practitioner at the surgery, or an out of hours appointment.
If your problem is not urgent but does need our attention, you will be put on a waiting list for the next available routine appointment. Again, this will be either a phone or face to face consultation, dependent on the problems described. If a particular GP has been previously involved in your care, we will make every effort to keep some continuity of care.
You may also be directed to our First Contact Physiotherapists, Mental Health Practitioners or our Social Prescribing teams if they are best placed to see you. On occasion, onward referrals to specialist services may be appropriate without the need for an appointment at the surgery.
You will be advised of our decisions quickly and will subsequently get a link sent through to your phone to allow you to book available appointments online.
If your problem does not need a consultation, you may be directed to your pharmacy, or given self- management information, or you may get more detailed online advice in an individual reply from one of our GPs, as happens currently.
The use of the e-consult system in this way, and the use of waiting lists, is endorsed by the BMA and Cleveland Local Medical Committee.
We feel this will lead to
- Fairer access for all our patients
- Making sure your appointment is with the most appropriate person
- Providing an appointment in a timeframe that is safe and appropriate to the medical problem indicated
- Shorter waiting times on the telephone for those who cannot use the e-consult system
- Improved continuity of care
- Fewer patients failing to attend appointments
Thank you for reading this information and for your support in helping us to provide a better, fairer and more timely service to you.
Best wishes from the staff and doctors at Linthorpe Surgery. Yours sincerely
Dr P Heywood & Dr J Hollingsworth General Practitioner’s at LinthorpeSurgery