Now that more of you are contacting the Practice through the website, and as a result of feedback from the survey, we thought it would be useful to explain the website best used areas so that you can get the best out of it and get the help you need. This article will also let you know of the face to face appointment provisions that we have continued throughout the pandemic and what to do when asked to come to the Practice for these appointments going forward.
What’s happening now?
We’re experiencing high demand at the moment – with the easing of lock-down, many of you have not approached the Practice during that time and are only now bringing attention to your medical needs. This does lead to delays due to the volume – and most especially if you fill in the wrong form on the website.
This might seem pedantic, but certain forms take a triaged priority over others, so it is very important to choose the right path to contacting us. Do not use any form if you require an urgent response today – Please CALL us.
We are still on a ‘total triage’ system. This means that everything that comes in via phone or website is triaged for its urgency. This is where our CONSULTING ROOM comes into its own, you can request an appointment through this webpage and it will direct you to the right form to fill in… If you have any medical query, be it a change of medication or condition, or you need advice medically please use – GET HELP FOR A HEALTH PROBLEM. It is designed to triage you, to ask you questions and whether you have checked the symptom checker through the NHS app. Please do not bypass this very important form, it might seem lengthy, but it is very important to give us as much information as possible.
As a reminder, any form on the website should not be used in an acute situation, we cannot guarantee an answer back that day and it is not monitored over the weekend. So if you did it on a Friday afternoon, the likelihood of us replying before Tuesday morning is very low – particularly as many people send in queries over a weekend.
It is still best to ring us if you have a problem that needs resolving that day. If it doesn’t, and you can wait, use the web.
We have also increased the number of phone lines in and out of the Practice, as always if it is urgent, try to ring in the morning rather than wait until the afternoon. We still have a limit on the number of face to face appointments, telephone/video and digital consultations we can do in a day.
We are finding that telephone/video consultations are taking longer, sometimes because of the technology, sometimes because we are having to make repeated calls to the patient. If you are unable to answer at certain times, please tell the Reception Team who will give you a time window, that way we don’t waste time ringing you when you are not available and you are not left wondering when we will call you. If we offer you a call back, please ensure you have your phone ready and that you respectfully keep to one issue that needs resolving, if possible. If we spend half an hour with yourself, we can’t speak to another two people. If you think you need longer than ten minutes, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you.
Contact the Practice and Ask Reception should be used for non medical queries only, things such as changing an address, updating any details, you can ask for anything but an appointment, medication and help with a health problem on these forms. You can leave feedback on the Contact the Practice or through the Friends and Family Test.
Face to Face Consultations
Face to Face consultations with a Doctor, a Nurse Practitioner, a Practice Nurse or a Healthcare Assistant are still happening in the Practice and have done throughout the pandemic by clinician booked appointments only. Please be aware that there is extensive cleaning between each patient and we really need you to arrive at the time of the appointment we have given you. When you arrive, if by car, wait in your car until your appointment, please ring the bell once and wait.
Please remember your face-covering for all appointments and if you are unable to wear one for medical reasons, please let the Clinician know at the time of the face to face appointment booking so that we can ensure that no other patients are waiting in the waiting area, to keep everyone safe.
We have had concerns over the fact we appear to be closed. We are not and we have never been, closed throughout the lockdown. The door is closed to high footfall traffic as our entrance and waiting area is not ‘covid safe’ for the numbers that want to queue.
Because of this, we can only allow a small number of the most vulnerable patients access to wait in the waiting room. If you are struggling to wait outside, please ask the member of staff if there is space for you to sit inside to wait.
We are currently looking at a solution for an additional exit on the other side of the building, to create a one way system and allow more footfall, but we are waiting on plans/quotes/timescales, the CCG and NHSE to confirm.
We hope this has addressed a lot of the feedback and queries relating to the website, the face to face appointments and the door closed to high footfall traffic.
As ever, if you have any further feedback or questions, please Contact the Practice on this website.
Your Team at Mickleover Medical Centre