The High St, Fenny Compton, Southam, CV47 2YG
Telephone: 01295 770855
The High St, Fenny Compton, Southam, CV47 2YG
Telephone: 01295 770855
Patient Survey – Development at Upper Lighthorne
An online survey to gather feedback on the options is open for comment until end of the day on Wednesday 14th December 2022, you can access that here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ULPrimarycaresurvey. The following documents provide more details and cover frequently answered questions.
JOINT COVID/Flu Clinics 2022 – Information for patients
Following on from our text & calls to patients, the practice has been successful in securing COVID vaccines for our patients. We felt it important to give patients the option of being vaccinated locally. This means we can co-administer flu and COVID for you. We know there has been a delay in inviting patients into clinic but this is because we have only just been told when, and the number of COVID vaccines we can have.
We will be holding clinics on Saturdays initially between 9am and 2.30pm, 2 at Fenny Compton & 2 at Shenington. The dates are as follows:
8th October – Shenington
15th October – Fenny Compton
22nd October – Shenington
29th October – Fenny Compton
If you have already had your COVID vaccine, you can come along and just have your flu vaccine.
The clinics are likely to be busy and we would encourage you to walk/travel with others if you can.
If you are unwell on the day, please do not attend.
We will be inviting patients by priority groups as follows:
Please only make an appointment once you receive your invitation. We will be arranging home visits for those patients that are truly housebound.
Once you receive your invitation, please call the surgery after 10.30am on any weekday morning. If you call at 9am, you are preventing people with urgent issues on the day from getting through. We are going to offer a service that allows you to book an appointment via an app and the link will be included in your text message. This will prevent the need for you to call the surgery and you can choose a convenient time. If you don’t have a mobile, we will call you.
If you are having a COVID vaccine, you will need to complete a consent form. It will really help if you do this beforehand and bring the form with you. The link to the form is here:
Alternatively, you can pick up a form from the surgery before the day. If you can’t do this ahead of time, please allow enough time on the day to complete a form before your appointment. We cannot vaccinate you without the form.
**Notice for patients**
Change to the appointment system from Monday 1st August
Due to the ongoing demand for appointments and services at present we feel it is necessary to change our appointments system.
A combination of the pandemic and increasing pressures across the NHS has made it increasingly difficult to maintain short waiting times. With hospitals overwhelmed post-pandemic, our clinical staff are near breaking point. We are finding increasing responsibilities, long hospital waiting times and the associated administrative tasks placing increasing strain on primary care. In addition to this, our receptionists are dealing with increasing abuse on a daily basis. This abuse is not acceptable and whilst we recognise this comes from a minority of our population, we feel we have to take action now to maintain the service we offer. We have always prided ourselves on our ability to help patients quickly whilst maintaining a high level of care and we strive to maintain this going forward.
For this reason we will now be offering a split appointments system across the morning and afternoon. The morning will involve on the day appointments ONLY whereas the afternoon will continue as routine appointments. We know this will lead to some frustration but we are doing this in the best interests of our patients to maintain the most complete service we possibly can.
Therefore, from 1st August, the following changes will be made:
You can help in other ways too:
Finally we recognise we are not perfect and that a perfect appointment system does not exist. Some patients in other parts of the country are waiting up to 6 weeks to speak to a GP or only able to submit an electronic request to contact a GP despite their problem being urgent. We do not want to let patient satisfaction slip and the above changes are our attempt to offer a good mixture of urgent and routine care. We will continue to monitor and review any changes that are necessary to optimise our service further.
We care a lot about our patients and are trying to provide the best service we possibly can.
Drs Marshall & Sharples
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Open letter to all patients regarding workload at the practices
We hope that this letter finds all of our patients and their families well. It’s been an unbelievable last 18 months and I’m sure that like us, you are waiting for the day when life can return to some sort of normality. Thank you to all those patients who have sent messages of support to us during this challenging time, it has meant a lot to us as a team.
We are writing this letter to outline what’s happening at the surgery at the moment – which will be very different from the view portrayed in some parts of the media. We feel that unless we are transparent and honest with our patients, nothing will change, and we need things to change. This letter is a plea for your help to make those changes.
To be clear, this isn’t about preventing you from accessing our services. We are here to help you when you need us but the reality is, there’s only so much we can do in a day.
The team is drowning and we don’t say that lightly. The entire team is worried about the toll the pandemic is taking on the practice and are highly concerned about the associated backlog that the pandemic has caused.
The clinical team are dealing with almost twice the number of patients in a day than they did before the pandemic. This also means an increase in calls, emails, hospital letters, test results and everything associated with providing care for our patients. In addition to the usual day to day work, we are also being inundated with requests from patients for online access and COVID vaccination queries. We understand this but again, there are only so many hours in a day to get all of this work done. We fear that if we don’t try and make changes in a controlled way, the team will get burnt out and our waiting times to receive help will steadily get worse.
We have always prided ourselves on the level of access we provide for our patients. In many parts of the country, waiting times are 2 weeks and more for a routine consultation with a GP. As we write this letter, our next routine available appointment is less than a week away. The problem is that before the pandemic, it was less than 48 hours. We know our patients have high expectations of us quite rightly, but we simply cannot maintain that at the moment.
Likewise, our new telephone system provides us with an average waiting time for your call to be answered. In May, the average was just 1 minute 53 seconds. We really are all working as hard as we possibly can for you.
So, what can you do to help us? Actually, quite a lot. If we can make a few controlled changes, it will make the world of difference to the day to day running of the surgery and the wellbeing of the staff.
Our team are being abused on an almost daily basis and over time, this has a terrible impact on them. The team are trying to help you even if you’re not happy with what is being offered. We cannot accept abuse and we have a duty of care to our team to protect our employees from abuse when they are at work. All calls are recorded and we will officially warn those patients who are particularly abusive. Equally, if you are unhappy with the way you have been dealt with, please call the surgery and ask to speak to the practice manager.
If you ask to speak to a Doctor, they need to have a slot available for that to happen. Once they are fully booked, they cannot accept more patients, unless it’s an emergency.
Please don’t call the surgery at 9am if you need to make a general enquiry. This could be anything from a query about a report to a question about opening times. Try our website first as it has recently been updated and may contain the information you are looking for. If you do have a non-urgent query, it would really help us if you could call in the afternoon after 1pm. This will ensure that the patients who need an appointment that day can get through to us.
When you call, please select the correct option to help direct your call. If you cannot reach the team you need, for example, the secretaries, please don’t try another team as they don’t have the knowledge to help you. We know there have been a few teething problems with the new system but we’re working to resolve these glitches.
We do understand that patients may have multiple issues to discuss with the Doctor, but they can only deal with so many issues at once. Please don’t keep a list of issues and expect them all to be dealt with at once. We would ask you to prioritise your list if you have one and discuss the most urgent issue only. Please don’t be surprised if you are asked to make another appointment if you have multiple issues to discuss.
We have noticed a marked increase in calls to us asking about hospital appointments. We have no access to your hospital care and would ask that if you have a question about waiting times or appointments, you contact the hospital yourself in the first instance.
The receptionist will ask you for a reason for the appointment. This isn’t because they want to prevent you making an appointment. It is to ensure you are booked in with the correct healthcare professional. A lot of patients demand to see a Doctor even when someone else could potentially help sooner. Giving a few brief details also allows the reception team to spot when something may be more serious and this is flagged up to a Doctor.
Please don’t try to bypass the appointment system by emailing us for an appointment. Though emails are monitored frequently, they are for non-urgent queries. If you request an appointment, my reception team have been instructed to reply and advise that you need to call the surgery to make an appointment.
If you no longer need your appointment, please contact us to cancel. This will free up vital slots for other patients.
We understand this is difficult when we cannot confirm a definite time for your call. It really helps the Doctors if you can take the call the first time they try. The Doctors don’t have the time to make multiple attempts to reach you due to the level of demand. It helps if you can tell the receptionist which number is the most suitable for the Doctor to call you on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Making a few small changes will make a huge difference to us. We know the effects of the pandemic will be around for a long time to come and we continue to work hard for our community and offer the best possible service under these challenging circumstances.
Best Wishes to you all
From Dr Janet Marshall, Dr Tom Sharples and Lisa Yates (Practice Manager)