The surgery has received a number of patient feedback regarding the availability of appointments and especially with booking Face-to-Face appointments with our GP’s. Though we understand the frustration felt there are reasons for the decisions we make, this is primarily for safety of our patients and the work force that keep the surgery operational, by making every effort in reducing the possibility of contracting and subsequently transmitting COVID into the village. This is more relevant now as we are seeing rising numbers in those catching COVID and those having to be hospitalised.
The primary directives the surgery received at the onset of the pandemic was:
- The government’s own NHS “Long Term Plan” repeatedly demands primary care to be “digital first”
- NHS England’s own strategy repeatedly forces practices to “promote” remote consultations
- Provision of online consulting was added to the GP contract by the government in 2019
- A move to “total triage” systems by way of online consulting and the removal of all online booking systems in general practice was mandated by NHS England itself on 15th September 2020
To date the above still applies to all General Practices nationwide.
Furthermore, the practice has been under greater workload than ever before, with a smaller workforce than ever before, whilst still somehow delivering a greater absolute number of consultations than ever before and this point does not take into consideration the country’s flagship COVID vaccination programme where two thirds were provided by general practice.
The surgery has created a numerical picture of our successes over the last year:
- GP appointments available to patients have increased from 1600 last October to at least 1968 this October, this an increase of 25%
- Due to the introduction of the telephone consultation system offered to patients each GP now has capacity for 31 patient interactions, this includes Face-to-Face, rather than just the 22 interactions which were primarily Face-to-Face prior, this is an increase of 41%
- Our GP’s have an average of 96 appointments a day, 56 of which are Face-to Face, this constitutes 58% of their appointments. This can increase to 65% when emergency appointments or home visits are required. As an overall picture, we have an average of 200 clinical appointments per day with at least 75% being Face-to-Face
- With the increases outlined above the demands on the practice have been unparalleled with GP time up by 22% with GP contacts per day ( this includes: patient correspondence, laboratory test results, medication management and health reviews) increasing from 186 to 218 contacts which is an increase of 17% from this time last year, Calls to reception up 11.5% from this time last year and Digital interaction via the surgery website has increased by 74% from 3143 to 11694 contacts for the same period
Based on these figures you can see that access to the surgery has increased, this has allowed our clinicians to have contact with over 2500 more patients in the last 12 months than the preceding 12 months.
Through the same period the surgery managed to vaccinate nearly 15,550 patients with either a Flu or a COVID vaccine in one of our 62 clinics.
These figures are made up of:
- Over 5600 first vaccines and over 5300 second doses of the COVID vaccine. This is 92% of the patient population receiving both doses
- Currently 1050 patients have received their COVID primary 3rd or booster jab, this is a third of our COVID programme with the view to complete the programme in December
- We have a current total 3500 flu jabs administered, we are two thirds of the way through this season’s programme and hope to complete by the end of November
Due to the success depicted above the surgery will continue with telephone consultations and triage for a Face-to Face appointment with a GP as it allows increased availability and it is the most sustainable model for an uncertain future.