We would like to emphasise that the Practice is open and staff are available for consultations. However, we were sorry to hear that some patients are finding it difficult to access our services and we thought it would be helpful to clarify how we are working in these difficult times.
Due to the Pandemic we have had to adapt the way we provide our services in order to avoid any possible spread of the disease. In April this year we were required by NHS England to introduce the e-Consult system as a means of patients assessing our services, safely. During September, the system was accessed by 2,259 patients and 1001 e-Consults were submitted and the team has been working very hard to meet the unprecedented demand. Whilst many patients have been happy with the system, we are aware using e-Consults is not suitable for some patients. We are feeding back any concerns raised by patients to the e-Consult team and the Clinical Commissioning Group team.
There are two ways to contact the Practice, by telephone or through e-Consult via our Practice website https://www.theharefieldpractice.co.uk/econsult-2. Face to face consultations are available but if a consultation can take place over the phone to the satisfaction of both the patient and the doctor, this will be the preferred option.
If patients are asked to come in, they will be asked to arrive as close as possible to their appointment time and we will endeavour to see them promptly. We have listened to your concerns about the Practice door being closed and from 4 November onwards patients with appointments will be brought into the Surgery and be able to wait in a socially distanced safe place. A maximum of 4 patients will be allowed in the Surgery at any one time.
We continue to be accessible by telephone. The Surgery has had greatly increased demand over the past few months and we are aware that some patients have experienced difficulty in getting through on the phone. We are currently addressing how we can improve telephone access as a matter of priority.
We as a Practice are committed to improving the experience you have when accessing our services and we very much appreciate your feedback both positive and negative. Positive feedback is a great boost to staff morale whereas negative feedback can be the basis for improving our service. The best way to give us feedback is via our secretaries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all your support and we look forward to continuing to improve our service.
Dr Gill Dale and Dr Adris Lemar, GP partners
The way we access and use services is changing.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, services have changed and this may have affected the ways you can get in touch with health staff and services. The changes have been put in place to support and protect you and our NHS staff to reduce the spread of infection, in order to get you the help you need more quickly so that you may not need to visit the GP surgery or go into the hospital.
We appreciate that some of these changes may be a bit more difficult for some people but it is for your safety and to reduce waiting times. You will be helping us to help you.
Changes to appointments: As well as being able to get health advice from 111 online https://111.nhs.uk/ and 111 by phone, many GP surgery services are now given through telephone and online appointments. In many cases coming into the practice is not needed and you may be able to get the health advice you need over the phone; online or via a video consultation without having to leave your home. You will still be able to come into the GP surgery for appointments if the health staff need to see you face to face.
Changes to referrals: The way your GP refers you for hospital care is also changing. Before any referral, your GP will now be able to get advice and guidance directly from the hospital consultants in the first place, so hopefully you may not have to go into the hospital at all. If the hospital consultant then decides that they want to see you in person, the GP will refer you and you will then be made an appointment to attend the hospital. Our aim is to make sure you have shorter waiting times and better outcomes for you.
The practice is here to help you so if you have any concerns about the care you are receiving please do contact us directly.
Please also remember that we have a Zero Tolerance when it comes to disrespecting or being rude to our staff. They are here to help you so please treat them with respect.
Thank you for working with us to work differently to Help us Help you.
From all the staff at The Harefield Practice