Managing the demand for appointments is one of the most important activities for the practice. Prior to the pandemic we ran a dual system of telephone triage as well as pre-booked and same day appointments.
During the pandemic we were required to move to 100% telephone triage, introduced video appointments and separated potential Covid patients in our “Red Centre”.
As restrictions have been reduced we have begun moving back to our pre-pandemic model and the latest data (to 1 May 2022) indicates that we currently provide 61% of appointments face to face and 40% on the same day. The total appointments provided by the practice has increased by 17% against pre-pandemic levels.
But we know there is more to do and we have listened to patient views on the need for face to face appointments and the importance of seeing the same clinician for ongoing care. We have also listened to feedback and have data above which indicates that in some cases a contact with a clinician on the same day is equally important.
Therefore to meet both of these needs from 6th June 2022 we will be introducing a new model of care for our patients. Where patients request a Same Day appointment, including any Urgent request or Visit, they will be directed to our dedicated Acute team of GPs and Advanced Practitioners who will triage their appointment by telephone and provide a choice of face to face or telephone appointment with the most appropriate clinician. The team are led by a GP and work together in our White Lion building in Brampton.
For those patients who do not have an urgent need or where ongoing care is important they will be offered their choice of the next available face to face or telephone appointment.
Appointments will still be bookable online and we have also introduced accurx online triage allowing for administrative requests such as for medication to be requested via our website.
We hope that our new model will ensure that we are able to continue to provide high quality continuity of care to our patients whilst still being flexible to meet on day demand.