Our vision: to transform access to medical care.

Reception – how can I help you?

An old idea has come back:  receptionists are there to help patients, and now you can be confident that you can help. All this means is listening to the patient and doing the right thing.  Ensure you work efficiently so that patients can get through, which makes all the difference.  If you have askmyGP, you can encourage patients to seek help online so they can give more specific information about their problem, and get the right help faster as a result.

About 1 in 5 calls are requests you can solve

If it’s admin, results, prescription or any other question you can solve,  do it now.  You play a crucial role in managing workflow, by completing and not passing on tasks you can do.

About 1 in 5 calls are for nurse appointments

Book these patients into nurse clinics in the normal way.

About 3 out of 5 calls are for the doctor

The new system means you don’t have to turn anyone away.  If the patient has a medical problem, you will put them on the list for the doctor to call back.  Say something like, “The doctor has asked me to write down a few words on the nature of the problem.  This helps them prepare for the call.”  Over 90% of patients will tell you, but if they don’t want to, that’s fine.  Some patients will tell you their life history, and you need to stop them politely, as another patient may be waiting.

Your checklist is simple:

  • The doctor will call as soon as possible, usually within the hour, so please stay near and expect a call.
  • What is the best number to call, landline or mobile?  Check you have the right number.
  • Do you have a preferred doctor?  About half of patients will, and please try to accommodate.  If the doctor is not in today, suggest ringing another day, or if it’s urgent speak to a different doctor.  Important:  it is your job to ensure that all doctors are given about the same amount of work.  If one doctor has more requests, fill up the other ones with patients who don’t mind who they see.
  • If there is a problem with timing, usually because of work, ask for a suitable time for the doctor to call.  If on occasion no time can be found, suggest that the patient holds on and try to put them straight through to a doctor the next time one is free.
  • A very few patients cannot take a call, eg hearing impaired.  Book them into a face to face slot – you are not trying to restrict access and sometimes need to be flexible.

About 1 in 250 calls may be an emergency

If you have completed your elearning programme, you will know the likely signs and how to deal with them.  How did you do on the test?

See Guidelines for identifying and dealing with an emergency on the link.