— updated after 5 months: “We have come through the ‘tunnel’ and GP Access has not failed us. All the docs are very happy with this new model and we aren’t going back! High patient satisfaction levels, reduction in complaints, relaxed GPs…and this is January.
Good news from the practice having worked through changes, after this great start:
“One week on from launch day [18 August 2014] and I still can’t believe the positive impact it’s had on our practice. Patients are mostly really happy and feel very valued with quick access to a GP and I’ve had more positive verbal feedback from them in the last week than I have had as 14 years as a GP. Astounding results.
I look back and think it was quite hard for me to shake the sceptical feelings beforehand but we were keen to try this new method. I never could have predicted the scale of how positive the change would be. ‘I’ve got my life back!’ Shall be passing on the positive message about GP Access to my many colleagues and friends who are fellow GPs struggling under the pressure and weight of general practice at the moment.”
Dr Sangha is lead GP at Brighton Station, a Care UK practice serving 5800 patients, and part of the BICS federation PMCF Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund win for improving access.
“Ongoing amazement: 2 weeks on from launch day and the figures continue to stack up and tie in with the predictions of the GP Access model. Before launch I was anxious, nervous, fretful but excited, after launch I’ve been relaxed, surprised and relieved! I see my colleagues in other practices who are about to make this change going through the exact same thinking processes that I went through. You come out the other side from launch day and everything makes sense and is clearer.
To all the non-believers out there put aside your scepticism and presumptions and give this model a go. I used to be sceptical and a non-believer too. The patients are generally very happy with this quick call back service and everyone that needs to be seen gets seen.
Some interesting facts that have emerged, we are a 7 day 8-8 GP service, ahead of its time. But now that we have become a demand lead service it has become apparent that patients access our service much less at weekends than I was expecting. I guess they are too busy spending family time together and having fun rather than wanting to see their GP. I can’t say I blame them! However I believe our weekday extended service until 8pm is still very popular with our working patients. Reflections for future service provision to help our patients access timely care in Brighton and Hove.”
More from the staff, Hannah writes:
“Went through surprisingly smoothly. If rolled out over the whole NHS could save a lot of resources.”
Anne on reception feeling joyful:
“The new triage/booking system is genius. One aspect of reception I hated was the pressure to find a suitable appointment for patients, with the new system there is NO pressure, patients can be seen on the day at a time that suits them. I can think of only one downside and that is, if registered patients walk in and say they are not aware of new system, there should be a way of giving them an appointment without being told a GP will phone them. Eventually the message will get through to all patients.”
And the patients? Well there is this, just in from NHS Choices:
“Great new appointment system
Really impressed that having called the receptionist only 5 mins earlier to get an appointment, a GP telephoned me straight back. We discussed my concerns and minutes later I had advice to follow up and a prescription waiting for me. Friendly and efficient – thank you very much.”
Visited in August 2014. Posted on 22 August 2014