Frequently Asked Questions ... 07 November 2016 ___________________________________________________________________________
The following Questions were raised at the last Patients' Open Meeting at the Practice on 07 November 2016 To see the Minutes of the Meeting click here ... __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Q Why are there so many part-time doctors? A There are in total 11 doctors. The need to offer part-time positions is the same at SHC as in other practices. Such provision enables the Practice to keep good doctors who are unable to commit to full-time.
Q With 18,500 patients already and the many new builds taking place in the area can you not stop taking on new patients? A No. If the Practice did stop accepting new patients it would not be able to operate as a Training Practice. Also it is very difficult to say no to patients in need, for example the mother of a new born baby. The size of the patient list has actually remained constant in the last year. If the money was made available there is the potential to acquire more space which would help to better meet the needs of patients – current and new.
Q Does more patients necessitate the need for more doctors? A There are enough doctors for the size of the patient population, however appropriate use is not made of other health care providers at SHC. The use of these providers by patients at SHC is behind other practices nationally and locally but is gradually being improved.
Q Is it correct that an 88 year old patient should have to queue for an appointment early in the morning? Could an age-related appointments system not be introduced? A The changes to the appointments system being introduced at the end of November should help prevent patients needing to queue. In addition patients might not need to see a doctor if better use was made of the full range of health care professionals at SHC. It would be very difficult to introduce an age-related appointments system since SHC has a very large elderly population; for example the majority of Dr Gill’s patients are over the age of 80.
Q Is it possible to have more frequent updates and news from SHC? A The Minutes from the PPG Open and Core meetings are always published on the PPG website, usually within two weeks of a meeting having taken place. It is intended that there should be three newsletters a year; they will be published shortly after each Open Meeting. RF agreed that the Practice would try and improve communications through SHC website.
Q Will the staff currently employed by VHC automatically transfer to the new contractor? A Yes as far as it is known.
Q Can appointments to see a nurse be made available online? A Unfortunately this is not currently possible due to the nature of the service and the range of need. It was however agreed that this was something to consider for future developments of the appointments system.
Q Will there still be appointments available for those who ring at 8am? A Yes and the Practice is investigating ways of protecting appointments for those patients who don’t have access to the internet at home.
Q Is the Practice able to support LoSRA in fighting to restore and maintain an air pollution monitoring station at Sunbury Cross. A At present the Practice doesn’t have the capacity to take on any additional issues.
Q Will it be possible to divert patients away from doctors to other health care professionals if booking online? A It is very important to educate patients through as many different means as possible. It was agreed that reminders about the other services available needs to made available to patients at the time of making an appointment.
Q With regard to the recent 400% increase in service charges – is there a means to say no? Is the local MP aware of this matter? A The increase is being disputed and all invoices from the NHS are being carefully scrutinised. The CCG are being very supportive. It was agreed that the MP should be more informed and the Practice will ensure that he is kept up-to-date with SHC issues.
Q When SHC is designated a Teaching Practice will extra space be required? A Yes, however designation does add an “additional string to the SHC’s bow” since there is a national shortage of trainers.
Q At a previous meeting you mentioned the possibility of adding more portacabins at the side of the building to create additional space. Is this still planned? A The Practice did explore this possibility but NHS Properties refused to pay for the refurbishment costs, approximately£60K. As a consequence the Practice is having to look at alternative means of creating more space since even one additional consulting room could create an additional 200 appointments a week.
Q The car park is “abominable” for walkers. Please can it be improved? A This was agreed and RF will contact NHS Properties.
Q Could the Waiting Room be opened up in the morning for those people who are queuing for an appointment and a ticket system introduced? A No since this would encourage patients to queue, which is what the Practice is working hard to prevent.
Q Could the time for repeat prescriptions be speeded up? A Prescriptions are dealt with within three working days (much quicker than before) and therefore the delay is probably with the pharmacy.
Questions left at the end of the meeting:
Q Is there any possibility of the centre opening on a Saturday? A The Practice has no additional funding to open on Saturdays although this is being reviewed nationally and if and when there are developments in this area they will be communicated to the patients.
Q Is it possible to submit questions to SHC electronically? A There is a feedback form on the website although with general questions it would be beneficial if these could be directed via the PPG and fed back through meeting notes which are available on the PPG website
Q Is it possible to have information about diabetes and living with the illness made more widely available? Could an information pack be produced that is given to patients when they are first diagnosed as having diabetes? A The Practice will review what is currently provided with the diabetes lead (for the Practice) and will add information onto the website
Q Is SHC asked to comment on future developments, particularly regarding environmental health issues? A No it is not currently consulted on these types of issues