Frequently Asked Questions ... 27 February 2017 ___________________________________________________________________________
The following Questions were raised at the last Patients' Open Meeting at the Practice on 27 February 2017 To see the Minutes of the Meeting click here ...
Q How secure will the patient records be when they are moved to the container? A Very. The company responsible for this project are very experienced and the container is CQC (Care Quality Commission) compliant.
Q When Receptionists ask why you wish to see a doctor it can be embarrassing to give an accurate response? Is there a standard phrase that could be used if you don’t wish to explain the reason in public? A Whilst it is always possible to ask to go to another room to explain further, “of a personal nature” is an appropriate response and the Receptionist will ask for no further detail.
Q Do Receptionist have DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks? A They are not currently required to do so unless they act as a chaperone. All of the clinical and nursing teams, RF and ST are required to have up-to-date DBS checks which they all have.
Q Will SHC reach the required 30K patient threshold if the centre works with Shepperton? A Yes.
Q If at a future time a pharmacist is based at SHC what could they do?
Check changes to medication following a stay in hospital.
Undertake medication reviews – rather than a doctor.
They could be an excellent resource for minor ailments, providing a clinical area is available.
RF added that Dr Gill has already visited a number of Practices, including Studholme and Walton Upon Thames, that have a resident Pharmacist and he feels that it could be an excellent addition to the services provided at SHC.
Q When asking why a patient wishes to see a doctor will the Receptionists work to a script and how will this work online? A All Receptionists work to a script that is regularly refined and tested. It is not yet possible to apply such a filter online; however it is being investigated further with a view to putting some filter in place later this year.
Q Will it be harder to see a Doctor unless you know the correct ‘key phase’? A This is absolutely not the intention. If a patient was filtered incorrectly then the Duty Doctor would contact that patient that same day.
Q The real damage to the Practice appears to be the increase in charges, since this is undermining all that the staff are trying to do. Therefore it is very important that staff meet with the MP. A Agreed and therefore the Practice is very pleased that Kwasi Kwarteng, the local MP is visiting on 10 March 2017.
Q What are the chances of getting the charges reduced? A It is a national issue and not one only facing SHC. The Practice is currently only paying the previous service charge levels. Together with other practices in the area the Practice is challenging NHS Property Services. This does of course take colleagues’ time away from key services.
Q Does the Practice have a renting lease? A Not yet but they expect NHS Properties will be trying to implement one very soon.
I just want to make comment about the brilliant new appointment service. I went onto NHS Choices recently where I saw a number of five star comments – well done!
Q When I was waiting for an appointment I noticed a person miss their appointment because they had failed to notice their name appear on the screen when it was their turn for an appointment. Is it not possible to return to a spoken announcement system? A The previous ‘spoken’ system was thought to be very ineffective and therefore is no longer used. It was agreed that the current ‘ping’ needs to be louder in order to alert patients to check the screen.
It was later discussed that it may be possible to use a different ‘spoken’ system since this is particularly important for patients who have a visual impairment. RF agreed to follow up this suggestion.
Q There is a lot of discussion in the national press about seven day opening for doctors’ surgeries. Is this likely to happen here? A No because this would require additional funding which is not forthcoming. Opening at the weekend will not only require more doctors, of which there is a national shortage, but also more Receptionists and administrative staff. There is a possibility that by local Practices working together some form of ‘out-of –hours’ service could be developed.
Q Is it possible in the new appointments service for patients recently discharged from hospital to make urgent appointments the next day, as instructed by the hospital? A Yes this is possible by speaking to a Receptionist and explaining the situation.
NH asked patients for their comments about the new appointments system. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the comments included:
“Excellent choice of doctors and the whole process works very well. I recommend it.”
“Mandy (Matthews) helped us get online; she was very patient and helpful”.
“The voice system is first class”.
“I signed up last week but have found that it is not possible to book multiple appointments”. RF agreed to investigate this further.
“Great. I haven’t needed to use it yet but I have looked online everyday and there are always appointments available”.
“Brilliant. Solves the problem of having to speak to a Receptionist”.
A patient suggested that the reason the size of the audience at this evening’s meeting was smaller than the previous meeting could reflect an increased satisfaction in the appointments system.
Q Will the staff currently employed by VHC automatically transfer to the new provider? A Yes we believe this will be the case under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations .
Q At a previous meeting the possibility of a new entrance to the car park was discussed. Has this progressed further? A Not at the moment but possibly at some point in the future.
Q Do you automatically follow up a patient once they have been discharged from hospital? A This is not routine policy although patients may receive a telephone call from their doctor. Patients who suffer from extra fragility will get support from the hospital. The hospital should provide extra support at home for patients who require it – although this doesn’t always happen.
Questions left at the end of the meeting: Q My 90 year old mother has recently successfully used the automatic phone system. This confirms it is suitable for patients of all ages.
Q Is it possible to put the newsletter online? A It is already available on SHC website and emailed to patients who have signed up to receive it via email – details are on the Practice web site.
Q Is it possible to identify the Foundation Doctors, this did used to be the practice and it is helpful when using the online service. We will review the settings on the online system to address this