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Total Triage Trial W.C. 23.10.2023

Over the past 5 months, the Nene Valley Hodgson Medical Practice team have been working hard on a project, as part of the National General Practice Improvement Programme, to ensure patient access to the practice is improved, equitable, and timely, whether people contact us on line, in person or on the phone. Since the project started, we have trialled several ways of making changes to our current processes to ensure we continue to deliver safe and effective care to our patients whilst improving working practices for our team members.

We have used data from our telephone provider and our appointment data, alongside patient and staff feedback to shape these changes. We have learned that we can provide 30% more appointments for people who need to see a GP or one of our Advanced Nurse practitioners by directing those patients who can be best served by another member of our diverse clinical, pharmacy, social prescribing or administrative team, to the right person, at the point they contact the practice. The next stage of our improvement journey will be starting in the week starting 23/10/2023. It will involve every patient contact we receive during that week, as we trial a ‘Total Triage’ Service.

What this means for you:

Our current process is for our care navigators to take your details over the phone and place you on the list for a call back from a clinician. When all the clinician call back appointments are booked, you are asked to re-contact the practice at a later time or date, or directed to another service like NHS111 or the walk in centre.

During the ‘Total Triage’ Trial, the information you provide when you contact us on line, or on the phone, will be captured and then reviewed by our team, throughout the day.  Admin requests will go straight to our administrators for completion. All clinical requests will be reviewed by a senior clinician and an appointment will be arranged in a clinically appropriate time frame or, where appropriate, another solution will be offered to sort out your issue, often meaning you will not need to come into the practice. By ensuring a senior clinician reviews each request and directs it to the appropriate member of our healthcare team we will be able to deal with more patients, more efficiently.

What this means for us:

We will get a better idea of all the requests for help coming into the practice each day and we can use the most appropriate member of our team, first time, to ensure we help you quickly and effectively. Over time we will build a clearer picture of the work coming through the practice and will be able to build our team with the most appropriate type of professional.

What you need to do:

To submit a request to the practice, head to our website and select ‘Submit a New Request’ on our home page. You can choose a Medical or Admin request form and submit this to the practice after completing it at a time convenient to you. All the information you need with regards to submitting a new request, including the turnaround time, can be found on the website. If you are unable to access the website or internet, you can still phone the practice and a care navigator will complete the questions on the form for you, using the information you provide, and your request will be submitted and reviewed in the same way as if you did it yourself online.

What we hope to achieve

From the improvement cycles we have already undertaken we expect to see that enquiries are handled more quickly by the most appropriate member of our team, leading to shorter waiting times and faster resolution of issues. There will be no need to worry about the 8am rush to get through on the phone, as requests will be reviewed as they come in throughout the day. We know from your feedback the current 8am rush is the most important issue for us to fix. Our goal is to provide better access and care for our patients while ensuring safe and effective working practices for our team. We will let you know how it goes and what further improvements we plan to make once we see how the week-long trial goes. Thank you for your support as we work to make our services work better to meet your needs.