Patient Participation Group (PPG)
We know that there have been a large number of concerns during the last few months over the service being delivered by Frampton surgery. We are working with the surgery to improve the service and wanted to take this opportunity to update you on plans and progress.
Reception team: The surgery is focusing on the training and development of the reception team, as they want all patients to be dealt with in an efficient, polite and caring way. The surgery is aware of patient concerns and is working hard to address problem areas. They really do welcome your feedback on how the reception team deal with your call and if you have any concerns, you can email email@example.com, or if you’d prefer you can email the PPG in confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referrals: If you are referred to a consultant or specialist, these referrals will be made within the following timescales:
Routine – within five working days, Urgent – within two working days., Emergency (for example, to rule out cancer) – within 24 hours.
These targets simply mean when the referral is sent on to the specialist/hospital. The GP will try to give you an idea of how long you’re going to wait for your appointment to come through at the time of referral. If they do not, please ask.
Unfortunately, most referral appointments are currently delayed due to the pandemic; many hospital departments are still working at reduced capacity due to staff shortages and redeployment. Unfortunately, the surgery has no control over this, i.e. waiting times. However, if your symptoms change or worsen, please let the surgery know. If appropriate, your GP can raise the priority of your referral to try and secure an earlier appointment.
If you decide to opt for private care, please let the surgery know and they will deal with this referral for you. It is helpful if you know which specialist you would like to see. We do appreciate this is not an option for everyone.
GP appointments: If you are calling to make an appointment for an ongoing or routine issue you will be offered the next available appointment. At present this will be a telephone consultation, unless it is felt you need to be seen face-to-face. Please be reassured that if there is a need to be seen face-to-face, you will be.
At the moment, the wait for a routine appointment can be up to 4-6 weeks. We appreciate that this is a long time to wait and the surgery is looking at how this can be improved. If your symptoms change or worsen, please call the surgery and the receptionist will request a doctor to reassess your needs.
If you’re unsure if you can wait, the reception team can record your concerns and talk to a doctor, who can then advise. If it is felt that it is urgent, the doctor will call you back on the same day. Likewise, if you are calling with a new and acute health issue, you will get called back by a doctor on the same day.
The surgery is currently developing a plan to increase face-to-face appointments as we start to move out of lockdown – this will take a lot of careful planning to ensure the continued safety of staff and patients and to prevent the spread of the virus. We will update you in the next newsletter. We do understand that many patients would prefer to be seen face-to-face and the surgery is working to enable this around the constraints of COVID-19.
Confidentiality: When a receptionist answers your call, they will ask you what your health problem is. They need this information to give to the doctor so they can evaluate when to call you. If one of the reception team calls you back to get more information on your symptoms, it’s because the doctor has asked them to do so. Any details you give to the reception team will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. You can expect to be asked questions such as; what is the nature of the problem, how long has it been ongoing, what symptoms are you experiencing and have you taken any over-the-counter medications. All surgery staff are bound by the same data protection and information governance rules, guidance and laws. The reception staff dealing with calls are also now located away from the reception area to further aid confidentiality.
Prescriptions: The surgery advises three working days for a prescription to be processed and this is standard across all pharmacies and dispensing practices. NHS England has now asked that all doctors supply only one month’s medication at a time. The surgery understand that this is a change for patients, some of whom have previously been prescribed 3 to 6 months’ supply of medication at any one time. The surgery is being measured and monitored on this reduction and must comply.
This has an impact on the surgery as well, with many more prescriptions going through the dispensary. On top of this, there has also been a general increase in prescriptions given. The surgery has increased staffing in the dispensary so that it can meet the higher demand.
Some patients have had issues with ‘owed’ prescription items. This happens when the surgery’s suppliers do not have a medication in stock. In this event, one of the dispensary team will contact you. The surgery can either continue to search for the missing item, or you can take the prescription to a local pharmacy. Community pharmacies tend to hold a much larger amount and variety of stock, as they have more space than dispensing practices. Frampton surgery is planning to increase the space for their dispensary, so they can hold more stock and reduce the risk of this happening.
COVID-19 vaccination programme: All of the vulnerable patients and those aged 44 and above have now been invited to have at least their first vaccination. NHS England has recently started sending text messages inviting 42 and 43-year-olds to the national vaccine centres. Once the surgery has received confirmation of vaccine delivery, they will be inviting these patients to go to local clinics at beaches Green.
There are a lot of amazing volunteers supporting the program – and it wouldn’t be possible without their help – but it also takes considerable resources away from the surgery. It’s supported by GPs, nurses, pharmacists and administration staff.
Complaints procedure: If you want to make a complaint, you can either call the surgery and ask to speak to the Practice Manager, write to The surgery , Frampton Surgery, Whitminster Lane, Frampton on Severn, GL2 HU
or email email@example.com. This mailbox is monitored all day, so please use this email address.
The surgery’s full complaints procedure is available on their website – www.framptonsurgery.co.uk.
The Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of patients working with Frampton’s GP surgery to help improve services.
Please get in touch if you have any feedback on services and we will continue to represent you.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org in confidence, or call Ali on 01452 741988, or Jane on 01452 740964.