News

H.A.R.T.

Homeless Alliance Response Team

Rochdale Health Alliance,a boroughwide organisation representing GP Practices formally launched the Homeless Alliance Response Team ( HART) at Champness Hall 'soup kitchen'in Rochdale.

Dr Mohammed Jiva MBE, chair of Rochdale Health Alliance and clinical lead for the project said that ' the homeless services accross the borough are well established, but delivery of good healthcare has been lacking. With the support of Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale clinical commissioning group ( HMR CCG) and the excellent response from GPs, nurses, managers, as well as volunteers from across many organisations the ability to deliver safe, effective healthcare to this vulnerable population.can now become a reality.

GP practices have donated flu vaccines to the HART team to support the vaccination of the homeless population as winter sets in and clinicans and non-clinicians have come together to donate their time to make HART a reality. Jackie Taylor, project lead for the service said 'this is a unique opportunity to co-ordinate the wide range of healthcare services with essential partners to address the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people within our community. This is a new way of working with different organisations from across Rochdale which will help us understand  what is required now and for the future, to support better health and welfare for the homeless population in our borough'

The service plans to deliver 1 clinic per week in both Heywood and Middleton and 2 clinics per week in Rochdale. Further information regarding the service can be obtained from jackietaylor4@nhs.net


Care Navigation and New Services

Improving Access to GP Services

As you will be aware public satisfaction with general practice remains high, but increasingly, patients are reporting more difficulty in accessing services. Practices would like to offer better access, but that they are experiencing increasing pressure and are having difficulties in offering their patients timely appointments.

To help address these problems, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group have developed an improving access to general practice scheme which requires practices, working in partnership, with Rochdale Health Alliance, the local GP Federation, to implement some changes which are intended to improve access.

Sometimes the best professional to deal with your needs is not the GP.  The main change that you will experience is that the receptionist will ask you 3 questions that will assist them to make sure you see the most appropriate person in the shortest possible time.   The questions will cover:

  • Nature of the problem?

  • Duration of the problem?

  • Severity of the problem?

Please help the receptionist to help you by answering the questions.

 

Care Navigation /Signposting 

As mentioned above, when you contact the practice you will be asked some questions by the receptionist/care navigator who will have had specialist training.  This helps to ensure that you see the right professional for your needs, which is not always the GP.  Please be assured that if you need to see the GP you will still see the GP. There may be a settling in period for this new service, we ask for your support and patience whilst this takes place. Hopefully you will then begin to see improvements to how you access primary care services for the future.

 

Managing the Demand

All requests for urgent appointments on the day will be reviewed by the Practice for appropriateness. 

This will result in fewer inappropriate GP appointments and better use of the surgery Nursing Team and other Healthcare professionals and services, such as pharmacists and opticians.   A local survey of GP appointments found that 20 – 25% of appointments would have been better dealt with by another healthcare professional / NHS service.

The aim is to ensure that patients are seen quickly and efficiently by the most appropriate person, dependant on the individual problem.

If you need to see a GP you will see a GP

 

Patient On Line Services         

Many patients already use the on line services available for their GP Practice

GP online services allow you to access a range of services via your computer or mobile. Once you have signed up, you will be able to:

  • book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse

  • renew or order repeat prescriptions online

  • view parts of your GP health record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results

If you have not tried these services then please ask the receptionist at your GP Practice, where they will be happy to register and guide you through these options

Reducing DNA ( Did Not Attend ) Appointments

Each DNA is an appointment that could have been rebooked for another patient.  Please support your GP Practice by contacting the surgery if you are unable to keep an appointment. This may be hard if phones are busy, but we are implementing new avenues which may help. The text system used by practices to remind patients of their appointments has an option to inform whether you can attend or not.                 

Practice Opening Times     

From October 2017, all practices across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale will be open from 8.00am to 6.30pm and will have their telephone lines on. 

This means that appointment requests can be made from 8.00 in the morning or that patients could call in on their way to and from work to pick up a prescription or book an appointment.  Please note that surgery consultation times are not changing, this is about patients being able to access the practice during those hours.

 

7 Day Access to a GP or Nurse

GP surgeries now ‘there for you’ in the evening, weekend and bank holiday

The service has been introduced to give patients more flexibility in where, when and how they use local health services. It has been designed to help those who find it hard to get to the doctors during the week, perhaps because of work and family commitments.

While patients may not get to see their own doctor during these hours, the GP or nurse they do see will have access to the patient’s medical record, subject to their consent.


ACCESS TO YOUR GP SURGERY

Improving Access to your GP Surgery

Public satisfaction with general practice remains high, but increasingly, patients are reporting more difficulty in accessing services. Practices would like to offer better access, but that they are experiencing increasing pressure and are having difficulties in offering their patients timely appointments. This is frustrating for both practice staff and for patients alike

The latest National Patient Survey results show that in Heywood Middleton & Rochdale, patient satisfaction varies.  A range of factors contribute to whether patients feel they have good access to general practice care, including practice location, opening times, ease of arranging appointments, and speed of access.

Sometimes though, the GP isn’t really the best person to see. Patients could be seen and treated quicker by a nurse or a pharmacist for example, and in some cases, the GP practice might not be the right place at all for the query.

Rochdale Health Alliance is working closely with all practices in the borough and with the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group on a new scheme which aims to help improve access to general practice services.  This is a scheme that aims to improve access for patients and support practices by ensuring that Patients are seen by the right professional for their needs

                       Care Navigation & Active Signposting

Nationally information submitted by 56 GPs for over 5,128 consultations showed that in total, for 27 per cent of appointments, patients would have been better served by either going to the pharmacist (as part of the minor ailments scheme), seeing an optician if they had a minor eye condition, seeing another health care professional within the practice, e.g. a nurse or health care assistant and in some cases accessing another service, such as social care.

So what is Care Navigation?

Care navigators are receptionists and administration staff who with specialist training, have additional skills and will provide a crucial practice role in improving access to primary care.   

What does this mean for patients?

When you contact the practice you will be asked some questions by the care navigator.  This helps to ensure that you see the right professional for your needs, which is not always the GP.  Please be assured that if you need to see the GP you will still see the GP.

All GP Practices in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale will have trained Care Navigators in place later this year and will begin Active Signposting.  There may be a settling in period for this new service, we ask for your support and patience whilst this takes place. Hopefully patients will then begin to see improvements to how they access primary care services for the future.

                                  Clinical Triage

What is clinical triage?

Requests for urgent appointments are passed to a dedicated GP who will ensure the patient is dealt with by the most appropriate person in the Healthcare Team. This will result in fewer inappropriate GP appointments and better use of the surgery Nursing Team and other Healthcare professionals (e.g. District Nurses). The aim is to ensure that patients are seen quickly and efficiently by the most appropriate person, dependant on the individual problem.

Each Practice in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale will triage requests for urgent on the day appointments made, once all appointment slots have been taken for the day.  This may mean that

a)       your issue is dealt with over the telephone

b)      You may be referred to another healthcare professional who is better placed to deal with your issue, or

c)       You may be asked to come into the surgery so that the GP can see you

The aim of clinical triage is to ensure that you are dealt with in the best way to meet your needs. 

                Patient on Line Services

Many patients already use the on line services available for their GP Practice.

GP online services allow you to access a range of services via your computer or mobile. Once you have signed up, you will be able to:

·         book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse

·         renew or order repeat prescriptions online

·         view parts of your GP health record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results

The service is free. Everyone who is registered with a GP can have access to their practice's online services. 

There is extremely good feedback from patients for these new services. If you have not tried these services then please ask the receptionist at your GP Practice, were they will be happy to register and guide you through these options

              Practice opening times

From October 2017, all practices across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale will be open from 8.00am to 6.30pm and will have their telephone lines on.  This means that appointment requests can be made from 8.00 in the morning or that patients could call in on their way to and from work to pick up a prescription or book an appointment.  Please note that surgery consultation times are not changing, this is about patients being able to access the practice during those hours.

 

       Reducing DNA (Did Not Attend) Appointments

You will all have seen figures in your GP Practice waiting room which highlights the number of DNAs per month. These are usually very high. Each DNA is an appointment that could have been rebooked for another patient. 

Please support your GP Practice by contacting the surgery if you are unable to keep an appointment. This may be hard if phones are busy, but as part of the GP Access Programme we are implementing new avenues which may help. The text system used by practices to remind patients of their appointments has an option to inform whether you can attend or not.  Some GP Practices are also looking at specific phone lines, where a message can be left by a patient if they cannot attend an appointment

Again, these systems will take time to settle in, but please help support your GPs and their staff whilst this occurs.


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