There has been a lot in the national media recently about how GP practices are working, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share with you what you can expect, currently, as one of our patients.
Firstly, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your support since the pandemic started and even more so over the past year as we merged our three surgeries into Adur Health Partnership. Like many, we had to change the way we work very quickly because of COVID and that has only been possible because you, our patients, have adapted to these changes with us. We’d like to reassure you that we are open and still need to know if you are unwell or worried about your health.
We are providing face-to-face appointments, as well as supporting people over the phone and online. Face-to-face appointments will be offered when they are medically needed and can be with a range of health professionals working within the practice, depending on the support you need. Using a mix of face-to-face and phone appointments allows us to keep the number of patients and staff on site to a minimum if we have to, and ensures we can all socially distance if you do need to come into the practice.
We are asking that if you need our help and support, you still call us first if you are able. We know that some people have struggled to get through to us on the phone or had a long wait and we thank you for your continuing patience. Talking to you helps us understand what kind of support you need and how urgent it is, meaning we can work out the best way for you to receive help.
We have seen an increase in telephone calls since the start of the year; we are working to try to meet this demand and support all of our patients. In the last month we answered 19,382 calls, and made 16,576 calls. Since the start of the pandemic there has been a 33% increase in demand for appointments with GP surgeries and a 3.9% increase in appointments. We know that some people have put off seeking medical support, some as a way to try and protect the NHS, but we are committed to making sure all of our patients who need our help can receive it.
Whilst we recognise that not everyone has access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, we do want to make you aware of:
- eConsult – you can use this from the front page of our practice website https://www.adurhealthpartnership.co.uk/and it’s available from 8am until midday, Monday to Friday. Requesting our help via eConsult is the same as booking an appointment at the practice. There is no need to phone the practice as well and we will deal with your request based on your medical needs by 6:30pm the next working day.
- The NHS app – owned and run by the NHS, it is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services, including ordering prescriptions, viewing your medical record and proving your vaccine history.
If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the information at www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/ in the first instance, if you are able. The websites have answers to common questions and where you can get help.
We want to reassure you we are and always have been open and working hard to provide a good service and patient care. We understand that on occasion, the incorrect media portrayal of general practice has unfortunately created a great deal of anxiety for our patients and we want to reassure you our team is working hard to be the best we can be. We welcome feedback from our patients so that we can share when things go well and learn when – and how – we can make things better. We welcome your suggestions which can be communicated via our website or practice email at email@example.com
We do ask that you please continue to be respectful and kind to our teams, when you are speaking to them and with comments online & social media. We want to enable a culture of mutual respect and we have a zero tolerance policy on verbal and physical abuse. No patient, carer, visitor, staff member or volunteer should ever be subjected to abusive or antisocial behaviour or language. Appropriate action will be taken if this does occur. We are always grateful to our patients for the respect and the care you show our entire team, and we hope you experience the same in return.
Thank you for your support.