Improving Patient Access

Posted by: Paramjit Panesar - Posted on:


Our new pilot for patient access, digital first total triage, is now in its 5th week and we’re pulled together some feedback on how we have done.

Our new model means that the majority of requests for advice are answer within 48 hours or so and its the first time we have been able to see everyones requests now that the 8am phone rush has gone and access has no major bars.

As a practice we are processing and responding to approximately 120-140 clinical requests per day. That equates to 700 per week. Most problems can be solved within the practice. With working in this way our waiting times to see a GP routinely have come down from 3-4 weeks to 10 days.

The practice has smashed the NHS target for digital consultation by 10 times the target. The practice on its own has reached the target for the whole Primary Care Network itself. This new process has been a massive effort by the whole practice team and we have worked harder than ever to make this a success. We now have to make it sustainable with the limited NHS resources and the absence of staff wanting to work in the NHS.

The most important finding is that the practice has been able to diagnose serious life changing conidtions sooner. For example, over 7 patients were diagnosed with serious life changing conditions much sooner over a two week period.

Diagnosing and managing serious disease and long term conditions management is the core responsibility of primary care. Minor alignments may see signposting to our amazing NHS community in line with the fact that primary care is not and never has been an Emergency Service.

This ensures our services are safe whilst providing space to review the most serious conditions. If patients receive a signposting response this is always sent by a senior clinician with a reason for the signposting which is different to the traditional model where patients where not able to get through or had to go elsewhere. Although not always what patients may want these recommendations are always based on clinical need.

We would like to thank all our patients for their support. We will be improving this approach the next 3 months and we hope to make it sustainable. #nhs #nhscrisis