Important statement for patients at the Heart of Bath Medical Partnership

Important statement for patients at the Heart of Bath Medical Partnership

 Changes to our services to improve your experience

We are making this statement in recognition of the problems some patients have had in accessing services at Heart of Bath Medical Partnership over the last few months. We want to apologise for any difficulties you may have experienced and inform you of changes we are making to address this situation.

Last April St James’s Surgery and Oldfield Surgery merged to form Heart of Bath Medical Partnership. In October Number 18 Surgery closed and patients transferred to Heart of Bath. This has been an unsettling time for patients and staff and we are aware of the difficulties some patients have experienced as a result of the challenges of dealing with so much change in such a short time.

With the usual NHS winter pressures and a series of unavoidable absences, due to serious illness of staff or their relatives, we have been struggling to meet patient needs. This has led to longer waits on the phone at times, and for appointments.

While we are not alone in facing the challenges of supporting the increased demand on health services, we want to thank you for your understanding over the last few months.  To improve your experience of using our services, we would like to inform you about some changes we will be trialling from April at Heart of Bath as well as remind you about some existing services:

Appointments

 We are increasing the number of GP appointments available, in recognition of the demand we’ve not been able to meet in the last few months.

  • We have two Advanced Paramedics : Daryl Payne to help with home visits and Matt Davis seeing patients in urgent clinic.
  • Claire Ruiz (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) seeing patients in urgent clinic, which is now based at Oldfield Surgery.
  • There are still urgent same day appointments available at the St James’s site if you need one.

Telephones

 We know however that there have been long telephone queues at times, especially after 8am when the surgery opens.  In common with many practices, we have been telephoning patients with an urgent need as sometimes we can help by phone, or if an appointment is needed we can make it with the right person with the right skills.

  • To help with the difficulty getting an answer, we now have one incoming telephone number (01225 613100) so that any free receptionist on any site can answer the call. We are also changing staff rotas to ensure more staff are free to answer the phone at peak times.
  • To help manage the demand at peak times, if you have a routine matter ringing after 10 am would be a great help.

 Urgent appointments

  • From 8th April 2019 – For urgent matters we will be trialling offering patients a telephone call (5 mins) or a face to face appointment (10 mins). This will allow quicker access to seeing a clinician for patients with urgent problems.  For many people the option of a telephone call is very convenient as many patients are familiar with their health issues and have a good idea of what they need. As much as possible we will still be encouraging people to have a phone call first but in some situations (a young child who isn’t well or a rash) we understand that patients know that what they need is to see a clinician.

 Thank you

Thank you for your patience while we continue to make these changes that will enable us to meet the needs of all our patients while prioritising those with urgent needs. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve services, please let us know as we would love to hear them bsccg.heartofbath@nhs.net

From

The Partners at Heart of Bath Medical Partnership