Improvements at Glenlyn Medical Centre - Frequently Asked Questions

Improvements at Glenlyn Medical Centre

FAQs regarding Online Access, Triage, Additional Clinicians and Change of GPs

1.            Do we need to request appointments online rather than on the phone?  The online form is the fastest and most informative way to request help or an appointment.  It also provides the triage clinician and the clinician ultimately dealing with you with a clearer picture of your problem and your desired outcomes.

You can still contact us by telephone. A member of staff will take some information from you and fill in the same form online for you. That form goes into the same triage process as the online forms. There are times when the phonelines are quite busy and there is a wait.

We would prefer to keep the phone lines free for people who for whatever reason are unable to access or use a computer and have no carer to do that for them. These sorts of vulnerable patients are really important to us and many of you will know someone or even have a family member like this. We need to protect their access and encourage them to seek help however we can.

2.            What is Clinical Triage?  Clinical Triage is a process of using the information you provide about your problem to determine which team member your problem is most suited to.

3.            Who does the Triage?  Triage is done by a very thorough and experienced nurse called an Advanced Care Practitioner or by a doctor and they are assisted by an admin team.

4.            Who are the Additional Clinicians?

The team is made up of Advanced Care Practitioners (highly experienced and qualified senior nurses), Nurse Specialists (Asthma/COPD and Diabetes), Paramedics, Clinical Pharmacist, Physiotherapists (to assess and manage muscular and joint problems not to provide the physiotherapy), Health Care Assistants and Physicians Associates.

6.    Are the Additional Clinicians who are not GPs trained and experienced enough to deal with my problem and not miss anything?  Yes. All the clinicians are trained and experienced. They all know the limitations of what they can deal with and how to recognise things that need escalation to a more senior clinician. There is a hierarchy of supervision for the clinicians and there is always a Duty GP every day with protected time available to answer questions, teach and deal with escalations. There are also other GPs available every day to see complex patients and follow up on previous consultations.

7.    Doesn’t everyone who contacts a GP surgery need to see a GP?  No. Many people know they don’t need to see a GP and don’t want to use up a GP appointment. Many people are just used to asking for a GP appointment and starting their journey there and didn’t know there was a different way of doing things. Most of those people are entirely happy when their problem is sorted out by a different member of the GP surgery team. Many Primary Care problems are not things a doctor is best at dealing with and are better dealt with by other team members.

8.    How do people feel after seeing an Additional Clinician?  The overwhelming response is extremely positive. The clinicians are punctual, courteous, thorough, and instil reassurance and confidence. Patients feel reassured, listened to and they feel their problem has been swiftly, effectively and diligently dealt with. The clinicians are all backed up and supported by more senior clinicians and ultimately a Duty GP every day. Our Friends and Family Test (FFT) results show a very high satisfaction with the process over the last few months. In November satisfaction was 91% (546 responses) and in December it was 87% (526 responses).

9.    Have you reduced the amount of GP time at the surgery?  No. We have changed some of the doctors, but we still have the same total amount of GP time.

10. How do I request prescriptions?  The NHS App is easily the fastest, most efficient and clinically safest way to request prescriptions from your regular list.

You can still use our website if you are needing a medication that is not on your current list of regular medications. This process is takes a little longer as it needs closer looking at by a clinician.

For people who cannot use online services, prescription request can be submitted in writing. A written request probably sounds inconvenient but is a safety requirement as verbal requests have long been recognised to carry a risk of errors or misunderstandings with no track record.

11. Is the NHS App any good?  Absolutely YES. You can submit a query to us. You can view your test results. You can order repeat prescriptions. You can view your record. Soon you will be able to track your NHS Hospital referrals and waiting times. It is getting better all the time. Please download it and register.

12. Are these changes part of a national programme?  Yes. They are part of a program called the Primary Care Recovery Plan. This is a national program to deal with access issues across the country. We are unable to embed a link in this document on this website, but you can read more about it if you search online for Primary Care Recovery Plan.

The implementation of this locally is being led by Surrey Heartlands ICB. You can read more if you search online for Surrey Heartlands 

Published on 6 February 2024