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Care Navigation – to help patients get the right support, quickly


Across County Durham, all GP practices want to make sure their patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional for their problem.  We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly and sometimes may feel that the only person to help would be a GP.


Throughout June and July, our practice staff are receiving specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with information about choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs.  Sometimes a GP isn't the best person to see.  Within your GP practice for example a Practice Nurse (for matters including dressings, immunisations or ear syringes) may be better.  You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse.


When the receptionists have completed their training and you contact your GP practice, the receptionists may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly.  They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little about why you are calling.  Of course you do not have to, the choice is yours and you can always still request to see your GP, but you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is able to provide the right care for you using 'Care navigation' to help, without waiting to see a GP.


For further details please see the link below 


www.northdurhamccg.nhs.uk/about-our-ccg/care-navigation

Appointments

PLEASE NOTE: 

AN APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED FOR EACH PATIENT WHO MAY NEED TO BE SEEN BY A GP.  WE WILL NOT SEE ADDITIONAL PATIENTS DURING AN ALLOTTED CONSULTATION.

TO ENABLE THE GP TO RUN THEIR CLINIC IN A TIMELY MANNER, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME OF YOUR APPOINTMENT.  IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE PROBLEM YOU MAY BE ASKED TO MAKE A FURTHER APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS THESE. 

stethescope_on_calendarFurther information regarding booking appointments can be found via the link below:

Appointment Options

We have appointments to see Doctors and Nurses available each morning and afternoon.  Both we and our patients have found that an appointment system has many advantages over the open surgery system. For those who can plan ahead, we encourage you to book ahead so that you may have the time and Doctor of your choice.

However, illness often comes suddenly and you may wish to see the Doctor urgently.  We try and hold back one or two appointments each day for such situations. Of course this will be with the Doctor who is on duty and who has an appointment available.

Following a trial period of triaging patients, we are happy that this is an effective way of ensuring patients who have a problem which is urgent for the day are seen in a timely manner.  Feedback from patients has been very positive.  It is very important to the practice that these patient are attended to and their care is not compromised because of a shortage of on the day appointments.  This is working well.

However, there are still patients requesting on the day appointments who clearly do not have an urgent problem.  If in doubt, then a triage appointment may still be the way forward, so that the GP can assess your situation.  If the GP feels the problem is not urgent for the day, you will be offered an advance appointment which you may not feel is soon enough.  However, current pressures on the practice and an increase in patient numbers have had a huge effect on the availability of appointments, therefore we would recommend you book your appointment in advance as soon as you feel you may have a problem which needs attention. We usually have appointments available up to 4 weeks in advance.

Telephone Consultations

We also continue to offer telephone consultations.  These can be particularly useful when your request may be regarding obtaining further supplies of medication which is not on a repeat prescription.  It may also be useful when requesting advice.  We offer telephone consultations on a daily basis.  We will ask a brief description of the problem when requesting telephone consultations.  It is helpful for the GP to have a brief idea of the problem. 

Online Appointment Booking

From Monday 2nd December 2013 it will  be possible to book an appointment online by visiting this website.

To enable access to online booking, you will require a password which you can obtain from reception, along with details of how to access the website.

If you already have a password to request repeat prescriptions online, you will be able to access the online booking and do not require a further password.

PLEASE NOTE: Initially only a small selection of appointments will  be available to book online, however we hope to increase availability when it is evident that patients are happy to use this method of booking.

If you book an appointment online which you are no longer able to attend, please remember to cancel the appointment.

If you have any queries, please ask at reception.

Evening & Weekend Extended Access Appointments

The practices within the Durham locality operate an extended hours service.  This means that appointments will be available to book via your own surgery at times outside the surgery's normal opening hours.  The appointments are for booked appointments only and there is no walk in facility.  To book an appointment contact the surgery and the receptionist will check availability.  You will be given the location of the surgery at the time of booking.  Outside of surgery hours, you can ring 111 to check appointment availability.

Evening Surgeries

The surgery is open later on Tuesday evenings for those patients who are unable to attend an appointment during normal surgery times. It is hoped that patients who are able to come in during the day will not request an evening appointment but will leave them for those patients who really need them.  The Tuesday evening surgery is available for pre-booked appointments only.

Chaperones

The practice respects the privacy and dignity of all patients. The doctor, nurse or you as the patient may request a chaperone to be present during some examinations. Please ask for a chaperone to be present during any examination if you wish.  The chaperone will always be either a nurse, another doctor or another member of staff who will have completed the necessary training.

The Receptionists

The Receptionists make appointments, type letters, answer telephone calls and use the computer to run the Practice smoothly.  Although busy, they are never too busy to help patients. If you wish to speak to them away from the reception desk, where it is more private, just ask them. You can also check with them which is the most convenient time to speak to the Doctor. Unless the problem is urgent, we have allocated “telephone consultation” times.

 

 

 
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