Hobs Moat Medical Centre

Practice Update – November 2021

Posted by: paulacollins - Posted on:

New IT systems – Failure

In October 2021, the practice was due to upgrade IT systems. Staff prepared for a one week period of the system being ‘read only’ where the old system wouldn’t be fully functional and the new system wouldn’t yet be installed. The system was put into the ‘read only’ mode one week earlier than it should have been, meaning hundreds of patient prescriptions could no longer go to pharmacists electronically. It also meant staff could no longer see which pharmacies patients usually had items sent to. This was very unexpected and could not be undone by the IT team.

Together, with local pharmacies the practice put emergency plans into place, the local pharmacies started to collect prescriptions from the practice and staff delivered prescriptions to pharmacies. This went on for a two week period.

In addition to this, all consultations and referrals had to be done on a paper based system.

One working day before the upgrade was due to happen, the practice were notified that this could no longer go ahead due to technical issues. To add further difficulty, the old system could not be immediately reinstated meaning the above problems continued for a further week.

Since this has happened, the practice staff with the support of the local CCG have worked hard to get the practice back into order whilst maintaining usual day to day services and covid booster clinics. This has been an extremely challenging time for the practice.

The practice now has a new upgrade date of 13th December 2021. The practice staff have had to complete the preparation work again and will be going through another ‘read only’ period from 6th-10th December 2021.

Why is the upgrade so important?

The practice is using an old, outdated clinical system which has become increasingly slower over time. There are regular periods of time, on a daily basis, where the system is not functioning properly. Patients were also reporting continuous problems with repeat prescription requests.

The new system allows easier communication across the practice and a quicker, more efficient service.

The new system has more sophisticated reporting services which means our recall of patients will be slicker. We will aim to carry out all routine reviews in one appointment rather than in multiple separate appointments.

The new system is the same as what local practices use which means we can work more closely with other practices within our Primary Care Network.

More clinical and non-clinical staff are familiar with the new clinical system, which should hopefully attract more staff.

What our patients need to know

Prescriptions

We will be UNABLE to send any prescriptions electronically between the dates of 6th December – 10th December 2021. It is important that any prescriptions due in this period are ordered EARLY. Should you need to order a prescription during this period, you would need to collect the prescription from the practice instead of your usual pharmacy. We are asking that we are given 72 hours to process prescriptions rather than the usual 48 hours. We will be issuing 2 months worth of prescriptions where appropriate.

To order a prescription you can either post your request through the letterbox/send via post or email us at [email protected] We accept prescription requests for patients who are housebound or aged over 75. We ask that if you are able to order via the routes other than the telephone, to do so as we are trying to keep our phone line waits a low as possible.

Appointments

Our GP appointments will be bookable ‘on the day’ only between 6th December – 13th December. Pre-bookable slots will be released from 14th December onwards.

Nurse appointments can still be pre-booked during this time period. Although certain appointments such as blood tests and smear tests may be delayed due to us being unable to order lab reports during this period.

New patients

We will be unable to register new patients during this period, if you are happy to wait you can still hand registration forms in and these will be worked through in date order once the new system is live.

Patient Online Access

Patient online access will no longer be operational from 13th December 2021. If you use the NHS app this should still work.

Other practice updates

Recruitment

The practice has been holding a recruitment drive since July 2021, with an aim to increase staffing levels to try to keep up with the increased demand on services. Some positions have now been filled, but there are still vacancies waiting to be filled. There have been periods of staff sickness which has lead to increased wait times on the telephones during certain periods.

Phone system

It was found that incoming calls had increased by 300%. With this increase it also became apparent that there was an issue with the phone system, patients were calling and then finding their calls were being cut off after a long wait. The phone provider assures that this has now been rectified.

Pharmacy first

We are aware that local pharmacies offer minor ailment services and can deal with a range of patient presentations under the scheme called The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). This is a national Advanced Service to refer patients requiring low acuity advice, treatment and urgent repeat prescriptions to community pharmacies. The service aims to reduce pressure on the primary and urgent care system, particularly Accident and Emergency and GP out of hours. The service covers the following:

  • Bites and stings
  • Colds
  • Congestions
  • Ear issues
  • Eye issues
  • Gastric/bowel issues
  • Hayfever
  • Gynaecological issues such as discharge and thrush
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin complaints, including acne, athletes foot, blisters, dermatitis and hair loss
  • Cold sores
  • Flu like symptoms
  • All patients eligible to be seen by a pharmacist will be signposted to the local pharmacies and will not be automatically offered an appointment with a GP.