Newsletter April 2022

As the country begins to get back to normal, The Old School Surgery is keen to share with you our plans to return to normality.

Firstly, we would like to thank you for adapting to the different ways of working that were introduced over the past two years. It has been a difficult challenge for us all, we are very proud that despite our struggles with unprecedented staff absence due to Covid, we have continued to maintain healthcare services.

Of course, these challenges have meant that demand for healthcare services has exceeded our capacity to provide appointments for every request. We are aware of the dissatisfaction with access and have listened to your frustrations. Taking this into consideration, together with the lifting of Covid restrictions, we are now in a position to make changes that we hope will improve your experience.

Behind the scenes, our Operational Managers and GP Partners have considered ways in which we can improve, and we are pleased to tell you that from Monday 25th April 2022 the following changes will come into effect:

  • We have employed more GPs and welcomed additional new members to our Urgent Care Team, increasing the number of appointments available to you
  • We have increased our face-to-face appointments which will be available to you
  • We will still have telephone appointments should you prefer these
  • We will be booking GP appointments two weeks in advance only to ensure you don’t have to wait too long to see a clinician
  • We will support our GPs in line with national guidance on safe working practice
  • We ask that you continue to follow NHS guidance and help protect our staff by wearing masks or facial coverings, and respect social distancing rules whilst in the practice

We understand that many of you now value the telephone appointment service and the convenience this offers, and as such we will continue to provide this as an option.

The Old School Surgery has an experienced team of 18 Medical Receptionists who are trained to answer your calls from our designated call hub, navigate your concerns to the relevant clinician and greet you at our reception areas.

As health and social care employees, the practice staff members are bound by NHS guidance to continue with isolation rules relating to Covid. This continues to impact our staffing levels so please be patient with us, we will answer your calls and respond to your queries as soon as we are able.

Unfortunately, demand for appointments remains high at all-time and to effectively use the time available at each consultation, please can we respectfully request that you use the automated cancel text if you can no longer make your booked appointment. If you have multiple health concerns, please speak with a member of our Patient Assistant Team who will be able to advise you of the different consultation options available to you.

We would like to bring to your attention a few additional services we offer to you in addition to GP appointments to help support a range of needs:

  • The local Mental Health Helpline 0800 953 1919 which is available 24/7
  • The GetUBetter App offers tips and exercises for muscular pain

Please do consider your local Pharmacist for advice too as they are particularly skilled in treating minor ailments.

Finally, there may be a few teething problems as we transition to these new changes so, please bear with us. We hope these will only be short term and provide long-term benefits for you and our staff.

Thank you, The Old School Surgery