Written evidence submitted by Mrs L Jones (FGP0251)

 

Patients unsure how to approach GPs and which is in the area they live (tools such as the NHS website helps with this). Patients struggling to get appointments with doctors. Miscommunication that can lead to Patients feeling confused about their treatment.

 

I personally do not know the full plans, but I feel anything that can recruit and retain more GPs is a big help. Technology systems such as the EPS system, the NHS website and the NHS app all help, but practices have to support patients that aren’t comfortable with these tools.

 

Patients are more frustrated and become more aggressive/abusive especially if they are constantly trying to speak to a doctor and aren’t able to. This is down to lack of appointments, stemming from doctors in GP surgeries unable to carry out their work because of a range of pressures. I haven’t been working with General Practice for that long, but I do feel our practice have been affected by Coronavirus and the amount of sickness/need to isolate that staff have been facing. Explaining to patients why we have to ‘screen’ them (for Covid symptoms) before they enter the practice and why we sometimes carry out telephone appointments is very important.

 

 

Having a named GP and being able to provide a continuity of care can be a very good thing, in the fact that it can really build up trust between the doctor and patient and sometimes provide time efficient care for the smaller details. However, none of our GPs work 5 days a week at the same site (we are a twinned practice) and explaining this to patients and encouraging them to speak to another GP if it is an urgent matter can be tricky at times.

 

From a receptionist point of view: retaining and recruiting GPs, retaining and recruiting other clinical staff such as nurses, HCAs and Physician Associates. Managing the level of DNA (Do Not Attend) figures within appointments given out. Possibly managing patient growth and changing practice boundaries as needed.

 

Discussing this with other friends and family, I believe there are more walk-in centres and ‘absorbed’ centres (eg how we use Fairlawns) in cities as opposed to towns and villages and this can have a real impact on both pressures for A&E and for Patient perception.

 

 

More advertisement of the ‘rainbow’ options – eg A&E, Walk-in centre, GP surgery, Pharmacy, Health Visitors and even dentists and optitions. Explaining to Patients that GPs shouldn’t be the first port of call for every single issue if these other avenues work well.

Also may help when hospital backlogs are caught up, as when patients don’t attend their appointments once, the hospital department is more likely to discharge them straightaway. Instead of giving a second chance. This then means that 50-70% of the time, the patient then asks the GPs to refer them again adding to the workload.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 2021