OUR SERVICE IS CHANGING
There has been considerable media coverage regarding the crisis affecting the NHS. Nationally there is a shortage of Doctors and despite Jeremy Hunt’s promise to recruit more Doctors we believe the situation is only going to get worse.
I would like to give you some facts & figures which has brought General Practice almost to its knees and this sadly has included Jenner House Surgery. Doctors surgeries have suffered a reduction in their budget from 11% of NHS funding to just 8%. Our share of the budget equates to £130.00 per patient for one year of care (0.7p per day). This includes staffing & GP salaries, heating, lighting, telephone & maintenance of the building & surrounding car park.
Did you know that GPs see 90% of patient contacts with the NHS? There has been a 24% increase in appointment demand. In addition to this the government has been transferring work normally carried by hospitals over to GPs. It is much better for patients to be able to access services locally rather than visiting their local hospital but practices have not been funded or resourced to provide these services.
General Practice is now at a critical point. Prolonged under-investment in Primary Care has brought GP Practices to the brink of collapse with levels of morale at an all-time low. GPs are literally walking away from the NHS and Junior Doctors no longer want to come into general practice. On average 2 Practices have closed every week for the last 3 years. It is proving extremely difficult to recruit and retain General Practitioners. Many healthcare professionals believe we are nearing the end of traditional general practice.
Jenner House Surgery is changing and we need our patients support
In order to continue to provide care for our patients we need to look at new ways of working and provide our services differently. I accept recently we have not been able to provide the standard of service our patients have come to expect and I offer my sincere apologies to all patients who have experienced any difficulty in getting through on the telephone or have been unable to book an appointment when they needed to at their convenience.
We strongly believe patients who feel they need to be seen should have timely access to a medical professional – this may not always be a GP. We plan to expand our Clinical Team to now include; Advanced Nurse Practitioners & Nurse Prescriber’s who are able to see and treat urgent problems and issue prescriptions where necessary. We have recently obtained funding through our Federation to provide Jenner House Surgery with a Pharmacist who will be able to see patients; answer questions on medications and provide medication reviews promptly without the need to wait for a GP appointment. This will be up & running by the end of May 2016. We will also shortly (middle of June 2016) be piloting a physiotherapy service for back & joint pain, sprain and sports injuries, again without the need to wait for a GP appointment.
There are plans to further extend the services available to include mental health support and the voluntary sector. We will of course continue to provide practice nurse, healthcare assistant and phlebotomy support.
We are making huge efforts to minimise the impact of the current shortage of clinical staff. During this period of change, it will be necessary for the receptionist to ask our patients to provide more information to assist them in directing you to the most appropriate clinician. We would appreciate patients co-operation in helping us to develop our new service.
Waiting times for routine appointments will improve. We have increased the number of appointments available to book online to assist patients having difficulty getting through on our very busy phone lines.
We are positive about the changes we are making and we feel this will provide an improved service for our patients. However, the problems within the NHS are much greater and there is little we can do at a local level to change decisions made by Government. If you feel strongly about maintaining funding & support for your local General Practice then I would urge you to contact the people who are making the decisions about your healthcare and the service you receive.
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State, House of Commons. London SW1A 0AA. Tel: 020 7219 6813. Email: email@example.com Tweet: @jeremy_hunt