Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of our staff over the last year. We are writing this letter as a way of outlining some of the many exciting changes that are happening and are already in place both within the surgery and on a more national level with General Practice. We would like to share with you some of the things that you can do to ensure you continue to be able to access our full range of services.
First of all we would like to apologise to you for the recent problems with our phone lines. We understand and share your frustration that our phone system has not been working optimally and we have been working with our telecommunications supplier to remedy the problems. We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as part of the problem has been a national one and so not immediately solvable.
We are aware that the general problem of telephone access and booking appointments by phone is an issue frequently raised by patients across the country and we have been looking at ways to try to reduce the pressure on the phone lines.
Online Appointment Booking
We already have a number of routine and blood test appointments available for booking online. The government have recommended that practices make at least 25% of all appointments available for on-line booking. We think that this is a really good idea and over the next few months will be increasing the number of appointments released online including more urgent and nursing appointments. To use this service you need to register with our reception who will ask for photographic ID to give you a username and password.
Online Repeat Prescription Requesting
Through the patient access system (the same as used for booking appointments) you can view and order your repeat prescription medications. We still require 3 working days for any requests to be processed in case of queries or delays. You can also agree with a pharmacy that your prescriptions will be sent electronically to them (a 'pharmacy nomination').
Text Appointment Reminders
We now send appointment reminders and occasionally other important communications by text if we have a mobile phone number for you. You can also cancel appointments by this system once you receive the reminder text. Please ensure we have up to date contact details for you.
The e-consult system is accessed via our website and is available to all West End Surgery patients aged 18 or over. You do not need to have registered with patient access or have a username and password for this system. You can use it to find advice and information about specific conditions or to send us a query either about your symptoms or regarding an administrative issue (eg to request a sick note extension). All clinical queries are reviewed by one of the GPs and you will receive a response from us by the end of the next working day. Please do not use this system for anything urgent or for requesting repeat medications.
Have you visited our website lately? It has been recently remodelled and has lots of useful information and is being constantly updated. Keep an eye on the News and Events to read the latest!
Eastleigh Southern Parishes Federation/The Primary Care Network
We already work closely with the other surgeries in the local area through our federation. This means that West End Surgery patients can already have blood tests at other local practices and access evening and weekend appointments at our local Hub.
From July 2019, West End Surgery will be part of a formal Primary Care Network. This will bring you the benefit of more access to appointments outside usual surgery opening hours. Over the next few years being in this network will give us access to other staff (e.g. a pharmacist, social prescriber and potentially other staff such as paramedics) which will help us continue to improve the care we provide.
Patient Participation Group (PPG)
We know that our patients have busy lives and attending meetings regularly can be difficult. We have therefore set up our PPG to be an online forum with the aim of being able to improve communications between the practice and our patients and remain responsive to the needs of the local community. We are keen to get as many patients in the group as possible. If you would like to help us with this, please speak with reception or complete the patient interest form found on our website in the 'Patient Group' section.
There are a lot of changes happening in a short space of time and we thank you for working with us to provide you the best care that we can!