NEWS: prioryCARE launched on 4th November 2020.
What is prioryCARE?
We launched this new system having taken into account patient and staff feedback; to make sure we offer fair and inclusive access to our appointments based on clinical priority.
We are launching our new system using a “total triage” portal called Klinik. You can submit appointment requests online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but we will only process them in our working hours. You can also still call us on the phone or attend our surgeries between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday to access our care.
Triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency of illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic we only triaged some urgent/same day requests. If your situation was deemed non-urgent/routine, you were given the next available appointment or advised to call back another day.
The feedback from our clinical teams that many people (upwards of 40%) they see can be better seen by another member of our team with the right skills to meet their needs. In light of this feedback and our goal of getting the patient to the right clinician first time, every time, we are adopting this model of total triage which means that every patient request for an appointment will be assessed.
Alongside the introduction of the Klinik system we will be completely changing how our internal clinical rota and work allocation systems work, reducing inefficiency and encouraging continuity of care wherever possible. This isn’t just a new appointment system, it is a whole new way of delivering care, prioryCARE.
How can I make an appointment?
We are aware that recently getting an appointment has often meant a long wait on the phone lines at 8am; this isn’t fair for patients or our call handling staff. We want all patients to have the same opportunity to access our services and be able to prioritise clinical need.
You will be able to use the online form via our website to submit appointment requests for new medical problems or ask for follow up. As the screenshot below shows, you will be able to ask for nursing appointments, fit notes, medical reports and much more.
Using the online form will be the quickest and most efficient way for you to tell us about a new medical problem. Please be assured that the online form is not the only way to access our care. You can still call us.
If you have a new medical problem...
The system will take you through a series of questions. The same questions will be asked by our patient central and reception teams if you are unable to get online. Depending on the nature of your main symptom you will be asked some further questions. This will help us direct your request to the right person and make sure urgent problems are highlighted quickly. If the system deems that your symptoms may be a sign of a medical emergency, you may be directed to contact NHS111, 999 or attend the Emergency Department (A&E)
At each of our sites, clinicians will be reviewing new submissions throughout the day and acting on them as appropriate. This may mean they telephone you for more information, arrange a video consultation, send you a text, book a face to face consultation or schedule a home visit.
If you want to request a routine follow up appointment for a previous medical problem...
Use this option if the medical practitioner you saw previously asked you to get back in touch if your symptoms hadn’t improved or resolved. You will be asked to fill in some details and you may want to include information about why you need follow-up, who your last appointment was with and how long ago it was.
Will I be able to see a GP?
One of the central aims of prioryCARE is to prioritise continuity of care. If you have a long term problem or need routine follow up with a specific clinician, your query will be passed to them and actioned appropriately.
Another strength of this new approach is that we have oversight of all daily requests for appointments and this will help make sure your appointment is with an appropriately qualified health professional, this may not be a GP.
We are lucky enough to have a broad multi-disciplinary team including: physician associates, practice nurses, HCAs, advanced nurse practitioners, musculoskeletal practitioners, mental health practitioners, social prescribing link workers (see below), advanced care practitioners and clinical pharmacists working at the practice.
Who else might I see?
Our MSK practitioners are trained physiotherapists that are highly experienced in identifying and managing musculoskeletal conditions e.g. back ache, shoulder stiffness or knee pain. They can make diagnoses, start medication, perform joint injections, arrange tests such as bloods or scans and send referrals where appropriate.
We have a large team of clinical pharmacists. They have a number of roles including supervising the INR clinics, supporting care home prescribing and undertaking regular audits of practice prescribing to make sure it is both safe and in line with local NHS policies. Patients can book appointments with the pharmacy team to have their yearly medication review or if you have a medication query.
Physician Associate (PA)
PAs work within the clinician team and can assess patients with a wide range of clinical problems, both routine and urgent.
Social Prescribing Link Worker
Our link worker is able to support patients with social issues. This can vary from money worries or housing problems. They can help patients that feel lonely or low in confidence and sign post them to useful community groups, local resources or charitable organisations.
The nursing and HCA clinics will remain very similar. You can request these appointments using the online form or you can phone us to get booked in.
Why did we decide to change?
Our population is changing, and with it their needs. The traditional “one size fits all” model of general practice is no longer working. Some patients value continuity of care with a known clinician. Others want quick and easy access to healthcare.
Demands on our clinical team have been significant, increasing and in all honesty unsustainable. Some of this demand was patient driven, both appropriate and inappropriate, and some of this demand was generated internally through our appointment system and internal pathways.
We are using technology more and more in our everyday lives; video calling to catch up with our families, online banking apps to transfer money to friends and ordering the weekly supermarket shop online. We have shared details of prioryCARE with our patient participation group (PPG) and have incorporated their feedback during the development of the system.
The Klinik tool brings a digital option for patients to quickly and easily input details about their health problem without the need to be on hold for a long period of time or wait for the surgery to open. We are confident that prioryCARE will be a better system for patients and staff alike.
Health. Care. Together.