Pathfields Acute Team: Improving your care

Pathfields Group are pleased to announce a new initiative that will improve the care you receive from the practice: we are developing an acute medical team of doctors, nurses and pharmacists to help you with your medical problems quickly and efficiently.

Why are we doing this?

We are very mindful of the difficulty in obtaining a doctor’s appointment and the inevitable 8am rush to get through on the phone to secure an appointment. We know this system could be improved! We’re also aware that when you phone through with urgent problems there can sometimes be a delay in the doctor calling you back – again far from ideal.

We have therefore set out to design a new system of care focusing on what patients want and need. We intend to deliver:

  1. A local service: care that is delivered close to your home in your usual surgery
  2. A trusted service: care that is delivered by your usual doctor whenever possible
  3. A responsive service: urgent care when there is an urgent need

We also intend to set out some guarantees for you so you know you are getting the best possible care:

  1. Guaranteed access to same day appointments when there is an urgent clinical need
  2. Guaranteed access to your preferred GP when you have a problem that can wait

How will we deliver on our promises and guarantees?

When you phone in for an appointment please expect to be asked some additional questions by the reception team so that they can help the medical team prioritise your call and ensure you get the right care at the right time.

If your problem is medically urgent our receptionists will arrange for a call back from our acute medical team within 5 minutes – please stay by your phone!

For less urgent problems our front of house team will ask a few more questions following a triage script developed by one of our clinicians to see if they can help you get the best possible care first time. This will often be a call back from one of our doctors on the same day or a same day appointment but in some cases it may be that another approach will get you the best possible care more quickly. For example:

  • If you have a problem that is likely to require blood tests we will try and arrange these tests before you’re booked in to see the doctor meaning one less trip up to the surgery for you and a faster diagnosis.
  • If you have a problem that is likely to require a double appointment (eg: new onset depression, gynaecological examination, etc.) we will try and book you a double rather than a single appointment with your preferred GP therefore giving your GP the appropriate amount of time to assess you and support you properly rather than rushing things in the normal 10 minute slot

Will you need to travel?

This depends on your preferences. If you have an urgent problem and want the convenience of coming in straight away we will be able to offer immediate appointments at our acute hub in Efford. If you would prefer to be seen closer to home we can usually arrange a same day appointment at your local practice for urgent problems or in the next few days for less urgent problems.

How much information will I need to tell the receptionists?

Our reception team are very important staff members and treat any information you share with them in strictest confidence in line with national NHS policy. As a minimum they will ask you to confirm your contact details. If you are happy to share information with them they will be able to help you get better care faster but if you are not willing to share information with them we will respect your wishes and you still be able to access the care you need.

If you do not want to share information with them they will run through a few quick questions to ensure you do not have symptoms that are so serious that you need an ambulance or emergency call back – these questions are simply to ensure we deliver safe and effective care to you.

Going live 14th November

Our official go live date for this service is Monday 14th November but you may notice a few small changes in the run up to this date.

How you can help us deliver excellent care

If you think you need an appointment or a home visit on the same day please continue to phone us early in the day and certainly by 10am. If you have a less urgent problem that can wait a few days please phone from about 9:30am onwards after the morning rush has settled. If you are phoning about results please wait until after lunch.

If you cannot get through on the phone when you first try please do not panic as we will always be able to offer a same day appointment should you have an urgent medical need to be seen.

Your feedback is important!

This development is all about delivering a local, trusted and responsive service to you. We are confident your care experience will be better, faster and safer as a result of these changes. Please have patience and a little understanding whilst this new service beds in over the coming months. Please feedback your experience of using this new service.

With the very best of wishes,

The Pathfields Team