Appointments & Home Visits
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Important Appointment System Changes.

AskMyGP

Over the next couple of months the way you book appointments at the surgery will be changing. Along with a number of other practices in this part of Lincolnshire we will be adopting a system called ‘AskMyGP’.
This will mean that you no longer need to ring or come to the Practice to book an appointment, ask for advice, etc, as all appointment requests will be made online, via the AskMyGP website or their mobile phone App. This will avoid you having to queue on the phone or stand outside in the rain!
If you contact us on a working day, our aim is to deal with all requests and queries on the day they are received. Patients can use the service any time after working hours or at the weekend, in which case the requests will be dealt with the next working day. Patients can choose to receive a response by email, text message or appointment, depending on preference. We hope this service will also help you to get the right advice or appointment, with the appropriate person, more quickly and efficiently.
This will be a big change, both for ourselves and our patients but the feedback from other GP surgeries who have already adopted AskMyGP has been very positive. Tasburgh Lodge has been trialling this appointment system since April 2019 and if you know someone registered at that practice, you might like to speak to them for their opinion.
We now have an official ‘go live’ date which will be Tuesday 25th February.  Please bear with us during what will be a very busy time as we all get used to this new system, aimed to help us help you!

Practice Call Back Policy 

WOODHALL SPA NEW SURGERY is now undertaking more consultations by telephone and video call.  When we arrange a telephone or video appointment, we cannot guarantee the exact time that we will call you.  We will arrange the appointment for a time period, such as the morning, the afternoon, or another specified time period.  We ask that you be prepared to take the call-back some time in this time period.  Please ensure we have your most up to date contact details and that your phone is free during this agreed time period.
The clinician will try to contact you a total of 2 times. If they are unable to contact you after 2 attempts, you will need to rebook another contact on another occasion.

Extended Hours

We are pleased to inform our patients that we are trialling a number of Extended Hours appointments. These are appointments outside our normal working hours (08:00 – 18:30) and will be available at our main site, Woodhall Spa New Surgery. If preferred, there may be the option of a telephone consultation rather than a face-to-face appointment.
There are a limited number of Extended Hours appointments on certain days of the week; from 07:30 – 08:00 in the morning and from 18:30 – 19:00 in the evening.
If you would like to book one of these appointments, please contact our reception team to check availability. They will ask for details regarding the reason for booking the appointment, so that the doctor or nurse can make sure that such an appointment is suitable for your request.
We will review the provision of these appointments in the months ahead and would welcome feedback on how they suit you.
Appointments

Patients can make appointments during surgery office hours, either by calling in at the reception desk or by telephoning the receptionist on;
(01526) 353888.
We now offer the facility to book appointments online. Please call in to discuss these services and to fill in a sign-up form. PLEASE NOTE you will need to bring photo ID with you when signing up to our online services.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO KEEP YOUR APPOINTMENT, PLEASE LET US KNOW. DUE TO THE HUGE DEMAND FOR APPOINTMENTS, SOMEONE MAY GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF THEY CAN TAKE YOUR CANCELLED APPOINTMENT.
You may make an appointment with the GP of your choice, providing that the GP is available at that time.
IF ALL AVAILABLE APPOINTMENTS FOR THE DAY HAVE BEEN BOOKED, BUT YOU FEEL THAT YOUR REQUEST TO BE SEEN IS URGENT FOR THAT DAY, PLEASE HELP THE DOCTOR TO DECIDE IF YOU NEED TO BE SEEN BY GIVING THE RECEPTIONIST A BRIEF IDEA OF THE PROBLEM.
BARDNEY BRANCH SURGERY
You may prefer to be seen at our branch site in Bardney; if this is the case, please make your preference clear to the receptionist when you are booking your appointment. If you are booking online, please make sure you are booking an appointment at the correct site. The branch site opening times are:

 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday – 10am – 6pm
Wednesday – 10am – 1:30pm

 

Please ring the usual surgery number between 8am and 6:30pm to book an appointment at your preferred site or get a query to the doctor.

EXTENDED HOURS AVAILABLE IN EAST LINDSEY.

Some of our patients may have already read or heard a recent press release regarding the provision of 8.00am – 8.00pm seven-day-week working.
At a time when general practice is facing unprecedented pressures and demand, 11 practices in East Lindsey have banded together to create an Extended Hub Service that will provide their registered patients to GP services in the evenings and weekends.  The service  started on 26 February 2018.  Patients are able to see a GP at a clinic based at the Urgent Care Unit at Louth Hospital between the hours of 6.30pm to 8.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 7.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.  The appointments are all pre-bookable and patients should contact their own practice to access one of these appointments.
The innovative pilot scheme is part of a wider plan to strengthen Lincolnshire East CCG’s out-of-hospital strategy, integrate are within the community and improve collaborative working between local practices to deliver more joined-up GP services.   Dr Ko, GP and Clinical Leader of Lindsey Locality, NHS Lincolnshire East CCG said:
“We are really pleased to be introducing this pilot, which will be particularly beneficial to those patients who struggle to get an appointment during the daytime because of everyday life including work and school commitments.
Over the coming months we will assess how well it is working and will be asking people for their feedback.  We also hope the scheme will reduce some of the pressure on other local health services, such as accident and emergency, urgent care and out of hours services, which people often turn to if they can’t see a family doctor.  This is all part of our commitment to making our local GPs more accessible and for patients to get the care they need when they want it.
It is early days and there are still some limitations but extended access is just the tip of the iceberg of what the hub can offer in terms of the range of services that could benefit our patients in the future”
 If you would prefer to see a doctor in the evening or at the weekend, please contact the reception team to book an appointment in the usual way.  They will be happy to book you an appointment at Louth County Hospital, at a date and time of your choosing.
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Home Visits

Your doctor will visit you at home if you are too ill to travel to the surgery.
Please come to see us whenever possible, as your doctor can see three or four patients at the surgery in the same time it takes to make one home visit.
If you feel that you need a visit at home, please call on the day, before 11am. Please only request a Home Visit if you are genuinely unable to attend an appointment at the Surgery.
Some checks are better done in the Surgery to ensure accurate diagnosis, so we encourage patients to book appointments instead of visits if possible.
Due to the large area our surgeries cover, home visits may not be made by the Doctor until between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Local Medical Committee (LMC) Home Visit Policy

The LMC thus recommends that GPs should visit patients in their homes if they feel that they are medically unfit to travel to the surgery. It is important that practices triage requests for home visits for necessity and urgency, so that they can be appropriately managed.

 

However, there are a number of reasons why home visiting may be detrimental to patients –

 

  • It can delay clinical assessment, as visiting cannot be carried out on an emergency basis, whereas assessing patient in the surgery can be.
  • Travelling to and from home visits can delay clinical assessment as the doctor may not be able to locate the patient’s address as quickly as the patient can attend the surgery.
  • Travelling to and from home visits, when clinically not needed, could prejudice the care of patients in the surgery, as the absent doctor will not be able to treat routine or emergency patients whilst away from the surgery.
  • Equipment for assessment and treatment by a GP which is portable to a patient’s home is not as effective as the equipment in the surgery.
  • The environment in a patient’s home is not ideal for clinical examination and assessment.

 

Thus, the LMC also advises practices that reasons other than being medically unfit do not constitute a reason to perform a home visit. These reasons may include –

 

  • Transport issues for the patient – It is not the GP practices responsibility to arrange transport, or to perform home visits because the patient has difficulty arranging transport. In these circumstances patients should seek transport help from relatives, friends, or taxi firms.
  • Childcare issues for a patient – If a patient has difficulty arranging for someone to care for their children whilst attending appointments, the patients are welcome to bring their children to the surgery.
  • Poor mobility – Whilst it is understood that having poor mobility is inconvenient and unpleasant, GP surgeries are designed to cater for patients with restricted mobility. If patients are able to attend appointments at other healthcare settings, then they should also be expected to attend appointments in GP surgeries.
  • The unwell child – Children with a fever will not be made worse by transporting a child to a place of care. It is in the best interest of the child to attend the surgery where they can be properly assessed and treated. o If a parent believes that the child is too unwell to travel to a surgery, then it would be advisable for them to seek help from the emergency services by calling 999. If the GP feels that attending the child at home, based on the clinical history, may prevent delay in treatment because of distance from available ambulance services, then they should attempt to do so.
  • Residents of care home – Care home residents are no different to patients in their own homes. The need to visit should be based upon clinical need, not the availability of transport or staff to attend the surgery. It is the responsibility of care facilities to make transport available for residents so that they can get to medical and non-medical appointments.

 

The LMC encourages GP practices to use this guidance to generate a home visiting policy for the practice, which should be shared with patients and PPGs.