Appointment update

Dear Patient,

The Partners and staff at Riverside Surgery aim to offer excellent care and patient experience to all our patients.

GP Recruitment has been an issue over the past few years. This is happening nationally and hence innovation has been required to enable us to continue to provide high quality care in a timely manner for our patients.

Over the years we have expanded our team to include Specialist nurses, nurse practitioners, nursing associate, social prescriber, care co-ordinator, first contact physiotherapist, pharmacist and a paramedic. These are highly trained healthcare professionals who provide care in their specialist areas. They can also seek support from the duty doctor as appropriate.

Riverside Surgery has an active Patient Participation Group (PPG). Following feedback from the PPG on the appointment system and telephones, a total triage-based appointments model was adopted by the practice about 18 months prior to the COVID Pandemic.

As part of this system, patients are directed to the most appropriate clinician. This has been found to be the best way to ensure that patients are offered the care that they need in a timely manner and by the most appropriate healthcare professional.

The system is monitored regularly to assess if this can be improved in any way. The practice has found this to be most helpful in looking after our patients. This has been reviewed at a PPG meeting as well.

Therefore, we would request patients to work with us please, to ensure that appropriate care can be offered to all our patients in a timely manner. Requests / insistence to be seen by named clinicians creates additional pressures, in both clinical and time resources. This may mean that another patient, friend or neighbour who may be more unwell, may not be able to be seen as there are limited appointments on the day. Currently the demand for any healthcare appointment is at an all-time high. Recently many patients wanted to protect the NHS by not attending for a new condition, or it could have been that many hospital departments did not see any patients for numerous months or it may be for a number of any other reasons. Now, we are seeing those patients whose conditions have worsened and as such they now need more NHS resources. This will not be a quick fix, but we are working extremely hard to try and help all our patients. This is all being delivered when our sickness absences are also higher than normal within practices. As a team, please can we at Riverside Surgery remind all that we have and will always follow current NHS and governmental guidance to ensure that the very best service will be given. We are here to help and want to continue to do so in the best manner possible. Please be kind to us as we are working under extremely difficult conditions. Your help will be very gratefully received.

Thank you from the Team at Riverside Surgery