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Improving Patient Access -Important Changes at The Grove Medical Group

Updated 5th March 2024

Many of you may be aware of the current pressures which are affecting General Practices nationwide. The overall demand for appointments has increased greatly and therefore we needed to make changes at our practice to be able to manage this demand.

From Wednesday 31st January 2024 the practice moved to a new triage system where we ask patients to initially provide some information to enable them to be triaged correctly.  This was to improve the management of patient requests and improve patient access at the surgery. To submit an request online you need to press the ‘Contact Us Online’ button on our homepage which takes you through to a a short online form which once completed is then triaged by a clinician who will then decide upon the appropriate course of action. This could be a face-to-face or phone appointment with a member of our multidisciplinary clinical team, or perhaps redirection to another provider such as a local pharmacist.

We appreciate that not everyone may have access to our website. In this case, we will be happy to receive your phone call and a member of our reception team will assist you to complete the form. The request form will be available from 7am Monday to Friday until the Practice has reached capacity. If this is the case, you will be notified and redirected to another service.

How is the new triage system working?

So far the new triage system is working well and we are receiving a high number of online requests with the majority of the requests being being dealt with the same day. It has been a transition for all staff adapting to a new way of working but everyone has worked very hard and supported each other with the change. Below is some of the feedback we have received from some of our patients who have submitted an online request.

‘I am not very confident at using a computer but I have found the online form easier to use than I first initially thought I would. I received an answer to my medical query quickly and overall I feel like using the new system worked for me and I will continue to contact the surgery via the online form’

‘It was easy to submit my request and I will use again’

‘The Doctor provided advice to me after I completed the form online which was very useful’

‘I completed an online form on behalf of my elderly mother and it was great, an appointment link was sent to my phone and I was able to book a convenient appointment time when I could bring her to the surgery. I also like the fact my mother can still contact the surgery by the telephone if needed and they would fill in the form to be triaged on her behalf’

Changes to the software provider

Our practice main clinical system is SystmOne provided by TPP. This clinical system is used across primary and community care settings. This system is what we use to book your appointments and store your electronic medical record. TPP has recently released some fully integrated triage software so it is all build in the SystmOne clinical system. The new software is called SystmConnect and the practice has decided to change to use this from Wednesday 6th March 2024. The benefits of using SystmConnect is it works with a variety of online systems and Apps such as SystmOnline and Airmed which some of our patients use to order their prescriptions. It will also be available on the NHS in the coming weeks. The clinicians will be able to access your online form and your medical record on the one system which also makes it easier for them to manage your request. The online patient form will be slightly different but still very easy to use.

Our Practice Goals

  • Enable easy and equitable access to our services
  • Provide rapid triage of all medical requests
  • Improve collaborative working between teams within the practice
  • Reduce ‘unseen’ work and ensure manageable workload for all staff
  • Reduced telephone call wait times for patients

What are the core benefits for patients? 👪

Some of the benefits for patients include:

✅ Better continuity of care

✅ Reduced appointment waiting times

✅ Improved access for patients who cannot use technology by reducing call volume

✅ Improved efficiency

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