As most of you know, we have recently been experiencing severe problems with our telephone lines. We are pleased to announce that the phone lines are now up and working as they should be and we would like to apologise for any inconvienience this may have caused you.
Please note, we have added a further walk-in clinic at the Gillies Health Centre on Wednesday 21st November 2018. (8am – 12pm) This walk-in clinic will be for patients 18+ who are eligible for the flu vaccine. There will be bookable appointments available across all sites.
We are aware of serious issues at present whereby our call overflow system is not kicking in. We have spent several hours on the phone to our supplier to try to resolve these issues. It has now been escalated to a Manager at our suppliers end. Our call queue is capped at 40 calls so when a patient calls, if they are 1-40 in the queue, they are placed in the queue. If a patient is 41+ in the queue, they will hear the music for 10 minutes and the repeated hold message, but not actually be in the queue despite appearing to be.
We are told that our case has been escalated and resolved as soon as possible, but are aware that these issues have now been going on since Thursday 8th November. We are doing everything in our power to keep call queues to a minimum so that we don’t go over the 40 maximum.
We are truly sorry for the inconvenience that this is causing to patients and staff alike.
Jane May, our Senior Practice Manager, has met with our combined PPG on a couple of occasions now. The PPG meet bi-monthly on a Wednesday evening at 6pm. Where possible a GP Partner is also present and Drs Western and Knowles take it in turns to attend. The Site Managers will also attend in rotation. If you would like to be part of the PPG, please email [email protected] for further details on attending the next meeting.
From Thursday 8th November 2018, our ‘on the day’ services, or ‘duty hub’ as it often referred to, will be based at our St Andrews Site (formerly Camrose). This is the first of our clinical hubs to go live. Patients will access this service in the same way as they currently do, by calling the Practice on the usual phone number and speaking with the Receptionist. The only change is that all patients who are triaged by a member of the duty team as needing to be seen urgently on the day, will be seen at this one site. Please be assured that we still have GPs based at the other two sites every day in case of an emergency. The full address of this site is Acorn Health Partnership, St Andrews Centre, Western Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6ER. This site was purpose built in 2012 and has good disabled access as well as good parking facilities.
Did you know that you can have your prescription sent electronically to the Pharmacy of your choice? We still have lots of patients coming to the Practice to collect their prescription only to then go to a Pharmacy to hand it in. The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is linked to our clinical system and the GPs and Nurse Prescribers can electronically sign prescriptions and send them to a Pharmacy via EPS. Upon signing, the prescription gets to the Pharmacy electronically in less than 2 minutes in most cases. If you would like to be able to collect your medications directly from the Pharmacy in future, please let the receptionist know that you would like to sign up for ‘EPS’ and let them know which Pharmacy you’d like to use.
There have been several new faces around Acorn recently. We have Charlie working within the reception team for us temporarily, Drs Zaki, and Kumar on a long-term locum basis at Essex House (in place of Drs Norfolk and Millar) and Helen has joined our Administration team. We also have two new receptionists Clare; joined us last week and Kate will be joining us very soon. We have Debbie joining our Admin team and Celia moving into the Admin team from Reception. Caroline Bridger has joined our Duty Team and has settled in well. We have also recruited a new Site Manager for Essex House, her name is Claire McEvoy and an Administration Lead for Gillies, his name is Steve Taplin.
We also have some team members leaving us imminently and we want to wish them well in their future ventures. Debs Leather, Clare Smith, Ali Brady, Sarah Cameron, and Dr Care are all due to finish in the coming months.
On the 4th October 2018, between 12.30-6.30pm, our staff at the Acorn Health Partnership will be attending an important training event arranged by the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. During this time, if you need urgent medical advice or treatment please call NHS111. Your local pharmacist can also help with many minor ailments. Calling 999 or attending A&E should be reserved for life threatening emergencies only. The practice will open as usual at 8am the following day. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
The first walk-in has now been held and over 1,200 patients have been vaccinated. As always, the first hour was very busy, it then quietened down and the wait time was reduced. The remaining walk-in dates for eligible adult patients are: Saturday 22nd September, Saturday 29th September and Saturday 20th October. These clinics are 8-11am at both Gillies Health Centre and St. Andrews Centre (formerly Camrose).
The building and electrical works have now started in the polyclinic; a large bright and airy room at Gillies Health Centre. This room is being converted into an Administration office, our Admin teams will move in throughout October. There will be some unavoidable noise disruption whilst the work takes place.