REACHING GPs AT CROUCH VALE MEDICAL CENTRE

Recently we have seen streams on SWF’s social media and had other approaches complaining about the time it takes to get through to our GPs on the telephone. So we have investigated this.

The Practices (Greenwood, Kingsway and Brickfields) are getting far too many calls (sometimes up to 50% of their total) asking about Covid vaccinations from people who haven’t been invited to make an appointment. This is clogging up their phones and preventing people getting through about present medical issues.

Below we set out the many steps the Practices have taken to make it easy for people to make contact with them. We all hope that more frequent publicity about this will help. This is a two-way matter requiring the Practices and patients to adapt to the Covid regulated situation please.

If you get a letter, email or text message inviting you to make an appointment for a first or second Covid vaccination you should follow the instructions about how to make the appointment as in the correspondence you’ve received. Those instructions may ask you to book online at a mass vaccination hub, or in another specified manner at a hospital or at a Surgery.

If you have had a first Covid vaccination at a Surgery you will be contacted about booking your second vaccination when supplies permit as near to being within twelve weeks since the first as possible.

If you have any other queries about a vaccination, please contact your GP Practice by EMAIL and NOT by phone. The email & website addresses are:

Brickfields: brickfieldssurgery.reception@nhs.net   www.brickfieldssurgery.co.uk

Greenwood: greenwood.meds@nhs.net                    https://greenwoodsurgery.com/

Kingsway: kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net                 www.kingswaysurgery.net

For the time being please also use those email addresses for all queries which are routine matters. The Practices’ websites also offer various other online services.

APPENDIX

The facilities and services at Crouch Vale Medical Centre are the same as they were before the moves of premises and since then improvements have been made. Unfortunately the Covid pandemic has caused all GP Practices, other NHS providers and patients with unexpected and unprecedented challenges.

Patients will be given contact details for secondary and other providers of health services when referred and chasing them should be done direct. For inquiries about referrals to hospitals please contact either the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointment Line on 01245 123 0771 as the Practices can’t provide hospital appointment details.

GPs have to operate a telephone triage system before seeing any patient and separate outgoing lines are used for this as well as some GP services eg medicines reviews, treatments and routine checks for ongoing conditions.

For minor ills and ailments please use the NHS website www.nhs.uk for advice on self-care, consult a pharmacist or ring 111.

GPs country wide are constantly exploring ways of increasing capacity and working smarter using the technology available – this is a nationwide problem which is not worse for SWF.

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SWF Health & Social Care Group provides health & social care support, information and signposting to patients & people in SWF and surrounds, especially those at risk, isolating, staying at home, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Do contact us with queries or comments on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

Hands-Face-Space; stay safe, protect our NHS, save lives.