SWF GPs & Patients – 1

South Woodham Ferrers GP Practices at Crouch Vale Medical Centre (CVMC) and our Group are aware of the difficulties patients have in making contact and getting timely appointments. We’re all very sorry for the trouble and frustration with this. With recent additional Government funding our GPs are taking steps to improve things. We’re producing a few articles to let everyone know what’s happening, and this is the first.

Kingsway Practice is installing some new phones during the week commencing 29 November; calls will be recorded by their four receptionists. They will have a call queuing system with a maximum of 20 calls in the queue. Once that maximum queue is reached, callers will be advised to hang up and try again a bit later. Kingsway staff will concentrate on answering the phones between 0800-0900 and 1300-1400 so please don’t attend CVMC then unless for an appointment. All callers asking for appointments are triaged. September appointments have been audited and 58.96% were delivered face to face.

Greenwood Practice continues to triage patients to ensure they are seen according to their needs and within an appropriate timescale. They have also increased sessions with their existing workforce. Greenwood continues to lead the SWF & Dengie PCN (Primary Care Network) Covid Vaccination programme, delivering 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Booster doses. 32,804 doses have been delivered so far and vaccination clinics will be run every Saturday up to 18 December.

The SWF & Dengie PCN is using its ‘Winter Access Fund’ allocation towards a respiratory hub and an extended access hub, which may be based in Chelmsford. This will provide additional appointments during the winter and a dedicated hub for respiratory conditions.

Further articles on this subject will cover other aspects.

Like everyone, our local NHS people have been working extremely hard in the most awful and challenging circumstances for 21+months, trying to do their very best for us patients against impossible odds. Our GP staff are as frustrated and worn out as everyone and have seen the worst of the pandemic. They’ve had to adapt the way they work and how services are provided to keep everyone as safe as possible. Many of those changes are still in place and will be at least until Spring 2022. They are listening and doing their best. So please don’t abuse them or take out your anger and frustration on them. We all need to keep clapping each other.