Three GP Practices in Northampton are teaming up to provide their 33,000 patients with a new way to access emergency, same-day appointments.
The new pilot service, launched in response to patient feedback, is being introduced on 1 December 2016 by Langham Place, Leicester Terrace and Greenview Surgeries in Northampton.
One of the major issues that patients identified was a lack of available pre-bookable appointments.
The three practices’ response is to arrange for all emergency appointments to be seen at a single surgery. This pilot project will happen each week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. By having a single surgery offering emergency appointments, the other two practices will be able to offer significantly more routine appointments.
Elizabeth Perryman, practice manager at Greenview Surgery, said: “We value our patients’ feedback, which showed through our patients’ surveys that access to routine appointments was a concern.
"These changes are as a direct result of this feedback and we hope that our patients will be pleased that we have listened to their concerns and are addressing them.
"It is important that our patients are aware this is not three practices merging and that they will remain as a registered patient at their current practice.”
The practices will take turns to be on emergency appointments duty. Patients can book appointments for telephone or face to face consultations as normal and they will be informed which surgery to go to. While this pilot project is in operation, each practice will retain responsibility for visiting its own patients up until 12 noon on those days.
After 12, afternoon emergency visits will be done by the practice that is on emergency appointments duty.
On the remaining days (Wednesdays and Fridays), the surgeries will continue to see their own registered patients for both routine and emergencies as required.
The pilot project will initially run for four months to give staff and patients time to assess the service and provide valuable feedback.
Under the new system, receptionists will ask a number of questions about patients’ healthcare needs to ensure that each patient is seen by the right professional for the care they require.
Dr Darin Seiger, GP Chair of Nene CCG, said: “We believe it is vital that patients have access to the right professional at the right time and this scheme should ensure routine appointments are easier to access for patients registered with these practices.”