There are some major changes happening at the Shepperton Medical Practice. Not everyone welcomes change, but something has to give. Doctors and support staff are regularly working 12 hour days and that is not safe.

When analysing appointments, it was found that two thirds of them did not need to be seen by a doctor and could have been dealt with by telephone, website, going to the pharmacy or through self-help. If those patients were directed to the correct place the first time it would mean appointments would be freed up and those with long term conditions and complex needs would be able to be given a longer appointment to address all needs in one go. It is common sense.

Other practices in the UK have already introduced a triage system to ensure smoother running of the limited resources.
A new website has been launched as a first port of call, saving you a trip to the practice. You will be able to do the following:

– Request a sick note, referral, test results
– Get information on medical conditions which are linked to organisations who are specialists in that condition
– Find information on how to treat minor illnesses
– Know what the pharmacy can treat
– Undertake your annual reviews so that you will only be called to review asthma, hypertension, mental health etc when needed.
– Find links to local organisations and community groups

Jonny Allum has been appointed Clinical Lead and will help drive through the changes. He is very experienced and over the next few weeks will be training reception staff as patient navigators. In their new role they will be asking patients questions to enable them to get the patient to the right place the first time. All patient interaction will be documented on the system so that when you see the doctor they already have some knowledge of why you are booked in to see them.
Please be patient with the patient navigators. They are there to help you and to help the practice work efficiently.
You will also see that a new clinical pharmacist will be on hand to deal with repeat prescriptions and answer any questions.

PLEASE NOTE. From the first of June patients will no longer be able to book an appointment in the conventional way. You will request a consultation by phone and at that point the doctor will decide if you need to be seen in person. It may be you can be dealt with over the phone or directed to self help, the website, LIVI or the high street pharmacy.

Surprisingly, when analysing doctors appointments only 15% of patients really needed to be seen in person. You also now have options of extended access practices which include the Studholme, Upper Halliford and Sunbury. It means you can potentially access help both in the evenings and at weekends.

LIVI is an application which you can use if you have a smart phone. Register for use and interact with help via a video link. A Shepperton man made the news recently when he consulted LIVI before getting on a plane after he felt pins and needles over his body. He was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage and received swift treatment. It is a simple process. Just search for the App and download for free.

We all have to recognise that resources are under a huge pressure. The staff at Shepperton Medical Practice will always do their best to help you, but these changes may not be to everyone’s liking. Be patient!
Have a look at the new website to familiarise yourself with what is available:

www.sheppertonmedicalpractice.co.uk