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Following your feedback, and the fact that we have lost 5 clinicians within the last 12 months due to work pressures and stress, we need to change the appointment system at both Manor Park and Park sites.


Before we do this, we need your help. We need a commitment from you all that you will use the service that we offer appropriately and in line with health care guidance.  You have to support us to support your health and wellbeing. We cannot continue as we are. We must change otherwise we are at serious risk of going under due to staff shortages. This is a real possibility. This is why I am seeking your help and support.


This will mean that first and foremost, we have to support the staff at both sites. This is everyone from the cleaner to the senior GP (Dr Mothersdale).

Our staff cannot continue to work as they are; the workload from patient demand and expectation is too great.  We currently have 3 members of the clinical team off sick. This is crippling our service delivery and team morale.  In turn, it is also affecting the amount of appointments that we can offer.  Your frustration from this is causing us to be stuck in a vicious circle of stress, staff shortages and high patient demand.


The new appointment system will be rolled out on Monday 15th July 2019.


The new appointment system is the “Doctor First” model. This system is being used by the majority of GP Surgeries across the country, as it helps to reduce unnecessary appointments and allows clinicians to manage the healthcare needs of their Patients more effectively.

The new system will work like this:


  1. Surgery phone lines are open from 8:00am Monday to Friday. If you need a same day appointment, please phone between 8am and 10am. Naturally, the phone lines will be busy, so please bear with us. The Care Navigator will ask you a series of questions relating to the reason that you are calling.  Based on the information that you share, they will upload this onto the clinical system so that the Clinical Team for that day can triage all calls appropriately.  The Care Navigator will then inform you that a clinician will call you back, they will ask you for the best contact number to reach you on.  Please ensure that you give us your up to date phone numbers. A clinician will then call you back based on priority. If, when the clinician calls you back, they feel that they cannot deal with your needs over the phone, they will book you into be seen at either Manor or Park site (depending on capacity and your personal circumstances) 

Each face to face appointment with our GP’s is for 10 minutes only so please be mindful that if you come with a list of problems not all of them can be dealt with. You may be asked to make a further appointment to address the outstanding issues.

  1. Why will the Care Navigator ask you what is wrong?


Our Care Navigation staff have been through a series of training and up skilling to be able to take down the details that you divulge to them in an appropriate and confidential manner. They are not there to judge you or criticise you, they are simply working under the clinician’s direction to enable us as a whole, to direct you to the most appropriate clinician or health care worker. (This will often be someone other than a GP) as we want to ensure that you receive:


  • The most appropriate medical care
  • From the most appropriate healthcare professional
  • At the most appropriate time
  • To help doctors prioritise house visits and phone calls
  • To ensure that your medication reviews are up to date.  This helps you to manage your medication and prevent you from running out of medication, or us having to refuse medication because your review is out of date (Please note that this is always a safety measure and not a control measure to antagonise patients)
  • To ensure that all patients receive the appropriate level of care
  • To direct patients to see the nurse or other health professional rather than a doctor where appropriate
  • Please remember, ALL of our staff are bound by confidentiality rules. Any information given by you is treated in the strictest confidence

The practice takes any breach of confidentiality very seriously and will deal with it accordingly

You can ask to speak to a Care Navigator in private, away from the reception counter

However, if you feel an issue is very private and do not wish to say, then we will respect your decision


  1. Working Patients: If you are a worker we have “workers appointments” available for you to access. These appointments are usually available after 4pm Mon – Fri and from 08.30am – 11am on Saturday’s. They are available to book on-line and over the phone.
  2. Nurse appointments: These appointments will not change.
  3. Blood taking appointments: We now receive funding from NHS England to be able to offer in house blood taking appointments. We have recently recruited 2 Phlebotomists (Alyssa at Park site and Charlotte at Manor site) they will have weekly clinics to allow our patients to have blood tests taken at the Surgery instead of having to go up to the Hospital.
  4. Patient’s Commitment to manage their health: If you have a long term health issue such as: Diabetes, COPD, Asthma, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, or you take long term medication such as, HRT, Opiate style pain relief or Anti-depressants, then you must attend the surgery for regular reviews of these conditions or medications. If we cannot monitor you, we cannot issue these medications. You need regular reviews to ensure that the medication prescribed is still effective and not causing you other side effects that may be harmful to other organs within your body. This is one of the most important aspects of our job. We need you to help us, to help you!
  5. Home Visit Policy

We are not contractually obliged to carry out home visits for Patients, however we realise that Patients who are coming towards end of life (Palliative Care) or are genuinely housebound (bed bound) need to receive appropriate care and we will always care for these Patients. All other Patients who can get out and about for Hospital Appointments and Social events will need to come into the Surgery for assessment and treatment.

Did you know that 1 home visit equates to 4 in-surgery appointments?

Patients who are normally fit and well who call to request a home visit will be assessed over the phone. If you do not fulfil the criteria of housebound or receiving Palliative Care then you will be asked to attend Surgery or alternatively you will be sign posted to emergency care depending on your presenting symptoms.

I am mindful that this is a lot to take in but, I hope that you understand that we really do care about you, and your family’s health, but we cannot continue to offer the current service.  I have included a “frequently Asked Questions” sheet that contains some useful information regarding Care Navigation and the Doctor First appointment model.

I would also like to invite you to attend a Patient Meeting to enable you to ask questions about the new service. I have booked an open meeting event at both sites. I will be available for group discussions in the waiting room at both sites.


Please be reassured that our priority is always your care and wellbeing.


The open meeting dates are:


  • Monday 8th July 4pm – 5.30pm at the Park site
  • Wednesday 10th July 4pm – 5.30pm at the Manor site

I look forward to seeing you at one of the above meetings


Many thanks for your continued support.


Yours faithfully

Clare Normington

Managing Partner


Doctor First Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Why is the surgery changing the appointment system?

You have told us that sometimes you find it difficult to get the appointment you need, when you need it. By offering telephone appointments and giving advice, this way we can make sure that everyone is able to speak to, or see a doctor on the day that they call or on the day that they choose.


We have also recognised that we need to look after the wellbeing of our staff. The Care Navigators (formally Receptionist) and the Clinicians, struggle to meet the demands and expectations of our patients. We need to address this urgently as we have lost 5 clinicians in the last 12 months. We do not want to lose any more staff.


Many people do not need to come into the surgery to be seen at all; their problem can be dealt with by telephone. This gives your doctor more time to see those people that need an appointment in the surgery, and, because the doctor is the one making the appointments, he or she can judge how much time you might need and give you a long or a short appointment. This helps appointments to run to time and means you are more likely to be seen on time. We also know that when people make an appointment close to the date that they call, they are more likely to keep the appointment.


  1. What if I do not have a telephone?

If you genuinely do not have access to a telephone please inform of us of this. We will then code up your records to inform all staff that you have no means of using a phone. If this code is not on your records we will request a telephone number from you to enable us to call you back.


  1. I am hard of hearing and unable to communicate using the   


If you are deaf or hard of hearing you are welcome to come down to the surgery to access your GP. You may have to wait a little while but the GP will endeavour to see you as soon as possible.


  1. How do I access my GP of choice?

Please let the Care Navigator know if you wish to access a particular GP and if possible, you will be added to that GP’s call-back list. Clearly, all GPs have holiday leave, including half-days but, if you would prefer to wait until a particular GP is available rather than speak to another GP on the same day, just let the Care Navigator know and they will make the necessary arrangements.


For ongoing problems that do not require urgent follow up, we would advise that you wait and speak to the same GP where possible. Please let the Care Navigator know if you have previously seen a particular GP for your problem.


  1. What if I do not wish to share brief details of my problem with the Care Navigator?

Any information provided to our Care Navigation team is confidential but we understand that some patients may not wish to share even the briefest details. This will not prevent you from accessing your GP. Just tell the Care Navigator that you do not wish to give this information and your name will be added to the call-back list. The only reason we ask for brief details is to assist the GP in identifying any calls that may need to take priority, for example, a small child with a fever and a rash that could potentially have meningitis, as opposed to an adult with flu like symptoms.


  1. What if I am unable to wait in for a call-back?

Please let the Care Navigator know if you are genuinely unable to wait around for a call-back and you will be offered the option of waiting on the line until the GP finishes the call they are on. Alternatively, the Care Navigator can add a note for the GP asking them to call you back at a particular time. We are happy to call you on your mobile if that is more convenient for you.


  1. What if I am unable to take private calls?

If you are unable to take a private call at some point in the day, let the Care Navigator know what time that is so the doctor can avoid calling you within those time. Our Doctors work between the hours of:  8am and 6pm, so we are confident that you can be free at some point during those 10 hours.


  1. Are telephone appointments safe?

During your call with the doctor, they will ask questions to help them make a decision about whether you need to be seen in person or not. For example, if your doctor needs to look at something or examine you, you will be asked to come into the surgery for the appointment. If your doctor thinks you need to be seen, he or she will always ask you to come into the surgery.


  1.  What if I am unable to attend a face to face consultation during normal opening hours?

Unfortunately, the Practice does not normally offer appointments outside of normal opening hours. However, because you are booking your appointment direct with the GP, you can agree a mutually convenient date and time for your appointment and may be offered more flexibility than the Care Navigator would be able to offer.


  1. Will I be seen quicker if I come into the surgery?

Unless your problem is an emergency, you will not be seen more quickly if you come into the surgery to make an appointment. The Care Navigator will ask for your contact details and add your name to the doctor’s call-back list.

The doctor will then call you back in order of clinical priority.


  1. What do I do if I need an emergency appointment?

Telephone the main surgery number and tell the Care Navigator that your health problem is urgent. He or she will put you straight through to a doctor if one is free. If all of the doctors are busy, the Care Navigator will make sure that a doctor calls you back as soon as they can.

Click here for our consultation times and the days our doctors work.

Practice Nurses and Healthcare Assistant

A nurse is in attendance during surgery hours for general nursing duties, including attention to wounds and dressings, removal of stitches, blood tests, swabs, ear syringing, routine blood pressure checks, injections and immunisations (including travel vaccinations).  Both Jan and Deborah are also trained on long term condition management. They will see patients for annual reviews with regards to Diabetes, Breathing illnesses, Kidney disease and heart disease.   

Our healthcare assistant is available to take blood, blood pressures, suture removal, spirometry, healthy lifestyle advice, smoking cessation follow up appointments, diet advice and MOTS every weekday 08:30 to 10:00 drop-in surgery. Appointments are available between 11:15 to 12:20.

Extended Opening Hours

Manor Park Medical Centre does open outside of out normal working hours to enable patients that may work or find it difficult to attend in working hours. To find out when our next out of hours clinic is please call our reception team.

Please note: These consultation slots are particularly provided for people who work and find attending the practice difficult during working hours, but can be used by anyone (although if you can attend during the day, we would appreciate being able to keep the early morning and Saturday morning appointments open for those who need them). Home visit requests made before 06:45 to 08:00 on Thursday and Saturday mornings will be referred to the Out-Of-Hours service, and not the practice.    


If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else. We have an answer machine available for you to leave your detail of the cancellation for your convenience, just follow the options on our telephone line.

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