Our answers to your questions from our 7th December 2021 patient engagement event

Sent on behalf of the Partners at Sovereign Health Partnership

We would like to again thank everyone who attended our Patient Engagement Event on 7th December 2021 – and particularly those of you who asked questions before or during the event.

With the help of the NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, which noted the questions for us to respond to, we have now addressed the near 90 questions which were asked by you. Some questions were asked more than once so we have done our best to capture everything and also to answer the questions succinctly.

We thank you in advance for your patience and for allowing us the protected time to respond to the government ask in mid-December for all GP surgeries across the country to focus their efforts on delivering the government’s COVID-19 booster programme.  We are now in a position to offer our full responses.

In the twelve weeks since our patient meeting we have improved our services to you in many areas, and we have reflected these improvements in our responses.  We are pleased to tell you that we have successfully recruited additional people into our Telephone Hub – those staff members are now trained, and we have seen an improvement in the waiting times on the phone.  We have appointed an additional Patient Services Manager who is the first point of contact for any patient who is experiencing a problem with any of our systems.

Our Social Prescribing team is also going from strength to strength – we have added another experienced team member, and we have started a number of new initiatives.  There is now a regular Carer’s Drop-In session, a weekly Wellbeing Drop-in at St Columba’s Church as well as seated exercise classes to sign up for.

Our pharmacy and prescribing teams have also been boosted; we have a new pharmacist bringing our number of practice pharmacists up to four, and there is a full team of staff supported by pharmacy technicians in our prescribing team to address any prescription queries our patients may have more quickly.

We have been supported by NHS England’s quality improvement team to review our e-consult processes and have been able to implement changes to appointment allocation and prioritisation of appointments reducing the need for telephone consultations for certain patients. We have also improved our systems and staff training for the booking of e-consults following triage to reduce the time between GP assessment and communication back to the patient. We have more improvements to make in the coming months and our current priority is to review medication queries from patients to see if we can streamline and speed up our response to these using our prescribing team to support our GPs.

We are taking part in a local pilot to make additional GP video-consultation appointments available to our patients, as part of the national response to GP workforce issues.  We are also partnering with a company experienced in providing social media support to primary care across the country, to improve the quality of our social media platforms.

We are working really hard on addressing the ‘backlog’ of health reviews which have accumulated through the pandemic and, of course, we have also delivered the Covid Booster programme in the period before Christmas and into the New Year.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this respect.

You can read the Questions and Answers here