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We are improving access to appointments

From 01 October, GP and nurse appointments are now available during the evening and at the weekend for people across Coastal West Sussex.

This means that urgent appointments are available up to 8pm during the week, and during clinics on a Saturday and Sunday.

This aims to improve access to GP appointments and help local people to get the help and support they need.

The service is run by Innovations in Primary Care (IPC), a not-for-profit company owned by local GP practices.

The appointments will be available at local GP access hubs, run from GP surgeries, and they will be both routine and urgent appointments with a doctor, nurse or healthcare professional.

The teams will see new illnesses when you urgently need to see a health professional, and offer planned appointments such as family planning and smear tests that can be hard to arrange whilst at work or when you are caring for family or a loved one.

IPC has been running the MIAMI clinics in Adur and Worthing for the last three years, which has offered a very similar service, offering help for ‘Minor Injury Assessment & Minor Illnesses’.

These clinics have been successful and helped local people to access the help they need outside of normal opening times.

We hope that this roll out of the hubs across the whole of Coastal West Sussex will mean that all patients registered with a GP practice in our area can benefit.

You book into the GP access hubs by ringing either the Coppice Surgery or Angmering Medical Centre , and you may also be offered an appointment at one of the hubs at the weekend if you call NHS 111 for urgent health advice and support.

The hubs may be at your GP practice or they may be at a neighbouring GP practice locally in the community around you.

The teams will have access to your medical records with your consent, and any care they provide will be added to your notes so your GP practice can continue any ongoing care.

In response to an increase in demand for same-day GP appointments, we will be trialling a GP triage system on Fridays commencing the 15th September.

You will be asked questions about your symptoms by Reception in order to signpost you correctly. Please answer as fully as you can.

Our receptionists will either offer you an appointment with one of our Advanced Nurse Practitioners or put you on the triage list for a call-back from one of our GPs.  You will be telephoned by the GP the same day and either receive telephone advice or an appointment will be offered to you (at either practice in the morning and Angmering Medical Centre only in the afternoon).

What is Telephone Triage?

Telephone Triage is a method by which a GP contacts a patient and manages their care based on the outcome of that telephone call.

What are the benefits?

Benefits for the patients:

  • will speak to a GP sooner;
  • will see a GP sooner, when appropriate;
  • saves time for the patient and GP

Benefits for GPs:

  • can manage workloads more efficiently;
  • reduces DNAs (Did Not Attend) and therefore appointment slots are not wasted

FAQs

Q.  Is this to stop me getting an appointment?

A.  Not at all.  It is to ensure that the patients who need to be seen on that day are seen by an appropriate health care professional.  It's also to help us cope with the ever increasing demand for appointments.

Q. How does it work?

A.  Any patient who wants to be seen on the same day, and who fits the criteria for triage, may be assessed this way.  The system has been used successfully for several years in many GP surgeries around the country and analysis has shown that the process significantly improves access for patients.

 
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