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Changes to the Telephone Triage System from 25th September 2017

August 2017 – Dr Sinha Surgery

Update Regarding the Telephone Triage

We are making some changes to our triage system, effective from Monday 25th September 2017.

From this date, all patients requesting to be seen whether it be seen on the same day or in advance by a clinician (doctor or nurse) are requested to call the surgery before 12 noon.  This is to assist us to help better plan the day ahead, which also consists of home visits, meetings, training, paper work, medication requests, reviewing blood results etc. 

Please be assured that if you need emergency medical treatment or advice after 12 noon, you are still able to contact us and request to speak to a clinician.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

We would also like to take this opportunity to address some common questions or comments.

What is triage?

This is a system where all patients requesting to be seen or seeking medical advice would be contacted by the clinical staff on a priority basis.  This is to determine how quickly you need to be seen by the most appropriate clinical staff member (Doctor or Nurse).

Why do you have a triage system?

The reason that we introduced the system in 2016 was to manage our appointment system more efficiently so that we could address the clinical problems according to their urgency.   We have found that certain matters can be dealt with quickly over the phone and do not require a physical appointment, also this helps with prompt appointments for people who need to be seen face to face.  Sometimes we can direct you to a more appropriate member of staff or service to be able to help with your query.

Why did I not get a call back?

Please be aware that when we call from the practice it often comes up as a private number.  We acknowledge the fact that it is not always possible to stay by the phone so we will attempt to call you twice. Please ensure that you are available to take a call and also provide us with a telephone number that has an adequate signal.  In our experience often mobile phones that do not have a signal do not even register as having received a missed call.  We record all failed attempts to call.

What if it is difficult to be able to take a phone call?

We acknowledge that there are times where this can be difficult.   We advise that you contact us on a day that is most convenient to you to be able to take a call.  Please do not hesitate to advise the staff member of any special circumstances e.g. let the phone ring for a while if it takes a while for you to walk to the phone, hearing difficulties.  We do try to accommodate as much as possible.

Who will call me back?

We run our triage system with a compliment of clinical staff which consists of Doctors and Nurses.  Please be assured that all our staff will only manage aspects of care that they are competent in and qualified to do.  Patient safety is of paramount importance to us.  Using a mix of staff allows appropriate issues to be dealt with by the most appropriate member of staff.

Why do I have tell the “receptionist” why I want to see the Doctor?

By now you should have a better understanding of the rationale for using a triage system.

We ask that our team take down details for the requests so that we can assess and prioritise the request, for example we may telephone a patient first who was complaining of being short of breath before a patient who wanted a routine medication review.  Sometimes from the description, the GP will know that an appointment is definitely needed therefore ask reception to arrange it and skip the telephone consultation element altogether.

 

We hope that this has helped to answer some of the common questions we often get asked.

We welcome any comments and suggestions that can help us to improve our system, it is something that we keep under constant review.

Kind Regards

Dr Sinha and Vicky Lane (Practice Manager)

 

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