Patient Access Policy

1.       Aim

This document sets out how Lupset Health Centre ensures that all patients are able to access timely and appropriate clinical care.

2.       Objectives

  • Patients are able to access information, care or treatment by a GP or appropriate member of the practice team in line with their clinical needs.
  • The ability of patients to access the above does not vary on account of characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, geography or socio- economic status.
  • Clinicians and staff are able to manage available resources to meet demand effectively so that the best possible levels of service and access are maintained at all times.
  • Patients and carers are aware of how to get the best from the practice and are involved in monitoring and developing the systems and procedures to ensure that their needs are met.

3.       Rights and responsibilities for the patient

3.1   Patients’ Rights

As a patient you have the right to:

  • join the practice of your choice in the area where you live following acceptance by the practice within the practice’s acceptance criteria;
  • easily-accessible information about your practice and how to access care via the practice leaflet and website;
  • appropriate urgent care as per Section 5 Access Targets;
  • clear information about your treatment in a suitable format and language so that you and the clinician may make an informed decision about the best course of action;
  • privacy and confidentiality;
  • be treated with dignity and respect at all times (including access to a chaperone if required);
  • comment or complain if you are not satisfied with the service provided.
  • be registered in accordance with NHS England’s ‘Patient Registration’ standard operating procedure.
  • Be registered or receive treatment without delay where the patient cannot produce photo ID or proof of address.

3.2   Patients’ Responsibilities

As a patient it is your responsibility to:

  • treat all practice staff with respect;
  • ensure you attend any appointment made at the surgery and arrive on time;
  • cancel an unwanted appointment as soon as possible so it can be offered to someone else;
  • inform the practice if you change your address or telephone number so the practice can contact you urgently if needed;
  • inform the practice if you have any special needs, including communication needs, so the practice can make any necessary arrangements;
  • let a member of the practice staff know if you are unsure about or dissatisfied with your care so that it can be explained or put right;
  • do your best to look after your own health;
  • use the services of the practice appropriately.

4.      Surgery opening hours and appointment times

The Lupset Health Centre operates from its sole premises at George A Green Court, Wakefield, WF2 8FE

The Lupset Health Centre is open at 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday.  The Health Centre is not open on Saturday and Sunday other than pre-booked vaccination clinics for a limited time during the flu vaccination season (normally October to November).

Appointments can be booked, cancelled or amended face to face, by phone or via on on line system called ‘Systmonline’. To use Systmonline the patient must first register with reception to gain log on details.  Please note that a message to cancel an appointment can also be left when the surgery is closed.

All GP surgeries are closed for staff training for a maximum of ten Wednesday afternoons (from 12 noon) each year.  Details are displayed clearly on the practice website and in the practice at least four weeks in advance, together with instructions on what to do if you need help when the surgery is closed.

The practice provides a first and last pre-bookable appointment with a GP or equivalent senior nurse at 8.30am and 5.45pm respectively.

The practice provides standard appointment length of 10 minutes for GPs and 15 minutes for Advanced Nurse Practitioners, so please ensure that you only present with one clinical issue.  Longer appointments are available on request for patients who need more time.  If you feel that you have complex or multiple issues that require a double appointment please discuss this with the receptionist.

Lupset Health Centre has an agreement with GP Care Wakefield to handle clinically appropriate calls from patients on our behalf from 6 to 6.30pm.  Depending on the clinical situation a patient calling between 6pm and 6.30pm may be directed to their call handlers who will triage the call and deal with it accordingly.  The practice doors are still open until 6.30 pm with GP, Nurse and reception staff cover and patients can still attend the surgery during this time.

As part of an extended hours enhanced service Lupset Health Centre has pre-booked appointments from 7.30 to 8am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 6.30 to 8.30pm on Monday and Thursday.  If you attend one of these appointments please ring the below to gain access to the building.

5.      Treatment outside of Surgery opening hours.

Between the hours of 6.30pm and 10pm during the week and from 9am to 3pm on weekends and Bank Holidays we will automatically transfer any calls made to the surgery number to GP Care Wakefield.  These calls will be triaged and advice or an appointment will be given as required.  Outside of these times you will either be directed to NHS 111 / 999 as appropriate. You can also leave a message to cancel an appointment.

6.      Access standards

6.1      Routine consultation standard

All patients will be offered a telephone or face-to-face consultation with a doctor or other suitable practitioner (such as a senior nurse) within two working days of contacting the practice, unless the call is triaged to be safe for a longer time frame or the patient may choose to wait longer if they want a more convenient appointment or to see their preferred practitioner.

6.2      Urgent clinical assessment standard

All patients who believe that they have an urgent medical problem which needs to be dealt with the same day (and cannot be offered an appointment that day) will be contacted by a doctor or another suitable practitioner from the practice within four hours, provided they clearly identify themselves to the receptionist and supply a contact telephone number and where possible a brief indication of the problem.  The patient must inform the receptionist if he/she believes the problem requires attention more quickly. If clinically appropriate the issue may be passed to GP Care Wakefield to triage and deal with as required.

6.3      Repeat prescriptions standard

The practice will generate and sign all repeat prescriptions within two working days of receiving a request to do so, except where;

  • the practice has tried and failed to contact the patient where this is needed before the prescription can be issued safely,
  • or where a medication review is pending and must be undertaken before the prescription can be issued safely. The request for a medication review will be highlighted on the patient’s most recent prescription.

The practice aims to generate and sign repeat prescriptions within 24 hours of request, but because of the need to ensure patient safety patients should allow two working days.  The practice will do its best to provide prescriptions in urgent circumstances, but will not compromise patient safety to do so.  Should a late prescription be presented, which the patient deems is urgent this will be given to the duty GP who will review the requirement and if genuinely urgent for that day the prescription will be issued at 4pm.

7.      If you miss your appointment or are late

There would be much shorter waits for appointments if every unwanted appointment was cancelled and so available for another patient to use.  It is frustrating for doctors and nurses to be under pressure to provide better access when up to 1 in 10 appointments are wasted by people who simply do not turn up.

You can cancel your appointment face to face, by telephone (even after the surgery is closed by leaving a message) and on line.  If a patient does not attend an appointment we will investigate the reasons and may write to the patient to remind them of their responsibilities.  Repeated offenders may, after a warning, be removed from the patient list.

If you attend the surgery late for your appointment it may be difficult to fit you in without making other patients wait longer.  Please try to attend just before your appointment slot, but not too early.  If the surgery is running late you will be informed by reception so that you have the option of re-booking, or though other communication methods where available, such as the self-arrival screen or other screens in the waiting area.

Whilst we will make every effort to accommodate genuine late arrivals we do have a policy that if you are more than ten minutes late and the next patient has been called you are deemed to have missed your appointment and may need to rebook.

If you have checked in and have waited for 20 minutes or longer please speak to the receptionist to see if your clinician is running late and by how much.  If the clinician is running late and you cannot wait we will endeavour to rebook an alternative appointment for you, but please appreciate that this may not always be possible, particularly if you are requesting a named clinician.

8.      Seeing the doctor or nurse you prefer

For some problems you may not mind which doctor or nurse you see, but there may be times when you may have a firm preference or it is best for you to see a particular practitioner.  We do pride ourselves on comprehensive note taking and records within the clinical system, but we appreciate that some patients may want to see a preferred clinician.  Whilst we will attempt to accommodate your request wherever possible, please be aware that this may mean waiting longer than you anticipated, particularly as many clinicians do work part time.

9.      Improving access for patients

The practice is always pleased to receive comments and suggestions about its services including how easy it is to access them.  Please contact the General Manager if you have comments or suggestions to make. You can do this a number of ways:

  • Write your comment or suggestion on a card and put it in the suggestions box in the waiting room.
  • Go to the contact us section of our website at lupsetsurgery.co.uk and enter your comment in the comment portal.
  • Enter your comment on the NHS Choices Website at nhs.uk find our surgery using the find local services section and enter the comments.
  • Write to the General Manager at Lupset Health Centre, George A Green Court, Wakefield, WF2 8FE.
  • Call the Health Centre on 01924 668977 and ask to speak to the General Manager. If she is not available you can request that she calls you back.

Whilst you may leave an anonymous comment we do encourage patients to leave their contact details, wherever possible. That way we can request more information to effect a thorough investigation, and of course provide feedback as necessary.

Patients are encouraged to join our Patient Participation Group and the practice keeps the group up to date with the audits it carries out every six months to monitor access.  Due to the physical constraints of the meeting room the Patient Participation Group is fully subscribed, but we do have a “virtual member” list and if you wish to join please contact the General Manager on 01924 668977.

The practice has recently gained ‘Young Person Friendly’ accreditation. All reception staff have received training in assisting young people to get the best from the practice. There is access to resources specifically for young people via the practice’s website and the practice provides a dedicated clinical advice service for young people at least once per week (in consultation with young registered patients and at least equivalent to a half hour telephone or face to face surgery conducted by a suitably qualified nurse or doctor).

We have also recently become “dementia friendly” and a number of our staff have completed the Dementia Friends training.  We are promoting dementia awareness both amongst our staff and patients through a number of initiatives.  If you need any more information or assistance please contact one of the reception staff.

We have also, in line with all practices in Wakefield, implemented the Accessible Information Standard. We have a dedicated template that makes sure that wherever possible disabled patients receive information in formats that they can understand and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate with us.

If you need any assistance using the facilities and services at the surgery, including any interpreting requirements, please speak to the reception staff.

Date of last amendment: 10 September 2018

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

 
All patients and visitors please do not come to the surgery if you suspect you have coronavirus.
 
Ring 111 for help and advice.
 
If you attend a GP Surgery you risk infecting other people.