We are very pleased to announce that from October 2022, working with Medway Peninsula will have the option of providing additional appointments for our patients. We know this is something you have been asking for and we are keen to see how we can improve access for our patients.
Under our current contract we provide GP services from 08:00-18:30 Monday to Friday. Additional hours at weekends are currently provided by the practice however this new contract will double the number of those extra appointments. These extra appointments will be accessible through our normal GP practice booking systems but the appointments availability will be between 6.00 – 8.00pm Monday to Friday and between 09.00 and 5.00pm Saturdays.
We expect this to be a welcoming enhancement to the existing services your GP practice provides. Our hope is to provide these services more locally than some other centralised services but it may not be delivered at all surgery sites.
Our initial plans have been submitted to our commissioners and we have begun to consult with our patients through practice Patient Participation Groups. However, we would welcome your thoughts on the types of appointments that you feel is needed from the new service.
We have produced some answers to some of the questions below however, if you have further questions please submit them to your GP practice
Enhanced Access - Patient Frequently Asked Questions
Are the appointments open to every practice in our PCN?
Yes all patients from Highparks, The Elms and St Werburgh will have access to these extra appointments
Will we have equal access or will it be based on practice sizes?
It is our intention to ensure that allocation of appointments is based on practice list sizes
Will I have access to my normal GP?
Yes you will have the same access to your normal GP as you have now.
That’s said, not all GPs will be providing this extra service but clinicians from Highparks and the Elms will be providing this service with support from Medway Practice Alliance.
Will I be able to get a blood test at one of these extra appointments?
Highparks Medical Practice is exploring providing blood tests as part of Enhanced Access
Will I have to travel to have one of these appointments?
We will be providing these appointments from locations central to each PCN practice. They may not take place at some branch sites.
Will it be face to face appointments or all over the telephone?
There will be a range of appointment types including telephone appointments and face to face appointments
How will I book these appointments?
You will contact your GP practice in the normal way and their reception team will offer you Enhanced Access appointments much in the same way as they do now for the Hub GP appointments.
Does this mean that we will have fewer appointments during the day?
No, these are extra appointments in addition to those already being provided by each GP practice. Enhanced Access will provide 1.00 hour of extra clinical appointments per 1000 registered patients per week.
Will we have this service in addition to the existing Saturday clinics?
No, the Saturday clinics were part of a scheme call Extended Hours and this has been taken over by this new scheme called Enhanced Access. The new service will however provide twice the number of extra appointments than the previous scheme.
Message from the GP Partners - Access to Appointments April 2022
Access to Appointments April 2022
It’s useful to remember our teams are on the front line and see both the best and the worst of us all. They work incredibly hard to help patients navigate the system, but may not be able to offer you exactly what you want at all times.
Please be patient and courteous, they want to find the best solution as much as you do.
We are grateful for your understanding.
Update from NHS (Kent & Medway) -
"Our main message to patients at this time is that if you need medical help and you’re not sure what to do, use NHS 111.
NHS 111 is available by phone or online at 111.nhs.uk, is able to provide self-care advice or signpost to the most appropriate service, including a community pharmacy and urgent treatment centre (UTC)."
Please call NHS 111 if you need medical help when this practice is closed.
The NHS 111 team has trained advisers, nurses and doctors available at all times. They can help over the phone and advise you where to go if you need to see someone. Please don’t waste time going to the wrong place – phone NHS 111 first.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week. Just call 111 or go online: 111.nhs.uk
The Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG’s) Communications Team has created a special web address - www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk - to help explain the healthcare options available to patients within the local area. Please click the link for further advice.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018 - read the Privacy Notice for Direct Care to understand how the Practice collects information about you and how it may be used and shared
Changes to Data protection Law - How We Use Your Personal Data - 25 May 2018
A new set of regulations come into effect on 25th May 2018 called the General Data protection Regulations. Please see the practice Privacy Notice located at the bottom of the home page for further information.