Link for Appointment/Admin Requests
Spring update 2023
We continue to face severe challenges in the practice, in General Practice,
and in the NHS as a whole. Demand continues to be very high as we continue
to recover from COVID, deal with backlogs and have added pressures due to
long waiting lists in the hospitals. We are still working very hard to deal
with as many patients as possible and, when we can, are trying to use the
additional staff the NHS has provided such as Pharmacists, Physiotherapists,
Social Prescribers, and Health and Wellbeing Coaches.
We were very sad that our three long-established Practice Nurses retired
over the last five months. Jenny, Bev and Chris were dedicated and caring
nurses who had a huge range of experience and expertise between them. We
wish them all a long and healthy retirement. With the current state of
recruitment in the NHS, we have struggled to replace them but are delighted
to be now joined by Aleksandra and Rebekha. Please welcome them and be
patient as they train and get used to the ways we work. Teresa will also be
joining the team as a health care assistant as John has moved to a new role
in the NHS.
New GP contract
Like the rest of the NHS, General Practice is really struggling. Rather
than working with GPs to improve the situation for patients and practice
teams, the Government has decided to impose a new contract on GPs in
England. This forces us to make changes to how we use our time and our
staff. Sadly, despite media reports, there are no new resources with this
contract so staff will be under additional pressure, not less. The main
focus of these changes has been on "access" - making it easier for patients
to contact the practice. This is welcome but does not ultimately help
patients if we do not have more doctors or nurses to meet people's needs.
New system for contacting the practice
If you need an appointment with one of our nursing team, such as for an NHS
vaccination, cervical smear, dressing of a wound, chronic disease management
clinic or a blood test requested by your GP, please contact the practice by
phone in the usual way.
If you have a problem and you think you need to consult with a GP, a
pharmacist, a physiotherapist or another of our attached staff, we are
introducing a new online form from Tuesday 16th May 2023 which you can
complete from a computer or a mobile phone. We will be using the AccuRx
system which we have used successfully for some time to send text messages
to patients. We chose this system as it is very simple to use with just a
few questions for you to explain your problem without the need to go through
a long list of online questions. We will ask all patients to complete this
form themselves if they can. By completing the form yourself, you will free
up time in our receptionist team so that they can help people who cannot do
the form and they can also support other patients quicker. All the requests
for appointments will then be assessed in the practice to determine the best
member of the team to help and how quickly an appointment might be needed.
This form can also be used for administrative queries such as requests for
sick notes, letters, questions about referrals, or requesting copies of test
results. There will be links to the online form on the practice website,
our Facebook page, shared with our Patient Participation Group and will be
sent directly to patients where we have a mobile phone number.
We will continue to try to deal with all urgent requests on the day but once
we are fully booked, you may be directed to another service.
We will offer booked telephone appointments for routine issues in the future
up to six weeks. If you need to be seen, have further tests or treatment,
these will be arranged during the phone call. If these appointments are
fully booked and we are unable to offer an appointment, we will start a
waiting list for appointments and let you know when we can offer one.
New phone system
We will also be getting a new telephone system on Monday 22nd May. This was
ordered before the recent Government announcements. This will allow more
flexibility with new features including the ability for patients to opt for
a "call back" when they reach the top of a queue, rather than having to stay
on hold. There will also be no limit on the call queue so you should never
hear an engaged tone when calling in. We have been told there will not be
any disruption on the day but please bear with us if there are problems.
Our phone number is not changing.
There is a lot of change happening and a good deal of it beyond our control.
Please bear with us as we try to manage this. We will continue to do our
best for our patients with the resources we have. Sadly, we recognise we
will not be able to provide all our patients with everything they want and
We will monitor closely these changes and work with our Patient
Participation Group (PPG) to make changes as we can. Please feedback to the
PPG who will help collate responses for us.
Spring 2022 Update for patients
Click here for the Spring 2022 update for patients.pdf
Ask NHS is now live at your practice
We are pleased to announce that the new app, Ask NHS has now launched at our practice. The app is free to download on any mobile device and provides patients with a symptom checker, self-care advice and access to book the most appropriate GP appointment.
Using the app can help you take more control of your own health. A virtual healthcare assistant, Olivia, will ask you a series of questions (approximately 15) to assess your symptoms in a clinically safe and NICE accredited way. Olivia will then recommend the most appropriate care for you which might be self-care advice via www.nhs.uk, appropriate GP appointment, GP call back or direction to urgent or emergency care.
For patients who need to see a GP, the app can prioritise those patients into the most appropriate appointment slots based on their needs. You’ll be able to directly book an urgent or routine appointment without having to call the practice.
For more information about Ask NHS visit www.sensely.com/asknhs
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get the app from?
Ask NHS is available on both iOS and Android phones and smart devices.
It is free to download from the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices).
What other services are available through the Ask NHS app?
Ask NHS offers a self-care option which directs the patient to information from www.nhs.uk, a service finder for information about local healthcare services (dentists, pharmacies and A&E). You can also book and cancel appointments at your GP practice.
Can I book an appointment with my GP?
Depending on your symptoms, if you need to see a GP the app will direct you to appropriate appointments available at your GP practice.
Who can access the app?
All patients who are registered with a GP in Buckinghamshire can access services through this app. Anyone can download the symptom checker. Patients with mental health symptoms and carers are advised to contact their GP. Pregnant women and cancer patients are also advised to contact their GP. This app should not be used for patients under the age of 18 years old.
When can I use the app?
The app is available to access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on your personal device.