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How you can help your local GP practice

 

GP Practices in Tees Valley are asking residents for their continued patience and understanding with current demand for appointments and telephone enquiries.

 

Health officials are asking people to support their local GP practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To ensure patients and staff are kept safe during the pandemic, all GP surgeries are required to ask patients to contact them first, before turning up at their local practice.

Most patients do this by phone, resulting in long waits to get through to their surgery, often leading to patients feeling frustrated.

Practices are now providing alternative ways to contact their GP more easily, to avoid long waits on the phone.

Dr Janet Walker, medical director at NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Since the pandemic started, GPs have had to make huge changes to the way they work – like consulting with patients before they attend the practice. This means many more calls both in and out of surgeries, and we know that some patients are finding it frustrating having to wait for their call to be answered.

 

“Our practices have changed their systems and installed extra phone lines, but the sheer number of patients calling in and GPs calling out means they are still under pressure.

“Patients can help by considering other ways of making contact, where that is appropriate.”

 

GP help or advice is available by completing an e-Consult form, using the NHS app or your practice’s website.

 

Patients complete the online e-Consult form and the practice team will advise on the best way to meet your needs. If a video, phone or e-mail consultation is required, your practice will let you know. All online requests receive a response within two working days.

 

e-Consult also allows patients to access information on health conditions, self-care and local pharmacy services.

 

Patients can also register for an online account with their practice, so they can order medication, view their patient record or see test results, using the practice website or the NHS app.

 

“All our practices are working hard to provide the best possible care for everyone,” added Dr Walker. “The support we have received from patients is really appreciated during this difficult time.

 

“The range of technology now available to practices offers more choice for everyone, but it’s also an opportunity for patients to help us work better.”

 

NHS APP The NHS app lets you book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access a range of other healthcare services -

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-app/

PATIENT ON LINE ACCESS - Less time in waiting rooms, less time on hold
www.patientaccess.com

 

 

 

 

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)

PALS The NHS employs over a million staff in thousands of locations. It is a large and complex organisation providing a broad range of services. It is not surprising that sometimes you or a loved one may feel bewildered or concerned when using the NHS. And this can be at times when you are feeling at your most vulnerable and anxious.

So, what should you do if you want on the spot help when using the health service? The NHS expects all members of staff to listen and respond to you to the best of their ability. But sometimes, you may wish to talk to someone employed especially to help you. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS, has been introduced to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible.

PALS also helps the NHS to improve services by listening to what matters to patients and their loved ones and making changes, when appropriate.


What does PALS do?

In particular, PALS will:

  • Provide you with information about the NHS and help you with any other health-related enquiry
  • Help resolve concerns or problems when you are using the NHS
  • Provide information about the NHS complaints procedure and how to get independent help if you decide you may want to make a complaint
  • Provide you with information and help introduce you to agencies and support groups outside the NHS
  • Inform you about how you can get more involved in your own healthcare and the NHS locally
  • Improve the NHS by listening to your concerns, suggestions and experiences and ensuring that people who design and manage services are aware of the issues you raise
  • Provide an early warning system for NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies by identifying problems or gaps in services and reporting them.

Find out more

If you would like more information about PALS, the functions it is intended to provide and the standards it should strive to achieve , follow this link.

 
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