Surgery updates regarding Flu Clinics and Telephone System Installation by Riverside’s Group Practice Manager – Alison Johnson:
Telephone System Completion
I am pleased to say the telephone system was installed within our expected time frame last week. This was over a period of 3 days 12th – 14th October. The system went live on Wednesday afternoon at 16.00hrs.
As with all major projects, we have to expect some ‘hiccups’ and the engineers did face some challenges at Misterton & Gringley due to historic wiring that was no longer fit for purpose. Some of our staff along with engineers were on site until 10pm on both Monday and Tuesday to ensure we hit our timeframes.
We are already receiving positive feedback from patients which is wonderful news as we were just as frustrated with the old system as our patients. The new system covers the whole of the Riverside group – Retford, Harworth, Misterton & Gringley.
Patients will notice that they are placed in a queue system and they will know what number they are in the queue, this will give them the option to wait on the line or call back at a quieter time. Monday’s will continue to be the peak time of the week where we have been receiving in the region of 1300 calls. Likewise, Friday afternoons are also busy, predominantly with people with last minute prescription problems approaching the weekend. The practice always receives a higher number of calls in a morning so if patients have a non-urgent need, it would be advisable for them to call later in the day.
As with any major change in infrastructure, this requires a huge investment in training which is on-going but the team are doing a fantastic job.
If I can make a plea, is for patients to be understanding and not to take out their frustrations on the reception team who are working incredibly hard and unfortunately can be the brunt of unpleasant attitudes when in fact they are doing their level best to help every one of our 18,000 patients.
I am incredibly proud of the team who have faced challenges with the old system and have been patient whilst awaiting the new system as well as managing the constant, fast pace of change during this pandemic to provide our patients with a good service.
We have been waiting on guidance from the Department of Health regarding sourcing further quantities of flu vaccinations to cope with the wider age range to what we plan for. The guidance has come through to practices this week and our request for additional supply has been sent through.
Misterton along with all the sites have a waiting list for eligible patients wishing to have their flu vaccination. The reception staff are calling patients to invite them in, however, while the current covid situation remains extremely unpredictable we are only putting rotas on 1-2 weeks in advance to protect staff resilience and avoid any cancellations of clinic due to staff isolation/sickness.
As we head into the winter period with a second wave of Covid-19 it is a worrying time for us all. We will continue to work in line with guidance from the government and NHSE in order to keep our staff safe so we can continue to look after all of our patients and minimise the risk of infection in our practices.