Two forward-thinking Isle of Wight GP practices have joined forces to improve patient services, including the launch of a new minor illness service to help meet demand for more same-day appointments.
This week Carisbrooke Health Centre and The Dower House Surgery in Newport have also commissioned a musculo-skeletal service (MSK) and are piloting a prescription ordering service.
Dr Myrto Kaklamanou, from Carisbrooke Health Centre, said: “We strongly believe that all three of these initiatives will be warmly welcomed by patients as they will not only improve our services to them but it will also make more appointments available for our GPs to see more patients with chronic and long term conditions. It’s a win/win scenario.”
Dr Timothy Whelan, from The Dower House Surgery, said: “Demand for primary care services is increasing all the time and our two practices are now sharing resources to meet that demand on behalf of our registered patients who are at the heart of our planning.
“This is a very exciting time for us as we develop responsive services for our patients at the heart of our community.”
Minor Illness Service
In response to patient demands for more on-the-day appointments for minor illnesses, the two practices are now offering a dedicated on-the-day appointment service.
This service is available on alternate days at Carisbrooke Health Centre and The Dower House Surgery. It is being run by their highly-trained nurse practitioners supported by a GP.
Peter Arrow-Smith, Business Manager for the two practices, said: “This team is very experienced and can both diagnose and prescribe. They will be able to deal with a wide range of minor illnesses/ailments.
“To ensure that our patients are seen quickly and appropriately, and according to their situation, we have trained all our receptionists to signpost them to the most appropriate health professional to help them.
“To be able to assist patients effectively, they will ask for a brief description of what is wrong to ensure that our patients not only get seen quickly but by the person who is best trained to help them.”
The new musculo-skeletal service, staffed by highly-qualified physiotherapists who are trained to diagnose and prescribe, will improve services but also ensure they are delivered more quickly.
Mr Arrow-Smith said: “The physiotherapists will be able to assess a patient’s problem and if they can’t treat it themselves, refer patients directly to the physio service or send patients for further tests, such as x-rays.
“Again, for patients to get the best out of this service, it is important that patients give an overview of their problem to the receptionist when they phone either surgery.
Direct Prescription Ordering Service
With support from NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation responsible for planning and commissioning many health services on the Island, the two practices are piloting a new prescription ordering service.
This is staffed by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and practice staff, who will deal with all repeat prescription requests.
Staff will also be able to deal with prescription queries and medication reviews – which will make ordering prescriptions a lot more efficient, cut down on wastage and give patients a dedicated helpline for prescription queries.