Surgery News

December 2023 – Patient Newsletter

Patient update

Dear patient,

We know how important it is for you to be seen by the right person with the right skill set first time. We also know that busy phone lines and long waits for appointments is not the service you want to receive, or we want offer.

With this in mind, many UK GP practices, including Health Care First, are undergoing some changes. These changes will ensure you have the best experience whenever and however you choose to contact us.

We are encouraging patients who are able to contact us online to do so.

However, Health Care First understands that not all patients will be able to complete our clinical questions online or over the telephone.

Here are the main elements of these changes that you should be aware of:

  • When you contact us, you will now be asked a series of initial clinical assessment questions relating to the reason you are contacting us. 
  • A team of doctors and nurses within a clinical assessment team will assess your medical needs based on the answers provided to the clinical assessment questions and your medical history.
  • You will then be contacted back with an appointment offer once the clinical assessment team has had a chance to review your questions.
  • If you are able to contact us on the telephone, you will have two options for completing our clinical sorting questions. You can wait in a phone queue to speak to a Care Navigator who will go through the online form with you over the telephone. Or you can use our telephone assist, where an automated call handler will ask you questions and allow you to record your answers.
  • If you struggle to use technology like telephones and computers, you are welcome to visit us in person where one of our Care Navigators will be able to provide you with technology and support you in completing our clinical sorting questions.
  • In-person, appointments will be processed in the same way as online and telephone appointments. Because of this, patients visiting us in person may need to wait while our clinical assessment team process their request.
  • Once the clinical assessment team have assessed your healthcare request you will be given an appointment within either the next 48 hours or 2 weeks depending on whether or not you have an urgent medical need.

If you have a question about the changes detailed in this letter you can call us on 01977 664141 or you can visit us at one of our sites and ask for a Care Navigator to discuss these changes with you.

Best wishes,
The Health Care First GP Practice Team.