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REGISTRATION ENQUIRIES

From Monday 25th October Knowle House Surgery will be temporarily closing our practice list and that means we are unable to take any new registrations for a short period.

This is to ensure the practice can continue to safely provide NHS services to the patients that are currently registered with us.

Please see our website for more information.

You can find details of other local GP practices at www.nhs.uk or ask a member of staff for assistance

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause

 

Christmas Prescription Ordering:

IF YOUR MEDICATION IS DUE TO BE COLLECTED WEEK COMMENCING 20TH OR 29TH DECEMBER PLEASE PUT YOUR PRESCRIPTION REQUEST IN ON OR AROUND 8TH DECEMBER (PLEASE NOTE WE WILL BE ALLOWING REQUESTS EARLY DUE TO BANK HOLIDAYS). IF THE PHARMACY USUALLY CONTACT YOU TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS ARE READY, PLEASE WAIT FOR THIS BEFORE GOING TO COLLECT FROM YOUR PHARMAC

Covid19 update

 
The NHS in Devon is expecting to be very busy in January due to a predicted surge in Omicron cases, peaking in mid-January.
Even with very high vaccination uptake in our patients and staff, the spread of COVID-19 is already having a significant impact on NHS staff absences and this is likely to become worse. This will further impact on staffing and will cause more disruption to wider health and services.
Every additional person with COVID-19 impacts on the ability of the NHS to carry out other important work. For example, for every inpatient in hospital with COVID-19, on average more than eight other operations are postponed.
To prepare for this surge in January and the impact on staffing, in Devon our GP practices are:
• Reducing non-urgent work, for example routine check-ups, routine monitoring, minor surgery, sick notes
• Starting each consultation with a telephone call or online consultation first. We need to limit exposure for both patients and staff but anyone who needs to be seen face-to-face patient contact will be, where it’s safe to do
• Limiting the staff working in our buildings to reduce the risk of outbreaks, along with regular staff testing
• Strictly applying infection control precautions such as masks, ventilation, social distancing, and hand sanitiser
By ensuring these measures are in place, we will keep general practice open and therefore support our local hospitals, ambulances and out of hours services.
If we find that despite these measures some individual GP practices cannot open for a short period of time, then neighbouring GP practices in our area will support each other to ensure we can still ensure patients have access to GPs when it’s urgent in Devon.
Our practice will review the suitability of these arrangements each week as we learn more about the impact of Omicron on NHS services in Devon.
How can you help?
• Please be patient and kind to our staff who are working under extreme pressure
• Get your COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Many people in intensive care units in Devon are young and unvaccinated, vaccinations are being given at a number of locations, you can book into one of these centers by ringing 119 or by following this link https://www.nhs.uk/.../coro.../book-coronavirus-vaccination/
• Continue to follow national guidance about wearing face coverings, social distancing and any other restrictions that are in place
 
 

Welcome to Knowle House Surgery

At Knowle House Surgery in Crownhill the doctors and nurses take pride in offering the highest standard of patient-centred healthcare.  We run many clinics for chronic disease care and offer a wide variety of other medical services such as antenatal and postnatal care, minor surgery, childhood vaccinations, and well-person check-ups.

In addition to everything you need to know about the practice you will also find a wealth of health-related information in the menu on the right hand side. Please have a look around and do send us some feedback if you like.

Knowle House Surgery have faced an extremely challenging time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions have meant that face-to-face contact with patients has been limited in order to keep practice staff and patients safe.

The Support Your Surgery campaign provides GP practices with the tools to both manage expectations and to provide patients with the reality of issues facing general practice.

Alongside this, The British Medical Association have launched a petition calling on the UK Government to provide the urgent resourcing needed to increase the number of GPs in England.

We're calling on our patients to Sign the petition

Econsult opening times

Our eConsult service is open 8am - 6.30pm Monday - Friday. Occasionally we will have to close our eConsult service due to being at full capacity. 

Opening Times

Please select a site

Letter to our Patients

Wednesday 20th October 2021

Dear Knowle House Patients,  

We appreciate it’s been a difficult period, and over the last 18 months our way of working to meet your health needs has changed. This is a national issue and we wanted to communicate with you to explain how things are affecting us locally and the reasons for the changes we have made. 

There are multiple reasons for the changes, most of which were issues before the global COVID-19 pandemic but were then exacerbated by it.  The biggest problems are: a national shortage of GPs, particularly marked in Plymouth; lack of Government funding to improve services; and an increasing practice population.  We are trying to manage increasing demand on our services and use them as efficiently as possible. 

We have seen a huge increase in patient numbers, partly down to the failure and closure of other GP surgeries within the local area. Our numbers have grown from 11,000 in 2019 to 13,184 as of 1st September 2021. We have no more doctors to deal with this, but we are trying to recruit.  We have had issues with staff members being off or having to work from home due to Covid isolation protocols which leaves fewer doctors to deal with the work. 

Although you don’t see exactly what we do, we are working extremely hard to meet this demand, whilst trying to provide a safe clinical experience for all our patients. We need to be mindful of our more vulnerable cohorts when allowing access to the surgery: the elderly, children, those with infections, chronic illness, and any concerning conditions that need specialist referral.  We are working hard to provide baby immunisations, flu vaccinations, asthma and diabetic reviews.   

We have had to change our approach and work smarter and, despite many of our services moving online, we are dealing with more patients than we ever have, many of which are face to face within the surgery. There has recently been a lot of focus on in-person appointments in the press. Sometimes face to face appointments are required, but a lot of the time remote consultations are just as effective.  Submitting enough information on your e-Consult for us to accurately triage it really helps us allocate appointment types accurately. According to the British Medical Association, 57% of consultations are taking place face to face, and there were one million more consultations nationally in July 2021 compared to July 2019, while the UK also have the equivalent of 482 fewer fully qualified full-time GPs now compared to then.  
 
We feel that our operations team are managing the patient-facing services extremely well and, despite reduced staffing levels, your front of house team is receiving an average of more than 1000 calls per day, and 450 eConsults each week. To support our team, and ultimately improve your service, we have taken on more administrative staff, and we are currently recruiting for other healthcare professional roles who can help with the clinical work.   

The Covid pandemic forced us to work differently and some of the methods we adopted are more beneficial in allowing us to deal with more patients. We now ask all patients to contact us through eConsult if possible. This gives us 3-5 working days to respond to non-urgent queries and delegate them to the most appropriate health care professional, while time sensitive queries can be prioritised and dealt with quicker.  

Our phone lines remain open for patients who are unable to contact us online, however it is important to note that cases are triaged and prioritised by the doctor team, not the operational team, so there is no ‘faster’ way to get through. 

There have been, and will continue to be, periods where we turn off our eConsults following a particularly high influx in submissions; this gives the doctors enough time to work through them safely.  This response for GP surgeries to take a brief safety break has become commonplace across the UK, and as such the national eConsult team have been working closely with us and dozens of other practices to improve its use and accessibility. In addition, eConsults will only be live during working hours, and switched off during evenings and weekends to help us manage the demand safely.   

Drawing from our mission statement, we remain committed to continuing to providing a high standard of care to our patients. We strive to work in partnership with our patients and improve areas that need attention. We are continually evaluating the outcomes of our new ways of working, trying to improve processes. We, the GP team at Knowle House, ask for and thank you for your continuing patience and understanding during these incredibly challenging times. We are trying our best but please remember we are only human and there are only a certain number of hours in the day. 

In the meantime, there are some things you can do to help; 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

Yours sincerely, 

GP Partners
Knowle House Surgery