We are excited to announce that from Monday 4th April we will be using a new online consultation service. Our new service, Klinik, will launch at 8am and will be accessible for all patients via our website. Please note you will not need log in details to use the system.
Klinik will replace the current eConsult system. After much deliberation we decided to change services for a number of reasons:
- We feel Klinik is very user friendly. The layout of the system should make it easy to highlight patients’ issues and the questions asked are more relevant to specific issues.
- We feel the questions asked are less repetitive.
- Klinik is more individualised and the responses you give will affect the questions the system asks.
- Klinik is also personalised to our surgery rather than a generic questionnaire.
- Klinik allows all incoming consultations to be initially triaged by a doctor.
Everybody contacting the surgery will go through the Klinik process, ideally using it themselves online. If patients don't have access to the internet, our operational assistants will go through the process with them. The Klinik consultations will all go to a doctor to be triaged and patients will either be given advice, a telephone consultation appointment or a face to face appointment as appropriate.
We are dealing with a huge amount of patients at the moment with and we hope that this change will help us to manage demand and improve patients' experience of using our online services.
Please be aware if you use the surgery cark park from Monday 14th March you will need to enter your car registration into the tablet provided at reception.
Please note the car park is for the sole use of patients visitng the surgery.
If you are using the pharmacy next door you will need to use alternative parking.
The surgery has taken the difficult decision to make these changes as patients were struggling to find parking spaces when attending the surgery for appointments.
We apologise for any inconvienace caused.
The Knowle House Team
As the Covid restrictions ease and we are able to offer more face to face appointments we will be increasing the use of our Tamerton site. We offer appointments with our GP's, Nurse Practioner, Mental Health Practitioner, Practice Nurse and Health Care Assistants across both of our sites. You will be made aware at the time of booking at where your appointment will take place.
5 to 11-year-olds who are in a clinical risk group or live with someone who is immunosuppressed are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians should wait to be contacted with further information www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
Welcome to Knowle House Surgery
At Knowle House Surgery 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. We are based across two sites in Crownhill and Tamerton Foliot.
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
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;
- Sign this petition to lobby the government to provide funding and resources for Knowle House so we can continue supporting you. Sign to support your surgery (e-activist.com)
- Write to your local MP
- Give us your feedback at email@example.com
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Knowle House Surgery