Letter to Patients: Summer 2021

Dear Patient of Saxonbrook Medical,

There has been a lot in the national media recently about how GP practices are working, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share with you, what you can expect at the current time as one of our patients.

Firstly, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your support over the past year for working with us in such uncertain times. Like many, we had to change the way we work very quickly and that has only been possible because you – our patients – have adapted to these changes.

We’d like to reassure you that we are open and still want and need to know if you are unwell or worried about your health.

We are providing face-to-face appointments, as well as supporting people over the phone or online. Face-to-face appointments will be offered when they are medically needed, and can be   with a range of health professionals currently working within the practice depending on the support you need. Using a mix of face-to-face and phone appointments allows us to keep the number of patients and staff on site to a minimum. This ensures we can all socially distance if you do need to come into the practice.

We are asking that if you need our help and support, you still call us first if you are able. We know that some people have struggled to get through to us on the phone or had a long wait and we thank you for your patience. Talking to you helps us understand what kind of support you need  and how urgent it is, and means we can work out the best way for you to receive help.

We have seen an increase in calls since the start of the year and we are working to try to meet this demand and support all of our patients. In the last month we had 15,146 calls and this time last year we had 7,778. An increase of 94.72%.

We know that some people have put off seeking medical support, including to protect the NHS, and we are committed to making sure all of our patients who need our help can receive it.

Whilst we recognise that not everyone has access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, we do want to make you aware of:

  • eConsult – requesting our help via eConsult is the same as booking an appointment at the practice. There is no need to phone the practice as well and we will deal with your request based on your medical needs we aim to respond within 3 working days.
  • The NHS app is owned and run by the NHS, it is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services, including ordering prescriptions and validating your vaccines. You can self-register for this service without contacting the practice. When you are approved you will have immediate access to your Covid Vaccine
  • Other online services for which you need a password include: ordering repeat medications; viewing test results and your coded health record; some appointments for blood test and booking a smear are also available online.
  • Registering for the practice, if you have an allocation letter from NHS allocations team, the registration form can be completed via saxonbrook.net and ID can be sent online too

If you do not have access to these, you can make your request for a repeat prescription in person into the box at the practice (both surgeries) and we will action this usually within 48 working hours of receiving your request.

As we all continue on the road out of lockdown restrictions, we can also update you on plans for services over the coming weeks:

  • Health checks, Minor Surgery, other services will be added when appropriate

If you have a question about the Covid-19 vaccine, please see information on our website and www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme if you are able in the first instance. These websites have answers to common questions and where you can get help in relation to specific queries. For booking a Covid vaccine or related queries, you  may also ring 119.

We have an active Patient Participation Group (PPG). This group promotes good relations between the practice and patients and at the same time works with the practice to improve services and facilities for patients. Membership is open to all registered patients. Please contact the practice via the website www.saxonbrook.net for more information and to complete the online form if you would like to join.

We know that we don’t always get things right the first time, but our team is working hard to be the best we can be. We welcome feedback from our patients so that we can share when things go   well and learn when – and how – we can make things better. We welcome your suggestions which can be communicated via www.saxonbrook.net/feedback-complaints

We do ask that as we are here for you, please continue to be respectful and kind to our teams  both when you are speaking to them and with regards to personal comments online and on social media. We want to enable a culture of mutual respect and have a zero tolerance policy on verbal and physical abuse.

No patient, carer, visitor, staff member or volunteer should ever be subjected to abusive or anti-social behaviour or language. Appropriate action will be taken if this does occur. We thank you for the respect and the care you show our team, we hope you experience the same in return.

Thank you for your support,

Dr Ian Anderson and Dr Hicham Nakouzi