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Practice Updates

Patient Notice

General Patient Notice

Newbattle Medical Group, along with the vast majority of General Practices across Scotland is under immense pressure to sustain services to the community. As a result of the demand on all of our services , we are having to make adjustments to how we operate which may have an impact on how you currently use our service.

 

Why is this happening?

There are a number of financial pressures being placed on the practice meaning that there is less money to invest in frontline staff. In 22/23 and 23/24 Scottish Government decided that GP administrative staff were not to be uplifted in line with equivalent hospital staff. We protected our staff from this but this leads to a significant shortfall.  For the last two years of very high inflation our expenses uplift has been no where near the true cost of the rise in goods we must purchase (medical equipment, stationary etc). We have also been served with notice by NHS Lothian to meet the significant inflationary uplift to services they provide, such as building maintenance and cleaning.  This combination means we have far less money to support the community with frontline clinical and administrative staff. Worse still, for 24/25, NHS Lothian have been told by Scottish Government to cut their budget by 7%. This means the likelihood of any direct support for General Practice to assist us with these challenges is highly unlikely.

This financial backdrop is making an already difficult situation worse. Scotland has one of the most unwell populations in Europe along with a massive growth in the elderly population, meaning demand for healthcare is rocketing whilst the available workforce is dropping.

 

What will be changing?

Currently we provide eConsult to our patients 24/7. We are required to reduce this to 0600-1900 Monday to Friday. This will ease some of the pressure on our administrative team and allow us to concentrate our working hours within the standard working week. In the future, we may also be required to introduce a cap on the number of eConsults that we process each day. We will continue to operate a 24/7 service for repeat prescription requests.

 

What is the impact on me?

In the out of hours period we would encourage you to visit www.nhsinform.scot or call 111 rather than use eConsult. We remain committed to keep eConsult open either side of normal hours to help and support our working population. However, you may also experience eConsult not operating during a very busy day. If this is the case, if you cannot wait to complete an eConsult the following day, then please call the practice where we will assist on a needs first basis.

Please be assured, all our team will continue to strive to provide the best care and support to patients. Our administrative team will continue to help guide you and support you whenever looking for care. Please be supportive of them too; the rates of abuse to staff has risen and this will not be tolerated. To give you more of an idea on the pressures we face we would encourage you to read this article published very recently. Ben Shankland is a GP, but the rightwing press would tell you he’s an enemy of the people. Don’t listen | Polly Toynbee | The Guardian

 

Many thanks for understanding and patience throughout this difficult time.

Newbattle Medical Group

IT Systems Scheduled Maintenance

Important Patient Notice

Please be aware that our IT systems will be receiving essential maintenance work on Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th August.

During that time, we will be unable to process prescriptions, or access patient medical records.If you do run out of a repeat prescription on the 3rd or 4th August, then your usual pharmacy can supply a small amount and should be contacted first.

We will be available on the 3rd & 4th August for emergency medical problems only. Please help by visiting www.nhsinform.scot or your local pharmacy first, and only contact us on those days if your problem cannot wait until Monday 7th August.

eConsult will be available as normal until Wednesday 2nd August at 17:00 and from Monday August 7th.

Thank you all for your support and understanding.

Danderhall Medical Practice – Update

Over the past 6 months, Newbattle Medical Group has been helping support Danderhall Medical Practice deliver GP services. We are delighted to announce that from 1st August Danderhall Medical Practice will formally become part of Newbattle Medical Group.

 

What does this mean to me?

Very little will change from how you currently use our service. However, if you are keen to see a particular GP, you may be offered a quicker appointment with that GP if they are based in Danderhall on a particular day. There will be no obligation for you to travel and if this is not possible you will be offered their next available appointment at Newbattle or Newtongrange. The additional support provided by the HSCP means we will be upgrading our phone system to make call handling faster, leading to shorter call waits. We will also see additional staff join the practice to provide more access to our patients. We

Danderhall Medical Practice

Newbattle Medical Group will be taking over the running of Danderhall Medical Practice from the 20th February 2023 for a minimum of six months. There will be no reduction in service at Newbattle and none of our doctors will be moving to Danderhall permanently. However, some of our doctors will be working over both sites on a regular basis, meaning the availability at Newbattle may be slightly reduced. We are delighted to have recruited some new doctors to help at both sites and look forward to serving the community at Danderhall.

New Phone System Info

The Newbattle Medical Group Phone System

At the start of October the practice introduced a new phone system which makes patients aware as to where they are in the queue. This will to allow you to decide whether you wish to hold on or call back later when the lines may be quieter.

There are no other changes from the phone system we previously operated. This was made as the previous telephone system allowed only 4 calls to queue at any time and cut off any others waiting, meaning that patients constantly had to redial in order to book an appointment.  The waiting period to be answered was no different if anything it may have been longer as we are now able to see the number of patients waiting in the queue and increase the number of receptionists answering the calls to enable patient’s calls to be answered quicker.

Currently the practice answers an average 4 calls every minute at peak times, therefore if you were number 36 in the queue it would take approximately 9 minutes for your call to be answered.

The size of the queue is driven by patient demand on a daily basis.

Since the 3rd of October we have had the ability to see how many calls are coming through the practice.  During the period from 3rd October up to the 31st October (a three week period) a total of 11486 calls were answered by our reception.

In November a total number of 11430 calls were answered between the 1st and 30th of the month.

Newbattle Surgery Online Prescriptions

Newbattle Surgery Online Prescriptions

With effect from the 31st July 2018 the existing online prescription request system will no longer be available and a new online prescription service which links directly to your records will be available. This will therefore remove any requirement for you to input details of any repeat medications you require as all current repeat prescriptions will be shown and you can tick the appropriate box (es).

If you wish to provide additional information regarding your repeats or request an acute prescription there is a facility to do that.

In order to use the online prescription request service you will require to complete an application for online services which can be obtained from reception. Current identification will be required to register for this service.

  • You may request your regular repeat medication
  • Please allow 2 full working days for us to process your request or 4 days if you collect from a chemist
  • The prescription will be ready for collection at the surgery unless you have an agreement with a chemist
  • If the item you require is listed under ‘Unavailable Repeat Prescriptions’ please tick the box to ‘request an expired prescription or another medication’ and write what you require
  • If you request something you do not usually order it will need to be reviewed by the GP which may take up to 5 days and may not be processed
  • Please check the status of your request (by using the + symbol on the screen), even if it shows as ‘processed’ for any messages from the GP
  • The free text box is ONLY for prescription requests. For all other queries please call during normal working hours on 0131 663 1051