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Practice Update 24th November 2022

The existing 4 patient members of the patient group met with Pete Sims last Thursday at Sidley Medical Practice with the minutes attached as the latest Newsletter. Included is the draft constitution in Appendix B.

1. The group was meeting regularly before the pandemic started with minutes taken, Annual General Meetings held and a constitution in place. The constitution states that the group should have 10 patient members and therefore we would be looking for a total of 6 new members. Group membership should cover the patient demographic therefore this is one measure used to select new members. Ethnic and minority groups should also be represented as should working patients.

In addition there should be 2 representatives from the Practice.

After discussion the group agreed a process to select new members where a brief biography is submitted to the new patient group email address which is . These will then be reviewed by the group to select patients to join.

Patients who expressed an interest will be invited via SMS to submit their brief biography by Friday the 2nd of December.

2. The Constitution states that meetings should be held at least 4 times a year. We agreed to begin with meetings should be held monthly. Where possible the meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:15am. The group acknowledged the need to schedule meetings out of working hours to accommodate working patients and could do these once a quarter.

Practice Update 5th October 2022

My name is Peter Sims and I joined Sidley Medical Practice in March 2022. Since then I have been getting to know the team, processes and structure. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on changes we have made, the reasons for them and current plans.

Increase in clinical staff

We have increased the number of clinical sessions provided by our advanced nurse practitioners with a new full time member starting in Nov 2022. Dr Lisa Dixon, one of our long term salaried GPs has also added an additional clinical session one morning per week. We have replaced the number of appointments provided by the GP Partners who have left with the use of regular GP locums.

Increase in administrative staff

We have recruited a number of new members of staff for the admin team to meet the higher demands all GP practices are currently experiencing. This may mean that sometimes when you contact us with a query they will need to seek advice from an experienced member of staff and I would ask for your understanding and patience. It takes time to train staff on the various operations of general practice but in the long term we will be more resilient and better placed to deal with enquiries in a timely manner. We also employed 2 additional medical secretaries in June.

Why do the admin team ask me questions when I book an appointment? They are not clinically trained.

I frequently get asked this question and the staff ask because they have additional services they can refer you directly to. There are physiotherapists and podiatrists that you can be referred directly without seeing the doctor which frees up appointments. They can also refer to the community pharmacist for specific ailments, and the Bexhill Primary Care Network have a number of services we can access. These services have what are called exclusions, therefore the team are checking that it’s appropriate for you to be referred there. They are also looking for ‘red flags’ which could mean you need to call an ambulance or go directly to A&E.

GP personal lists and changes to GP Partner numbers

Several GP Partners have left over the years and this means we are limited in the number of doctors who can hold personal lists. This means the majority of patients will be registered under a list named Brink2 or Asare2 for example, which means you can be seen by any doctor. As the number of GP Partners increases we will allocate patients to new personal lists. The majority of Practices operate a ‘pooled list’ so this is standard practice but we will increase the number of patients on a personal list as the number of Partners allow.

Appointment types

 We have to provide a mix of same day and pre-bookable appointments to ensure that patients who need to be seen on the day can do so, but also there is some availability for those who can wait.

 We continue to offer telephone triage as this is the safest way to manage patients. Clinicians will book patients in with themselves if they believe they need to see them face to face and this is happening. A clinician can only book a patient in for a face to face appointment with themselves, the staff cannot do this.

 Additional appointments via the new Extended Access Service

A new service started on the 1st of October 2022 and this offers additional appointments during the day, evenings and weekends. GPs have access to our clinical system and offer a mixture of remote and face to face appointments. Face to face appointments are currently provided in Eastbourne but they hope to be able to offer them in Bexhill soon. LIVI is no longer an option and the number of appointments they used to offer is now covered by extended access.

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