We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all our patients for the kindness and support you have shown our team over the last 12 months.
As a result of the Corona virus pandemic the surgery has undergone significant change in the last year. Our team have worked hard to ensure patients still have good access to the practice and that we were able to remain open and available when you need us.
You have been instrumental in ensuring we have been able to remain open by reducing in person visits to the surgery, using e consult to contact our GP’s , collecting medication from local pharmacies rather than attending for paper prescriptions and using our prescription request email address and outside post box to request repeat medication. These small changes have made a significant difference to our team and have enabled the practice to remain Covid free. We are very grateful for all your efforts.
As we move into the next few months you will notice a few more changes at Barnfield Hill Surgery. During the last year our list size has grown significantly and we are creating a fourth GP team so that we are able to improve our offer to patients as currently each of our GP’s manage a large caseload of patients . We have also increased our nurse appointments to provide patients with more access and we will look to provide new services in the future such as NHS Health Checks.
We have over the last year introduced through our collaborative working with local practices as part of Exeter City PCN provided access to a pharmacist for medication reviews, a dedicated care home service to support residents in long term care and an in-house physio service accessed through the practice. We plan to add services such as mental health access and additional aligned healthcare professionals such as physician associates or paramedics to our team in the future.
The surgery has also been instrumental in supporting patient’s ability to access Covid Vaccinations and we are one of only 5 practices in Exeter who are still providing appointments for first doses to our patients through working in partnership with Exeter City PCN.
As a practice we have a good reputation for ensuring that our patients receive quality, timely care that encourages a good relationship between patients and their GP. We plan to build on that good reputation and continue to provide services for our patients local to the surgery. Your support is crucial to enabling us to continue with these plans and we are grateful to have patients who have understood the challenges faced by the surgery over the last year and have responded so positively to support the team.
Whilst we are able to increase our capacity and provide additional resources for patients we are part of a wider system that has also seen immense challenge over the last year. Our local NHS Trusts have seen their waiting times for routine appointments and surgery increase significantly and we know they are working hard to increase capacity. As we write the waiting time for a scan is 6- 10 weeks and we know that some of you will be waiting a significant amount of time before you are offered appointments or the crucial treatment you need.
These pressures in the health system will have an effect on all of us and we will try and support you as best we can but we are unable to influence waiting times. We know our colleagues in secondary care are working hard to work through the back log of work from the last year and we want to support them by ensuring that patients have a realistic expectation of when treatment may be received. We do appreciate that when you are in pain or in need of treatment this can be a worrying and difficult time for patients, unfortunately there are many patients in this position and some are struggling with significant health concerns. All urgent referrals and treatment, particularly in relation to cancer 2 week waits are working to normal timelines. If you do have any concerns or worrying symptoms please do contact the practice for review.
In the next few months we will be reviewing our access arrangements as the legislation allows us to have more patients coming into the building and to increase face to face patient appointments. We have started to slowly increase the number that we offer but our waiting room restrictions in line with the government 2 metre rule prevents us from offering more at this point in time. We would be interested to know if patients were keen to continue in the future with more telephone access rather than a return to all face to face appointments. If you do have a view on this we would love to hear from you via our email inbox – [email protected]
In the meantime you can still contact us via telephone on 01392 432761, online using our e consult form at https://www.barnfieldhillsurgery.co.uk/ or by email to [email protected] for non-urgent enquiries or for prescription requests email [email protected]
The Barnfield Hill Team