Harrowby Lane Surgery

Practice Statement

As a Practice we are facing unmanageable workloads due to shortages of clinical staff and unprecedented winter pressures. We are facing ongoing challenges due to being unsuccessful with recruitment and sickness in our clinical team. We are fortunate to have regular clinical locums but unfortunately this does little to contribute towards the ever-increasing clinical administrative work, including the tasks which are essential to the daily running of the practice. These tasks include “Fit to work notes,” medication requests and the actioning of test results and hospital mail.

We are working extremely hard in the background with limited resources to provide enough appointments to meet the reasonable need of our patients. Remote consulting and triage are safe and effective ways of delivering care. Using these methods allows the practice:

  • to provide patient appointments more flexibly
  • direct patients to the most appropriate provider of care
  • prioritise care for those most in need.

It is essential that this is done in a way that is safe for patients and Clinicians. We are under immense pressure to provide near immediate assessment and management of all patient problems regardless of actual clinical urgency. This is impossible to maintain and not required by the GMS contract. Therefore, the online patient contact system is being switched off when we reach capacity to prioritise and manage the workload. The Practice is still open, and we will support medically urgent patient requests but were appropriate we offer additional support services including NHS 111, local pharmacies, and the urgent care centre.

Whilst we understand that these changes to our service can be frustrating for patients, we ask you to support us by being patient with our staff who are working hard to help you in the best way possible. Please be mindful that our staff have feelings, and the Practice will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour as we have a zero-tolerance policy.

Actions we are taking

  • Improvements to our recruitment process.
  • Reviewing patient triage system and exploring more effective ways for the clinician to assess and navigate patient requests.
  • Investment in provision of an additional clinical pharmacist to manage medication requests.
  • Reviewing our telephone system to improve patient access.
  • We are focussing on essential patient NHS work and reduction in private work services such as HGV and Taxi driver medicals and private letter requests, enabling us to use this time where it is most important.
  • We continue to work closely with our Patient Participation Group who offer valuable contributions and experiences.

We are actively looking at new ways to improve the service we provide but rely on your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.

Dr Ian Allsebrook MBBS