Newsletter - May 2024


Improving Patient Access


Important Changes at Crossroad Surgery from the 12th June 2024

Many of you may be aware of the current pressures which are affecting General Practices nationwide. The overall demand for appointments has increased greatly and therefore we needed to make changes at our practice to be able to manage this demand.

From 12th June 2024 the practice is moving to a new triage system where we will ask patients to initially provide some information to enable them to be assessed correctly.  

This is to improve the management of patient requests and improve patient access at the surgery. When submitting a request online, you will be taken through to a short online form which, once completed, is then assessed by a member of team who will then decide upon the appropriate course of action.

This could be a face-to-face or phone appointment with a member of our multidisciplinary clinical team, or perhaps redirection to another provider or service, such as a local pharmacist.

We appreciate that not everyone may have access to our website. In this case, we will be happy to receive your phone call and a member of our reception team will assist you in completing the form. The request form will be available from 7am Monday to Friday until the Practice has reached capacity. If capacity is reached, you will be notified and redirected to another service.

This will mean we will stop using eConsult from this date.


Our Practice Goals

  • Enable easy and equitable access to our services.
  • Provide rapid triage of all medical requests.
  • Improve collaborative working between teams within the practice.
  • Reduce ‘unseen’ work and ensure manageable workload for all staff.
  • Reduced telephone call waiting times for patients.

What are the core benefits for patients?

  • Flexible
  • Convenient
  • The right person for the right problem
  • No more waiting in telephone queues

Patients can complete the Online Consulting Form online via our website. All relevant medical enquires will be read by a clinician and will then be directed to the right appointment, resulting in the most appropriate outcome.

You will receive a message confirming your appointment or advice so that you can plan to keep your preferred contact number close by if a clinician needs to call you. You may be sent a link so that you can book your own appointment on a date and time that suits you.

Our Online Consulting System should not be used for emergencies.

Check it’s not an emergency.

Call 111 or 999 for urgent medical help if you have any of these as your request will not be seen immediately.

Please do not use if you have any of these:

  • Crushing chest pain and tightness
  • New drooping on one side of the face, slurred speech, difficulty raising your arms, weakness, or numbness on one side of your body
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Heavy bleeding that won’t stop
  • Severe injuries
  • Feeling suicidal, wanting to harm yourself

Getting An Appointment

Why can it sometimes be difficult to get an appointment?

General Practice is open and is offering face to face appointments, but it is also….
•    Dealing with increased patient list sizes, with an ageing population, and more complex health needs.
•    Facing staff sickness and shortages.  General Practice is struggling to recruit for vacant posts, and find locum cover so that patients can still be seen if a colleague is sick or absent.
•    Being affected by the backlog elsewhere in the NHS.

GPs and their practice teams are delivering a high number of consultations, and face to face appointments are available to patients where there is a clinical need.
Consultation rates per patient have increased, leading to GPs and their teams working harder than ever to prioritise patient care.

  • In March 2024, another record-high of 63.27 million patients were registered with GP practices in England. As a result, the average number of patients each full-time equivalent GP is responsible for now stands at 2,295. 
  • This is an increase of 357 patients per GP, or 18%, since 2015, demonstrating the ever-mounting workload in general practice. (Source: BMA analysis of NHS General Practice Workforce data).
  • NHS Digital Data shows that in October 2022, the highest number of GP appointments ever was offered at an estimated 36.1 million appointments across England – a record high.

Published: May 31, 2024