Open Letter to Patients

What We Have Been Doing?

Over the last 12 months we have been involved in a hugely successful, rapid roll out vaccination programme and have vaccinated over 4000 of our patients. Throughout this time we have continued with our full-time work in general practice ensuring that we are COVID-safe at all times.

The practice has never closed and never stopped seeing patients for face to face appointments. We are following national guidance. We initially book you in for a telephone consultation. The clinician will then ask you to attend the surgery if this is clinically indicated. The majority of nursing appointments have continued to be face to face throughout the pandemic.

The work involved in implementing the vaccine programme has been extensive and time consuming. It has involved all members of staff working extra hours including weekends, evenings and bank holidays. We have had a huge number of queries to deal with either at the front desk, by telephone and by email and at times we have felt

We have employed more staff taking on an extra clinical pharmacist and GP. We now also have doctors who are training to be GPs and over the next months you may see more of them around the surgery.

Our patient numbers continue to rise as new housing developments continue throughout Mossley and Greenfield. We have looked at many possible solutions to increase the space in our surgeries and currently we are having some extra workspaces built within the Mossley surgery. We are also re-opening Greenfield Surgery on 17th May 2021.

How Can We Do Better?

Our capacity for appointments has not changed since the onset of the pandemic. In fact, we are offering more appointments than ever; however, the demand for appointments over the last few months has accelerated exponentially, leaving our phonelines blocked and availability sparse. We want to keep our access outstanding as it always has been, but we need some support from you.

We are about to introduce an online consultation/total triaging model within the next few months and more information on what this is and how it will affect you will follow soon. This will give more access to a clinician as long as the service is not abused.

We are extremely lucky to have patients like you who use the minor ailment service with the Clinical Pharmacist on a regular basis and take responsibility for your own health and self-care. We will need you to continue doing this.

What We Hope Pennine Medical Centre Will Be Like In The Future

Our priorities over the next 12 months will be to provide safe care with the appropriate access to clinicians. The areas we think are particularly important are early cancer diagnosis, cancer care and palliative care, chronic disease management such as heart disease, strokes and chronic lung disease and mental health. We will also continue to provide extra services including minor surgery and joint injections, contraceptive services, cervical smears and child health immunisations.