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SHP UPDATE TO REGISTERED PATIENTS (7/4/21):

 

This is the first in a series of communications to keep registered SHP patients and stakeholders updated.

 

We are aware of the challenges and increase in demand that we are facing in these unprecedented times, and the criticisms we are currently receiving from our registered patients, which are justifiably being made.

 

As recently highlighted in the Healthwatch document on GP access – GP access during COVID-19, this is not just a Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) issue, but a national issue.

 

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the average number of contacts per patient per year was just over 5. Currently we are seeing an increase in activity of 7-8 contacts per registered patient per year, and demand that is outstripping resource at present.

 

We have seen a significant increase in calls to SHP. From February 2021 to March 2021, we have seen an increase of 51.3% in attempts to get in touch with us.

 

There are many reasons for this current situation;

  • Patients - Having patiently waited for some time to access services for their clinical condition, many people have understood that as we unlock nationally, now is the time to get in touch with their General Practice (GP). This has been seen with the recent surge in calls from 25,824 in February 2021 to 39,075 in March 2021.
  • Those patients who have been referred to hospital with clinical conditions that have yet to be seen, still need to be managed while they wait. In addition, those patients who are receiving specialist care are often receiving this remotely, and if the consultant wants a test to be done, they are asking patients to ask their GPs to arrange them. We are aware that hospitals are working hard to reduce the waiting lists of patients waiting to be seen. However, whilst this happens more people are contacting their GP practice for support, advice and reassurance.
  • We have seen a significant increase in the number of registered patient calls into SHP, of which the pandemic has created the situation we are currently in, alongside an increase in COVID-19 related calls and queries.
  • We have significantly contributed to the delivery of the very successful COVID-19 vaccination programme at SHP’s Monkspath Surgery, and continue to work hard to administer vaccines following government guidelines, and with new employees recruited to cover new roles. 75% of all vaccines have been delivered by General Practice.

We understand our patient’s frustrations, we continue to work hard on delivering care for our registered patients, find solutions to the challenges of increased demand, and to improve patient access and telephone answering times.

 

We welcome your feedback and we would urge SHP registered patients to contact us directly on their personal experiences – where our services meet your needs, and where and when they don’t.

If you have any queries, concerns, comments, compliments or suggestions, please contact us directly via;

  • Online – using our Patients Feedback page – Have Your Say
  • In writing – Send to Solihull Healthcare Partnership Management, Shirley Medical Centre, 8 Union Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 3DT, or drop off at any one of our surgery sites
  • Email – admin.shp@nhs.net

Patient feedback is invaluable in helping us achieve improved patient care and services, both now and in the future.

Our next update will answer some of most frequently asked questions.

Date for your diary – We would also like to invite our SHP registered patients to join us on the 15th June 2021 for an online event, with the SHP Chairman, Dr Lupoli, and the Chief Executive Officer, Steve New - More details to follow.

We would like to thank our registered SHP patients for their continued support and patience.

Prescription Ordering

We are receiving a high number of phone calls to request prescriptions which is increasing the wait on the phone system.

Can we remind patients that we do not accept prescription requests over the phone for safety reasons.

For ways to order your prescriptions please visit our prescription page.

Users of the Birmingham and Solihull CCG App (formally Patient Pack)

This update is to make patients who are registered to the Birmingham and Solihull CCG app for online patient services that from the 31st December 2020 users will no longer be able to access their account.

Currently Solihull Healthcare Partnership have the vast majority of patients registered to the online patient services provider Patient Access. There are benefits patients receive on Patient Access that Birmingham and Solihull CCG app (BSOL app) members are not receiving.

To keep patient options fair across the patient population of SHP, the decision has been made to migrate users of the Birmingham and Solihull app platform to the Patient Access platform.

Users of the BSOL app will receive an email during the month of December with details on how they can set up a new Patient Access account.

FLU vaccinations 50 to 65- year olds

SHP have vaccinated over 10,000 patients with the flu vaccines since September 2020! We are currently awaiting further flu vaccination stocks to arrive for the 50 – 65 age group and arranging more clinics. We would be grateful if you wait for our call and not contact the surgery to help keep our phone lines accessible for patients who are unwell.

COVID Vaccinations

As you may have heard, plans are being made by NHS England for a COVID vaccination programme . SHP are working with other healthcare providers and the Clinical Commissioning Group to take part in the national vaccination programme. More details will follow as they are confirmed.

This is a national programme and there are still many details to be confirmed. Further information will be available on our website, social media and through the communication channels we have for you. Please refrain from contacting the surgery for further information on COVID-19 vaccinations at this stage. We will update this information soon as we have it.

Recruitment

SHP have appointed more care navigators, call handlers and administration staff to improve call wait times on the telephone system and improve patient access through face to face contact at reception desks and online access. We are in the process of training our newly recruited staff.

If you are interested in applying for any roles we have at SHP, please see our website for further details.

Phlebotomy

As of Thursday 1st October 2020 provisions for blood tests have changed.

Blood tests request forms generated by healthcare professionals at all GP practices can no longer attend any site within the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust. This includes Solihull, Heartlands, Good Hope and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals.

If you require a blood test that the healthcare professionals at SHP have requested, you will be booked in for an appointment at our community Hub at Monkspath Surgery with one of our phlebotomists.

Blood test request forms completed by a hospital- based healthcare professional will be carried out in the outpatient department only.

Patients aged under 16 years are still able to attend Heartlands Hospital to access phlebotomy services through a booked appointment. The telephone numbers to arrange this after you have received a request form from a doctor are:

Heartlands Hospital:  0121 424 1528

Birmingham Children’s Hospital:  0121 333 9304