A Gainsborough surgery has launched a triage system in an attempt to give all patients the most appropriate same-day treatment.
Caskgate Street Surgery – part of NHS Lincolnshire West clinical commissioning group – has introduced the system, which sees all patients calling up for a same-day appointment put into a triage list.
A nurse practitioner then calls patients back to undertake a clinical assessment before deciding what the best course of treatment is for the individual patient.
Pam Steadman, practice manager, said all patients, no matter their age, would be guaranteed same-day access to a GP or nurse practitioner if clinically necessary.
She said: “Our patient list has continued growing and we now have more than 10,700 patients registered at the surgery.
“Going back two years, we had five GP partners, but now we only have three and one salaried GP and we also lost a nurse practitioner.
“We needed to look at changing the way patients accessed the best treatment they could and it was following feedback from patients and also the practice feeling we needed to review our system of same-day requests that we came up with this change.”
Explaining how the system works, Ms Steadman said the nurse practitioner would assess the patient over the phone and either book the patient into her clinic, a same day GP clinic, book a GP appointment in the next couple of days or issue self care advice.
She said: “This system will hopefully educate patients in the best treatment for them.
“Here at Caskgate and at most GP surgeries, if any patient, no matter their age, has an issue whereby it is clinically necessary for them to be seen by a GP on the same day then they will be. GPs will not turn any patient away if they need to be seen urgently.”
The new system has been in place at the surgery since the beginning of last month.
If a patient misses the call back from the nurse practitioner, they then need to call the surgery back to be assessed.