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Noticeboard

Please note we are currently experiencing GP staff shortages

We have advertised for two new GPs and despite our best efforts to date have not been able to fill the two posts available.  We will continue to try to recruit GPs.

There is a shortage of Doctors who want to work in General Practice in Northern Ireland and there are many vacancies at present for GPs in Practices.  We hope when the Northern Ireland Executive is up and running again that this issue will be addressed.

This is happening in many Practices across the Province and GP service provision is suffering

You may have heard reports in the press of General Practices having to close in some areas of Northern Ireland due to having no Doctors to provide appointments.

Due to our shortage of GPs we have had to adjust our appointment availability to allow the GPs who are here to cope with Patient demand safely and this has had an impact on the provision of routine appointments.  We are working hard to improve access to our services.

Our reception staff are giving you advice on how best to use the system and are not acting as a block to appointments, when they ask you questions it is because they have been asked by the GP to get as much information from you regarding your problem, this will allow the Doctor to deal more efficiently and appropriately with your request

Please bear with us in this difficult period we are doing our best with the resources available to us at present and hope that we can increase the number of routine appointments asap.

Please note we are currently experiencing GP staff shortages

We have advertised for two new GPs and despite our best efforts to date have not been able to fill the two posts available.  We will continue to try to recruit GPs.

There is a shortage of Doctors who want to work in General Practice in Northern Ireland and there are many vacancies at present for GPs in Practices.  We hope when the Northern Ireland Executive is up and running again that this issue will be addressed.

This is happening in many Practices across the Province and GP service provision is suffering

You may have heard reports in the press of General Practices having to close in some areas of Northern Ireland due to having no Doctors to provide appointments.

Due to our shortage of GPs we have had to adjust our appointment availability to allow the GPs who are here to cope with Patient demand safely and this has had an impact on the provision of routine appointments.  We are working hard to improve access to our services.

Our reception staff are giving you advice on how best to use the system and are not acting as a block to appointments, when they ask you questions it is because they have been asked by the GP to get as much information from you regarding your problem, this will allow the Doctor to deal more efficiently and appropriately with your request

Please bear with us in this difficult period we are doing our best with the resources available to us at present and hope that we can increase the number of routine appointments asap.

 

Did Not Attend (DNA) Policy

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PATIENTS DNA – DO NOT ARRIVE

They MISS AN APPOINTMENT

Background

Most of our Patients know it can sometimes be difficult to get a routine appointment with a GP or Nurse.  In the course of events where demand is unpredictable, that cannot easily be remedied.

One thing that makes this more difficult to overcome is the problem of missed routine appointments – DNAs.

Where Patients have been declined routine appointments because the consultations are fully booked, it is at best disappointing when one of those booked appointments does not turn up and has not contacted the Practice to cancel the appointment so that it can be released for others or telephones so late as to make it impossible to allocate to another Patient.

In 2013, there were 1703 such DNAs - with either GPs or Nurses and, in some cases, double appointments at specialist clinics.  This is the equivalent of 7 full days of missed clinical appointments.

The cost in time and money is a burden to the National Health Service generally and the Practice in particular cannot sustain this.

Remember that your DNA is other Patient’s denied appointment.

 

DNA Policy

A DNA occurs when an appointment is not attended and the Patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it or where the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate that time to another Patient who needs treatment.

The Practice will code this DNA and this will prompt a retrospective check on the number of DNAs recorded against that person.  Whilst we are primarily concerned with our own appointment observance, consideration may also be given to any hospital appointments where we have been notified that a Patient has failed to attend.  A re-referral on the part of the GP (more GP time) will often be required by the hospital department so that the Patient can be recalled.

 

 

DNA 1

Where this is the first occasion, a code will be added to the Patient’s medical record and the DNA counted in a monthly search.

DNA 2

Where this is the second occasion, the Patient will be contacted by the Practice, advised of the missed appointment and a splash screen will be added to their record.  When the Patient makes a further appointment, they will be advised by the Receptionist that the Practice is aware of their previous DNA and asked to confirm their intention to attend their next appointment.  The Patient will also be informed that if a further appointment is DNA’d, they could be at risk of compromising their relationship with the Practice.

DNA 3

Where a third DNA has occurred, the Practice will review the individual case and a decision will be taken with regard to addressing the Patient’s future ability to pre‑book routine appointments.  The Practice will consider whether consistent failure to adhere to our Practice policy constitutes a breakdown between the Patient and the GP (where the GP Practice has given clear instruction on policy and service provision and the Patient has chosen to disregard this on several occasions in spite of due warning).

HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A DNA

If you cannot attend or no longer need an appointment, please ring us in advance.

Mistakes do happen and the Practice understands that appointments can be forgotten about or overlooked.  In such cases, the Practice will take into account the reason given by Patients.

Preference, of course, is for the Practice to know in advance so we can offer the appointment(s) to other Patients in need.


SHOULD YOU NEED TO CANCEL, HERE’S HOW:-


A         By telephone – appointments line 028 9331 5805 (we know this can be busy so to save time, try B or C


B         By text phone – simply text your name and appointment details and we will cancel it for you – Text  07757 100 878


C         On our website – www.castlepractice.co.uk

What We As A Practice Are To Doing To Reduce DNAs

We are reminding the general public what our policy is and we feel that it is important to enforce it robustly.

It has been suggested and discussed with the Health & Social Care Board that the Practice puts in place a system to improve services for Patients.  We are currently reviewing our emergency appointments and routine appointments availability.  Here is what we will endeavour to do to help you not become a DNA:-

·          We will always print appointment details for Patients who make an appointment face to face at our reception desk.  Our appointment slips contain our text telephone number should Patients need to cancel (even at short notice).

·          If you make an appointment over the telephone, we would suggest that Patients’ record/document the date and time in a way that can be easily accessed – in a diary, on a calendar or for the more technically minded on a mobile phone.  Our staff are trained to repeat all appointment details and clarify understanding with Patients at the time of making the appointment.

KEEP IT OR CANCEL IT!

SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS THE APPOINTMENT!

To help us improve the system and make available thousands of appointments this year for Patients to book routinely, please adhere to our Practice Policy.

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