The Triage System

At Stubley Medical Centre we want you to be seen as quickly and effectively as possible. The system we use to enable this is a form of triage.

The principle of this is, that at a time when demand is ever increasing but supply is finite, not all problems require a GP appointment and other Primary Care professionals can help.

The downside is that it usually takes two phone calls rather than one to get an appointment.

The upside, is that, after leaving some details of your problem or concern with the receptionist, the doctor on call that day will, perhaps after calling you back to get more information, be able to offer an assessment tailored to their degree of medical concern and your availability. This will be on the same day when necessary, or even for routine issues, usually within a few days (rather than weeks as remains the case in many parts of the country and was the case with us before this system was introduced).

Conversely, the requests for routine appointments are also checked by the doctor and we regularly pick up problems that we feel need to be dealt with or seen more urgently that the patient thought – such requests are then fast-tracked.

Face-to-Face GP appointments are usually not needed for things such as: Blood or X Ray results; certificates & letters, self limiting conditions which can be managed by the pharmacist, some acute ailments like cystitis and many musculoskeletal conditions for which physio would be more appropriate. We are also no longer commissioned to provide a minor injury service, so minor injuries and accidents may be directed towards A&E. (see News 1st Oct 2018)

Many types of Dr review can take place when mutually convenient over the phone and although we have a degree of scepticism (seeing as how S-L-O-W the NHS network is), we are soon going to have to offer video consultations.

Please be aware, that the only way we can run this system is to keep a % of GP appointments blocked until that day. Routine requests to see a particular doctor who may only work a couple days a week can result in a long wait. We have a good team – please consider seeing any member of the team to expedite your appointment. Whilst Dr Wooster has a particular interest in Dermatology, we are all trained in Dermatology – if you have a skin condition you can see any of us, not just Dr W, who does occasionally like to see non-skin conditions!

A recent survey was performed by the Patient Participation Group which showed the triage service was effective and welcomed by the majority of the 182 patients users who reponded: