We have been given approval by South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) we can close our doors at our site based at East View Boldon Colliery due to Dr Chander’s retirement. We recently sent out a digital survey to patients who are registered in and around the area of Boldon Colliery to get some understanding of patients thoughts and feelings towards this. We then received some questions and have put together a FAQ to help answer your questions regarding this, however if you do have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact the surgery.
Can I get parked at the main site?
We have two large free car parks at both of our other two sites at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre and Flagg Court Health Centre.
Will you be taking on new clinical staff to meet demand?
We have recently employed 2 additional Advanced Nurse Practitioners, 1 who is a pediatric nurse practitioner, who will see all acutely unwell children which will greatly improve access for children. We have employed an additional treatment room nurse.
How to get help for a medical issue?
- Patients can seek medical help by using the e-consult function on our website or by ringing the practice. Both are dealt with in the same way and on the same day.
- Trained care navigators will assess the patient request and signpost to the most appropriate clinician/service, this might be pharmacy, self help, direct physiotherapy, mental health practitioners, practice nurse, health care assistant, Advance Nurse Practitioner (ANP) or GP.
- If the patient needs to be dealt with by a GP or ANP they will be offered a same day telephone consultation. If the request came in via e-consult, the patient will receive a text with the appointment time.
- Patient can request a face-to-face appointment and will be offered the next available routine appointment (could be up to 2 weeks ahead)
- If patient accepts same day telephone triage appointment, patient will be added to GP/ANP list for that morning or afternoon.
- Most conditions can be assessed without the need for a physical examination. The clinician might ask you to send a photograph to help assess you. Clinicians are trained to consult with patients over the phone.
- GP/ANP rings patient and discusses patient medical needs. A thorough assessment will be made, the clinician will use the same consultation diagnostic methods as if the patient was sitting in front of them. If the issue can be dealt with safely over the phone (immediate prescription to patients nominated pharmacy, referral to other services, advice), this is better for the patient as it will be dealt with much quicker and there will be no need to make a trip to the surgery.
- If GP/ANP thinks that after discussion over the telephone that a face-to-face appointment is needed as they want to examine the patient, they will discuss with the patient the most convenient time to come to the surgery. This will usually be on the same day but can be a few days ahead if more convenient for the patient.
How long will I need to wait for a routine appointment?
The practice endeavors to give patients a routine appointment as soon as possible and in some cases patients are dealt with on the same day, we are committed to giving patients an appointment with the two week time frame.
Why can I not get through on the telephone sometimes?
Some patients have stated that it is difficult to get through on the phone, we are seeing significantly higher number of telephone calls at the present and are in discussion with our telephone provider regarding increasing our lines and hope to move to a cloud-based telephone system in the coming months. If you are ringing us with a query, it might help to ring after 10am when the lines are quieter.
Please remember to use e-consult via our website, as this takes some pressure of the phone lines.
We are recruiting more reception staff to assist with answering the phone.
Will closing the branch mean that the number of appointments available will decrease?
We will be increasing our appointment availability due to the new clinical staff we are recruiting, closing the branch surgery will not affect the number of appointments available, in fact, there will be more available as the new clinical staff start.
I have to get 2 buses to main site, how can you help?
Some patients expressed concern over public transport to the main site, at Cleadon Park and we are aware that some patients lived closer to the branch site and may need to get 2 buses to the main site. If this is the case, please speak to the reception team, as most medical complaints can be dealt with over the telephone, it is likely that this will not be an issue. In some cases, Flagg Court may be an easier option to travel to as buses and metros from Boldon frequently run into the town center interchange. If the GP/ANP wants to see you, or you want a face to face appointment, please discuss the best time with the reception team who will try to accommodate a time that works best for you.
Can I register elsewhere if I wish to?
Yes, there are other GP practices in the local area that you can register with. You can find practices near your address using www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-GP.
We hope that this addresses some of the concerns that patients might have had with us closing our branch surgery. If you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and understanding in what has been the most challenging year ever!