Many of our patients will be aware of the current pressures on General Practice services across the Country. Practices are needing to adapt to the increasing demands of an ageing population, often with multiple complex health problems, despite escalating financial pressures and difficulties in the recruitment of quality medical staff. At Chapel Lane Surgery, we would like to reassure you that we are actively working to improve efficiencies and safeguard the high standard of services that you have come to expect. We have been engaged with a National 'New Ways of Working' programme, which encompasses several ways of improving care provision:

  • New Healthcare Roles: Many of you will have met or been treated by Katie, or more recently Emma, our Advanced Nurse Practitioners. These highly skilled nurse prescribers have extensive experience and training in the management of complex medical problems, and in particular where they impact on social care. We are also in the process of negotiations to bring a Clinical Pharmacist onboard, to help with medication queries and the monitoring of treatment.
  • More Clearly Defined Traditional Healthcare Roles: Often simple medical complaints or queries regarding the management of established longterm illness, can be managed by our experienced Practice Nurses. They work with a team of Phlebotomists and Health Care Assistants, in monitoring chronic diseases, and are capable of managing many simple conditions
  • Greater Use Of Technology: At Chapel Lane Surgery, we are investing in new technology to improve efficiency and reduce potential human error in the management of our patients. We are shortly going to be introducing a new automated patient recall system, which streamlines review systems. We are also looking at ways in which we can utilise internet-based consulting tools and even video conferencing with your GP - more to follow....
  • More Efficient Use Of Appointments: Every days we literally get hundreds of requests for appointments. Like the majority of surgeries, we simply do not have the capacity to meet the level of demand. However, many of these appointment-requests could be dealt with in other ways; either by directing a query to a more appropriate person, or perhaps by the provision of advice by a qualified call-handler, or even by a simple telephone call with a GP or Nurse Practitioner. By gathering some simple information right from the start, we hope to be able to direct requests more efficiently

How The Appointment System Will Work

From Monday 3rd July, if you you call the surgery to request an appointment, you will be asked some simple questions about the reason for your request. This information will be treated in strict confidence, but will help us to direct your call to the most appropriate person. If you need to see a GP, you will initially be offered a TRIAGE CALL - you will be called back by a GP, who will initially consult with you over the phone. Many of you will have already experienced this system, when more urgent health problems may have been dealt with by an on-call GP at the surgery. The GP may feel able to manage your concern over the telephone. However, if they feel that you need to be seen, they can arrange an appointment for you. We are aiming to see patients on the same day using this new system, so there should be no need to ring weeks in advance for an appointment.

Please bear with us if things do not run as smoothly as hoped at first. This is a new system, and it may take a while to get the procedure perfected! We would be grateful of any feedback or advice during the transition to the new system. Please either email the surgery or drop a line on paper for the attention of the Practice Manager.

Best wishes as always,


The Partners