by Cllr Kim Taylor
Councillors seek improvements from medical giant Operose
Today (10th March) I chaired a meeting of local ward councillors, Directors of Operose, representatives for the CCG and the Patient Participatory Groups for Beggarwood, Camrose, Gillies and Hackwood.
The main focus was residents concerns over systems performances at Camrose, Gillies and Hackwood and the difficulties in finding GP practices to operate in Basingstoke.
I am very grateful for Operose Health for hosting the meeting and for the team of Directors who came to listen to us.
We were pleased to hear from the Operose team that they are moving towards increasing the number of face-to-face appointments. We also heard that there were some area of good practice such as diabetes care but there are clearly areas where there is more to be done.
There was a general acceptance that the e-consult system was not universally liked and acted as a barrier between patients and the surgery.
Residents’ concerns were outlined by the councillors as being:
- Inability to get through on the phone quickly
- People would prefer a surgery based phone reception system rather than a call hub
- Policy of total telephone triage is not liked and a move back to face to face is needed.
- Waits for three weeks for a telephone triage appointment is too long
- Telephone appointments should specify a time of day – even if this is an hour slot
- Prescription services need to be more efficient especially at coordinating the timing of multiple prescriptions
- Patients would also like to book appointments online like they used to
After a good discussion Operose agreed to look at the issues and provide an improvement action plan by the end of March. We agreed we would meet and review this quarterly.
CCG agree to Councillors’ plea to develop a strategic plan for Basingstoke
Also present at the meeting were representatives from the NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group. As a Hampshire County Councillor I have been making it clear that the situation in Basingstoke for primary care provision needs a review. Basingstoke is the biggest town in Hampshire but it is increasingly difficult or impossible to get GP providers or dentist offering NHS appointment.
The difficulties of consistently securing GP providers to take on surgeries and run contracts has been going on for very many years. There has been a long trail of poor performance, contracts being returned and ignoring patients and councillors concerns.
Ensuring adequate quality provision is the direct responsibility of the CCGs, so I am really pleased that they have agreed to undertake a strategic review of the situation in Basingstoke and develop a plan for the future. I look forward to discussing this further with them and hope they will engage with councillors and Patient Participation Groups so all our voices are heard.
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