Last Updated: 17 May 2019
Created: 17 May 2019
For the last 3 weeks I have been aware that the call waiting times for the medical hub have become completely unacceptable.
During these few weeks, I have been in daily correspondence with the Better Health Partnership (who run the hub), the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) & local residents. My office has been collating every piece of information that I have been sent in order to ensure that these problems are raised & that these bodies are kept aware of the need for urgent improvements.
As a patient myself, I share the understandable frustration that residents feel about this. It has gone on for far too long and it is simply unacceptable that people are not able to get through to their doctors surgery in the same way they were before the call centre at Moredon was introduced. I continue to be annoyed that despite pushing for several days, weeks & months on behalf of residents; the hub has still not got its act together to sort out the phones.
Understandably residents have asked why this situation has been allowed to carry on for so long. There are a number of complexities in the way that GP surgeries are run & monitored. Since the early 2000s GPs have had greater flexibility to control their own surgeries & most are now run privately by the GPs themselves. Additionally, since the introduction of local CCGs, local healthcare services are commissioned and run locally by clinicians, rather than politicians in Westminster.
All health and social care services are monitored by the CQC – the independent regulator. The CQC monitors, inspects & regulates healthcare services to ensure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. The CQC have the ability to demand improvements from local healthcare services, with further powers to apply should these improvements not be delivered. This is why I have been working closely with the CQC and am meeting with them again next week. Urgent action is needed and if the hub simply continues to fail to properly address these problems, then the CQC needs to intervene.
I have also been speaking regularly to the new manager of the Moredon Medical Hub. She has told me that she accepts that the current situation is completely unacceptable and that big changes are needed immediately. She has told me that she has confidence that they can turn this around and make the improvements which are needed. Her last update to me:
Telephone Hub Answering
The appointment booking system, and telephone hub model has faced difficulties since the start. Despite great team effort, and extra recruitment, it is still struggling and not providing the service the patients’ need.
I have been working alongside Dr David Griffiths, our GP Lead to identify a way forward and we have arranged a 12 week programme of work with Mr Simon Dodds. Simon is a consultant surgeon and an expert in healthcare systems engineering. He has a long track record of redesigning services to improve safety, quality, efficiency, patient and staff experience. He has worked with many different healthcare sectors.
Simon commenced the programme on Thursday and was looking at our raw data to identify the root course of our difficulties in keeping on top of the calls coming into the Hub and is currently analysing this.
The CCG are also looking to identify overflow call handling support for us during the 12 week programme so that we can improve and maintain call answering times in the interim. I'm hoping to receive confirmation of this next week.
However I am conscious that we have heard all of this before which is why I will continue to make sure that I work with the CQC.
The feedback I receive from residents continues to be fed in. My office has been meticulous in collating all of the information which will allow the CQC to be fully informed. It is much harder for me (from a data policy point of view) to raise all of the issues that have been raised on Facebook which is why I have asked for emails. I have however continued to feedback all of the general issues raised (without necessarily raising individual cases & mentioning individual residents where this has not been possible).
My previous GP updates are below (in reverse chronological order):