General Practice is a core part of the NHS and it is often the first point of call for medical problems. The practice has evolved over the past 20 years as we have adopted new ways of working, introducing a telephone triage system as well as booking appointments using Engage Consult along with face to face appointments. However demands continue to rise with more people being looked after in the community. COVID19 has added further pressure with many patients having to wait longer to be seen by hospital specialists.
General Practice is a holistic service not just made up of doctors but a diverse team with varying experience and expertise. We know access is important and so is continuity of care so that the person or team that knows you best can continue to follow you up to get the best outcome and help prevent you from needing multiple appointments where 1 or 2 may only be necessary if you have to wait a little longer. We have developed our teams in the last 5 years or so and we continue to work with patients to improve them. We need our patients to engage and utilise other services. This allows the right people to be seen at the right time by a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician associate, trainee doctors, medical students or others. Primary Care Networks have also been set up employing other staff who we share with other local practices including musculoskeletal practitioners, mental health workers, paediatric appointments on the day, a home visiting service and others. There are also many voluntary organisations that support the work we do including Diversity Matters North-West and a variety of social prescribing opportunities. Recently a chaplaincy service has also been added for those of faith in any denomination as well as those without too. Our reception team are trained to help you navigate the services available in-house and in the community.
To make the most out of your appointments you should
Have access to your GP electronic health record so you can better understand your healthcare needs. This allows you to see the last consultation, who this is with, what was discussed and what was agreed. So for example if you have been asked to get some blood tests done then you can not only read this but check the results when they are back and see what should happen next. Similarly if you have been referred then you can read when referral letter has been done and check the contents of the referral letter match your own understanding too.
There are a number of apps available that allow you to order prescriptions online as well as do other things. The Evergreen Life PHR, Patient Access and NHS app allow you to order repeat prescriptions, view your consultations including what your doctor, nurse, physician associate or others in the practice have written, see what problems you have and when they were diagnosed, see all your blood test results easily, see letters from the hospital. We recommend you download and install all 3 apps as they have different functions that complement one another.
Currently the Evergreen Life PHR app has the most functionality.
The Evergreen Life PHR is a wellness app too as well as a Personal Health Record and hence you can also record your food habits, exercise and happiness levels to give you a Wellness Score. You can also record your personal measurements eg blood pressure, weight and peak flow rate. You can also set reminders for medications you are taking so it sends you a notification on your mobile when it is time to take them! (This functionality is only on the app, not the website version)
The Patient Access and NHS app also allow you to use proxy access so that if you have the right permissions, you can also view your childrens records or others whom you care for. (The Evergreen Life PHR website also provides proxy access but not via the app currently)
To get help from the practice, you can go online via Engage Consult. You can tell us about your problem by going online and asking for help at around 4:30pm the night before. You will need to have registered on Engage Consult to get the best experience.
For any medical problems, please choose "medical problem”, say whether it a new problem or an ongoing problem and if so then with which clinician and then describe what the problem is in 1 or 2 words eg "fit note” or "chest infection” or "chest pain” or cough. If you have multiple problems, you can add them as well but remember it may then take longer to complete the questionnaire. Then proceed to answer all the questions it asks about the problem(s) you have stated. This can take 5-10 minutes depending on the answers that you give per problem. Once you have completed all the questions, it will then invite you to say what you think the problem, is due to, what worries you may related to the problem(s) and how you think we may be able to help you. Again please try to answer these questions as best as you can. Your answers help us to ensure the right person can see your answers and who can deal with this best. Please note it may take up to 3 working days for the actual appointment although we do try to do this sooner if possible.
Please choose "administrative query or question” if you want to send a message to our receptionists / care navigators. This is preferable to ringing the surgery.
The practice website www.htmc.co.uk has lots of resources in it to help you get even more from the practice and also services locally. If you look at the main website, you can see the "patient control panel” down the left hand side which provides an easy way to find information to help you get more.
Doing the pandemic, unfortunately hospitals have had to divert resources to wards supporting patients with COVID19 and this has led to significant delays for routine hospital appointments and operations, The consequence of this is long waiting times. See here for information whist you are waiting
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