For some time, the practice has been experiencing severe space challenges. Over the last year we have recruited a number of additional staff and this has put pressure on our existing buildings. The impact of this is that we spend a lot of time and energy juggling rotas to ensure that everyone can be accommodated somewhere on any given day. It means that sometimes staff have to go where there is space rather than where it would be most effective for them to work. As well as being frustrating for our team, it also hampers good patient care as we are not always able to deploy our resources in the most efficient way and we have now reached the point where we cannot continue to recruit unless we have additional space as we have literally no space to put people.
We have been working with the CCG over the last year to try and find a long-term solution to our estate challenges but this is a lengthy process and there is still a long way to go. In the meantime, we have agreed a short-term solution which will help us deal with the immediate issues we are facing.
On 16 May, a number of our teams will be moving to a new administrative building. The new building will not be open to the public and there will be no change to how patients access our services – all our currently operational sites in Hedon, Withernsea, Keyingham, Roos and Patrington will remain open as usual with no changes to opening hours.
The teams that will be using the new building are primarily those that are not patient-facing such as our secretaries and data summarisers. Many of the new staff we have recruited in the last year to our Proactive Care Team will also be based there as will members of our clinical pharmacy team and finance teams. One important change we are making is that we will also have a ‘call hub’ located in the new building. At present, our Patient Services Team work in difficult conditions behind our main reception areas where there is limited space and because of its nature, frequent interruptions. Bringing these staff together on a single site and into a better working environment will, we hope, allow us to create a much better workflow and give us the opportunity to focus on bringing down our call answering times.
From a patient perspective, everything should look and feel much the same when you come into the surgery buildings. We will still have members of our Patient Services Team at the reception desk and carrying out some administrative tasks which are best completed within the surgery buildings. You will still see the same familiar faces as staff will work both at their usual location and at the new building on a rotational basis.
We hope that this change will alleviate some very real practical challenges and allow us to spend more time focusing on how we can deliver improved services to patients. Whilst it is only a temporary solution, we will be continuing to work with partners on a longer-term plan and will share with you any future developments. To put any concerns you may have to rest, we would also like to assure you that any future plans will include having premises in our current towns and villages as we recognise how important this is to retain ease of access for all our patients.
Thank you for taking time to read our update. The Partners, CEO and Senior Management Team