A message from Lakeside Healthcare Yaxley regarding access

The Lakeside Healthcare at Yaxley partners just wanted to take an opportunity to address some concerns that have been expressed recently regarding access


Dear Patients,

The Lakeside Healthcare at Yaxley partners just wanted to take an opportunity to address some concerns that have been expressed recently regarding access. This has been prompted by the fact that we have had to postpone taking non-urgent cases via the phone lines and Anima in the afternoon on a number of days in recent weeks.

We want to firstly thank our wonderfully supportive Patient Participation Group, who have been very understanding of some of the pressures that the practice and the wider health system are facing at the present moment. Their help in liaising with our patient population has been very much appreciated.
Yaxley have been unusual in UK General Practice, being an early adopter of the Doctor First model, which has been a factor in us offering unrivalled patient access for many years. Until recently, this has been something that we have been able to manage through growing a large multidisciplinary workforce but at times we have now found demand has been outstripping our capacity.  
We do not take the step of moving to 'Urgent problems only' lightly but after several years of a sustained significant increase in workload, we have had to take the step of putting in protocols for a Safe Maximum Capacity, which outlines the process when we have extended our access on that day to its absolute limit.
We have, at all times, been open to appropriate, clinically urgent, General Practice problems and emergencies during our opening hours.
To give some context to the issue, the NHS is facing many unprecedented challenges in the years following the pandemic. Although much of the media might concentrate on the issues within hospital trusts, General Practice is also currently under enormous strain. More than 1,000 GP practices have closed their doors since 2015 and those that remain have an increasingly difficult environment to work within. 
Despite these challenges, we remain passionate about providing the best possible service and access to our patients.  Over the month of February, we provided over 19,500 appointments (that’s the equivalent of an appointment for each registered patient). We provided over twice the national average in terms of appointments for our patients over this same period (221%). We also provided 220,000 appointments over the past year which is almost double the national and local ICB average. In the last year we have also delivered over 98,000 face to face appointments, which is also significantly above the national average for GP practices. We hope this makes it clear that we are doing everything that we possibly can to prioritise good access for our community. 

We are continuing to grow our workforce where we can and we aim to train our staff to offer a broad range of services. 
Many patients ask us if there is anything they can do to help and therefore we have compiled a list of ways you can help the practice. The more efficiently we can deal with each patient at each stage of their journey through the practice, the more capacity we can offer.

  • Where possible, PLEASE SIGN UP FOR ANIMA AND USE IT FOR EACH CONTACT WITH THE PRACTICE. This allows us to quickly and efficiently triage patients to the correct appointment with the correct clinician. Please give all the clinical detail you feel is relevant. 
  • Where possible, please use the NHS App to order your repeat prescriptions. This route results in much less administration for the practice and frees up our team for other tasks. 
  • Where possible, please use the NHS App as your first port of call for accessing your blood test results. You can do this by requesting access to your detailed coded record via reception.
  • Please make use of our excellent multidisciplinary team. Without them, we could not offer the level of patient access that we do. They work at all times with the support of a supervising doctor, from whom they can ask for a second opinion at any time. 
  • PLEASE USE THE GP HUB. As a practice we are provided with many appointments for GPs, nurse practitioners, practice nurses, health care assistant and a number of other types of appointment. These are available at evenings and weekends at the City Care Centre in Peterborough. If our allocated appointments are not used, they go to other practices and increase the strain for Yaxley-based appointments. For those that can travel, we appreciate you doing so and freeing up appointments locally for those that cannot do so easily. For some patients these appointments are very convenient. You can ask about them at reception.
  • Please follow-up with your hospital specialist if you have questions regarding your care from them or are chasing test results and appointments. 

 We are very grateful for you taking the time to read this and for your continued support of the practice. The many kind words we have received continue to motivate us to find ways to improve our services despite the difficulties we face in the wider healthcare system. 

The Partners
Lakeside Healthcare at Yaxley 

Published: Jun 5, 2024