Aug 152018

We are still experiencing disruption to our electricity supply for which I apologise.

Scottish Power are currently working on the fault affecting the Medical Practice which is resulting in them digging up the road to check cables. We currently have power but if we continue to have disruptions, we will transfer our telephone line to an analogue line in order that we can deal with urgent calls.

My apologies again for the inconvenience this disruption is causing, particularly as this follows on from the disruption to our service last week as a result of the transfer of our IT server. We are trying very hard to keep up with any backlog from the lack of access to our systems .

I will update you further when we have had further feedback. In the meantime thank you for your patience.

Aug 152018

We are sorry for the inconvenience following the powercut earlier this morning. We now have the power restored and are consulting as normal.

There is an ongoing fault in the power sub-station next to the practice and the power company are still working on it to resolve the matter in the longer term. We are therefore preparing ourselves for the possibility of the power going off temporarily again today or tomorrow morning. Should this happen, we will still unfortunately not have access to your medical records and it will not be possible for you to call us during this period.

We are also aware that some patients have had a problem with our new telephone system, which is unrelated to the power cuts as well as to the work done on our IT systems last week. We are aware of the frustrations this is causing and are attempting to address this too. At the moment it is necessary for us to concentrate on restoring power on a more permanent basis first.

Thank you for your patience and co-operation as we address this difficult period. We will update you as and when possible.

Please let us know if you have any further concerns.

Aug 152018

Yup, it has happened again – we’re without power to our phone and computer systems again, just the same as yesterday.

The power company is sending someone out again asap to investigate and fix the problem, hopefully more permanently this time, but depending on the scale we don’t currently know when we will get power back.

We apologise profusely for all the frustration and hassle this is causing – we feel it just as much as you.

Just like yesterday, if you have an appointment you can attend as scheduled and we will try to see you but we have no access to medical records so we hope you understand if we ask that you make another future appointment when things are back to normal.

We’ll update the website once the power has returned.

Aug 142018

They have managed to restore power to the building now, so thank you for your patience and apologies to everyone who couldn’t get through on the phone at 8am, or to those with an early appointment we weren’t able to see.

Here is to a much more normal rest of the week.

Aug 142018

Please be aware that we have had a power cut this morning that has severely limited our ability to see, speak to, and treat patients.

We have no access to our computer network, therefore no access to our appointments system or to any of our clinical records.

Our phones have also been affected so we are down to just 1 line in to the Practice as an emergency measure.

This is obviously extremely frustrating for everyone, especially after the reduced service we had to provide last week with the work being carried out on our IT infrastructure.

We have been in touch with the power company who are sending someone to look at the problem, but we have no timescale for this to be fixed at the moment.

If you have an appointment booked for today you can still come and it may be possible for your consultation to take place, but depending on the reason for your visit you may be asked to make another appointment when our power returns.

Aug 102018

Thank you to all of our patients who have been so reasonable and understanding over the last few days while our IT systems were being worked on.

The number of phone calls we had coming in, and the number of people turning up to reception, were greatly reduced, so it seems our awareness campaign coupled with the new phone system messages were successful in keeping people informed.

The work done has been successful and we are mostly back to normal functioning again now, and even though we still need a little time to catch up with everything that was on hold while our systems were down, we will be back to running our normal appointment schedule from 8am Monday morning (13th Aug).

For those who need to order your repeat medications, the online request form will be available from 8am Sunday morning (12th Aug).

One system that has suffered with this work, however, is our automated appointment reminders by text. For reasons outside our control our new setup is currently incompatible with the software we used to send the texts, so there will be no more appointment confirmations and reminders for the time being. There are people working on it, but we have no timescale for a fix or any guarantee that it even can be fixed. We apologise greatly for this inconvenience and we will keep you informed as and when we hear more.

Jun 262018

Summer 2018 Newsletter The summer 2018 issue of the Bruntsfield Medical Practice newsletter is now available to read online.

In this issue we inform you of who is taking over Dr Carswell’s patients while she is off on maternity leave, and we wish Practice Nurse Jennie Waddell a happy forthcoming retirement. We update those who took part in one of our ‘handling test results’ questionnaires on some of the results and what we did with them, and we announce our new phone system and some of the new features that will be added over the coming months.

Jun 262018

Thank you to those patients who completed our questionnaires on Results Handling in 2017 and 2018. These questionnaires were part of a patient safety project on making results handing safer, which we have now concluded. We would now like to share some of our results. We have taken the questions asked in the survey and below we try to respond to the most common or interesting comments we received.

1. What are your views on the ease of the appointment booking process to get your blood taken?

  • Generally people found making an appointment for a blood test to be easy
  • There were comments regarding being able to book an appointment online
    Unfortunately we are unable to offer this facility at the present time but this will definitely come in the future.
  • There were requests to have blood taken at the time of the GP appointment rather than coming back to see a nurse a different day
    Unfortunately the GP appointment does not allow sufficient time for this, however, if there is an urgency to obtaining blood e.g. you are acutely unwell, the GP will likely take your blood. All routine blood tests need to be taken by our nursing/phlebotomy team.
  • There was a request to be able to book further ahead for a test
    To manage supply and demand we used to only open up appointments 2-3 weeks ahead of time. Recently it was agreed to open up appointments 4 weeks ahead which will allow a little more flexibility.

2. Was the Practice policy on test results explained to you when the blood was taken?

  • 30.6% advised they had not been told the Practice policy on test results.
    As a result of this we have produced a small laminated patient information leaflet that can be read while having a blood test taken. As well as that we have created a new page on the website about test results, and some of that information is going up on the waiting room display screen and in the summer 2018 Practice newsletter.

3. Are you happy with the Practice’s method of handling test results?

  • 21.3% advised they were not happy with this method of results handling.
  • The main points raised were patients would like to know results regardless of whether normal or abnormal and there were concerns that if you did not hear about the result how would you know the result hadn’t been lost?
    Hopefully through further education and information sharing on our Results Policy we will be able to highlight that you are still very welcome to call the Practice after 2pm to enquire about your results if you have not heard from us or if you are just keen to know. The majority of test results should be back with the Practice within a week of the sample being taken, but you should be told if your particular test will take longer.

4. What matters most to you when you have a blood test and receiving results?

  • • The most common comments were about knowing what the results are, that abnormal results are communicated promptly, easier access to results, being easy to get results by phone and having an explanation of any abnormal results
    We try to ensure any abnormal results will be communicated within a week of the test being taken, however, there are a few tests that take longer to come back from the laboratory.
    We have ‘talk time;’ between 10.40 and 11am every morning Monday to Friday for patients to discuss any concerns re results with the GPs.
    We accept that some patients want to know their results whether good or bad and we encourage you to call a week after having the tests after 2pm.
  • There were also comments about the timing of appointments to get blood drawn not being available later in the day.
    Our last van to transport samples to the laboratory is at 3pm so we do need to have any appointments for tests before this time.

5. Any other views, or suggestions for improvement on the process of having a blood test and receiving results?

  • Generally people seem pleased with our system.
  • There were a few comments suggesting the use of a confirmation email with results or a text with result.
    Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to provide a texting or email service for results. There is no approved software that would do this automatically meaning it would have to be done manually for each result. With the quantity of tests that we request in a month the amount of work that this would generate is beyond our current capability.
    There is also the added obstacle of data security and confidentiality, which would make a system like even more complicated to manage.
  • There were also suggestions for an information sheet related to blood tests and results might be helpful.
    We have produced a small patient information sheet that can be read while having your blood taken. This explains our policy and process for receiving your results. We will also share this information via our website, waiting room screen and Practice newsletter.

6. Would you access your test results electronically if such a system was available?

  • 85.2% of patients said yes.
    While the technology to be able to be able to offer some kind of online portal for results does exist, and something similar to this is available to patients with diabetes and some renal conditions, there is currently no large scale system in place, compatible with the software used within NHS Lothian, that will do this job.
    This question was added to gauge potential popularity of a system like this that could be communicated to the appropriate parties to aim for a future online results system for our patients.
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