We have traditionally operated on a personal list basis.
Each doctor has their own list of patients, so that our 7000 patients are distributed fairly.
This ensures that work-load is distributed fairly equally and so each doctor can actually cope. We believe that if a doctor is personally responsible for their list of patients, then they will get a better standard of care than if the patients are seen by different doctors, each leaving the responsibility to the next one. Doctors have different consulting styles. They have different ways of ordering the medical notes.
If your doctor is away from the surgery doing sessions at the hospital or Health Authority, or is on holiday, then the covering doctor will do their best and sort out any easy problems for you. We make it a policy that referrals of patients to hospital are only done by the usual doctor, for very good reason.
We certainly don't mind second opinions, and sometimes encourage it! We realize that ladies with gynaecological problems may prefer to see a lady doctor, and men likewise.If a patient simply cannot see eye-to-eye with a particular doctor, then please write to the practice manager and ask to change doctors. It shouldn't be a problem if the patient is a reasonable one.
How We Work Now
The Chesser – How your practice works and why we are so busy
Sutton GPs are busier now than at any time since data began to be collected 10 years ago. We are currently 30% busier than we were before lockdown, possibly due to our rising and ageing population and a backlog of healthcare needs that have built up during lockdown.
Despite what you may have heard, the Chesser Surgery is working incredibly hard to ensure you get the care you need. As soon as our phonelines open at 8:30am we have a queue of patients waiting to speak to our 4 receptionists – the receptionists also handle face to face enquiries and support patients arriving for their appointments. We do manage over 450 patient appointments a week at the Chesser and 365 of those are with a GP. That is 75 GP appointments per day, every day. Last month we received over 7000 patient calls and 1300 web contacts. We care for 6315 patients at the Chesser Surgery.
Please remember before you make an appointment to see your GP, that it would help us greatly if you could consider what other services might be more appropriate:
- Pharmacies can give advice and treatment for minor conditions that do not need a prescription. Read about services you can get from a pharmacist.
- NHS 111 are there for anyone over 5 with an urgent medical problem - 111.nhs.uk
- Sexual health services are available for testing for sexually transmitted infections and contraception advice.
It really helps if our patients are able to use our online services to book appointments or order prescriptions. This saves the phone lines for those with no online access or with queries. There are often appointments available online that our team do not have access to book into, meaning you will be dealt with sooner. We run full face to face clinics every day and we always fit in extra urgent patients despite many appointments running over their allocated time – this means our Doctors and Nurses usually work through lunch breaks.
The Chesser surgery carries out a telephone triage of patients seeking GP appointments because not everyone needs to see a GP and, in most cases, waiting to see a GP can cause delays to your treatment. Sometimes the matter is a minor one, best supported by visiting a local pharmacy; sometimes the issue is an administrative one, such as querying a prescription or checking a result; and sometimes the condition is better looked at by another in-house healthcare professional such as:
- First contact Physiotherapist – who can diagnose and treat muscular skeletal injuries and refer to orthopaedics or neurology quicker than the GP, if needed
- Nurse – who can handle many results and long-term conditions
- Health Coach and Social Prescriber – who support patients with lifestyle issues
- Associate Physician – who can do many of the things traditionally done by GPs
It can help if you are comfortable having a telephone or video consultation, as those can be done relatively quickly. It also means that if a patient fails to attend, we don’t need to wait for the next patient to arrive as we can simply call the next patient. Patients who do fail to attend face-to-face appointments with their GP – 17 a week on average, impact heavily on our appointment availability. In most cases, it is beneficial for patients and us to deal with them remotely. Remember, we are at just as much risk from contracting COVID and having to self-isolate. When similar has happened in the past, we have successfully carried out consultations by phone and video. Until March 2020, NHSE were insistent that GPs offer remote consultations over unnecessary face to face appointment. Having your consultation with your GP by telephone or video also helps us to socially distance in our waiting rooms – this is important for the many patients we see who are very vulnerable to COVID, flu and other winter bugs that can be caught in places such as waiting rooms. Finally, triaging patients seeking GP appointments ensures we can offer prompt face to face appointments for those that do need them. Please remember Primary Care has only 0.46 GPs per 1,000 patients which is down from .52 GPs per 1000 patients in 2015.
It should eb noted that our GPs arrive at the surgery well before we open our doors to patients (and stay well after we close at 6.30pm) to work on:
- Urgent queries from out of hours service and Home Visiting Team
- Discussing with the Home Visiting Team, District Nurses or Hospice at Home Team patients needing intensive support to remain in their homes and avoid hospital admission
- Considering discharge summaries for patients discharged from hospital, earlier than they would have been pre-pandemic
- Reviewing letters received from consultants about shared patients
- Considering test results received for our patients, this can lead to a telephone call to the lab or hospital about the results, as well as the patient
- Processing hospital referrals
- Signing off prescription requests – up to 100 per day per GP
- Answering patient queries
- Participating in Care Homes Ward rounds
- Supervising the surgery staff
In visual terms the daily work of our GP Surgery looks like this:
General Practice receives just over 8% of NHS funding but handles 90% of patient contact. We are under resourced and under pressure at the moment and we are trying to be here for you when you need us. You can really help us to help you by contacting us online when possible. Please remember, we try to treat every patient like they were our own Mum or Dad and that we work in the NHS because we care about you and your health.
Please note that the national average shows 51.9% of consultations were with a GP while in South West London we average 67%.
ON BEHALF OF ALL THE STAFF AT THE CHESSER SURGERY WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OUR PATIENTS FOR THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS
Code of Conduct
You have a right to a high quality service. However, not only do we have a responsibility to you, but you have a responsibility to the practice. We expect our patients to treat the practice team with the same level of respect that you would expect to receive. Just as your employer has a legal obligation to protect you, we also have a duty to our staff.
The practice does not tolerate any form of verbal abuse directed at any practice staff. If the staff are unable to let you have what you want and when you want it, there’s no point letting off steam at them. After all, they are only given guidance from us doctors as to what they are allowed to say to patients.
Government recommendations have meant that we need to formalize the care we give to those with heart & lung disease & diabetes. We have been given strict targets to achieve regarding measuring BP & doing blood tests regularly. This is a challenge for all practices in UK, and we trust we have your cooperation. Most patients will gladly accept this level of quality care, designed to prevent health complications and increase their life expectancy.
There are always some patients who just want their prescriptions and are too busy to bother with the measurements that we are obliged to make to adjust their medicines. These patients, who have previously left the responsibility to the doctor and not themselves, now have the opportunity to formally opt-out of preventative healthcare, on the understanding that they take the responsibility when things go wrong. Reminders regarding annual reviews will appear on your repeat prescription tick slip.
Data Protection Policy
Computer & Data Security Policy