The Hub – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the course of setting up and early stages of the pilot and number of questions have come in from patients. Our CCG has collected these questions and provided to us the following list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers:

1. Why do I need to travel to an appointment? Can’t these appointments be held at my surgery too?

Unfortunately it’s not feasible to hold the additional appointments at every GP practice. This is mainly due to the number of GPs working in the local area. Instead, we have designated a number of key health settings in each area that can host these appointments safely and who have the clinical space.  These locations are only a short journey away.

2. Why can’t I see my normal GP within my normal practice? 

As is well publicised within the press, demand for GP appointments is at an unprecedented level.  If you need to see a doctor on the same day for something that is likely to be easily treated and fairly straightforward, the pilot will increase the availability of appointments and allow you to be seen without delay.  It is essential to the success of the pilot that patients use the hubs to ensure their future sustainability as they will become more and more key as local populations increase and practices are forced to adopt extended hours access.

3. If I want an appointment at one of the hub locations, can I ring that location directly?
No, you should ring your usual practice.  Each practice is allocated a specific number of appointments each day (based on the number of patients registered) and so it is imperative that you continue to phone your usual practice for an appointment as you normally would.  If you turn up at one of the hub locations without any appointment you will not be seen.

4. What happens if the clinician I see needs to refer me to another service?

The clinician will send a message to your normal practice who will make the referral. However, you will only be offered an appointment at the hub for conditions/complaints that are unlikely to necessitate a referral.

5. What happens if I need additional tests, e.g. blood tests?

Where possible these tests will be carried out at the hub. You may however need to make an appointment at your normal practice for some tests.  However, you will only be offered an appointment at the hub for conditions/complaints that are unlikely to necessitate a referral.

6. How do I give feedback about the treatment I received at the Hub?

You should send your feedback to the Practice Manager at your normal practice.  They will investigate further, contacting the clinician if appropriate.

7. If I am offered an appointment at the hub will the clinician I see make an entry on my notes that can be seen by my usual practice?

Yes, the clinician will be accessing your record (once you have given consent) in real time so any consultation notes will immediately appear within your record for your normal practice to view.

8. How do I know where to go to for my appointment?

The hub clinic in East Grinstead will be based in the Minor Injuries Unit at Queen Victoria Hospital.  The receptionist at your normal practice will give you more details regarding where you need to go when they make your appointment.

9. What happens when I get to the hub for my appointment?

Check in at the reception desk– mention to the reception staff that you have an appointment with the hub.

10. What if I don’t have transport to get me to the hub practice?

You are not suitable for a Hub appointment.  You will need to book an appointment with your normal practice.

11. I can park for free at my GP, will I have to pay to park at Queen Victoria Hospital

There are designated free parking bays to the right as you enter the car park for minor injuries at QVH that will be marked ‘Reserved for GP appointments only’.  Please use these spaces to park.  If a designated space is not available please use the pay and display public car park.  Reimbursement of the car parking charges will be available on request.”

12. Does this mean a stranger will see my health records?

To ensure you receive the best care possible the doctor will need to see your health records. 

As you won’t be seeing your usual GP, when you book the appointment you’ll be asked whether you’re happy for this to happen. If you decline then unfortunately the appointment at the hub can’t take place but you should be offered an alternative appointment at your usual GP practice subject to the normal availability of appointments and appointment booking system within your usual practice.

All GP practices that are running this pilot have signed a data sharing agreement, so that records can legally be viewed by those who need to. Please be assured that only the health professional you are seeing will view your records and that this is an everyday part of their job. All GPs and health professionals are bound by strict data sharing legislation which is checked by employing practices.

13. These extra appointments are great – is this a permanent thing the surgeries you cover are offering?

The additional appointments are a pilot project the CCG is trialling in partnership with some local surgeries. The project is due to finish at the end of March, when its success and performance will be evaluated.  An extension to this pilot is likely to be offered between April and October but is subject to availability of further funding.

In line with NHS England requirements the CCG will be commissioning extended hours during weekday evenings and at weekends from local providers from October 2018.  There will be information about this shared with patients during 2018.

14. I was offered a same day appointment at another surgery, but when my mum/dad/husband/wife called the same surgery they were told they can’t have one. Why?

I understand your frustration. As these additional appointments are held with someone who is not your usual GP, they are aimed at people who are generally well, as these people don’t need to have a continuing conversation with the same doctor. There are a limited number available so if all the appointments are filled you wouldn’t be offered one.

If your relative falls into any of the following groups, then they need to see the same doctor for consistency of care and therefore an appointment at the hub is not suitable:

  • Those with mental health needs
  • Has seen a GP previously for the same condition
  • Those with multiple or long term conditions
  • Pregnant women.
  • Has D&V

 15. How is this being paid for? I keep hearing the NHS has no money.

It’s no secret that the NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge it has ever known, but at the same time we’ve heard loud and clear from patients that access to GPs is high on their lists of priorities. The project is being funded by money that your local Clinical Commissioning Group has ring-fenced specifically for supporting your local GP practice with increasing demand for appointments.

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