Patient Update March 2016
Welcome to the first of what will be regular updates on the progress that Harbour Medical Group is making towards more collaborative working and bringing together our practices (Croft Road, Abbey Road & Shiphay, Chelston Hall and Barton) to provide general medical care for 30,000 residents of Torquay.
Why create the Harbour Medical Group?
A harbour is a body of water that provides shelter for ships and boats from stormy weather
Creating the Harbour Medical Group is our equivalent of building a shelter to protect us from the stormy world of the NHS. Together we can understand the needs of the future and look to provide new and innovative ways of working to deliver better services for our patients and a better work environment for all of our staff.
Why have we done this?
Patient demand for GP appointments is at an all-timehigh and we fully aware that the result of this for our patients is increased waiting times, decreased satisfaction and potentially unsuitable clinical care.
Last year GPs across the whole of Devon had to deal with a 20% increase in the number of patient consultations compared with figures 5 years ago. This number is expected to rise another 12% by the end of 2016, and with each patient seeing their GP an average of 6 times per year doctors are left feeling over worked, underpaid and demoralised.
Unfortunately, the budget for general practice has stayed the same over the past 8 years due to financial challenges and deficits in the sector. This has led to 86% of GPs reporting that there has been a reduction in morale in the past year alone. With things predicted to get worse before they improve we need to think of alternative solutions that benefit both patients and GPs.
What will it mean to me as a Patient?
In the short term you will see better access to a wider range of Health Care Professionals at your practice.
As Harbour Medical Group develops you will be able to attend different practices across the group if they offer a service which you need i.e. extended hours, Specialist GPs, Retinal Screening, etc.
Better access by telephone as a larger administration team will be able to help at busy times.
What is the Harbour Medical Group trying to achieve for patients
- To provide excellent patient care
- To look after all of our staff
- Utilise all of the talent we have available across the group
- Where everyone's voice is valued
- To support each other in a challenging environment
- To safeguard the future of the practices
- To improve patient care pathways and avoid duplication of work
- To offer services that match our patient demographics.
- To recruit a wide range of health care professionals such as pharmacists, paramedics etc that expand our healthcare offering to patients.
- To corporately manage patient healthcare needs with the correct resource
- To provide better patient education with regards to health promotion and self-care
- To utilise and engage with voluntary groups
- To involve greater patient involvement in the shaping of future services
Feedback to HMG
We would be delighted to hear from our patients and receive feedback about your thoughts on the project, if you have any comments or questions about the how the changes will improve the services offered to patients please raise the with your Patient Participation Group.
If you would prefer to talk to someone at your local practice the following people can be contacted:
- Croft Hall - Sue Bailey
- Chelston Hall –Hannah Davies
- Abbey Road & Shiphay - Hannah Davies
- Barton - Lisa Cooper
From April 2015, the practice is required under the terms of the GMS Contract 2015 to allocate patients (including children) a named accountable GP who is responsible for patients overall care at the Pratice and who will take the lead responsibility for the coordination of all services required under the contract. Read More
Your named GP has overall responsibility for the care and support that our surgery provides to you. They will also work with other relevant health and care professionals, who are involved in your care, to ensure that your care
package meets your individual needs. This does not prevent you from seeing any GP in the practice as you currently do.
Please be advised there is no need to telephone the practice for this information.
If you wish to change your named accountable GP, please inform us and we will make every effort to accommodate your request.
Plan to Meet GMS / PMS 2014-15 Contractual Requirement for Patient Online Service
On-line access for Patients
This practice currently offers patients' facilities to:
- Book, view, amend, cancel and print appointments online (from January 2015 *Note 1)
- Order online, view and print a list of their repeat prescriptions for drugs, medicines or appliances.
This practice plans to offer patients facilities to view online, export or print any summary information from their record, relating to medications, allergies, adverse reactions and any other items agreed between the practice and individual patient, from January 2015 *Note 1.
Patient News - April 2016
New Computer Software For Patient Records. We are introducing new software for all our patient records in May 2016. The system uses up to date technology to enable important data to be shared between the surgery with hospitals and other health care providers. This will help to ensure that you get the correct care and medication much more quickly and efficiently. It also will help all clinicians to be aware of your health needs wherever they work in Torbay.
There will be some minor disruption to our IT systems during the handover.
Week commencing 16th May 2016 is “go live” week. Staff and Clinicians will be working under pressure facing the challenges of learning a new system whilst trying to keep up with the day job! We hope things will run smoothly, however delays in dealing with patient enquiries, appointment booking, prescription processing and surgery consultations are inevitable and we ask for your patience and support during this period.
We will experience a period of time where all our automated systems will revert to paper. This will delay the receipt of test results, hospital letters and out of hours reports for a few days. We will be unable to transfer data automatically from our appointment book. Therefore there will be a limited time when no appointments can be pre-booked whilst we work through transferring the data manually. Our appointment system should be “live” again from 23rd May 2016. From one month prior to this some appointments will not be available to pre-book and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
We will not be able to produce electronic prescriptions for the week of 16th May 2016. We will be aiming to supply you with 2 month’s supply of repeat prescriptions where
it is clinically appropriate during the latter half of April to try and minimise the impact this may have on you. Electronic prescribing should be back online from Friday 20th May but please bear in mind that this is an estimated date only.
If you are using The Waiting Room to order your prescription you will need to use an alternative method from 1st May 2016. We have a dedicated email address you can use which is
We will be publicising details of the new on-line system which will allow prescription ordering and appointment bookings early in June.
Harbour Medical Group. Barton surgery is working closely with Chelston Hall, Croft Hall and Abbey and Shiphay surgeries to form the Harbour Medical Group. “HMG” will help our surgeries to offer the best possible care to patients into the 21st We will be able to share staff and resources as well as achieve more efficient systems and better care across the 30,000 patients looked after by the surgeries. Sharing the new computer system is one example.
Dr Jenny Willmer has reduced her working week and is now in surgery on Mondays and Tuesdays only. Dr Tessa Barton is now regularly running surgeries here on Thursdays and Fridays.
Better information means better care
Using information about the care you have received, enables those involved in providing care and health services to improve the quality of care and health services for all. The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care.
NHS England has therefore commissioned a programme of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address gaps in information. Our aim is to ensure that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.
It is important that the NHS can use this information to get a complete picture of what is happening across health and social care and to plan services according to what works best. The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including hospitals and GP practices.
Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.
Sharing information about the care you have received helps us to understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided and reduce inequalities in the care provided. The new system will also provide information that will enable the public to hold the NHS to account and ensure that any unacceptable standards of care are identified as quickly as possible. Information will help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
- make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of the local patients
- understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who can plan care can provide preventative services
- improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
- identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
- make sure that the NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for all patients
It is important that you read the leaflet Better information means better care (PDF, 2MB) so that you understand how information in medical records can be used to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.
If you are happy for your information to be used then you do not need to do anything. But if you have concerns or if you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, as described here, inform your practice in writing. They will make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your information being used other than where necessary by law, such as in case of a public health emergency.
You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care from. However, this will not affect the care you receive.
You can change your mind at any time and as many times as you wish. Just inform your GP practice in writing and ask them to record your wishes.
Information from GP practices will begin to be extracted and sent to the HSCIC in the spring 2014. The GP data will be linked with the hospital data already held by the HSCIC.
For more information about how data is collected and shared, including confidentiality, read the Q&A below or the Patient FAQs (PDF, 52Kb) produced by the HSCIC and NHS England.
Call our dedicated patient information line in relation to data sharing on 0300 456 3531. Translation and text phone services are also available. Read More
As well as our normal opening hours we will be offering the opportunity of consultation with a General Practitioner outside of our normal surgery opening hours. This may be particularly helpful to those patients whose work commitments make it difficult to access a GP during normal opening hours. You can ask the reception team to arrange a telephone consultation with a GP after 6.30pm on Monday - Friday evenings and also between 7.30am and 8.00am on Monday mornings. Please contact our reception team for details on 01803 323761 or via
Whilst we have possibly the largest car park of any surgery in the bay area, there are many times when it is full.
To avoid a £30 parking fine please make sure that any on-road parking is beyond the allotments entrance where there are no parking restrictions. Read More
Bank Holiday Surgery Opening Times
Please note the following times when the Surgery will be closed over the future Bank Holiday periods.
Please allow yourself extra time to order any repeat prescriptions that you may need to avoid running out of medication whilst the surgery is closed.
If you require a Doctor in an emergency whilst the surgery is closed, please telephone 111
|Bank Holiday Monday
Monday 2nd May
Bank Holiday Monday
Monday 30th May