BHWC Information (Updated 1.12.2021) :

Due to the number of staff sick with COVID19, we are changing our services for a limited time.

To keep everyone safe we will be operating a phone appointment service for routine appointments and we will be closing our front door from Thursday 2nd December. We will no longer book routine appointments for 1 week and then review. You may attend the surgery if you have a pre-booked blood test, immunisation or review booked. There may be delays in contacting you or last-minute cancellations or changes.

We sincerely apologise for the disruption – we will return to normal services just as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

* PLEASE WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVERING WHEN ATTENDING THE PRACTICE *

News Archive

BHWC Consultations

In light of the current political and media furore about GP appointments the practice has analysed our consultation data in detail to show what is happening in reality and dispel any myths.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consultation statistics can be considered by comparing data in 2019 to 2021. National guidance forced primary care to convert consultations to a remote triage from the start of the pandemic. From July 2021 the lockdown and restrictions ceased, and the practice moved to allowing patients a choice of face to face or telephone appointments.

Table 1: Table of consultation data – face-to-face and telephone appointments comparing 2019 & 2021

  
FACE TO FACE 2019
FACE TO FACE 2021
CHANGE
TELEPHONE 2019
TELEPHONE 2021
CHANGE
TOTAL 2019
TOTAL 2021
CHANGE
JANUARY
4944
2627
-46.9%
2880
4610
60.1%
7824
7237
-7.5%
FEBRUARY
4523
2674
-40.9%
2722
4518
66.0%
7245
7192
-0.7%
MARCH
4651
3663
-21.9%
2739
5473
99.8%
7390
9136
23.6%
APRIL
4607
3199
-30.6%
2674
5057
89.1%
7281
8256
13.4%
MAY
4465
3297
-26.2%
2796
5170
84.9%
7261
8467
16.6%
JUNE
4176
3811
-8.7%
2566
5720
122.9%
6742
9531
41.4%
JULY
4829
3782
-21.7%
2921
5454
86.7%
7750
9236
19.2%
AUGUST
3985
3724
-6.5%
2877
4760
65.5%
6862
8484
23.6%
SEPTEMBER 
4231
3885
-8.2%
2853
5593
96.0%
7084
9478
33.8%
OCTOBER
5198
 NA
 NA
3493
 NA
NA 
8691
 NA
 NA
NOVEMBER
4692
 NA
 NA
3317
 NA
NA
8009
 NA
 NA
DECEMBER
4228
 NA
 NA
3260 
 NA
 NA
7488
 NA
 NA
TOTAL
54529
30662
-23.5%
35098
46355
85.7%
89627
77017
18.2%
From these statistics there are several trends that can be identified using data up to the end of September 2021.
During January and February there is an obvious significant drop in the face-to-face appointments and a clear rise in telephone consultations due to the effect of the pandemic.
Face-to-face appointments dropped before the pandemic (2019) and currently (2021) by 23.5% and the numbers of telephone appointments increased by 85.7% which would naturally be expected during the pandemic timeline. The total number of available contacts (face-to-face and telephone) in fact increased by 18.2%. This figure is significantly above the national 5-10% increase reported by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Comparing data from June to September in both years there has been an approximate 8% reduction in face-to-face appointments but an 83% increase in telephone appointment availability. Additionally, the RCGP reported that in the first two weeks of September 2021 administrative workload increased by one-third and a 6% increase in GP contacts.
The Government has requested primary care offers face-to-face appointments at the same level as pre-pandemic rates, so this is clear evidence that BHWC is practically fulfilling this pronouncement as well as increasing capacity tremendously for patients to contact us. This is partly possible due to the availability of additional professionals at the practice – Pharmacists, First Contact Practitioners (Physiotherapists), Mental Health Worker, Health Promotion Practitioner, and Social Prescribers.
The clinical team comprising GPs, Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses, Health Care Assistants and Pharmacists are working incredibly hard to provide all of this in a dynamic way, noting that these statistics reflect actual patient demand responsively rather than providing a fixed number of appointments, so if there is more illness, there is more demand which is provided.
Interesting primary care facts and opinions:
  • GPs provide 90% of NHS contacts with only 10% of the total NHS budget.
  • GPs are cheap and effective as a foundation within the NHS: lose GPs and the NHS will fail is commonly.
  • GPs are independent contractors to provide NHS primary care so this means your GP can be creative and dynamic to provide tailored services and innovate new approaches to problems and care delivery appropriate to the practice and locality demands – BHWC has developed many innovative approaches to healthcare.
  • The NHS has experienced an average 6-8% annual increase in GP appointment demand.
  • NHS Digital has reported an increase in patient GP registrations by approximately 724,000 people in the year leading up to October 2021.
  • GPs were solely involved with setting up and providing the initial COVID-19 vaccination service without any additional support using existing staff and resources on top of having to provide ongoing primary care services.
  • Many GPs who work in primary care practices also work in the out of hours services.
  • The numbers of GPs have been steadily going down – the British Medical Association (BMA) states that there are 1,803 fewer GPs now compared to 2015 despite the Government promise to increase the numbers of GPs by 6,000 by the end of 2024.
The Government’s NHS Long Term Plan is focussing on improving access by including a variety of healthcare professionals to support doctors in both primary and secondary care as well as increasing the use of technology to support healthcare.
Further information:
Both show positive practice and primary care information and patient feedback bolstering and reinforcing the reality of working in primary care in the current times.

 

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