N Hughes from South Wigston Health Centre introduced himself to residents, and provided an update on the centre. Several doctors left the health centre in June 2022 leaving virtually no regular doctors in place; a doctor from Two Steeples was drafted in to support as a partner, and now 6 permanent doctors are employed at the practice. A new practice manager joined the health centre in January 2023.
A visit from the CQC highlighted that significant improvements were required at the health centre, but this is now historical as a number of plans are in place to address the issues that the CQC are aware of.
There is now a full team of receptionists employed at the health centre, with 5 available to answer all calls that come through in the morning.
Pre-appointments can now also be booked for the following week, and some Saturdays which benefit individuals who work Mon – Fri. These weekend appointments take place at Two Steeples Health Centre.
The intention is that South Wigston Health Centre fully integrates into the local community, with patient focus groups having also been setup to assist this.
New furniture has also been purchased for the health centre, in addition to improved lighting, to make the building more welcoming.
A raised that one of the receptionists was unaware of a health condition he stated to them when wishing to speak with a GP. It was confirmed that none of the receptionists are clinically trained as it is not a requirement of the role. The GP then contacted the patient over the phone for this appointment rather than a face to face meeting. It was confirmed that this is standard procedure for the GPs, with the GP using the telephone appointment to establish if there is a need for the patient to be called in for a face to face appointment.
Oadby Urgent Care Centre is now only accessible following a call to 111 who will pre-book patients into appointments there. A resident wondered if the old process of just being able to turn up at the centre would return, and potentially be implemented at South Wigston too. This will not be happening at South Wigston.
A query was also raised around the number of doctors at the health centre and how this translates to available appointments. It was confirmed that only 3 doctors work per day, with between 150-200 people seeking appointments each day. Doctors will see roughly 18 patients per session. 7493 patients are currently registered at the health centre.
A query was raised around if home visits will also be offered to patients. The community nurses continue to visit patients for some care needs, but the GPs will not undertake home visits. Home visits from a GP can be arranged via 111 where on call GPs could attend.
Prescriptions used to take a total of 11 days, this has now been reduced to 2 days, with only acute prescriptions that require a GP intervention taking slightly longer at 3 days. Blood test result sessions have also been booked in per week for groups of patients who can be seen individually.
The health centre is taking a backlog following Covid that it is addressing.