Site Reconfiguration and Improving Patient Access

12 July 2019

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patients for their feedback during this period of patient engagement, relating to improving patient access. We are in the process of collating all responses and will feedback on the findings following this exercise. Please continue to visit our website for further updates. Thank You.

Teldoc, Telford & Wrekin’s first “super-practice” formed over two years ago with the intention to provide an improved quality of care to its patients, through improved access and patient experience.

During our first two years we have had the opportunity to better understand the needs of our patients and also to recognise that we are not always delivering the timely access to medical advice that our patients want.

Working with our patient participation group, we have considered how we could make improvements both to the telephone access as well as face-to-face appointments with clinicians.

We have explored many options during the last 18 months, and held ongoing discussions with Telford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) throughout this period. Following in-depth consideration, in order to deliver a transformational improvement to our services, Teldoc have identified the closure of three sites as being the most viable way forward to bring the most benefit to our patients overall.

The information below explains the details of the proposed changes. We recognise that for some people the closure of sites may cause concern, however we want to reassure people that we believe that the overall proposals will deliver improved access to care.
We as a practice are very interested in the views of our patients and would welcome your feedback on our proposals.

Proposed change

We plan to open a new Care Navigation Centre that would receive all our calls from patients and act as an administration hub. This is urgently needed to handle the increasing number of calls we are receiving and to provide a more efficient service – our current call centre is unfit for purpose and cannot handle calls for all our sites, due to estate and IT limitations. Moving some of our staff off-site will allow non-clinical rooms to be altered to clinical-use, resulting in increased appointment capacity.

Following extensive consideration Teldoc propose to close three of their under-utilised branch surgeries. The patient appointments from these sites will be transferred to other sites of Teldoc, with at least an additional 60 extra clinical appointments a day for patients. There will also be an improved 365-days-a-year access to services, through investment in a new “Care Navigation Centre” with an improved IT infrastructure.

Proposed closure of the three sites, include the following locations; Highfield, Lightmoor and Aqueduct. Their opening times are as follows:

  • Lightmoor site Tuesday and Wednesday mornings only.
  • Highfield site All day Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Aqueduct site Monday all day, Tuesday – Thursday 9.00 – 14.30, Friday all day

To minimise any inconvenience to our patients, we have considered the nearest alternative Teldoc sites. We can confirm all alternative sites have good transport links and therefore will be minimal impact to accessibility to an alternate Teldoc site. Onsite parking is available at all alternate sites which is currently not available at two of the three proposed site closures.

We have looked carefully at the implications for patients who need to access services. In each case the site that would close is near to sites we would improve and they are served by the same public transport routes. Alternative site information detailed below:

Site Nearest alternative site Distance between sites
Highfield TF1 5NX Hadley TF1 5NG 0.2 miles
Aqueduct TF4 3RB Madeley Church St TF7 5BU 1.4 miles
Lightmoor TF4 3TX Lawley TF4 2LL 2.5 miles

Why we chose Highfield, Lightmoor and Aqueduct?

The practice currently operates from nine sites. These three are our smaller branch surgeries and least used sites, which would close as part of the plans. The three proposed sites have estates limitations, which have led to this decision, these consist of:

  • Limited clinic rooms, which is inconsistent with the comprehensive provision of services that are offered at other main sites.
  • High rate of non-attendance, demonstrating patient preference at other sites.
  • Technological limitations in IT infrastructure at existing sites restrict patient call volumes, adversely impacting on call quality and also limiting the number of dedicated call handlers available to meet patient needs.
  • Working facilities and environment for staff at our main call handling site is inadequate.
  • There is wasted GP time travelling between sites, due to partial opening hours.
  • Some sites have no parking facilities for patients with mobility needs.
  • Overall these sites are not future proof for the growing needs of our patients.

How will this benefit all Teldoc Patients?

By closing the three proposed sites, the benefits for all Teledoc patients will include:

  • All Teldoc patients will continue to be registered with Teldoc and will be able to book appointments at any of our 6 operational sites.
  • Improved patient access, with at least 60 extra clinical appointments a day for patients,
  • Improved 365-days-a-year access to services across 6 sites,
  • Investment in a new “Care Navigation Centre”
  • Migration of Lawley site calls to the centralised care navigation centre, which currently we are unable to do due to technological limitations at our main call handling site at Aqueduct.
  • Reduced call waiting times for our patients.
  • Recruitment of additional call handlers, which the current facility cannot accommodate due to estate and IT limitations.

Who are we asking for feedback from?

Teldoc is undertaking an engagement with patients and other stakeholders such as local Councillors and neighbouring GP practices. The engagement period will end on 16th August 2019. The deadline for return of questionnaires is 5pm on Friday 16th August 2019.

Please be assured that your feedback will be treated confidentially and will not be shared outside of the practice and the Clinical Commissioning Group. The anonymous results of the survey will be considered and Teldoc will consult with Telford and Wrekin CCG throughout the engagement process.

To provide your feedback

Please be advised that the deadline has now passed for completing our survey.

Please click here to see FAQ from the Teldoc Patient Engagement Meeting 24th July 2019

Please see here for Update – Site Reconfiguration and Improving Patient Acess

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