Practices have since the 29th of June been able to book routine (non-covid) same day and pre-booked GP, from the 6th of July this will be extended to pre-booked physiotherapist appointments,Nurse and HCA appointments shortly thereafter.
Pre-booked GP appointments will now be available at weekends.
As a reminder the out of hours service will be run out of four hubs, one of which will remain dedicated to suspected covid-19 patients, as highlighted below.
There are a number of booking rules you need to observe to ensure patient safety and efficient use of the service, these are detailed below as a reminder.
- For same day GP appointments, all patients must be triaged by a clinician prior to booking. The clinical assessment, including an assessment of the patient’s covid status, must be documented on the patient’s notes.
- Please remember to ask all patients to bring a face covering with them to their appointment, unless they are in an excluded group. Patients will be screened on the door and given a face covering if they haven’t already got one.
- The City Taxis service must be used for travel to the Covid hubs only, please ensure this is booked within plenty of time for the appointment, patients must not walk to any of the hot sites or arrive by public transport, therefore please explore how they will be attending their appointment and use the taxi service when required.
- Appointments are available as usual via remote booking. For Sloan and Darnall (covid hubs) appointments reside on the ‘PCS Covid Hubs’ module and ‘cold’ appointments reside on the Woodhouse and Flowers modules respectively
- Please inform the patient they will receive a text message from PCS when booked into any HOT HUB, this will include instructions and details regarding their appointment, a message does not need to be sent via the booking practice system, however for this reason please ensure an up to date mobile number is documented on the record when booking
For ease the addresses of the hot hubs are:
Darnall Primary Care Centre Sloan Medical Practice
290 main road sheffield 2 Little London Road
S94QH S8 0YH
- Testing/swabbing of patients is not carried out in the hubs, patients can request a test for COVID19 through the national testing programme : https://bit.ly/3eTC7FH
- As toilet facilities are limited on site, if the referring clinician feels if maybe necessary to test the urine please ask they bring a sample with them to their appointment.
Thank you for your continued support of the extended access service.
If you have any operational questions, please contact Lindsay Andrews-Barber, operations manager, in the first instance (email@example.com
We are pleased to announce that practices will once again be able to book routine (non-Covid) same day and pre-booked GP appointments from Monday 29 June. This will extend to pre-booked physiotherapist appointments from 6 July and nurse and HCA appointments shortly thereafter.
Pre-booked GP appointments will now be available at weekends.
The out of hours service will be run out of four hubs, one of which will remain dedicated to suspected Covid-19 patients.
There are a number of booking rules we all need to observe to ensure patient safety and efficient use of the service.
- For same day GP appointments, all patients must be triaged by a clinician prior to booking. The clinical assessment, including an assessment of the patient’s Covid status, must be documented on the patient’s notes.
- Please remember to ask all patients to bring a face covering with them to their appointment, unless they are in an excluded group. Masks will be available for any who arrive without one.
- The City Taxis service must be used for travel to the Covid hub only.
- Appointments are available as usual via remote booking. For Sloan and Darnall (Covid hubs) appointments reside on the ‘PCS Covid Hubs’ module and ‘cold’ appointments reside on the Woodhouse and Flowers modules respectively.
If you have any operational questions, please contact Lindsay Andrews-Barber, operations manager, in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 322 3100).
PCS, CCG and PCNs agree new in hours city-wide hub solution for suspected covid-19 patients
PCS has developed plans, in conjunction with the CCG and primary care networks, to provide an at-scale solution for seeing suspected covid-19 patients during core hours. This is a four-week trial and practice feedback will be vital to ongoing evaluation.
From Monday 1 June, practices will be able to book patients into clinics held at Darnall Primary Care Centre and Sloan Medical Centre for appointments with a GP between the hours of 10am – 4pm every weekday. It is hoped these hubs will alleviate pressure on practices and support a sustainable return to routine working.
- This service is only for patients who need to be seen/examined. Practices should continue to treat suspected covid-19 cases remotely where possible.
- For patient safety reasons, triage into the service must only be carried out by a GP or suitably experienced ANP. Appointments booked by care navigators may be cancelled.
- Shortly after the booking is made, the hub will text/call the patient with information about what to do on arrival, e.g. which door to enter.
- Patients may be called by the hub GP prior to their appointment if further information is required.
- Patients must be discouraged from using public transport. Those patients unable to drive/be driven to hubs may request a taxi courtesy of the CCG taxi service provided by City Taxis. The booking arrangements and passwords sent out previously apply.
- The PCS SystmOne out of hours and EMIS community modules have been renamed ‘PCS Covid Hubs’ (formerly Sloan Medical Centre) and practices will see/book available appointments in the same way as out of hours appointments currently.
For operational assistance, please contact Lindsay Andrews-Barber, operations manager at PCS in the first instance (email@example.com).
Recommencement of service & EPCC shifts
PCS continues to work alongside commissioners and other OOH providers to respond to (largely unpredictable) changes in demand. Secondary to the situation with Covid19 and the challenges this in turn brings.
As the demand for routine activity has decreased, so has the number of EPCC sessions required to operate the current ‘hot hub’ service. Rotas issued prior to the pandemic were quickly made obsolete and as a result, there were an number of GP shift cancellations, about which you will have been notified, during April and May particularly. Whilst the majority of these shifts were cancelled giving a minimum of five days’ notice, there were several occasions when notice was shorter. We have tried to minimise the impact of cancellations, particularly for locums, but hope you will understand these decisions in the context of the current pandemic.
Practice income will be protected in accordance with national policy. Consequently, quarterly EPCC payments have continued, and will continue, as normal.
Thankfully, demand is currently far more predictable and this enables us to consider how best to proceed with the EPCC scheme over the course of the next 3-6 months. A key principle of EPCC is fairness and we remain keen to ensure the (albeit reduced) workload is shared evenly across all participating practices.
The current position with two Hot Hubs out of hours will continue into June, but we are developing plans for cold/ non Covid capacity to re-commence. The plans will be shared widely next week once they have been approved through the command structure
So, rather than hold unused EPCC allocations in reserve, we intend, in future, to reduce the number of shifts arranged in order to reduce the number cancelled. The July rota will therefore be re-cast to reflect the number of shifts required. From July, rotas will be issued monthly rather than quarterly. This means August’s rota will be issued by the end of June, and so on.
We believe this approach finds the right balance between fairness and flexibility, while maintaining 100% of practice income.
If you have any feedback or need to speak to someone regarding these proposals, please contact Andrea Hepden, relationship manager, in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-covid triage at PCS hubs
PCS and GP Collaborative continue to work well together to identify ways of supporting the urgent care system within the City, making best use of limited resources. Unutilised hub GP capacity was successfully used to telephone triage non-covid-19 patients stacked on the GP Collaborative triage list over the weekend at Woodhouse hub.
Therefore, in conjunction with the CCG and the GP Collaborative, PCS have agreed to continue to support the urgent care system in this way.
From Wednesday 29 April, PCS have reduced the coverage across all three of their hot sites to one GP per shift Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday will also have one GP per shift at all three hubs. However, to support the GP Collaborative with their increased triage and resilience for home visiting and other face-to-face aspects of their service, an additional GP will added to shifts (PM on Fri and all day at weekend) at the Woodhouse covid hub only. They will assist with telephone triage of non covid-19 patients that will be released from GP Collaborative triage list. The other GP at Woodhouse and the GPs at Flowers and Sloan hubs will continue assessing covid patients.
For the May Day Bank Holiday PCS will use the same capacity as per weekend cover described above, including the GP triage at Woodhouse.
This will be reviewed on a two weekly basis and where services return to business as usual the above will be adjusted to meet the demand.
Please note that practices can book into the covid hubs each day from 4pm.
Over the past few weeks, extended access hubs have seen patients with suspected COVID symptoms at Flowers, Sloan and Woodhouse medical centres. Whilst we have seen increasing utilisation of these hubs over the weekend, this is not reciprocated during the rest of the week. It is noted that practices are facing an increasing demand “in hours” for clinical assessment of patients with COVID like symptoms. To help and support practices with managing this demand, it has been agreed that hub appointments will be opened for practices to book patients into.
Please note that the following guidelines will need to be strictly followed when booking patients into these appointments:
- Practices will be able to start booking into the extended access hubs from Thursday, 9th April 2020.
- As the extended access hubs are “COVID designated” hubs, only patients with suspected COVID infection that need clinical assessment can be booked into these hubs. We are unable to accept patients that have other clinical needs/presentations.
- ALL patients booked into the hubs MUST have a telephone / video consultation with their practice GP prior to booking into the hubs. This is to ensure that patients are appropriately triaged to these appointments and crucially, are deemed as clinically stable enough to attend hub appointments. For this reason, it is necessary that patients are clinically assessed by their own GPs prior to being forwarded to the hubs. Please note that this will be strictly monitored to ensure compliance.
- Patients must have consented to sharing information.
As the pandemic progresses, our response as a system will continue to evolve and it may be necessary to make changes to our hubs as well. We will keep practices updated with these changes as they occur.
Activity within red/hot hubs continues to grow steadily. Demand, together with patient and staff feedback, is reviewed daily. Consequently, the following changes have been made:
- There are now two periods of video/telephone triage, at the start and mid-way though the session
- Appointments are now 30 mins duration
- NHS111 has now started sending patients for telephone triage at GP Collaborative from 5pm, rather than 6pm, resulting in increased numbers of hub appointments utilised.
We are trialling SystmOne and EMIS in two networks to support PCN business continuity. SystmOne works and is effectively the Out of Hours module used in Extended Access. The EMIS test will be in the next day or two.
We are also supporting the Network Clinical Directors draw up their plans for mobilising Network level Covid and non Covid sites.
Over the course of the last few days, clinical and non-clinical colleagues from PCS and NHS Sheffield CCG have worked collaboratively, together with hub provider practices, to devise plans that ensure the Extended Access service remains relevant to the needs of the Sheffield population during the developing Covid-19 situation.
Practical changes to how practices are managing their patient workloads during core hours have resulted in a dramatic drop in demand for hub appointments. This, combined with an increasing demand for face-to-face assessment of patients following contact with NHS111, has prompted the following response.
The situation remains fluid, and consequently all of these changes should be considered temporary.
- From 10pm on Thursday 19 March, Extended Access hubs located within The Health Care Surgery (Palgrave), The Crookes Practice and Burncross Surgery will close with resources being diverted to other hub locations. Receptionists within these hubs will still be paid and deployed in support of other hubs as necessary.
- From 6pm on Friday 20 March, the hubs within Woodhouse Health Centre, Sloan Medical Centre and The Flowers Health Centre will accept only patients with acute respiratory presentations. All three locations will be open Mon-Fri 6pm to 10pm and weekends 10am-6pm (Flowers not open March 21/22).
- The number of patients seen by GPs each session will be reduced to facilitate telephone triage at the start of the session and run-over time and cleaning at the end. Appointment times will be lengthened to enable time for cleaning and ‘donning and doffing’ of PPE.
- Only GP Collaborative will be able to book appointments, but this will be monitored closely to ensure demand from GP practices is also taken into account.
- All non-urgent activity within hubs, e.g. physiotherapist, nurse and HCA appointments, will cease while only ‘respiratory only’ hubs are active.
- Whilst the hubs are respiratory only, all other out of hours activity will be going through GP Collaborative, this situation will be monitored and updated accordingly.
We realise some of these changes will cause some inconvenience to both receptionists and GPs and so we will endeavour to give you plenty of notice and assign your hub locations according to your preferences where this is possible.
Thank you for your continued support and for your hard work and dedication.
Please keep returning to this webpage for the latest information, but if you need to speak with someone please contact Cara Brazier, Head of Operations at email@example.com or Chris Thornton, Head of Primary Care at Scale at firstname.lastname@example.org , or telephone 0114 322 3100.