A new system being introduced at GP practices across Bury will help patients to access the right care to meet their needs.

Over 100 GP practice staff in Bury, including receptionists, have been trained to assist patients with seeing the right healthcare professional for their needs, by asking patients about their reasons for wanting an appointment. The new scheme aims to support patients to access the right care in the right setting in as short a time as possible. The information provided by patients will be used to signpost them to the most appropriate services.

This scheme has been successfully trialled in other areas of the country and has yielded some positive results. It will standardise the arrangements for getting appointments across GP surgeries in Bury and in turn make it easier for patients who really need to see the doctor to do so.

Dr Jeff Schryer, NHS Bury CCG Chair and local GP said, “Evidence tells us that a third of GP appointments could be managed more appropriately by other healthcare professionals such as a community pharmacist.  There are a range of healthcare professionals and services in Bury who have the expertise to help with a range of problems, often without the need for an appointment. Introducing this new service is a positive change for our patients and its aim is to allow quicker access to GP appointments for those that need them.”

From 24 September 2018 all patients registered with a GP practice in Bury will have the same experience when they contact their practice either face-to-face or by telephone, no matter who they are registered with. In some cases this new process will mean that a patient could be seen by a nurse or another member of the primary care team, or be signposted to a pharmacist who are healthcare specialists in their own field, and are well placed to support patients if the problem is a minor ailment.

An important message for patients to remember is that this new system aims to ensure that routine and urgent GP appointments are available for them when they need one.”


Date: 21st September 2018