NHS Tayside has apologised to Brechin Health Centre users about intermittent telephone problems in the latest Community update.
The update, the seventh the health board has issued this year, states: “We would like to apologise for the ongoing intermittent problems patients are experiencing with the phone system. A new telephone system is to be installed as part of a planned NHS Tayside replacement programme and we are awaiting confirmation of a date for this installation to take place.
“The practice has the ongoing support of the telecoms team to make the most of the telephone system we currently have in place and we are increasing reception staff to enable more calls to be handled.”
The update also reminded patients that prescriptions cannot be ordered over the main practice ‘phone. Repeat medication can be ordered using the prescription box at the reception desk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the centre’s dedicated answering machine on 01356 692851. The update added: “There is a recognised risk of error related to phone prescription ordering which has resulted in most general practices no longer accepting phone requests.”
The centre’s ‘Surgery Pod’ has been ordered, and a final installation date is expected to be confirmed within the next four weeks.
The pod will allow people to self-test their vital signs including weight and blood pressure and to answer a number of clinical questionnaires via an easy-to-use touch screen device. All information gathered is shared directly into the patient’s electronic record for discussion with the healthcare professional at the next appointment. It is available in multiple languages.
The update continued: “These are well used in other local sites with high levels of patient satisfaction, largely due to the flexibility it provides for people to access at their convenience as no appointment is required to use the service. While not everyone will choose to use this facility, we are confident that it will improve choice for patients, support the monitoring of hypertension (high blood pressure) and support better use of available nurse appointments.”