GP Provider Support Unit, Birmingham and Solihull

About  |  RAFT  |  Resources  |  Localities  |  Events  |  Search

This is one of RAFT’s access actions to improve access and manage workload. The objectives are to design the appointment system so that staff are able to select the right slot for the patient.

Rationale: Once it has been confirmed that a patient needs to speak with a particular person at a particular time in a particular way, care navigators and clinicians need to have confidence they will be able to book this or give the patient a direct booking web link. In many cases, however, the design of the appointment book makes this difficult. Practices can benefit from having a wider range of appointment types (online, phone, face-to-face, group) and lengths available, as well as a more flexible approach to the ‘rolling release’ of future slots. 

Enhanced Service Offer

As part of BSol’s enhanced service offer (ESO) practices are required to demonstrate that the practice has taken action to assess the range of appointment types and lengths required by their patients, and begun considering ways in which to better match their system to patients’ needs. 

Suggested actions

  • Undertake a systematic assessment of the range of appointments needed in the practice. This could combine insights from staff views as well as audits of patient requests and/or clinician assessments of the most appropriate appointment type. 
  • Review and discuss the current system against the assessment of patients’ needs, to identify potential improvements to make. This could include discussion with staff in the practice and/or with colleagues in other practices. 
  • Support from the PSU
  • As part of the RAFT programme, practices will have access to templates and examples to support their assessment and planning.
  • Locality RAFT collaborative meetings will provided facilitated discussions between practices, to share experiences and ideas, and solve problems together.