Lockerbie Medical Practice Victoria Gardens, Lockerbie, Dumfries, DG11 2BJ | Tel: 01576 205 502

Patient Call-Back-Service – Your Questions Answered

Non-urgent advice: Notice

Please note: This Service is suspended due ti coronavirus pandemic.

From mid-August, Lockerbie Medical Practice will be working in partnership with NHS 24 to manage same-day appointment requests.

This means that when you call the Practice your call may be passed to NHS 24. The team in the Practice will decide this.

If that happens, you will receive a call from one of NHS 24’s healthcare team who will ask you some questions and then provides you with the most appropriate care option.

This new project aims to provide additional appointments with GPs and other healthcare staff.

We’ve set out some questions and answers below that we hope will provide some useful information to help you understand what’s happening and why.

By providing details to staff you are consenting to sharing this information.

Why is the Practice Doing This?

Lockerbie Medical Practice, in consultation with NHS Dumfries & Galloway, is exploring options that could support patient access to the most appropriate method of care at the time they need it. This is part of an ongoing programme of work by the Scottish Government to deliver the right care at the right time for all patients in Scotland.

In addition, this new way of working is partly in response to changes within the Practice, combined with the nationwide issue of GP shortages.

One of the options we have decided to trial involves working in partnership with NHS 24 who will assist us in the triage of same-day appointment requests. NHS 24 are experts in telephone assessment and linking people to health and care information and advice. They take 1.5 million calls a year and last year had 4.5 million visits to their NHS Inform health information website. The aim of this is to create additional appointment availability for patients to spend with a GP or other healthcare professional.

How Will it Work?

As you may know, the Practice used to operate a triage service for patients who called to request a same-day appointment. For a trial period, NHS 24 will work closely with the Practice to manage these requests, ensuring the most appropriate method of care is provided. This will also help ensure our GPs and other healthcare professionals spend more time with patients who have a health issue that only they can help with.

This means that when you place a request for a same-day appointment, you may receive a call-back from NHS 24 rather than the Practice. NHS 24’s call handling and clinical staff will process patient calls to the same high standards of care and confidentially in line with the 111 services currently provided by NHS 24’s healthcare professionals.

Does This Mean That my Personal Information Will be Shared With a Third Party?

NHS 24 will only have access to information that is appropriate. It is the same level of information NHS 24 healthcare professionals have access to when a patient calls the 111 services.

The Practice, NHS Dumfries & Galloway and NHS 24 work to very high standards of confidentiality and they manage information safely and securely.

What if I Don’t Want to Speak to NHS 24?

The Practice is working with NHS 24 to triage requests for same-day appointments to ensure the most appropriate method of care is provided. This will help to ease the pressure on appointments and benefit service provision to all of our patients.

We have already identified groups of patients where it would not be effective for a same-day appointment request to be managed by NHS 24 and these patients will continue to receive a call-back from the Practice team. The initial call handling by our staff will ensure that we correctly identify those calls that NHS 24 are best placed to deal with.

We are encouraging our patients to co-operate fully with this new way of working so that everyone will benefit from this new service. 

Your participation also enables us to evaluate the project, taking your views into account.

How can I be Sure That I Will Continue to Receive the Same Quality of Care That I Receive From Lockerbie Staff?

The NHS 24 call-back appointment service will be provided by dedicated healthcare teams that work to the same high standards of safety and confidentially as with all of NHS 24’s services.

If I Need to Make an Appointment, Would it not be Quicker to Contact NHS 24 Direct?

No. All appointment requests need to be made to the Lockerbie Medical Practice in the normal way.