In response to patient feedback relating to appointment availability and difficulties with contacting us on the phone, we are introducing a new Clinical Patient Triage system.
This means every medical enquiry is triaged by one of our GPs first.
From 13th November 2023 patients will be asked to complete an online form through our website or the NHS App, and this will enable us to direct the query to the most appropriate person who can help as quickly as possible.
If you call us, our staff will complete this form for your over the phone.
What is a clinical patient triage system?
The Clinical Patient Triage System has been developed by GPs at Latham House Practice to facilitate more efficient handling of the ever-rising demand for primary care appointments and address service levels.
The system uses Patient Triage supplied by AccuRx as the online patient communication platform and relies on the triaging skills of experienced GPs to prioritise resources according to clinical need as well as signpost patients towards the most appropriate services.
What will happen if I genuinely cannot complete the form online?
Those patients genuinely unable to use the online form can call the surgery and our Receptionists (Care Navigators) will complete the online form for them.
What questions will I be asked?
- Is this an admin query or a medical issue?
- The patient will be asked some concerning symptoms questions to establish if the clinical concern is an emergency.
- Please describe the medical problem.
- How long have these concerns or symptoms been going on?
- Have they got better or worse?
- Is there anything you are particularly worried about?
- How would you like us to help?
What if my concern is urgent?
Please do not contact us online with an urgent concern.
Urgent clinical needs should be directed to us by phone or in person only.
Please be assured that we will always have arrangements in place to deal with urgent medical cases on-the-day.
Aims and Objectives
This new way of working will enable us to:
- Speed up the call contacts, reducing call wait time.
- Maintain attention to urgent on the day needs. (Urgent calls will follow normal pathways)
- Clinically assess patient need, ensuring right appointment at the right time.
- Reduce wait times for routine appointments as we respond to need appropriately.
We have provided lots if information on our Practice website to help patients learn more about the services available to them. https://www.lhmp.co.uk/patient-triage-consult-with-the-practice-online/. Our page also includes step by step instructions for using the NHS App.
Further information is also available at
Patient Triage: Patient Help Guide
Patient Triage: NHS App Patient guide
We would like to thank our patients for their support during this transition.
What help is available to patients at the Practice?
The Latham House Medical Practice team can now offer more specialist services than ever. These teams include a variety of highly trained medical professionals who each bring extensive specialist knowledge to care.
These GP-led teams include roles like advanced nurse practitioners, community paramedics, and clinical pharmacists. These roles are embedded within a GP practice team. All staff liaise with each other effectively to deliver holistic care.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners
Advanced nurse practitioners are trained to help with diagnosis and initiate treatment plans, including prescribing, particularly when it comes to acute and chronic conditions.
An advanced nurse practitioner can do many things that were previously done only by a GP. These include taking a person’s medical history; conducting physical examinations; ordering further investigations; and prescribing medicines.
Practice nurses are registered nurses. They are involved in many aspects of your care during the course of your life, from family planning advice and childhood immunisations, to blood samples and managing long-term conditions.
Mental Health Nurses
Mental health nurses in the GP team promote and support a person’s recovery when they have mental health problems or are living with a psychological condition.
These nurses work with the person, their families and carers, to help them live independent and fulfilling lives. They will advise patients on things like relevant therapies, taking medication correctly and suggest different treatments, such as activities or support groups.
Nursing associate is a new role in the practice nursing team. They sit between healthcare assistants and registered nurses.
Healthcare assistants are a key part of the practice multidisciplinary team. They support the practice nursing team in delivering treatment, preventative care, health promotion and patient education.
They are often trained in wound care and managing chronic diseases.
Clinical pharmacists assess and treat patients, using expert knowledge of medicines for specific disease areas.
They care for patients with chronic illnesses and carry out clinical medication reviews to manage people with complex medication needs, especially the elderly, people in care homes and those with multiple conditions.
Community paramedics can quickly recognise and manage patients whose conditions are rapidly deteriorating. They can also care for those with long term conditions, minor injuries, and minor illness.
They can provide urgent assistance through telephone triage and home visits to treat wounds, certain infections and other minor injuries and illnesses.
Many can also administer certain types of medicine directly to patients, including pain killers, without the need for a prescription.
Social prescribing enables care professionals to direct people to an extensive range of local services to help their physical health and mental wellbeing.
These services and activities, although not medical, allow people to take greater control of their own health. Some examples are group classes, arts activities, healthy eating advice and support joining in with sports.
Social prescribers, also known as ‘link workers’, refer patients to services relevant for their needs. Anyone working in the GP team can refer a patient to a link worker. This is also a self-refer service.