The Symphony Healthcare Services Medicines Management Team, based at South Petherton Medical Centre, is a team of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and prescription clerks providing a medicines management service for 4 of the 11 Symphony GP Practices, serving 35,000 patients. A Medicines Management Hub was created to process repeat prescription requests and deal with prescription queries thereby freeing up receptionists and GPs from direct involvement.
The Medicines Management Hub needed a scalable communications system that would allow them to grow and support patient demand in a safe way.
The hub brings increasingly greater efficiencies for GPs, reception and other practice staff by removing prescription processing to a dedicated team of trained prescription clerks, supervised by pharmacy technicians.
- Back in 2018, the hub had a small team (one technician, one pharmacist and one prescription clerk), in one practice across two sites, with the prescription clerk working alternate days at each site
- The prescription clerk was struggling to process these at both sites within the given timeframe, so it was decided to bring all processing to one site with team members taking turns to collect the paper prescription requests
- The hub grew to cover four practices and it was decided to use the local NHS courier to collect and deliver the requests to save staff time
- The arrival of COVID-19 meant the paper collection was no longer viable and the switch was made to offer telephone as a way to contact the practice for requests and queries
The hub relocated from its home at Somerton to a bigger space at South Petherton Surgery. The phone set-up enabled patients to phone in from whichever practice they were with.
"One advantage of working as a hub is that it offers resilience; when someone is off sick, or on annual leave, we can draw from a bigger team to cover the calls and the workload. The peer support is great, and having trained staff to deal with queries, that can be escalated to the pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, means we rarely need input from GPs."
The functionality of the telephony system has aided the hub in it’s ambitions and supports patient care and safety. Moreover, the hub is able to support other areas of the healthcare system quickly too by offering them a priority line, enabling to get through more easily to address patient questions and requests.
For further information on Surgery Connect please call Sales on 0333 332 0000.