PATIENT JOURNEY

Further information on what to expect when you visit a Willows Health Site.

How do I book an appointment?

You can book an appointment by calling your Willows Health practice site via telephone at 8am. Our friendly patient liaison officers will take your call and offer the right person for your appointment, at the right place for the right time.

Will I always see a GP?

Not necessarily. At Willows Health we have a range of clinicians including Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Specialist Nurses, Chronic Disease Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Clinical Pharmacists, Physician Associates, Mental Health Facilitators and even Consultants in General Medicine and Elderly Care. Our patient liaison officers have been trained to offer you an appointment with the right professional. For example, if your appointment requests relate to medication, it maybe that this query can be dealt with by the patient liaison officer over the phone. Sometimes, you may require a virtual appointment for a medication review, and you may be directed for a routine appointment with a pharmacist.

What type of appointments do you offer?

We offer virtual appointments (telephone and video) and face to face appointments. In view of the coronavirus pandemic we are currently offering virtual appointments as a first point of contact as per advice from NHS England, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the British Medical Association. If the clinician who sees you requires a face to face appointment to make a further assessment a physical appointment will be offered.

If a clinician has decided you require a face to face appointment, we will endeavor to see you at the right place, at the right time, with the right person. The current policy is that the clinician who has already spoken to you will endeavor to see you face to face. There may be some circumstances where this may not be possible, and you may be seen by another qualified professional instead. In rare circumstances your appointment may be offered at another site if the site you are registered with does not have capacity to see you. Alternatively, you will be offered a face to face appointment at the local ‘primary care hubs’ which are commissioned by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group.

Are there unlimited appointments?

It is important to remember that your GP is a specialist resource with a finite number of resources. Our data shows that we, on average, will see over 10% of all patients registered with our services on a weekly basis. That means we will see over 1 in 10 people across all our sites per week. Whilst we recommend you seek medical advice if there is a problem which requires medical advice to be sought, it is important you do carefully consider whether you need to speak to your GP surgery at all. There are lots of problems which can be resolved without speaking to a GP and can often be assessed and treated either by yourself or the local community pharmacist. Please find our self-help section for further information.

By treating yourself for common ailments which do not require specialist medical advice, you offer the opportunity for appointments to be freed up for those patients who really do require them.

In addition to be offered a virtual appointment prior to any face to face appointment, our clinicians will often start the process of investigations prior to having a face to face appointment. For example, if your presenting problem was ‘tiredness’, and the clinician makes an assessment that a blood test is the right way to go to explore this further it is likely you will be offered investigations prior to any face to face appointment. This has made the patient journey efficient in terms of establishing causes for our patients’ symptoms early.