South Leicestershire Medical Group

South Leicestershire Medical Group

Practice Update – October 2020

 As you are aware we meet with our Patient Participation Group (PPG) on the first Thursday of every month. This month we had 6 new patients join us to observe the meeting, and we hope that they will all decide to join the group as full members going forwards. The PPG is the correct forum to direct your concerns and queries. Please email: 

We will not be answering comments on the other local Facebook groups and encourage you all to follow the new South Leicestershire Medical Group Facebook page for our weekly updates.

Telephone Access

We have a cloud based telephone system and our telephone provider is Hello Telecom. They have been working closely with us for the last 6 weeks to try and rectify the frustrations that some of you have been experiencing with calls cutting off.

We believe that the issues have finally been rectified, but we do need you to let us know if you are still experiencing these problems. We would be most grateful if you would contact us via Engage Consult or email our PPG if you are still having problems – we will need to know the date and time of your call and the number you were calling from.

We originally agreed with our PPG that an acceptable amount of calls waiting in the system would be 16. However, we have recently received a lot of feedback from patients suggesting that the number of calls waiting in the system should be unlimited.

Following discussions with our PPG yesterday, we have agreed to increase the holding number to 50.

This will give patients the option of holding, or trying again when the lines are less busy. Callers will hear an engaged tone if there are more than 50 calls in the queue.

Pleasingly, we have seen a decrease in the number of calls coming into the practice following the change in the way repeat medication can now be ordered.

More patients are using our on-line services to book appointments and order their repeat medication, and also Engage Consult for any queries. We hope that all patients who have internet access will register for our on-line services, as this will help those patients whose only mode of communication is via the telephone. 

As of 12 October, we will be altering the working patterns of our non-clinical team and returning to the ‘call centre’ approach that we originally put into place in February.

During this time the average waiting time was seven minutes, and we did not exceed 16 calls in the queuing system. We had to move away from this way of working at the start of the pandemic, as the call centre did not allow for social distancing.

We have now been able to overcome the majority of these logistical issues and we hope that you will all experience a much improved service. 

Extra staff

As previously advised in our FAQ’s we had 31 reception staff. Two additional staff members joined us two weeks ago, and another 4 receptionists will be joining us by the end of the month. This will make a total of 37 staff answering the telephones.

We also have three new Advanced Nurse Practitioners joining us at the start of November, and we are currently advertising for two new Practice Nurses and two Health Care Assistants. 

Monthly Statistics

A four weekly data collection. For the period 1 – 28 September 2020.

  • 48,292 – Incoming telephone calls
  • 5,710 – Face-to-Face appointments
  • 4,143 – Telephone/video appointments
  • 1,810 – Flu vaccinations given
  • 9,503 – Prescriptions issued

Flu Clinics

We have received some positive comments regarding our Flu Clinics. In particular, the drive through service at Kibworth Medical Centre is proving very popular.

Our previous post identified which patients are eligible to receive a free flu vaccine.

If you are using our on-line service to book your flu appointment, please make sure you are eligible to receive a free vaccine as we will be unable to give the vaccine to those patients who do not meet the current criteria.

We are awaiting guidance from the Government regarding the new 50-64 cohort of patients that may receive the flu vaccine later this year. At the moment it is unclear whether there will be enough vaccine nationally to carry out this new service. We have been liaising with our local Councillors and MP, and will update you as soon as we receive the updated guidance.

Thank you

Finally, we would like to thank all patients who have taken the time to contact us directly to express their concerns and/or offer their support.

We will be updating our Website and Facebook page on a weekly basis, but if you would like to speak with a member of our management team please contact us via Engage Consult, or write to our Practice Director, Bridget Roberts.

Please also consider liaising with the PPG, as this group work closely with the Practice and play a key part in influencing our future service delivery.

South Leicestershire Medical Group