Front of House Staff Shortages

Posted by: philheiden - Posted on:

Dear Patients,

We would like to bring to your attention that we are currently facing a workforce shortage within our Care Navigation (Reception) team. We have staff members off on planned annual leave, others on long-term sickness and have had a recent resignation. This represents a 40% loss of capacity within the team.

We immediately began the recruitment process and have filled our vacancies however, the new recruits cannot start until June as they are serving notice at their current job. The Care Navigator role is not easily backfilled with temporary agency workers due to the lengthy and complex training process.

We urge patients to bear with us during this difficult time and, where possible, to support us by using the preferred communication routes outlined below rather than calling in. If you do call in, please be respectful to our remaining Receptionists. It is not their fault if there is a long wait to answer calls. They are working as hard and fast as they possibly can to meet demand.

Our usual expectation is to answer all calls within 5 minutes; however, this is likely to be unachievable with our current workforce resources.

Preferred Efficient Routes:

**Checking in for appointments:** Please make use of our self check-in screen, located in front of you as you come through our entrance doors, rather than waiting in the reception desk queue if you’re attending for a booked face to face appointment.

**Routine Medical Queries:** Please submit these online via our online eConsult platform. Your submission will be handled in the same way as a phone call. Contact us about your request here eConsult Notice – Adelaide Medical Centre

**Repeat Prescription Requests:** Please request via the NHS app (the NHS app is also available to use on a desktop computer, you do not need a smartphone). Avoid using pharmacy services, slips, or handwritten requests, as these require manual data entry by Receptionists. Ordering via the NHS app goes directly to the Prescriber electronically. A reminder that we do not take prescription requests over the phone. NHS app link here 

**Retrieving Recent Test Results:** Please check your NHS app 10 days after your tests were undertaken. For smear results, please allow 8 weeks. NHS app link here

**Chasing a Referral:** If you are seeking confirmation that your referral has been actioned, please submit your query via our online eConsult platform. If you want to know the status of your referral/when you might be seen, please contact the department to which you have been referred. If you wish to expedite a referral, there must be a material change to your symptoms. Please report these changes here – this will be passed to the hospital team for their decision.

**Requesting Fit/Sick Notes:** You can self-certify for the first 7 days of absence. Hospitals are to provide fit notes following discharge. For all other requests, please submit your request here 

**Requesting a Copy of Records:** A large majority of your medical records can now be viewed and downloaded via the NHS app. For any further queries or copy record requests, please complete this form here 

**Discharge Requests:** You should be discharged with up to 28 days’ worth of medication if deemed necessary by the hospital clinician. Any ‘urgent’ requests of the community GP should be communicated by the hospital clinician. While we receive discharge summaries and letters from appointments electronically, it’s not always promptly, and it takes at least 3 days to process internally. We will contact the patient if action is required. We recommend patients ask for a copy of their discharge summary before leaving so they are aware of the recommendations.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and hope to resume delivering reasonable call waiting times as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Adelaide Medical Centre