My day normally starts at 7.30am when I leave home for my one hour commute to work. On my way to work I stop to collect milk for the practice so everybody can have a cuppa at work.
8.15 – I arrive a little earlier today as the school children are off school on their summer holidays and the traffic is lighter – hooray! I check in on reception first to ensure that all is well and there are no immediate problems which need my attention.
I start off my morning by checking my emails, only 29 to deal with this morning – I work through them, respond to a couple of easy ones and flag those I need to action so that I don't lose them later in the raft of others than come in throughout the day. I also review the list of tasks I need to do today.
9.00 – I receive a telephone call from a locum agency to say that the doctor we had booked for next week is no longer available – they made a mistake with their annual leave dates. So it is back to the drawing board and I spend the next half an hour emailing around the various locums and calling the locum agencies to see if we can find a replacement at such short notice – it's not looking good!
9.30 – I make a cup of coffee and start going through my post and the 20 new emails which have arrived in my inbox since this morning.
10.00 – Reception call to say the patient booking in system is not working properly – I am on the phone to the clinical system providers for the next 40 minutes while they try everything they can think of to get it working again including getting me to sit in the waiting room and watch the screen for any signs of life – nothing happens and they decide they need to send an engineer out.
The receptionist on the front desk is overjoyed at having 8 GPs and 4 nurses buzzing her by telephone every couple of minutes to send down their next patient, whilst also trying to book appointments; print out repeat prescription request forms; take in, stamp and check repeat prescriptions and hospital discharge summaries and hand out prescriptions to the patients presenting at the desk. The receptionists in the back office are all busy on the telephones so I stay at the front desk to help out.
11.00 - the accountant calls to go over the queries he sent to me last week. We manage to resolve most of them but as the accountant has all the paperwork for last year's accounts at their office in Sheffield, I ask them to fax over some documents so I have a clearer picture on which to make a decision.
So far I have not managed to complete any of the tasks on my list.
12.00 – I email back responses to most of the accountant's queries but there are some Janette needs to look through when she gets a minute and I leave these to meet with the electrician who has come to give me a quote for the work we need to carry out in the admin office. The work will need to be scheduled on a weekend so staff and patients are not disrupted. I give him a date for the work to be done so I can tie it in with the work the heating engineers have to carry out. Hopefully this will mean I will only need to spend 1 weekend at the surgery rather than 2.
12.30 – I receive a telephone call from our Flu vaccine supplier to say that our vaccine delivery will be delayed due to a manufacturing problem. At the moment they think it will only be a one week delay – now due to arrive at the beginning of October. Luckily we have not planned our first flu clinic until 19th October but it does mean that our home visit plans will need to be changed. I review the nurses working schedules to see when this can be pulled in.
12.45 – I start to deal with some of my emails – one is from NHS England requesting data on the enhanced services they commission from us. I run a search on the clinical system to gather the data on what procedures we have completed in the last month, log in on line to the new reporting system and enter our details. Because of the changes to the local organisations since April, we now have to do this for three separate organisations every month instead of the previous one.
The doctors come up to the staff room to have a coffee at the end of morning surgery and sign the 200+ prescriptions produced that morning by the prescription clerk. I take the opportunity to ask them to sign a few documents and chat with them about any last minute items they might have for the business meeting planned for the following Wednesday evening.
13.30 – I make another cup of coffee, grab my sandwich and head into the Safeguarding Families/Clinical Meeting. There is a lot on the agenda today. The Health Visitors give an update of the families on their safeguarding register; one of the practice nurses gives an update on the recent changes within Family Planning and a presents the latest guidance on Infection Control. Two of the GPs present significant events, and the group agrees on the changes we need to make in practice to ensure non recurrence of these events. Changes to the way the practices confirms consent from patients for release of information to third parties is also agreed and I add the production of the form to my new tasks list.
15.00 – We leave the meeting and the GPs head off to see the patients requesting home visits, the nurses return to start their afternoon clinics and I go back to my office and the 11 new emails which have come in since lunchtime. I start to work through the emails I flagged this morning as needing action and prioritise those which need to be actioned today.
I start reading through the agenda and papers for the Amber Valley & South Dales Practice Managers Meeting planned for tomorrow, which Ivy Grove Surgery hosts each month, and the agenda and papers for the Primary Care Development Meeting I am due to attend the day after that.
15.15 – A receptionist calls to say the light in one of the patient toilets is not working. I go down stairs to check. I get the stepladder and a new bulb from the store room and change the bulb. This does not resolve the problem, so the receptionist logs a call to the estates department, gets a job number and puts an "out of order" sign on the door.
15.30 - I start on my list of tasks. The premises insurance is due for renewal within the next few weeks so I email the companies I contacted last year and request updated quotes.
Reception inform me that the Duty Doctor has just been called out on an urgent visit and will not be back in time to start her afternoon surgery at 4pm. The receptionist at the front desk informs her patients as they arrive and give them the option of waiting for her to return or rebooking for another day.
16.00 – one of the nurses comes to see me about the training course she is due to attend in a few weeks time. She has just completed the degree module in Family Planning and we have asked her to undertake training to insert coils and implants so we can offer an advanced Family Planning service to our female patients. All of the nurses have recently undertaken specialist training in a variety of chronic disease areas, including Asthma, COPD and Diabetes.
16.30 – I have a staff appraisal scheduled for tomorrow morning so I go over the pre-appraisal questionnaire the staff member has completed and make a few more notes of the things I want to discuss with her. I review the online training she has completed so far this year and consider the areas for development she has highlighted for the coming year.
17.00 – I go back to the emails I highlighted for 'action' this morning and work through a few more. I have already received responses from some to the insurance companies and I have a quick look through the quotes. I set up a new task for myself to produce a spreadsheet so I can clearly compare the quotes as I receive them.
17.30 - My computer alarm goes off reminding me to put the boiler on for the Patient Group meeting taking place in an hour. I set up the boiler and the drinks station for the meeting and go back to my office to finish off my emails and any tasks I can manage before the meeting starts. Unfortunately, to complete some to the tasks I need speak to a number of people by telephone but it is too late to catch them now. I will try again tomorrow.
18.30 – I go downstairs to join the patient group meeting in the health promotion room. Dr Wong has not finished surgery yet – he still has 1 patient left to see so he will be late joining the meeting.
The meeting goes really well. The group has found a dynamic trio to lead them. They seem committed to developing the patient group into a useful tool for the patients to have input into the development of services within the practice. I am looking forward to working with them.
The meeting finishes at 19.30 and I set off for home – but first I amend the date of the next patient group meeting on the patient messaging and the patient booking in system. If I leave it until tomorrow I will undoubtedly forget to do it!