What is it?
If you urgently need to speak to or see a doctor or nurse call your surgery, even if it is closed. An answerphone will give you options of what to do. If you know you need to call the local NHS out-of-hours service, use 0300 130 3066. They will be able to help you with your problem.
What can I expect?
When you call the service your details will be taken and the call handler will take you through a series of questions to make an initial assessment of the severity of your problem. Having been through these questions you will either be:
- Redirected to 999 immediately
- Offered a call back by a clinician within 20 minutes if your problem is classified as ‘urgent’ Offered a call back within 60 minutes if classified as ‘routine’
When the clinician calls you back you will be asked a number of further questions. You may then be offered advice, a face to face appointment at a base close to your home or a home visit if you are unable to get to a base.
Emergency appointments will be offered within one hour of the clinician finishing the call.
Urgent appointments will be offered within two hours of the clinician finishing the call.
Routine appointments will be offered within four hours of the clinician finishing the call.
How can I make a complaint or give a compliment?
Forms are available at all bases as well as in a number of other community locations such as GP practices and libraries. Alternatively you can go to www.harmoni.co.uk
In addition, regular surveys are conducted by the service and by independent organisations. Your feedback is always welcome and helps to improve service delivery.
Next steps for new model of management
In February 2012, Harmoni introduced changes which saw three bases used for urgent GP appointments in Suffolk close - in Newmarket, Wickham Market and Aldeburgh - and one open in Saxmundham. It also saw three more GPs in cars ready to carry out home visits.
Suffolk's Health Scrutiny Committee held a task and finish group to study the findings of a three month pilot period. These reports should be read together.
Click here to view Harmoni's report to the Health Scrutiny Committee
Click here to read the Impact Analysis Report