It is hard to get through on the telephone at my Practice ?
We know that a number of Practices have struggled with telephones. This is absolutely nothing to do with the merger. The phone systems in many of our Practices urgently require updating, the technology is old and is failing on a regular basis. We are currently in the process of finalising our preferred provider of a new system which will be rolled across all our Practices by the Summer 2019
Have you taken on more Patients, my practice seems busier ?
In the last 6 months, Octagon has grown its Patient list size organically by just over 3000 Patients, this excludes new practices coming onboard and normal expected growth through population increase. This is why we are recruiting new GP's and Nurses to cope with those additional Patients.
Peterborough Practices have merged the patient list, how can I be sure my data is safe ?
Patient data is held on a secure system called System One, every practice uses a system like this, it is not unique to Octagon. The patient data is extremely well encrypted and protected. Patient records will NOT be accessed by other locations other than your home practice, and we conduct regular audits and checks to ensure those systems remain in place. Your records cannot in any way be accessed by Practices in other areas like Wisbech , Huntingdon etc and this also applies in reverse.
Why is it taking so long to answer the phones in my practice, have you taken staff out ?
We can assure you that no staff have been taken out, over the last 9 months the Practice has invested in additional staff. Our phone systems across the branches are dated and have not been invested in, this means we have fewer lines available but this is not a result of Octagon, it's a previous lack of investment due to the pressures on general practice.
We have identified a new provider which is being rolled out over the coming months and by the end of the summer we will have a new system across our network and will have a target for all calls to be answered in under 1 minute.
Do you publish minutes from your Patient meetings ?
Following a question raised at one of our Patient meetings, we have now created a Patient Participation group page and have added minutes from meetings we have held.
How can you be sure you can manage as you grow ?
We are putting appropriate management support in place locally, that ensures our consistent approach to care can be adopted as we grow. The Partner GP's in the new locations and the team, share our aspirations which makes the merger in these areas so much sense.
What will stop you changing my Practices opening times ?
Octagon's culture and ethos is borne out of a genuine desire to protect Patient interests and enhance them, not dilute them. Octagon is a Partnership of GP's with the same best interests they have always delivered.
Is Octagon Medical Practice a large Corporate organisation?
Not at all, Think of your Practice today with its Partners, Octagon is the same structure, it's just the merging of all those Practices Partners into one.
Big isn't always better?
We agree, but sometimes being part of a larger structure can be, particularly if you can share the load in terms of non medical administration, this will allow Octagon to free up more valuable clinical time to see our Patients.
Will there be more Practices joining, and how far will you go across the UK?
We have no set plans about future growth, what's important to Octagon is Patient care, and ensuring that any Practice that joins Octagon has the same ethos, culture, and passion. If it does then we are happy to see them as part of our team.
Are there any jobs within Octagon?
We have a great team across all our Practices, and there will be times when we need to recruit both Clinical and non-Clinical staff. If you feel that you want to learn more about joining Octagon then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our Head of HR will be in touch.
Some Patients don't have web access, how can they find out more?
We are emailing Patients, sending text messages, and will be placing copy in local community magazines to keep all Patients up to date.
Our area has new housing development planned, how will you ensure you can cope?
We are approaching Local Authority planning committees to ensure that we can plan for future Patient growth and understand forward thinking plans.
Are you taking on more Patients?
Our Patient list is open across all Octagon Surgery locations.
Will you offer specialist clinics for areas like nutrition?
Many of our Doctors have a specialist interest in specific areas of medicine and we are working with them and the NHS to offer dedicated Clinics where we have demand and knowledge.
I am worried I wont get an appointment because Patients from other Practices will take them!
Once we have merged, all Patients will keep the surgery where they are today. Experience across the NHS where mergers have taken place shows that very few Patients take other Surgery appointments. We will however monitor that situation very closely.
I have heard that some Doctors are retiring!
Part of our reason for merging is to ensure we have a long term viable service for our Patients, as in any career, people retire, but our recruitment will ensure we have fully trained Doctors to cover for any Doctor who does in time retire.
When are the Patient Consultation Meetings?
As new Practices look to merge with us, we shall be holding Patient engagement meetings for each location. We will ensure that each location has a specific plan in place to communicate and advise of those dates.
Who are the Practices within Octagon?
The number of Practices joining Octagon is growing, at present we have the following Practices who have merged
Nene Valley Medical Practice
Hodgson Medical Practice
Thorney & Eye Medical Practice
Jenner Medical Practice
Minster Medical Practice
Park Road Medical Practice
Huntly Grove Medical Practice
Westgate Medical Practice
Will our PPG (Patient Participation Group) still run once we merge?
Absolutely, ensuring that our Patients continue to have a voice and support our Patient needs is important. We also envisage having an Octagon PPG where we can consolidate views and best practice to ensure we take into account all of our Patient needs.
Will Appointment Availability change?
Patients will see no change to the way in which they make appointments when we go live in July. As the Practices work together, we will be introducing best practice, and this will mean that Patients have more choice in how appointments can be made.
Does this mean we will lose Doctors?
Not at all, in fact a larger practice is more attractive to GPs when they are looking for a practice. The merged practices will also be able to provide more training facilities allowing more future GP’s to train with and hopefully remain with the practice.
How will I contact my Surgery?
Patients will contact their surgery in the same way, you will see no change. Investment in the future will allow us to look at telephone systems and improve where we can, surgery contact.
Will any of the Surgeries be closing?
All Practices will remain in place, there are no plans to close any building. Octagon, like any Surgery, must ensure its local population can be cared for and our Practices are well distributed across our Patient population. As Peterborough continues to grow, we will need to ensure our Practices can care for the increased Patient population.
Will my Doctor change?
It is important that Patients who have built a relationship with their GP can still access that GP when an appointment is needed. All Practices will continue to offer an appointment with a named GP where possible.
All staff are remaining within each practice and all will continue to offer the personal touch that you have received. We shall continue to listen to Patient views and will take the opportunity to offer best practice should that be seen as a benefit to Patients.
I have more questions?
All Patients from any of the Octagon Surgeries will be able to attend open evening meetings we will be publicizing, you can also email any questions directly to: