Important Changes to Appointment Booking Starting March 4th 2024

Posted by: Albany House - Posted on:

SIGN UP FOR ANIMA HEALTH HERE: https://patients.animahealth.com/signIn

Dear Patients,

We sincerely value the feedback we have received over recent years regarding the availability of appointments and the appointment booking service. Two years ago, we undertook a comprehensive overhaul of our telephone service to enhance access and reduce queue times. While this represented an improvement over our previous system, it has become evident that relying solely on telephone access for GP services is no longer sustainable.

In response to this challenge, we have explored various solutions available in the market to modernise our access methods in line with the NHS England Modern General Practice Model. After careful consideration and engagement with our dedicated Patient Participation Group members and members of the wider practice population, we are delighted to introduce Anima Health as our new appointment booking method. With Anima Health, there will no longer be a rush at 8:30 a.m. for appointments or lengthy wait times in queues. This innovative platform allows you to submit details about your health concern via their website and guide you through relevant questions to assist our clinical team in delivering expedited care. Requests will then be reviewed, or triaged, by an appropriate clinician before further actions are taken such as being offered a direct consultation with an appropriate member of the Albany House Clinical team or being directed to an alternate care provider such as a local pharmacy. This model of care is also known as “Total Triage”.

For patients who are unable to utilise the online system, appointments can still be made in person or over the phone. However, our dedicated care navigators at reception and on the phone will need to guide you through the Anima Health questions to ensure a streamlined booking process.

As our clinical team has evolved over the past decade, we recognize the challenges in GP recruitment and the increasing role of other healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, physiotherapists, and nurses in delivering comprehensive care. While we understand that this represents a significant change, it aligns with the broader momentum driven by policymakers. The Anima Health questions have been designed to facilitate the appropriate allocation of your care to the most suitable clinician, ensuring timely and effective treatment.

We trust that this transition will be welcomed by our patients, as our primary objective is to enhance the efficiency of our services for both patients and clinicians alike, offering equitable care based on clinical need. In the coming months, we eagerly anticipate your feedback on the new system as we remain committed to continuously improving the quality of care we provide. For now, please ensure you have signed up to the Anima Health System so that you can contact us from when we go live on Monday 4th March 2024. Details on how to do this will be communicated and are available on our website.

Warm regards,

Dr. Adam Nawaz
MBBS BSc MRCGP
On behalf of Albany House Medical Centre Partnership & Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Total Triage”?
Total Triage allows our team to review all requests for an appointment prior to actions being undertaken. A number of questions will be asked based on your symptoms which are then reviewed by a clinician prior to appropriate actions being undertaken. This could be a consultation with a doctor, nurse practitioner or physicians associate, a referral to a local pharmacy or a consultation with an allied health professional such as a first contact physiotherapist or clinical pharmacist. Depending on the symptoms consultations provided by Albany House team members may be face to face, via telephone or via the Anima Messaging platform.

What is Anima Health and how does it work?
Anima Health is a communication platform that allows you to seek care from your GP practice. When you have an issue that you want to contact your GP about, you can use Anima to submit your request online. Anima Health is free for patients to use. Anima Health are an accredited NHS systems provided and fully compliant with the DCB0129 standard, all data is processed in line with GDPR and is encrypted. Details can be found on their website at https://www.animahealth.com/patients

How do I sign up?
You can sign up to Anima Health via https://patients.animahealth.com/signIn, you will require an email address and a phone number. If you use the NHS App and have an NHS login the process is even easier.

Do I need to install an app?
Anima do not currently offer an app, all requests are made via their secure website. This allows access via any internet connected device with a web browser.

What if I do not have access to the internet?
Our care navigation team will still be available to offer help and support, they will be able to complete the triage request on your behalf which will then be reviewed by an appropriate team member before any further actions are taken

What if I do not have an email address?
Our care navigation team are able to create requests for you – please visit the practice or call us direct.

Can I still make an appointment on the phone?
Yes, our care navigation team will ask the questions and enter the answers into the Anima Health system on your behalf.

Can I still make an appointment in person?
Yes, our care navigation team will ask the questions and enter the answers into the Anima Health system on your behalf.

How do I make an appointment for my child?
Anima Health allows the triage requests to be made on behalf of someone else via proxy access. This can be requested when signing up to the Anima Health System

How do I make an appointment for someone I care for?
Anima Health allows the triage requests to be made on behalf of someone else via proxy access. This can be requested when signing up.

How can I make a request if English is not my first language?
Anima Health offer inbuilt translation tools for a large number of languages.

What if I do not want to disclose the reason for requesting an appointment?
We would encourage patients to submit as much detail as possible to allow appropriate triage to occur, all information submitted via Anima Health is completely confidential and secure. By providing as much information as possible it will allow our clinicians and care navigators to provide appropriate, timely care and advice.

What if I want to request to see a particular GP?
Where possible and appropriate, this request will be met, however if your request is deemed urgent or the clinician you request is not available you may be directed to see a different appropriate service or clinician.