Get involved and have your say at Hucknall health event Hucknall

Patients from all four General Practices in Hucknall are being invited to get involved in the discussions about the impact of the planned growth of the town on its health care services.

Taking place at Seymour Road Baptist Church, Hucknall, from 5.30-7.30pm on Thursday 31st July, the event will be the first of a set of meetings which will develop as the Hucknall Planning for Growth Patient Working Group.

The working group will be chaired by Kathryn Sanderson, currently the Patient Participation Group Chair for Torkard Hill Medical Centre, who went through a standard recruitment process to be chosen for this voluntary position.

It will meet monthly, prior to meetings of the Hucknall Planning for Growth Steering Group, with any ideas and suggestions from the working group being fed back to the steering group by Kathryn, who will act as the patient representative.

It is hoped there will be a wide-ranging discussion around the impact of the town’s growth on its General Practices and health services, with issues like same day GP appointments, weekend GP access and out-of-hours GP care being high on the agenda.

For more details contact Michael Ellis on: 0115 883 1709.

YOUR Dispatch asked the questions you wanted the answers to about GP practices across the region.

For a full and informative answer from the Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman and Dr Bilkhu visit our website.

Here you will also find all the information reagrding how many patients and doctors serve the four practices and their individual procedures and methods for appointments.

Visit our Facebook page to make any comments.

Hucknall Medical Practices – Statement from GP Aneel Bilkhu, GP at Torkard Medical Practice and Chair of the Hucknall Planning for Growth Steering Group

Despite the significant challenges that the profession is facing, the GPs in Hucknall are passionate about working here and are determined to do our best to improve patient care. Given the pressures on GP services, it’s understandable that patients are sometimes frustrated at the number of appointments available with accessibility being an issue that faces the profession nationally.

Improving patient access and access to a named GP

Working with Nottingham North and East CCG, NHS England and our patients, we are looking at innovative ways of working to address this. You can see from the feedback from the local Practices that we’re all striving to improve access and patient experience.

For example, one Practice has introduced a telephone triage system whereby any patient with an urgent issue is called back in a timely manner and spoken to by a GP. Then, if necessary, an appointment is given that day with a GP.

Most Practices will endeavour to make an appointment with their GP of choice but sometimes, particularly with urgent appointments, this isn’t possible.

Pre-bookable routine telephone appointments are also available with each GP on a daily basis so that patients can discuss any aspect of their care with the GP that knows them best.

As part of the Steering Group investigations, we will be looking at GP access and all the options available to us in Hucknall to ensure we can improve the patient experience.

We will examine what works elsewhere and what might work in Hucknall, and we’ll listen to the views of people from the Hucknall Planning for Growth Patient Working Group.

Recruiting more GPs to the Practice/ use of locums etc

The landscape of General Practice has altered radically over the last five years and GPs are working harder than ever, with many fitting 40-60 patient consultations into an ever expanding working day.

We’ve recently seen an exponential increase in our workload, fuelled by an unprecedented combination of rising patient demand (especially from an ageing population), the prevalence of long-term conditions and declining resources. At the same time, we also have to provide more services, including many involving the transfer of hospital care into the community. 

This is likely to contribute to the national recruitment issues in General Practice, where many Practices are unable to recruit GPs to replace retiring partners.

Unfortunately, many young doctors no longer view General Practice as an attractive career option, and it’s worrying that in the East Midlands, 40% of places for this year’s GP training scheme are unfilled, which means we simply aren’t training enough local GPs .

Moreover, some practices are constrained by their premises and there is currently little or no funding available to develop or expand these further.

However, there are always options and different ways of working and the Hucknall Planning for Growth Steering Group will be looking at the scale of the issues across the area and examining all possible solutions. At the moment nothing is ruled out.

What’s important, however, is that we find a solution that benefits all stakeholders.

Here is the information for each GP practice in Hucknall:

Whyburn Medical Practice

7 Partner GPs collectively working 45 clinical sessions per week

1 Salaried GP working 6 clinical sessions per week

3 GP Registrars working 22 clinical sessions per week

Foundation Stage 2 Doctor working 8 clinical sessions per week

3 Chronic disease management nurses, 1 treatment room nurse and 1 health care assistant collectively working 126 hours per week

11,400 patients so list size per whole time equivalent GP is 2011 patients (but this does exclude the GP registrars and Foundation Stage 2 Doctor)


GP Appointments are available to book in person at reception, over the telephone and via our online booking system up to 4 weeks in advance. Of the appointments available, 50% are reserved for emergency appointments. Of these 50%, half are available to book 7 days in advance and the other half are reserved for ‘same day’ emergencies only. On a daily basis we have a dedicated on-call GP.

Patients calling after all the appointment slots have been filled are added to a ‘visit’ list, which is under the supervision of the on-call GP. The on-call GP will then decide whether the patient can be treated via a telephone call, requires a home visit or whether to add additional appointments on the end of surgery to facilitate the patient being seen. No patient with an acute complaint is left without a contact from a clinician that day. The ‘visit’ list is managed and cleared down before the on-call GP leaves for the evening.

Nurse appointments are bookable in the same way. However, to facilitate effective management of chronic diseases and the recalls required to monitor these patients, we release appointments six weeks in advance.

Any patient is able to call to request a telephone call from a clinician for any reason throughout the day, and if the requested GP is on site then they endeavour to return all requests. The on-call GP will review the telephone call requests for those GPs who are not there on any specific day.

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.00am to 7.00pm and our GP surgery times usually operate at times between 8.00am and 12.00 midday and 3.00pm and 7.00pm. This leaves the middle of the day free to make telephone calls, carry out home visits if required and spend time reviewing results and correspondence.

Torkard Hill Medical Practice

8 GPs, 3 work 8 sessions/week, 4 work 7 sessions/week and 1 works 5 sessions/week

We do use locums at times and we are also a thriving teaching practice with GP registrars and Foundation Year 2 Doctors.

We have 14,400 patients and so our list size per whole time equivalent (WTE) GP is 2021 but this excludes any locums


In terms of appointments, patients are able to book a routine appointment with a GP up to 1 month in advance. We also implemented a new telephone triage system approximately 2 years ago aimed at improving access to GPs.

This means that any patient who calls surgery with what they think is an urgent problem or any patient who feels that they can’t wait for a routine appointment will be called back in a timely fashion by a GP on the day who will assess their problem and, if necessary, offer them a same-day appointment with the GP of their choice wherever possible.

We also have daily routine telephone slots with each GP for patients to use so that they can call and speak to a GP at a convenient time to discuss any aspects of their care.

We do extended hours and so offer early morning and late evening appointments in addition to our daily surgeries which run from 8am until 6.30pm.

OM Surgery

2,083 patients, 1 full-time GP

The practice has a purpose-built premises with a spare room and plenty of parking and would like to expand by another 500-1000 if funding is approved

In addition to the full-time GP, there is also a female locum doctor who comes weekly


Just over 7000 patients list size

4 x * 3/4 time GPs (equivalent to 3 full time GPs) so around 2360 patients per full time equivalent

Converted residential premises, limited by space (all rooms used) and parking (no surgery dedicated parking), so further expansion not currently planned

Morning appointments all available on the day at 8am (4 dedicated phone lines with queuing system, as well as online booking available)

Evening appointments bookable up to 14 days in advance (half 7 days in advance)

Use of locum when a GP is on annual leave