11 July 2022
St Helena’s General Practitioner (GP) service or outpatients, as referred to on-Island, offers 109 appointments each week through the clinic sessions at the Jamestown Outpatient Clinic, Half Tree Hollow Clinic, Longwood Clinic, and Levelwood Clinic.
On this basis there are 436 clinic appointments available per month which are continuously fully booked. There is now a full complement of GP’s on-Island, however the number of appointments being booked has remained unchanged for the past couple of months.
The Health Services Directorate are now reviewing how and why so many appointments are being booked each day, week and month. As part of this review we have found that a high proportion of appointments are for ascertaining test results, which to date has been the only way in which people obtain their results.
To reduce the number of unnecessary appointments, such as if your test results are normal and there is no further action required, the Appointment Clerks will now provide your results by phone, email or letter. However following the completion of tests and test results where an appointment is required this will be suggested. Therefore please ensure that you provide your preferred contact information i.e. phone number, email or address to be able to receive your test results.
In addition we have found that a high number of appointments are being requested for the purposes of sickness certification (Doctors Certificate) and have therefore moved to the following arrangements:
- Sickness certification will take place at the end of the routine clinic appointments on a Monday, Thursday and Friday only
- Telephone consultations will take place with persons suffering with ongoing sickness associated with serious illness or longer term conditions that are already being treated by the Health Services Directorate
- The sickness certification will not be undertaken to cover backdated sickness absence days and an appointment will be declined for this request
- Sickness certification will be triaged and assessed as required therefore you may NOT be provided with a certificate, if you are not deemed medically unfit for work.
To support the triage process the Appointments Clerks will ask relevant questions in relation to your appointment request, to ensure that the most unwell patients are seen in a timely manner.
If you request to see a specific GP rather than accepting the first available clinic slot, then you could expect to have a longer waiting period. In addition to GP appointments we have Gynecological and obstetric appointments, midwifery and surgical appointments.
The GP service has faced much criticism over the past months. The Health Service, with your help, would like to try and improve our service delivery. If we do however face difficulty in the delivery of services, we will ensure that this is communicated accordingly.
We would like to thank you in advance for your help in trying to improve our service delivery.
11 July 2022