Statement from the Partners, June 2022

A statement from the Partners of Poplar Grove Practice, June 2022

Summer is just around the corner and as the days become brighter, we wanted to update you on some of the improvements coming to the surgery over the next few months.

Booking a non-urgent, routine GP Appointment

We do understand the frustrations felt by patients accessing the surgery via the phones and we are working hard to accommodate the increased level of demand on the surgery.  We release routine appointments every morning at 8am and once these have gone we have the urgent on the day appointments with the Duty Team.  For our Practice population we have found the 'book on the day' service is the most effective and safe, and also the best use of our resources. However we do continually review our appointment to see how we can provide the best capacity from our resources. We are still actively recruiting for more GPs and anticipate we will be back to pre-pandemic staffing levels by September 2022.

Upgrade of our phone system

The contract has been signed and subject to the supplier’s timeframe, which is currently 9 to 14 weeks, we hope for a completion date of the end of July 2022.  This will be dependent on cabling surveys and installations going smoothly.

Ask First - online access

Ask First will be our online solution for contacting the practice.  This is being introduced in phases, this is so we can train our staff and ensure we have the correct processes in place to manage each phase.

  • Phase 1   We are starting with the symptom checker.  A virtual healthcare assistant called ‘Olivia’ will ask a series of questions to assess your symptoms in a clinically safe way.  Olivia will then recommend the most appropriate care for you, this can be self-care or may be a pharmacist. This is now available via our website or the ask First App.
  • Phase 2: Will be administrative enquires, including Fit Note request/ Travel vaccinations and Data access requests.  This is planned to be released at the beginning of July 2022.
  • Phase 3 - Will be the introduction of some online bookable appointments via the App.  This will include our Flu clinics/cervical smear appointments to start with additional specific appointments types being introduced in the future. In addition, we are planning to release ‘on the day’ telephone triage slots that can be booked via the App once the patient has gone through the symptom checker and a GP triage is deemed appropriate.  This is planned for September 2022.

Opening of the Memorial Garden

The memorial garden is situated at the front of Poplar Grove Practice in memory of our beloved nurse Jackie who passed away suddenly last year. Staff and Volunteers have transformed a piece of old waste land into an accommodating area where patients and staff can sit and reflect. If anyone is interesting in volunteering to help us maintain the memorial garden, please email

What to help us make a difference? Join our Patient Participation Group….

Poplar Grove Patients (PPG) are a group of patients who meet on a monthly basis to discuss ways of improving the surgery for both patients and staff. New members are always welcome and being a PPG member is an active way of helping to improve the surgery and have your voice heard.  Please email for more details.

Building work commences early June 2022

Building work commenced on the 6th June to undertake some internal changes to the building. This work will create convert existing office space into two new clinical rooms for our growing team. We expect disruption to be minimal during this time.

Thank you for your continued support.

The GP Partners