The Acorn Group Practice

29-35 Holly Road, Twickenham, TW1 4EA

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Telephone: 020 8891 0073

Important Announcement – Acorn Group Practice System Migration

Posted on June 1st, 2020


Our New Computer System

On Wednesday 22nd July, we will be moving to a new clinical computer system. The reason for this change is because our current system is aging and increasingly unsuitable for our needs. There will be many benefits that will not be immediately obvious to you as these are mainly clinical, but these changes will help us to improve the way we manage your care.
It is important that you read this very carefully, especially if you are on regular medication or use our online repeat prescription service.
In the coming weeks there will be some unavoidable changes to our services which you need be aware of:
All appointments from Wednesday 15th July to Friday 24th July will be for MEDICAL EMERGENCIES ONLY.

Reduced appointment availability, Monday 27th July for ten days: As we learn to adapt and become comfortable with our new clinical system, despite the training undertaken, we need to anticipate that we will not be able to operate at our usual speed. So we have reduced our appointment availability from Monday 27th July for a maximum of 10 days.

No repeat prescription requests Wednesday 15th July to Friday 17th July: No prescription requests can be made during this time except in an extreme medical emergency. The emergency situation will be determined by your clinician and will be refused if not appropriate. If you are likely to need a repeat prescription during this period, please request it earlier in July.

Online prescription requests – Tuesday 12th July until Friday 24th July : The current system will be suspended on the Morning of Tuesday 12th July until Friday 24th July and you will need to follow the procedure above. I
If you currently use online services for your prescription requests or anything else, you will need to come into the surgery after 24th July to request a new password for the new system. Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to request a new password online as we need to ensure we have sight of a photo ID (passport or driving license) for governance and confidentiality reasons.

Thank you for your patience and understanding with this project.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: My Annual Review is due during the period you have indicated that appointment availability will be reduced and only same day urgent appointments will be seen. What should I do?
Response: We need to ask you to attend for your review after this changeover period. Please contact the surgery after our ‘Go Live’ date on 22nd July, to book your appointment.

Question: What if I run out of medication during the period you have indicated ‘emergency requests only’ (Wednesday 15th July – Friday 24th July
Response: Please try to avoid running out of your medication by contacting us to request your prescription early. If you do run out of medication, this will be referred to a GP who will determine the urgency of your request.

Question: Why do you have to stop providing repeat prescriptions other than emergencies and also reduce appointments?
Response: Effective of Wednesday 15th July, we literally have to switch off our existing clinical system, whilst all the data held is transferred over to the new one. So, we will be working manually without computer access for around a week. Additionally, although we have been working hard to check a selection of data that has been transferred over to a test system for some time, when we go live clearly, we have to ensure that all data has been transferred over correctly.

Question: What if I feel I need to see a GP during the period you have said you can only see urgent same day appointments (Wednesday 15th July – Friday 24th July)?
Response: As mentioned, we are reducing appointments during this time, in order to reduce the amount of ‘routine’ work, whilst we go through this migration process and final training sessions (some training cannot take place until we switch off the old system and/or ‘go live’). We need to allow staff to adapt and become familiar with the new system and processes to ensure they can help you better. Although, training has taken place, clearly until all staff become competent in the use of this new system, it is better to allow sufficient time for each appointment. As soon as we are certain that staff feel comfortable with the new system appointments will be made available at their usual level. However, if you feel that your need to see a GP is urgent during this period the receptionist will refer this to a GP who will then determine the urgency.

Question: I still don’t understand why you have to change?
Response: Our existing clinical software is ‘old’; we took some considerable time reviewing which system to move to and feel that we have made the right decision with our new system – EMIS Web. The local and national primary care community already regard EMIS Web very highly, in fact throughout the country EMIS is the most prevalent provider of clinical systems in Primary Care. Many practices around the country are waiting to move to EMIS Web and most of the local surgeries already use EMIS Web.

Question: How much will this move cost?
Response: Many of the costs of moving to a new system include project planning, preparation and staff training, and these costs are being absorbed by the Practice. The actual cost of the system itself is the responsibility of the Strategic Health Authority, who had mandated that all practices should move to the systems specified.

Question: You have said that I’ll need a new and different password for online prescription requests, why can’t I keep my old one?
Response: The online prescription requests will be made through the ‘new’ EMIS clinical system and so you will need to register for a new password and new login. For reasons of confidentiality you cannot register for this on line and so must come along to the surgery to do this with one of our receptionists.

Question: Will I need to re-register at the Practice?
Response: No, all your clinical records will be transferred to the new EMIS system. As we said above, you will need to drop in and pick up new log-in details if you use, or want to start using online prescription ordering.

We hope that we have answered the most important questions you may have raised but if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to speak to our reception team, or contact our Practice Manager.