Dear GenderGP Community Members,
We know that you have not experienced the response levels you have come to expect from GenderGP over recent weeks. This is the result of a number of factors coming together at the same time. While we are working hard to ensure our service levels return to normal as quickly as possible, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a bit of context.
- As you know, in January we switched all of our team, patients, GPs and counsellors over to the GenderGP Portal. This had been a long time in the planning but we had to bring the move forward, as the service we were using was suddenly no longer available. Unfortunately, the migration did not work smoothly for everyone and this caused a backlog of patient enquiries and a lot of frustration.
- As we were working to clear the backlog of emails, following the migration to Portal, Coronavirus struck. This resulted in an increase in emails from people who were understandably worried about access to their medication, advice and care. Chasing emails were often sent multiple times and across multiple platforms, which further slowed down our response.
- At the same time we were managing changes in our team, due to the impact of Coronavirus. Some members became unwell and others had to find solutions to managing their children who suddenly had to be homeschooled.
- Email numbers continued to rise but the number of team members available to address queries and concerns was down, further compounding the issue.
- In response we have taken on new members of staff who are currently being trained, something which always slows processes down before speeding them up.
- Our partner pharmacy, Clear Chemist, has faced similar difficulties, meaning that their processes have also slowed. Based on their latest update, they are currently taking 3-5 days to respond.
Despite all of this change, we remain as committed as ever to providing affordable, accessible and timely healthcare to the trans community. Our response times are now at seven days and we are confident that, with a little time and patience, this will continue to improve.
We have taken the following proactive steps to ensure that this happens:
- A small number of patients have reported issues gaining access to Portal. These glitches have now been resolved. Our Technology Team has also been working flat out to introduce a number of improvements, based on your feedback.
- Our Pathway Team has been working round the clock to give every email the attention it deserves.
- We have hired four new Pathway Team members who will be instrumental in helping us to get our response times back to what you have come to expect. This will take a short time, thank you for bearing with us.
- We know that some patients have been badly impacted by access to GP surgeries being limited since lockdown began. As such, GenderGP has introduced measures to try to make life a little easier. These include providing access to blockers in the form of a nasal spray and supplying more people with home blood testing kits. If you have a particular challenge that we might be able to help with, please let us know.
We would also like to make the following recommendations to ensure you get the best possible service from GenderGP:
- As prescriptions through Clear Chemist are taking longer than usual, we recommend that you order your prescription four weeks ahead of your medication running out.
- Please make sure that your blood tests and follow up sessions are all up to date prior to requesting your prescription. We can help with home blood testing kits, where required. Please allow time for these to be ordered, delivered and for the results to be reviewed.
- If your need is urgent, and you haven’t had a reply, email us via firstname.lastname@example.org, with “URGENT RESPONSE REQUIRED” in the subject line. Otherwise, rest assured that we will get to your message as soon as possible. Please don’t use this channel of communication if your request is not time-critical, as it delays our response to those patients whose messages do require urgent attention.
- If you are expecting a response, and you haven’t heard from us within seven days, please send another message on the GenderGP Portal or on email via email@example.com.
- We send prescriptions to Clear Chemist as soon as their approval has been communicated to you. Once we have sent your prescription to Clear Chemist any follow up enquiries regarding your order and delivery of your medication, should be raised directly with them.
- Please try and keep your communication with GenderGP to as few messages/emails as possible – collect all the required information and requests into a single message to avoid multiple exchanges, each of which take time to process.
- Please avoid using GenderGP social media channels to communicate medical information, updates or requests – please direct them to us using the channels outlined above.
- As always, please send us feedback and ideas on any other ways in which we can better serve you.
Our new Service Announcements page will be regularly updated to keep you informed of any service-related news.
Our vision for the trans community is to provide a service which delights and exceeds your expectations. Because we believe that is what you deserve. We are genuinely sorry if the service you have received of late has not been in line with what you have come to expect from GenderGP. We will continue to strive for improvement wherever possible.
With love, the GenderGP Team x