Case study: Total triage

Managing the change to total triage at Meadowgreen Health Centre

Meadowgreen Health Centre serves a diverse population of 19,000 patients in Sheffield. After the CQC flagged concerns about patient phone access, the practice chose to move to a system of total triage.
Six months on, staff and patients are happier, DNAs are down and Meadowgreen are receiving glowing reviews from public bodies.
total triage

Context: a ‘call-centre’ for patients

Before 2023, staff at Meadowgreen were struggling to manage triage. With phones ringing off the hook and long phone queues, staff were burnt-out and patients were frustrated.
At the time, receptionists would log patient requests over the phone in a list on SystmOne. Two duty doctors would then work through the list, resolving requests remotely or booking appointments.
After the CQC flagged lack of phone access as an area of concern, Meadowgreen decided to change to a new total triage system – a change staff were particularly ‘nervous and apprehensive’ about.

Patients couldn’t get through on the phone. We were getting complaints from receptionists saying: “we feel like we're in a call-centre”. Staff were often left feeling demoralised and unvalued. There was no job satisfaction. It wasn't a nice environment.

Joanne Johnson, Practice Manager,
Meadowgreen Health Centre
Not sure how Patient Triage works?

Find out how to manage patient demand from a single toolbar.

Discover Patient Triage

We did a massive training day for two hours and spoke to all the staff. Then we went round to each team. The main thing on that first morning was supporting staff.

We have an older member of our reception team who works full-time for us. She was really nervous because obviously it was a change. At the end of that first morning [using Patient Triage] she looked at me and she said: “I love that”.

Elaine Rissbrook, Practice Manager,
Meadowgreen Health Centre

Making the move to total triage

In late 2022, Meadowgreen ran training to upskill staff and reassure them about the change. They also notified patients on the practice’s websites and Facebook page, promoting the new system.
In January 2023, the practice made the switch to total triage. Now, patients get in touch using Patient Triage via the practice website, NHS App, or phone. Staff either complete the form with the patient over the phone or encourage them to do this themselves.
All requests go through to one, integrated inbox. If a request requires more information, staff either send a patient questionnaire or ask the patient to send photos. The duty doctor reviews the request, and decides on next steps, saving everything to the patient record.

How Meadowgreen’s total triage system works today

Impact so far

355 fewer DNAs

every year since moving to total triage

95% patient requests

are now resolved on the same day they’re received

£37,000 savings

estimated by resolving more requests outside of appointments

‘Patients love it.’

Want to know more about how Meadowgreen made the change to total triage? Then don’t miss our Q&A with Joanne Johnson (Practice Manager).
Read our Q&A with Joanne

Happier staff, better patient access and a lower DNA rate

  • The practice’s new triage system has dramatically improved patient access and made long phone queues a thing of the past.
  • Staff are enjoying better morale and no longer report feeling overworked, while patients regularly give positive feedback about the way their care is managed.
  • With an efficient system in place, Meadowgreen can now manage all Patient Triage requests within their existing staff capacity.