As everywhere moves toward a post covid world with all restrictions dropped, in the NHS we are moving a little more slowly and cautiously. Our staff currently continue to test regularly using lateral flow tests and if any of our staff are positive, they will stay at home and isolate from the surgery. Likewise, we also ask that you do not come to the surgery if you have any covid symptoms or a positive test and continue to wear a mask when coming to the surgery to minimise the risk of transmission to our more vulnerable patients. We have a large filter in the waiting room that filters viruses from the air to help as well and will be keeping the windows open and fresh air circulating.
Over the last 2 years we have by necessity moved to default telephone appointments, but throughout the whole of the pandemic we have always seen patients face to face if needed. Telephone appointments and online consultations (accessible via our website) have been welcomed by some patients as more convenient, and we envisage them being a continued option alongside traditional face to face appointments. We are continually tweaking and changing our appointment system to try to provide the most efficient service that we can. We have a patient participation group that meets once a quarter that supports and provides constructive feedback to the practice and issues like this are often discussed. This is open to everyone – please contact the practice if you are interested in joining this group.
In addition to our core general practice team, we have an increasing team of staff who are attached to the practice and to whom you may be directed by our reception team or clinicians. These additional roles to general practice help us to manage our workload and provide an improved service to our patient population. We have a Clinical Pharmacist who helps us to manage medication queries and completes medication reviews; a pharmacy technician who helps us to monitor people who are taking certain medications; a First Contact Practitioner who is an advanced physiotherapist who we can refer to for initial assessment of musculoskeletal problems. In addition we have a health and wellbeing team consisting of social prescribers and health and wellbeing coaches, who we refer to for many issues such as financial and social issues that impact on a person’s health, and support with lifestyle changes to improve your health.
Moving into the year we are looking forward to getting back to seeing everyone for regular annual medication reviews and as many of you are already aware we tie your annual review in with your birthday month. We will be sending out a reminder text and remember that if you need a blood test, please get it done before your review so that the clinician has all the information to hand when they see you. Sometimes we will ask you to complete an online form with information – for instance home blood pressure readings – prior to your review. In some instances if everything is stable and you have no concerns we will be able to update your review date just with the information that you provide. However, if you are not able to access the internet, or find the form too difficult to complete, that is not a problem and you can book a medication review appointment.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our patients who, in the main, have been very understanding of the changes that we have had to make and the delays that have sometimes resulted. It has been hard at times for our team, especially when staff have been absent - our reception team particularly have to juggle sometimes the demand for appointments with a reduced clinical team to provide them. However, we have had some lovely messages of support, little cards of thanks and very often chocolates and biscuits- even flowers last week! Your support and appreciation of the work that we are doing really helps keep morale up, so thank you for your understanding and support. We would also like to welcome two new members of staff to the Reception team: Jenny Hillard and Sarah Hubbard, both welcome additions!
How is your New Year’s resolution to quit smoking going?
Research has shown that it is easier to quit with support from a Smoking Cessation Advisor.
You can book a telephone or face-to-face appointment through reception. We can give you expert advice on a range of proven methods to help you quit. Then give you professional support during the first few months that you stop smoking.
Did you know that:
- after 20 minutes blood pressure and pulse start returning to normal
- after 24 hours carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and the lungs start to clear out smoking debris
- after 48 hours ability to taste and smell improves
- after 3–9 months lung function improves up to 10%
- after 5 years the risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
- after 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and the risk of heart ischaemia falls to that of someone who has never smoked.
We have been made aware of an app called “Hey Pharmacist” which enables patients to order their medication via this app. This app is not connected to us in any way and we ask patients not to order via the Hey Pharmacist app.
Patients can order medication via the NHS app, online web form on our website, or dropping your repeat slip into the surgery. Please do not hand medication orders in at the hatch or over the phone. Thank you