11th August 2021
It has been a little while since we did an update with all the latest news from the surgery.
Firstly, we would like to welcome Dr Clarke who joined us a couple of weeks ago and some of you will have already spoken to or met her. We would also like to formally welcome Dr Ferrigan, he has been working with us on a temporary basis since the start of the year but we are very pleased to announce that he is now on a permanent contract. We would also like to introduce you to Victoria who starts with the Reception team next week.
We have had reports that some people were under the impression that we no longer take repeat prescription requests on paper. We do encourage everyone to submit requests online but if they are unable then we do accept by paper. Online is quicker, more environmentally friendly and helps reduce errors but we recognise that it is not appropriate for all patients.
Further details are available here
Please allow three working days for any prescriptions to be processed and in most circumstances if there are no queries raised then we meet that target and are often quicker. Electronic submissions especially tend to be quicker as they go straight to the person processing.
As always we very much encourage patients that do not need urgent appointment or have an administrative question to use eConsult to contact us.
This can be done via our website or as a new feature of the NHS App, both methods send straight to us. eConsults are prioritised in the same was as phone calls but does avoid the need for you to wait on the line.
There has been lots of misinformation in the press and online about surgeries not being open or clinicians not working. Whilst the way we work has had to adapt with Covid we have never closed and the trend has been that we have been getting busier all the time.
To give an idea of numbers, in the three months before Covid we were averaging 4900 appointments a month, in the last three months we have averaged 5500 a month. This is despite the extra time needed to don/doff PPE and clean the rooms between face to face patients due to Covid. The increase in appointments is partly due to extra capacity by taking on more clinicians and partly by adopting different quicker methods of managing patient care meaning we can put in extra appointments. We work to capacity virtually every day, it is rare to see unused appointments for anyone. Like all surgeries if we were given the resources to double our capacity we would probably still fill it so we have to constantly prioritise when and to whom appointments are allocated.
For a future update I will get some figures on the numbers of prescriptions and tests we process, numbers of Fit Notes produced and similar figures that might be of interest to show you the high workload of clinicians and reception staff.
Did not attend (DNA):
Sadly these are currently running at over 20 a week on average, these are slots that could have been used for urgent issues. With current workloads there are ‘waiting lists’ of tasks so the clinicians have plenty of work to fill the time. However time is wasted if rooms have been prepared, which is the case for some clinical procedures. We do understand that things change and you may not be able to attend a pre-booked appointment. If this is the case wherever possible please let us know so we can most usefully rearrange the time. You can ring us, use the very short form on the Appointments Page of the website, or put a note in the letterbox.
If you are away elsewhere in England and need to speak to a GP urgently or arrange prescriptions please call us.
If you have friends or relatives visiting from elsewhere in England who need to speak to a GP/need prescriptions, they should be calling their own surgery.
This is national guidance and provides better level of care:
“As people flock to holiday spots around the country, general practice in popular locations is under increasing pressure to manage the huge influx of patients.
The message to visitors wherever they are staying is to call your own GP at home if you need health care or advice. Patients can be assessed and treated by their own practice by phone or video consultation in most cases. Managing your own patients when they are on holiday around the country, without referring them to a local practice, is an important way you can support colleagues in general practice this summer. The message for pharmacy is to visit a local pharmacy where people are staying; pharmacists can help with minor health concerns like tummy troubles, aches and pains and many more.”
Whilst much of the country is opening up, in health care settings nothing has changed and is unlikely to in the short term at least. This is to protect staff and other patients and to ensure that we can have as many appointments available as possible. Key points are to please only come to the surgery if you have an appointment or you don’t have a phone or internet access. If you have an appointment please wear a mask, sanitise your hands and keep socially distanced wherever possible. Our inner doors remain closed so we can safely manage the situation.
Flu campaign – Autumn 2021:
We will shortly be arranging dates and ways of booking into flu clinics for this season’s flu jab. We will be inviting in order following the standard priority list that is normally used. We expect to be running in a very similar way to last year which worked well, although there are some lessons we have learned to improve further this year.
Covid booster jabs:
It is very unlikely that we will be delivering booster jabs at a practice level either with flu jabs or separately. There are safety trials that have not yet completed about whether both can be given simultaneously (one in each arm type thing!). However, even if that aspect of the trials are successful Covid jabs are far more complex to store, manage and administer than flu and we are unable to deliver at practice level. Like everything Covid related there are often rapid changes and developments and if anything does change we will let you know. However at the moment we are planning to deliver the flu jabs we have already ordered and will invite accordingly over the coming weeks.
These are minor procedures that we carry out in the surgery that are not life threatening they include things like complex in growing toenails or the removal of certain types of skin tags (not for cosmetic reasons). These were all halted at the start of the pandemic but we have now started them up again and are working through the waiting list. If you are on this list you should get an appointment soon, there is no need for you to ring us as reception do not manage these lists.
That is all for now, further updates to follow in the coming weeks when we get any other news.
Please take care and be safe.