Surgery Update 16th July 2021
We need to continue to do what we can to keep people safe from catching Covid-19. One way we can all help with this is by continuing to wear a face-covering in our practice and we are asking all patients to do that, as well as our staff. Keeping our staff safe is essential to keep operating efficiently.
We are also continuing to make sure we don’t have large numbers of patients in our waiting areas and on the premises – again this is about reducing the chance of infection when there are rising rates in the community.
The various measures we have taken, including increased use of personal protective equipment, patients wearing face masks, holding more virtual consultations, social distancing and extra premises cleans have helped protect staff, patients and visitors over the past year. Taking these steps has also enabled us to continue providing many of the non-urgent services that would otherwise have been postponed.
We want to make sure you can all be confident about accessing or visiting local healthcare services safely.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation with this – it makes a huge difference.
Surgery Update 24th June 2021
We are here for you when you need us – how to access services
If you need the help of a GP, practice nurse or other health professional that works in our surgery, we are here for you.
GP practices are busier than they have ever been and we want you to know how to get the help you need from us.
As you will know, we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering you telephone and online appointments. Face to face consultations are available for those who need them. We have continued to help many thousands of patients each week, alongside planning and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
There are some things that patients can do to help make sure we can see everyone who needs us, as quickly as possible. Please continue to contact us by phone or online as this helps us to manage people entering our practice building; it is much better if you don’t come to the practice unless you have an appointment. We need to keep social distancing in our practice building to keep everyone safe, we also ask that you always wear a mask while in the surgery. Please remember that appointments are a set amount of time so it is only safe to discuss one or two health issues. If you have more to discuss please mention this when you speak to reception staff.
Our busiest times of the day on the phones are between 8am and 10am so if you can, we would suggest that you call outside of this time.
During the pandemic the use of our online system Accurx increased. It is a great way to get clinical advice for your condition, however, it is worth remembering that each consultation takes a significant of time to review and there are lots of other ways to get advice. Also, you will not get an instant response to these so if it is urgent please call the practice or contact 111.
On our website we have links to key NHS information and advice. Please also go to www.nhs.uk which is a as a source of trusted health advice about your or your child’s condition. Your local pharmacist is also there for you as an expert in medicines. They can offer advice for certain ailments. They will also know when you need to contact a GP or another more urgent service. Many pharmacies are open in the evening and at weekends, you can find them on the NHS website. You can also find out how to make the most of your pharmacist.
Remember if the situation is urgent you can contact NHS 111 by visiting www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111. They can also support with a mental health crisis if you select option 2.
You don’t need to see a GP to refer yourself for some mental health services. Find out more at https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/wellbeing-service/ If you are worried about your mental health and any harm you may cause yourself please contact your practice.
Remember to always dial 999 straight away when it is a real emergency, for example if you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.
Please continue to use general practice when you need to, we are open and there for you.
Thank you for your support.
Surgery Update 5th March 2021
Covid-19 vaccination programme
We are delighted to have been able to deliver the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to so many of our patients in recent weeks. The vaccination centre at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre has worked really well and we are continuing to bring patients in for their vaccine – particularly focussing on those who are clinically at risk, and also our unpaid carers. We have also started to invite our more elderly patients in for their second dose.
There are some weeks when we are not receiving as much supply of the vaccine as we would like, and we know this has led to some frustration and concern. We do liaise with our colleagues in the NHS locally to try to get more vaccine stock into our centre, but the supplies are controlled nationally and this means we can’t always offer as many vaccine appointments as we want to. If you or someone you care for is eligible for a vaccination and is very concerned about waiting to be vaccinated, you can alternatively try to book online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus- vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or dial 119 to see if an alternative nearby vaccination centre has any appointments.
For more information on the vaccine programme in this area, you can use this link https://www.healthierfuture.org.uk/covid
Surgery Update 29th January 2021
All NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment, as we look after increasing numbers of patients who are sick with covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses. We are also delivering the huge and vitally important covid-19 vaccination programme.
So that it can focus on these really important issues, your GP will understandably be prioritising urgent cases. This means that when you contact your local practice, they will have an initial conversation with you to understand how urgent your health needs are. If you have an issue that is not urgent, you may to wait longer than usual until your problem or concern can be dealt with.
Do please make sure that you continue to get in touch with us if you need to. This is particularly important if:
Your problem is urgent,
You have long term condition that is getting worse,
You are worried about symptoms that might indicate cancer.
Please also remember you can call NHS 111 for urgent concerns, and 999 for serious emergencies.
Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints
For adults with mental health problems including depression and anxiety, you can refer yourself directly to Healthy Minds, via their website: https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/healthy-minds-west-essex-iapt/
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call this Freephone number: 0800 6444 101.
We have a childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here, full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/application/files/1716/0941/0098/Help_your_Child_Stay_Well_This_Winter_FINAL.pdf
Herts Help has a range of support and information to help people though the lockdown here https://www.hertshelp.net/hertshelp.aspx
Thank you very much for helping us all manage under these very difficult circumstances.
Surgery Update 29th December 2020
The Covid-19 vaccine is now being rolled out across west Essex. Those who are most at risk from Covid-19 and the people that provide care to them are being prioritised first. Please do not contact us for your vaccine – wait to be called. In line with national guidance and to protect those who are the most at risk first, the vaccine is initially being offered in the community to people aged over 80. You will be contacted when it’s your turn for a vaccine. Even if you are fit and healthy, you are still at risk of getting Covid-19, being vaccinated can greatly reduce your risk of getting the virus so please do attend your appointment when called.
Surgery Update 18th November 2020
We are OPEN, and very busy!
We are fully aware of the many stories in the national press about GP surgeries not being open. We also understand that we all want things to go back to how they were before the pandemic, and that the initial support for the NHS, which was strong at the start of the pandemic, is wearing thin. Please know that we are doing the best that we can for our patients.
We cannot comment on what other surgeries are doing – but want to re-assure you that we are OPEN!
All GP appointment requests must still be first triaged over the phone, and if you cannot be safely managed over the phone or video consultation, we will arrange for a face to face appointment for you.
Since 1st August 2020 to 31st October 2020 - the clinical team have completed:
Face to Face appointments
3148 (this EXCLUDES the 1778 flu appointments so far this year)
Virtual Care Home Ward Rounds
71 patients discussed over 12 virtual ward rounds. This equates to over 11 hours of telephone consultations.
It is not possible to quantify some of our clinical team’s work – the daily tasks such as non-urgent referrals, reviewing test results, reviewing and actioning clinic letters, contacting patients with regards to results or clinic letters, managing and actioning our prescription requests, preparing reports for NHSE and WECCG, writing insurance reports, issuing sick notes, attending virtual Multidisciplinary Teams meetings – the list is endless, but we hope the numbers above will give you some reassurance that we are working hard, and doing the best we can for our patients.
The numbers also does not reflect the work done by our Primary Care Support staff, such as our Paramedic, MSK Physiotherapist, dietician ect.
It is also impossible to quantify to work done by our support staff, such as our reception and admin teams.
We have taken on 184 new patients in this period, vs 120 de-registering, so our list size is still growing fast.
** the above numbers are approximate and only reflects statistics from our appointment book on our clinical system. For example - it does not include consultations that are completed by a clinician after an assessment of a blood test result, or another kind of test result, or following the receipt of a hospital clinic letter which requires intervention. It only reflects work following on from a telephone call from a patient via the reception team. The true numbers will be higher, so the above is an indication of the level or work we are doing, not an exact figure.
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION – remember that we may all sometimes think that an ailment or concern is not important, but please let a clinician decide. Call us, so we can assess you.
Cancer signs and symptoms
There is a legitimate concern that cancer diagnoses has fallen during the pandemic (Nationally) – we have worked hard to make sure we keep you informed over the last few months, but please follow the link below if you have any concerns.
Flu Campaign update
So far, we have vaccinated 2218 patients in “at risk” groups. Our Saturday clinics are now completed, and we are now doing flu vaccinations only within normal surgery hours. Please call the surgery to book an appointment if you fall into the at-risk category, and wish to have a flu jab.
This year it is more important than ever to have a flu jab, due to the added complexities the COVID-19 pandemic brings. Research shows people can catch both diseases at the same time, with very serious consequences. Protecting yourself against flu does not just protect you, but other vulnerable people around you.
Vaccination is a choice – we understand that – but if you are at risk, and do not wish to have a flu vaccination, please let us know, so we can manage our flu vaccination stock effectively. If you have responded to our text campaign on 29.10.2020, you do not need to inform us again.
We have not had an update from NHSE about the new cohort – patients aged 50 – 64, not in an at risk group. We will inform you as soon as we hear anything.