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NHS England veteran friendly accreditation logogeoWelcome to Weobley & Staunton on Wye Surgeries

Online Consultations are Here!

online consult

We have set up instant health advice from the Online Consult page that can be accessed by this webpage and the Patient Access app. Online Consult allows patients to easily seek 24/7 support or access self-help advice, either for themselves or for those in their care and may even save you a face to face appointment. You have access to 200 videos and over 75 forms that have been written, recorded and approved by a team of GPs with over 20 years' experience and Patient.info's clinical director Dr. Sarah Jarvis.

You will now be able to contact the Practice via this service to request a GP letter, request a sick note or ask a general query. Please be aware that all Online Consult forms submitted to the Practice will be dealt with within 2 full working days (ie. not counting weekends or public holidays) and WILL NOT be monitored over weekends and bank holidays and are for NON URGENT queries only. For emergencies and urgent help please dial 999.


***Practice Update from the Partners - 18.06.2020***

We hope you are well and staying safe during these difficult times. We wanted to take this opportunity to firstly say thank you to you all for the offers of help and support during the Covid outbreak. They have been much appreciated. 

We also wanted to give you an update via the local newsletter as we are aware that not all of you have access to the internet and our surgery website.

When the Covid outbreak struck and we went in to lockdown we had to urgently change our systems at the surgery in line with the rapidly changing guidance from NHS England. This we know caused difficulties for all of us but we have continued to maintain a medical service locally, run our dispensary and also help out at the regional "Amber hub" in Kington which is where we assess patients from our surgery and all surgeries across the north of the County who might have Coronavirus.

Whilst it might appear that we have "closed the surgery doors" we want to reassure you that we are still here for you and that General practice is open for urgent and important work. If you need to see or speak to a doctor we will first book you into one of our telephone clinics. To prevent the spread of the disease we will try to sort out your problem over the phone. We may do a video consultation with you which we can set up if we feel it's required via a link from our computer system direct to your mobile phone if it's a modern touch screen type (Smart phone). If you don't have one we can use someone else's in you social bubble if they are available when we call. We might also get you to send us a picture by e-mail.

If we can't sort out your problem by phone and feel we need to see you we can arrange for you to be seen face to face either at Weobley surgery, for non-covid problems, or in Kington if we think you night have Covid symptoms. If we see you we will take all the precautions required to keep you safe. We will wear PPE and only bring you into the building one at a time. If you have a mask or face covering please wear it.

All these steps and precautions along with the need to do extra work up in Kington and having staff off sick and needing to shield due to their own health conditions does reduce down the number of patients we can deal with at any one time. Despite this we have had to manage over 140 direct patient contacts in a single day recently, and whilst it may appear to some that the surgery "is closed" we'd like to reassure you all that we've been here working as hard now as before the pandemic started and are still here for you.

In the last few weeks we have started to see a rise in demand for appointments as people can no longer put off contacting a doctor and we are trying to cope with this along with the measures above to keep everyone safe.

Currently we have been operating from a single list of phone calls due to the unpredictability of staffing levels and also trying to deal with all the work load in a single day, but we realise this prevents people from forward booking appointments and removes the ability to select which doctor you speak with. We hope to soon return to more personalised list system for non-urgent work and a single list for urgent cases. However, this may mean having to wait to speak to a doctor if your problem is not urgent, rather than having it dealt with on the day you ring up.

Our dispensaries are still open and still managed to prepare over 12,000 items last month! We are sorry you are not currently able to collect  prescriptions from inside the building but feel it's best to dispense from the window to keep you all safe and keep the inside of the building for patients who need to be seen by a doctor or nurse. Due to the volume of work the dispensary does we would be very grateful if you could use the on-line ordering system or get someone else to do it for you if at all possible. This is because it vastly speeds up our processes and saves us having to manually enter the request on to the computer, which is very helpful and safer when we are dealing with thousands of requests.

Nationally the NHS is currently on level 4 which means routine work is suspended but we suspect that this may change in the coming weeks to level 3. When this happens we will need to incorporate some routine work into the system along with the workload we already have whilst still follow procedures to keep everyone safe. We are also starting to think about how we will be able to look after you in the future, as it is clear things will need to change. We know that a large number of our patients are on treatment for high blood pressure, have diabetes or have cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, strokes or TIAs) and need their blood pressure measuring. Normally we call you in to the surgery to do this or lend you one of our machines, but obviously this is a problem due to the risk of spreading the virus. We would therefore like to suggest that those of you who are able to do so buy your own blood pressure machine. These are relatively inexpensive at about £25 and can be bought from high street pharmacies and on-line retailers and could be shared within your household or social bubble. Whilst we realise not everyone will be able to afford to do this, for those that can it will be a relatively small sum to invest in your future health. We would then ask that you send us blood pressure readings once or twice a year so we can monitor your treatment. There is a form below which can be printed out which gives you the instructions and also the levels you are aiming for, or you can collect one from either reception. 

We are also thinking about how we do other things like Flu vaccinations in the Autumn and other more routine work. All of this will be challenging and we hope you will be patient with us and understand that it can't simply be business as usual yet. Whilst the levels of Coronarvirus cases in the Country are falling a lot of medical professionals, ourselves included, think it is unlikely that we are through this and expect a second wave of the virus, which may be even worse than the first. It is important that we all do our best to comply with the advice we are given and follow the rules as the situation changes, even though these are often inconvenient.

Please stay safe and remember we are here if you need us.

Rob Sykes, Ritesh Dua and Tom Moore of Weobley and Staunton-on-Wye surgeries

Information for Patients about Blood Pressure readings

It is clear that we are going to have to work differently for some time to come because of the Coronavirus. If you are receiving treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) or have cardiovascular disease (stroke, TIA, angina or heart attack) or have diabetes or kidney disease it is important that we regularly monitor your blood pressure. Sadly it seems unlikely that we will be able to do these face to face checks in the surgery any time soon. We also cannot lend out our blood pressure machines. With this in mind we would like to suggest that you consider buying a blood pressure machine if at all possible. These are available from high street pharmacies or online for about £20-£30.

We would then like you to send us an average reading once every 6 months. If your average blood pressure is raised we would like you to book a telephone appointment to discuss it with us.

Unless you have been told otherwise your target over an average of 10 or more readings would be:

Hypertension or Cardiovascular Disease aged 79 or below = 140/90

Hypertension or Cardiovascular Disease aged 80 or over = 150/90

Diabetes or kidney disease = 140/80

Please feel free to download and use the blood pressure recording template Here


Request for Letters regarding Children Returning to School

We have started to see requests for information as to whether a child or children, who is/are a patient of the practice, is/are able to return to school with their year group when schools re-open.  The closure of schools was part of the Covid-19 pandemic national response to increase social distancing.

 

The Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health has produced advice on returning to school and has classified children into one of the four cohorts below

  • Clinically extremely vulnerable children to remain shielded and not to return to school, even if their year group has.
  • Clinically vulnerable children who are only under the care of primary care are overwhelmingly likely to benefit from returning to school when their year group does.
  • Clinically vulnerable children, who are under secondary or specialist care for an underlying health condition are, on the balance of probabilities, more likely to benefit from returning to school when their year group does so. These families may need a conversation with their treating teams to balance the potential risks and any familial anxiety.
  • All other children should attend school when their year group returns. If your child is in the category 1 cohort of being clinically extremely vulnerable you would already have received notification regarding this, if you are in any doubt the list of conditions included can be found here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/

 

If they are in the category 3 cohort, they will be under secondary/tertiary care (hospital based care) and you will need to discuss with the hospital team if they are able to return to school at this time. For any other child, they should return to school when the rest of their year group returns.

 

We also want to reassure you that schools have been instructed as follows:

  • To carry out a risk assessment before opening to more children and young people, and directly address risks associated with coronavirus so that sensible measures can be put in place to minimise those risks for children, young people and staff.
  • To make sure that children and young people do not attend if they or a member of their household has symptoms of coronavirus.
  • To promote regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap or use of sanitiser and ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the catch it, bin it, kill it approach.
  • To clean more frequently, to get rid of the virus on frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, handrails, tabletops, play equipment and toys.
  • To minimise contact through smaller classes or group sizes and altering the environment as much as possible, such as changing the layout of classrooms.
  • To reduce mixing between groups through timetable changes, such as staggered break times or by introducing staggered drop-off and collection times


Blandford Fly Bites Advice

Blandford fly bites are common during May and June.  They often occur on the legs and are very painful. They can produce a severe, localised reaction (a reaction that is confined to the area of the bite) with symptoms such as:

Swelling
Blistering
A high temperature of 38 degrees (100.4F) or over
Joint pain

The Blandford fly i s a 2-3 mm bloodsucking black fly. Although it is named after the Blandford area it is also found in other areas including Norwich, Oxfordshire and Herefordshire as the larvae live in the mud on the banks of slow flowing rivers and streams.

The bugs tend to fly at less than half a metre from the ground - so most people are bitten on the legs. NHS Herefordshire recommends people should cover up and use insect repellent when out and about particularly near affected rivers and streams.

Treatment for Blandford Fly Bites - clean the bite wound with water and dry gently. Creams bough over the chemist counter can soothe the pain of a bite, as can an antihistamine tablet. Even though it may be itchy, try to avoid scratching the bite because you may damage the skin and allow bacteria to get in.

Redness and irritation are common and should settle within a few days with these measures. Secondary infection is less common. If you notice red lines appearing on the skin, redness and swelling which keeps spreading outwards and enlarged lymph nodes (swelling) in your armpit or groin, seek medical advice.


***Update on Accessing Dental Services - 05.05.20**

Access to NHS Dentistry is currently limited during the pandemic as all dentists have been asked to stop all routine “face-to-face” dental care. However, if you need urgent dental care, help is at hand:

Call your DENTAL practice not your GP:

They will give you advice over the telephone and make arrangements for you if you need to be seen. If you don’t have a dentist, find your nearest dentist and CALL them. You can search for your nearest dentist at: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

You can also contact NHS 111

You can ask for a translator if you need one. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you’re deaf, you can:

use the NHS 111 British Sign Language service: interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111

or

call 18001 111 on a textphone

Do not worry if you have COVID-19 symptoms, appropriate arrangements can be made to see you if you need urgent dental care.



***Update on Covid & Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs including Ibuprofen - 15.04.20***

Further to previous concerns, The Commission on Human Medicines? Expert Working Group on coronavirus (COVID-19) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and contracting or worsening of COVID-19 and therefore you should continue to take your medications as directed should you have symptoms of the Covid virus.

 

***Addendum to our Practice Privacy Notice - 06.04.20***

In light of the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and the Practice faces due to the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health. In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way, we may therefore need to share your personal information. Our Covid 19 Privacy Notice provides more information here.



***Coronavirus Update - 03.04.20***

We would very much like to thank those patients who have very kindly offered the staff here at the Practice cakes, chocolates etc. We really do not wish to offend anyone at this time however we are all working under strict infection control regulations and accepting any items that may, without your knowledge, be carrying the virus, may mean that all of our staff would be vulnerable to infection and a period of quarantine leaving us unable to provide a service to you. Thank you very much for your thoughts and we would be happy to receive these items once the pandemic is over!

 

***Coronavirus Update - 02.04.20***

STAY AT HOME AND SHIELD YOURSELF IF YOU ARE AT HIGH RISK OF GETTING SERIOUSLY ILL FROM CORONAVIRUS

All “High risk” patients have been asked by the government to “Shield” themselves, even within their home, for 12 weeks. We will continue to provide care for these patients in the safest way possible and ensure they are shielded appropriately.

The primary purpose of the letter sent by the government is to identify the 2% of the UK population who are at critical risk of infection. The remaining 98% are still at risk and need to manage this risk alongside their employer.

The Government has in addition written to GP practices asking them to help by identifying further groups of Patients that may have been missed from national datasets or who belong to at-risk groups where information is best held by local GPs. As a result, patients in this area will be contacted in the coming week or so to inform them of their increased risk of COVID-19 complications however this timeframe is likely to change depending on the Government’s daily guidance updates.

If you think you are on the following list, you can help by adopting or continuing to shield whilst awaiting your letter. If you are currently working and need a letter to inform your employer of your “Shielded status” or if you need support to start or continue shielding, please see below.


Who is being asked to Shield?

Patients in the high risk, as well as those in the very high risk are now being asked to shield.


Patients in the Highest Risk Categories

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • Patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy or targeted immunotherapy
  • People with bone marrow cancer, lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma who are on active treatment 
  • Patient living with HIV
  • Patients at risk of pneumococcal immunity suppression.
  • Patients with severe respiratory conditions, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, severe COPD
  • People with genetic disorders that increase the risk of infection
  • People on significant immunosuppression therapies. In particular patients on Azothioprine, mycophenolate, cyclosporin, sirolimus, tacrolimus.


Patients In High Risk Categories

If you are in one of these categories, you will receive a letter in the next few days. Please only contact the practice for urgent assistance related to this such as the need for your employer to have a letter, or if you have no one who is able to help you in shielding.

  • Patients with multiple long-term conditions.
  • Patients with Asthma on high dose combination inhalers, or needing an add on tiotropium inhaler, or who have been hospitalised in the last year, or ever in ITU as a result of asthma. Please see the link to the asthma.org website which details the inhaler you are taking. https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/#Shielding
  • Patients on other Immunosuppressant medication from listed above (methotrexate,leflunomide or oral prednisolone at dose of at least 20mg or more for more than 4 weeks for example) Please see the British society of Rheumatology guidance which classifies patients risk more accurately on the following link https://www.versusarthritis.org/rheumatology-patients-and-covid-19-learn-more-aboutthe-risk-levels/
  • Patients who have had a splenectomy.
  • Patients hospitalised with a pneumonia in the last year.
  • Patients with diabetes and an HBa1c of > 75, recent diabetic ketoacidosis or are poorly adherent to medication.
  • Patients with significant heart failure.
  • Patients with dementia or cognitive impairment.


How Can You Get Assistance With Foods And Medicines If You Are Shielding?

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. Please discuss your daily needs during this period of staying at home with carers, family, friends, neighbours or local community groups to see how they can support you.

Please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable to register for the support that you need. This includes help with food, shopping deliveries and additional care you might need.


Further information on shielding available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protectingextremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protectingextremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19


Self-Isolation and your Employer

You can decide if you need to self-isolate and discuss with your employer. In the first instance your employer should offer you remote working. If this is not possible then you will need to consider whether you fall into the furloughed employee category –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?fbclid=IwAR0X6I9yqo61Uc-K6TUMV2-jnwot18m6GlrRfNV6-OyoWl_9VKablULXsWU

Because you are well enough to work, however unable to attend work because of the risk of contracting Corona virus, we are unable to offer a fit note to cover this period. You will need to work with your employer to resolve this situation or visit the website NHS111 Self Isolation Certificate

Find out if you’re eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they put you on temporary leave (“furlough”) because of coronavirus (COVID-19). https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?fbclid=IwAR0D3vhhKtUKmMduiaZeg4k-hXDNVjcD70hOEkK9DnsKYSyu6d5MgTJAJFo

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this information, for staying at home, for protecting the NHS and for saving lives. You have an equal role to play alongside NHS Staff than in this pandemic.



***Coronavirus Update - 30.03.20***

We are currently continuing with the guidance issued by NHSE and Public Health England to undertake telephone and video consultations at the outset. Please can we ask that if you request a telephone call, you are available when the clinician returns your call. We are very sorry that we cannot offer an exact time for a call back but as a considerable number of our patients are self-isolating it is quite surprising how many patients are not in or unavailable when the clinician returns the call.

Isolation Note - If you live with someone who has symptoms of Coronavirus you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay off work. You do not need to get a note from your GP. You can access this by NHS111 Self Isolation Certificate

At Risk Letters - we are aware that some patients have received these and some haven't. These letters were sent direct from a national resource and not the Practice. Unfortunately we are unable to answer any of your queries as to why you have or have not received these letters at the present time. If however you are in any way concerned about any longstanding conditions or current symptoms do please request a telephone consultation to discuss these with a clinician.

Card Payments - We can now offer card payments at both Weobley & Staunton on Wye Surgeries.

NHS App - You can sign up for online access to ordering your medications by using the Online App. Further information on this service and how to sign up can be found here

Courtesy to Staff - Please can we reiterate how hard our staff are working to provide you with a service. Please don’t shout at our staff when they can’t do these things because remember we will still make sure you get the medication you NEED and we will still provide the best possible care - over the phone or Face to face if absolutely necessary!!



***Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions for our Patients 24.03.20***

We have provided some answers to the most frequently asked questions that we are getting at the Practice. You can find these by clicking on the link Patient FAQs

Please try, where at all possible, to order your medications online or via the answerphone service. For those of you not signed up to this service you can do this via the NHS App online.

Please try not to repeatedly telephone our Dispensary line asking whether your medications are ready. If you use our automatic repeat process then your medications will be available for pick up at the date indicated to you at the time. The Dispensary Team are extremely busy during this unprecedented time.

We are open for prescription pickups... please respect the guidance of waiting for the person at the hatch to leave the building first, and not crossing in the doorway, before you enter the building, stand 2 metres away from the person in front of you and use the hand sanitizer provided. Thank you.



***Coronavirus & Pregnancy - Guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists 23.03.20***

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists have released comprehensive guidance on Coronavirus and pregnancy.

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/



***Coronavirus & Anti-Inflammatory Medications Statement - 18.03.20***


We are aware that concerns have been raised in France about the use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Some of these such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin are available over the counter. Others such as Naproxen, Diclofenac, Indometacin, Mefenamic Acid, Meloxicam, Ketoprofen and Calecoxib etc require a prescription.

There appears to be no evidence that NSAIDs increase the chance of acquiring coronavirus but concerns have been raised that taking them whilst you have a coronavirus infection may increase the complications or slow the recovery.

The Government has asked the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence and part of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency to review the evidence.

In the interim, patients who have confirmed coronavirus or believe they have coronavirus should use Paracetamol in preference to an NSAID.

The Partners at Weobley & Staunton on Wye Surgeries



***Coronavirus Statement & Advice - Updated 17.03.20***


Dear Patients,

The next few months will be challenging for us all as we navigate our way through the Corona Virus crisis. From today, 17th March, we have now suspended and changed how we make appointments for future bookings.

As a surgery we feel we have two main areas of responsibility to you; continuing to provide necessary clinical care and ensuring you are given the most up to date clinical advice without creating mass panic in the community.

The current advice for managing clinical care is as follows:

If you have minor symptoms that may suggest early corona virus infection (these are a raised temperature above 37.8 and/or a new cough) you are to self-isolate for 14 days. If someone living in the same house as you has symptoms you are now advised also to self-isolate for 14 days. If you live alone then you should self-isolate for 7 days.  Should your symptoms worsen then contact NHS 111. We are asking you not to attend the surgery, or ask for routine home visits if you have these symptoms.

Information remains subject to regular change and updates.  Advice can be found here:

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

The Government has announced that those who are at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus but who have no symptoms should follow social distancing measures. This does not mean you must self-isolate at this time. Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people including:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact us

For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible. Information remains subject to regular change and updates.

We have now moved to telephone triage appointments first rather than you coming into the surgery in the first instance. The reason for us not seeing you straightaway isn’t because we don’t want to provide you with clinical care but to ensure we limit the spread of the virus; we all use the coordinated process of managing all corona virus suspected patients in the same way across the country; ensure we protect our clinical team as much as possible so that we remain able to work and provide care. If you feel that your problem is urgent and you need to be seen, please call the surgery as you normally would.

As you can imagine we are dealing with an inordinate amount of telephone calls which means there may well be a wait for your call to be answered. Please be patient and respectful to our Reception Team at this very challenging time. If your call is not urgent or you need advice about self-isolating please visit our website where you can request non-urgent information via the Online Consultation at the top of the Home Page.

Please do not ask for medications that you have not taken for many years or extended periods of medication outside of the current 28 days that we provide on a repeat prescription basis. Stockpiling, just in case, will be detrimental to the provision of all medications at a time when we need to ensure patients receive their medications as they need them.

We can understand that patients may require sick notes but when dealing with sick patients and reduced staffing levels this will not be a priority. Patients can self-certify under current regulations for seven days, beyond this we understand that patients may well need a sick note from a GP though this may well change in the near future. We are not able to provide sick notes for people who are self-isolating or isolating as part of a family group so please do not call the practice as this is causing delays in dealing with urgent enquiries.

Please do not be surprised, moving forward, if one of our GPs asks you to undertake a video consultation with them. This will be via a secure link to your smartphone. You can see how this works via the link on our website Here.

Unfortunately, like with all viruses, the corona virus can and will occur in conjunction with other clinical conditions. Many of our patients have long-term conditions such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis etc – it is important we continue to control and treat these conditions appropriately.

In the event that your symptoms are deteriorating quickly with severe shortness of breath or any other symptoms which normally require a 999 call you must continue to use the emergency service – it is essential you mention to the 999 team that you think you might also have corona virus.

Many of our patients and clinical staff will contract the virus. Some will, have a mild case of flu like symptoms, some will be very ill with high temperatures and incessant cough and sadly some will be severely unwell requiring medical intervention.

As GPs we advise that you regularly wash your hands with soap and water (please note special, expensive soaps are not needed), keep your household surfaces clean, avoid overcrowded environments and seek medical advice early on if you have clinical symptoms.

Viruses do not respond to antibiotics and hence no acute treatment to get rid of the virus is available. The main symptoms of high temperature and sometimes a headache are best treated with paracetamol within the recommended dosage on the packaging.

There is a huge amount of information available online. Some of this is useful but some information is both incorrect and causing panic and fear. As clinicians we are committed to minimising any fear that this virus causes. With this in mind we will produce updates for you as things move forward.

In the event that we need to get urgent information out to you we will send a text message to accompany the online statement. This approach hopefully will minimise anxiety and ensure that if the time comes when we need to urgently communicate to you we can do so without having caused information fatigue already.

Please be assured that we remain available to treat, advise and respond to this situation and there are plans in place should further restrictions be placed on the UK as this situation unfolds.


Further information is available www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/ or gov.uk/coronavirus 

Should you be travelling abroad in the near future, please refer to the Foreign Office website here where you will find the most up to date travel information specific to the country of travel.


Update Your Details with the Practice

We have recently made some updates to our new patient registration form and we would therefore wish to provide a medium for patients who are already registered at our Practice to update any relevant details with the Reception Team.

You can download the form from here and drop it back into the Reception Team at either Practice

or

you can ask at Reception for a form to complete and return


Updated Private Fees from January 2020

The NHS provides most health care free of charge. However, there are a number of other services for which fees can be charged. These are mainly for services not covered by the NHS such as medical reports for insurance companies.

Doctors are involved in a whole range of non-medical work, largely on the basis that they occupy a position of trust within the community, and are in a position to verify the accuracy of information. If a GP signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a professional duty that s(he) checks the accuracy of such information. This may involve examining the patient and/or their entire medical record. From 1st January 2020 our fees for any work that is private and not part of an NHS contract can be found here


Missed Appointments Keep Everyone Waiting

From 1st November 2018 to 1st November 2019 the number of appointments lost to patients who did not attend their appointments at the practice are:

  • Doctor Appointments - 306
  • Nurse & HCA Appointments - 300
  • Midwife Appointments - 12
  • Physiotherapist Appointments - 15
  • Mental Health Appointments - 16
  • Other Appointments - 21

This equates to approximately £20,780.00 of NHS monies wasted.

Keep it or Cancel it. Don't forget it!!

Please let us know if you cannot make your appointment as this can then be offered to another patient.


Sepsis Awareness

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition and needs emergency treatment, usually in hospital. The symptoms of sepsis may be vague and not specific so seek medical advice immediately if you have concerns. Currently around 250,000 people a year develop sepsis in the UK and of these about 46,000 die. You should always seek help if you, or anyone you're with, develop the symptoms. The Practice will be providing a copy of the Sepsis Leaflet below with all acute prescriptions of antibiotics to provide awareness, information and advice to patients and their carers and families on what to look out for.

Sepsis Information and Advice for Patients


Car Parking at Staunton Surgery & Primary School

We have been incredibly lucky to have been supported at the Staunton Practice by Staunton on Wye Primary School in allowing patients to park in the right hand car park as an overflow car park for the surgery. However parking for patients is NOT permitted between the hours of 8.30 - 9.15 am and 3.00 pm - 3.45 pm when parents and carers are dropping off and collecting their children. The car park is stretched to capacity at these times and vehicles belonging to other people are causing parents to park on the road which is an unsafe environment for their pupils.

We would therefore like to remind you of the permitted times for the use of the school car park above and ask that you do adhere to the request as unfortunately the goodwill may well be withdrawn and this additional valuable car parking resource will be lost.

Many thanks for your co-operation.


Sign Up for our Newsletter

You can do this by clicking on the link below. You will then receive the latest Newsletter via email each quarter. You can access the latest Newsletter by clicking the link on the Patient Participation Group page or by clicking on the link below.

Newsletter - December 2019


LGBT - Pride in Practice Accreditation

We as a Practice are working very closely with the LGBT Foundation towards their Pride in Practice Accreditation. More information can be found here

Our Facebook page is now live

We now have a dedicated Practice Facebook page that will provide you with a wealth of Practice and Health information. You can find this by accessing the link below.

Visit us on Facebook


Extension to our Text Messaging Service

Over the next couple of weeks we are introducing an extension to our text message reminder service. We already remind you of your appointment dates but we will be using text alerts to you know much more, including:

  • when your medications are available for you to pick up
  • when your fit note, medical report, letter is ready to pick up
  • when your results have come back to the Practice, have been seen by the clinician, and they are normal
  • when you need to come in for review of your long term condition
  • when you need to come in for a medication review
  • when you need to come back and discuss a non-urgent hospital letter or additional treatment with a clinician
  • when you are due to come in for a vaccination or immunisation

Patients have reported the following benefits of using the service including:

  • Convenience, avoiding the need to wait for a phone call to answer a simple question
  • Immediacy, receiving correspondence immediately rather than waiting for a letter
  • Safety, allowing prompting of overdue investigations when issuing repeat prescriptions
  • Patient experience, for example, letting a patient know that their prescription is ready to collect
  • Improved access and avoiding inappropriate appointment

Please ensure your mobile number is correct on your records by discussing this with a member of the Reception Team so that you will be able to take advantage of this service. If you do not wish to take advantage of this service then please let the Reception Team know and we can set the system to reflect your decision not to accept text messages.

Text Messaging Policy


Military Veterans Covenant

GP Practices are supporting the initiative to become 'Veteran Friendly'. As per the Armed Forces Covenant, all veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated to their time within the armed forces (service related). However, this is always subject to clinical need and does not entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need. Since the initiative started we have asked all our new patients whether they have ever been in the forces on our registration form, however those patients that have been registered at the Practice for some time may not be aware of this. If you have ever been a serving member of the Armed Forces do please let the Reception Team know and they will ensure your records are annotated with this information.

Further information is available within the Practice's Military Veterans Treatment Priority Policy


Social Prescriber

Casey Ord is our Social Prescriber.

The social prescribing link worker role has emerged over the past few years and has mainly been pioneered by voluntary sector organisations, working in partnership with GP practices and other referral agencies. Link workers are employed in non-clinical roles. They are recruited for their listening skills, empathy and ability to support people.

Social prescribing link workers help to reduce health inequalities by supporting people to unpick complex issues affecting their wellbeing. They enable people to have more control over their lives, develop skills and give their time to others, through involvement in community groups. Link workers visit people in their homes, where needed.

Social prescribing particularly works for a wide range of people, including people:

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing

If you feel that Casey may well be able to help you, please discuss this with your GP or a member of our Practice Team. Further information is available here


Herefordshire One Record

Sharing records to improve patient care in Herefordshire

Herefordshire patients will soon benefit from an improved digital sharing system called Herefordshire One Record.

This will enable sharing of patient records between GPs and other health care professionals in the county to ensure patients get the best possible treatment when needed.

Patient information is often only available within a single organisation. Herefordshire One Record will allow health care professionals in multiple organisations in Herefordshire to view patient records.

The following organisations will soon have access to the electronic systems to share information:

  • Herefordshire GP Practices
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust
  • St Michael’s Hospice
  • Taurus Healthcare (for extended and out-of-hours GP services)

In addition, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust will also have access to view the records shared by the above organisations. (Note: 2gether will have access to view the records shared by the above organisations but will not be sharing any records through Herefordshire One Record).

Herefordshire One Record will enable staff of these organisations to access up-to-date records that are held by the other organisations.

It means that medical staff involved in patient care (whether they are a GP, Practice Nurse, District Nurse or a Consultant at the hospital) can make more informed choices about the care and medical treatment needed by a patient. It also means that patients won’t need to explain their medical history or conditions each time they see a different health care professional.

Through this new digital system the quality of patient care will be improved through not only the better coordination but reducing the time spent updating health records on different systems by clinical teams and having to request information from other health care providers. 

It will assist with patient information being available in the right place at the right time and aims to help reduce admissions and readmissions and decrease duplicate testing. It will help our healthcare services in Herefordshire working in the most efficient ways possible.

Herefordshire One Record roll-out will start Mid-September 2019.

Further information is available from the Herefordshire CCG website here


Thinking of Travelling at the Last Minute?

Hoping to book a fantastic deal on the internet or to get a bargain at the travel agents? That would be great, but please remember we rarely have last minute appointments. You should attend the surgery at least 6-8 weeks before departure. Sometimes you will require a course of vaccinations and sometimes these may have to be ordered in for you. 

Why not even come to discuss your intended travel plans when you book you annual leave?

Further information is available here Travel Vaccinations


Admiral Nurses

We know that living with dementia can sometimes be a hard and lonely experience. Admiral nurses work together with families to provide the one to one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need to live more positively with dementia each and every day.

Please talk to your GP about this new initiative.

Admiral Nurse Information


Are you Fit and Ready for your Surgery?

Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG) recognises that lifestyle factors have a significant impact on the health of our population and place an increasing burden on our health economy. This trend is set to continue unless we make some changes to our lifestyle choices and in our approach to healthcare delivery. We recognise that we all have a part to play in making our communities healthier and we must work closely with the patients we serve and our highly skilled health workers who provide the support services to achieve this end. We set out to inspire you to get involved and share responsibility by taking the positive steps to ensure that you are fit for surgery and our investing in your lifelong health. Our aim is to support you to reduce your individual risk of complications before, during and after surgery and have the best possible outcome of care and enjoy an improved healthier lifestyle. By optimising your health, you may be able to influence the immediate outcome of surgery and impact on the level of benefit that you get from the procedure.

Further information is available below:


Helping Patients to Manage their own Online Referral

More referrals are being made electronically with the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS). Using e-RS means practices have the chance to save time by helping patients manage their referral online.

The e-RS Manage Your Referral website is easy for patients to use. It allows you to book, check, change and cancel your appointments online without help from the practice.

Patients can take control and book their own appointment on a convenient date and time and at their preferred hospital or clinic if there is a choice. This means no more worried patients contacting the practice to find out what is happening with their appointment. Further information is available by clicking on the link below:

Manage Your Referral Online Leaflet


NHS APP

Try the new NHS App

If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more if you have requested access to your information. If you currently do not have access to your records, please ask a member of the Reception Team who will be able to provide you with all the information you require to register.

If you already use Patient Access Online you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'


Social Media Patient Policy

There are many social media platforms that are widely used by both staff and patients; these include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. At Weobley & Staunton on Wye Surgeries we have a Facebook page which provides a range of useful information for our patient population.

The Practice has a duty to maintain patient confidentiality and to safeguard vulnerable patients. You can help us achieve this by adhering to the Code of Conduct outlined in the policy below.

Social Media Patient Policy


National Data Opt-Out Programme

In line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018, a new opt out scheme where you can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning was also launched. Patients who had previously indicated they wished to opt out from this purpose only would have been contacted by NHS Digital to ask you to re-set your preferences. For those patients who wish to register with the opt out programme for research and planning purposes only, you will need to visit the web page below. Unfortunately this particular code cannot be initiated by the Practice.

To find out more visit: nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters

or you can review the leaflet National Data Opt-Out Patient Leaflet


Are you Living with Cancer?

Free Local support available for anyone affected by cancer. See Living with Cancer Leaflet for more details.


New Information Governance Legislation - General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data privacy law that will be introduced in the UK in May 2018 requiring all organisations to identify changes that need to be made to achieve GDPR compliance in their personal data processing activities. The regulation will put you in control of your personal data, allowing you to choose how (and whether) Practices can use your data. The new regulation will still apply to organisations once the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

As a result, we've published a new privacy notice to make it easier for you to find out how the NHS uses and protects your information. The only website this Privacy Notice applies to is the Surgery's website. If you use a link to any other website from the Surgery's website then you will need to read their respective privacy notice. We take no responsibility (legal or otherwise) for the content of other websites.

Further information is available below:

We are confident that our website will provide clear and concise help and give our patients the information they require in an easy and convenient format. It has been designed with the patient’s needs at the forefront of everything, from checking surgery times to letting us know what you think of us. You can do this by completing our Friends & Family Test by clicking on the Questionnaire box at the bottom of this page. Every survey returned will be extremely useful to see how we are performing now and what would be required to improve our patient services.


Accessible Information Standards

All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must following the Accessible Information Standards (AIS) in full from 31st July 2016.

The AIS aims to make sure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they might need.

The standards tells organisations how to make information accessible to the following people:

  • Patients
  • Service users
  • Their carers and parents

This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as:

  • Large print
  • Braille
  • Easy read
  • Via email

The AIS also tells organisations how to support people's communication needs. As part of the AIS organisations must:

  • Ask people if they have information or communication needs and find out how to meet their needs
  • Record those needs in a set way
  • Highlight a person's file so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met
  • Share information about a person's needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have permission or consent to do so
  • Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it

We will always do our best to try and provide this information as soon as possible but in some cases this may not be an instant service and further enquiries may need to be made.

Additional information can be found by following the links below:


Patient Online Access

If you wish you can already use the internet to book appointments with a GP, request repeat prescriptions for any medications you take regularly and have access to your summary information (allergies and immunisation history). You can now also access your coded medical records.

Further information on what you can expect to see and what will not be included is available by visiting the link Patient Access Online.


Missed Appointments

There seems to be an increasing trend of patients not attending their booked appointments. Every appointment that is not attended means that another patient has to wait longer to be seen. Monthly numbers of patients who Did Not Attend (DNAs) are on display in the practice waiting area. We do appreciate that there are times when you cannot attend your appointment but we do ask that you please cancel these to allow others to utilize your appointment. The Practice will be looking at ways to reduce the number of DNAs in the near future.

For the period June to December 2015 we had 802 appointments wasted with patients not attending. For the doctors alone this equates to nearly 26 complete sessions! Over the coming months we will be reviewing our DNA Policy and the forms of actions we must take, on an individual basis, to try and reduce this number.

There are increasing pressures upon clinical staff to reduced waiting times for appointments and to increase patient access to clinicians. Patients who do not provide notice of cancellation add to these pressures by reserving appointments that are then wasted.

The current Did Not Attend (DNA) Policy can be reviewed here

Missed appointments keep everyone waiting. Please keep it or cancel it. Don't forget it!!


Serving You

Our dedicated team are here to treat those minor ailments that occur as well as providing specialist management of long-term conditions and clinics covering a wide range of healthcare issues. The technology also means you can now do a lot of things from the comfort of your home such as order a repeat prescription or cancel an appointment. All patients registered with the Practice have an allocated GP to look after their care. Patients do not have to see this GP, they are welcome to see whichever GP they prefer. If you wish to know who your allocated GP is, please ask a member of staff.


Partners in Care

Once registered, patients and healthcare professionals work together to ensure the most appropriate care is provided. This partnership philosophy extends even further and our active patient group exists to make sure that patient needs and the practice offering are always heading in the same direction.


Access

We have suitable facilities at both surgeries to accommodate patients and visitors who use a wheelchair. Both surgeries have parking and all facilities are accessible on the ground floor. Should you require help a member of staff will be pleased to assist you.


Feedback to the Practice

We always welcome constructive feedback from our patients as we continually strive to provide a better service for all. We would be most grateful if you would complete the questionnaire by clicking the link below.

(Site updated 02/07/2020)
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