for the patients of The Roseland Surgeries
Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays
It may seem a little way off yet, but Christmas is round the corner! This is just a little reminder of when the surgery will be open over the Festive Season.
Thurs 24th Dec – Xmas Eve – open as usual
Fri 25th Dec – Xmas Day – surgery CLOSED
Sat 26th Dec – Boxing Day – surgery CLOSED
Sun 27th Dec – surgery CLOSED
Mon 28th Dec–Bank Holiday–surgery CLOSED
Tues 29th Dec – open as usual 08.30 am
Wed 30th Dec – open as usual
Thurs 31st Dec – open as usual
Friday 1st January 2016 – surgery CLOSED
Although we are only closed for two working days over Christmas (as we always would be), this year the holiday straddles a weekend again and thus it will feel like we are closed for longer. If you will need medication over the holiday period, do please remember to order it in good time – perhaps no later than 18th December. This will allow the dispensary time to order any drugs that we don’t hold in stock and get your medications ready in plenty of time so you are not rushing around on Christmas Eve unnecessarily.
It would be inappropriate to use the emergency services to request regular, repeat medication when the surgery is closed. We are very grateful to our patients for their help and co-operation at this busy time.
Flu Vaccination Clinics
Our ‘Flu Day’ was a great success with almost 400 people being vaccinated on that one day alone. Refreshments were provided next door at the Memorial Hall and we spotted many people sitting down to have a chat and a catch up, often with friends they hadn’t seen for a while. It made for a lovely, social event and one that we hope to replicate. Many patients commented on how well the day went and how swiftly they were dealt with.
The only negative comment we received was that at one point in the morning, the car park was rather full. Unfortunately, transport that had been laid on by the practice was not fully utilised but we aim to advertise the ‘Flu Day late summer next year as an early reminder to ‘Save The Date’ and hopefully, we can address these issues more fully at that time.
Just a reminder that we still have a few flu vaccinations left – if you are over 65 years of age, immunosuppressed, pregnant, a healthcare/social care worker or in receipt of Carer’s Allowance you should have this jab. As in previous years, if you suffer from a disease of the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, nervous system or are affected by asthma or diabetes, you should also have the vaccination.
Please don’t wait for your invitation letter – book your appointment as soon as you can. Other organisations may approach you offering to provide an alternative service, but please remember they will not have access to your medical records and cannot give other immunisations, such as those to protect you again pneumonia, which are often given at the same time.
The Referrals Process
Occasionally, when you see your GP, he/she may wish to refer you on to see a Consultant or other healthcare provider. I thought it would be helpful for patients to understand the processes involved in this and how you ultimately get that appointment.
Once you are seen by the GP and the decision has been made to make a referral, the GP will dictate a letter for the secretary to type. Once the letter has been typed, it is viewed and authorised by the GP. The letter is then sent electronically to the Referral Management Service, a local service run by a group of GPs from Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. The team at RMS will aim to contact you by telephone over a period of two days. They will discuss your choice of hospital, the date/time and once agreed, the appointment is booked with you directly. The hospital then send you confirmation of the appointment by post. More information regarding this process can be found here:
Urgent referrals, such as those for suspected cancer diagnoses will take precedent over any other routine referral. If your referral is clinically urgent, the RMS team will endeavour to speak to you within 24 hours of receipt of the referral. It is therefore vital that we have the correct address and telephone number for you.
What happens when you transfer to (or from) another GP surgery?
NHS systems and processes can be incredibly confusing, not least for the people working within the organisation itself! A new patient spoke to me recently about their medical records being transferred from their previous GP as they were concerned that their notes hadn’t been received by us. As I’ve just outlined the referrals process, I thought I might share this little piece of bureaucracy with you too!
When you join any medical practice, regardless of whether it is within the same county, or you’ve relocated from far and wide, your new surgery completes a registration form on their computer clinical system which is then sent electronically to the Patient Registration Team of NHS England. This triggers a request to your old GP that you have registered elsewhere and your medical records need to be sent off to that new surgery.
Unfortunately, we are not able to send paper records directly to another GP surgery. They must be sent to the Patient Registration Team, based in Exeter. Medical records are sent by courier (never by external mail services) and once received in Exeter, details of the new GP are affixed to the notes. These are then sent out by courier to the new surgery. Upon receipt, the records will be summarised and details of your past medical history annotated to the computer clinical system. This whole process can take up to 8 weeks, even if you have moved within the county (although often they arrive more quickly than this) – and they must still go to your new GP via Exeter. There is no way to bypass this system.
We have just signed up to an electronic process called GP2GP…….this means that if your old surgery used this service, we can potentially receive your medical notes electronically within 24 hours. Equally, if you move to a surgery using this system, they will get your notes electronically much quicker than the paper version. The paper records will still go – the new surgery must always verify that what is on the computer system matches what is on paper. This is a fail-safe to ensure that data is accurate and of good quality. It’s also a way of ensuring that new patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure etc., are reviewed appropriately by their new surgery in a timely manner.
The Out of Hours Service
There seems to be an awful lot in the news currently about doctors working out of hours, how does this work and who does the work? Junior Doctors in hospital are a rather hot topic at the moment!
Before 2004, GPs were responsible for their own out of hours care for their patients and this often meant that the GP you saw at night, had already worked a full day. I remember having to juggle GP rotas to ensure that if a doctor had worked the previous night, we weren’t expecting him to see patients the following morning! The situation now in Primary Care, is that patients are cared for by a consortium of GPs working for Cornwall Health. This company provides doctors who can offer advice or review patients when the surgery is closed between 6.30 pm and 8 am each weekday and then from 6.30 pm Friday evening to 8 am Monday morning, and of course cover on bank holidays.
There are almost 200 GPs across the county who work shifts for the Out of Hours service. If you need a doctor in an emergency when the surgery is closed, you can access this by calling NHS 111.
It may just be that you need some advice over the telephone; you may need medication urgently and in some cases, the GP who takes your call may decide that you need to be seen. If that is the case, they will arrange an appointment for this to be done.
Many of the GPs who work for the Out of Hours service are partners in GP surgeries and work these shifts in addition to their day job. For some doctors however, because of the hours they work in surgery, it would be clinically unsafe for them to also work at night, having worked all day. For this reason, if you need a doctor urgently, you may not see a doctor you know………..but you WILL get access to medical care that will help you until such time as you can see your own GP, or a doctor at your own surgery.
Dr. Mike Black MB ChB MRCGP DRCOG FP Cert
Dr. Will Hynds MA MB BChir MRCGP DRCOG DCH
Dr. Terese Tubman BMed MRCGP DipFFP
Dr Jonathan Jacoby MB BCh BSc (Hons) MRCGP