Roseland Surgery April 2016 Newsletter

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April Newsletter 

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for the patients of The Roseland Surgeries

Bank Holidays:

Monday 2nd May – SURGERY CLOSED

Monday 30th May – SURGERY CLOSED

Please remember to order your prescription in time to allow for the surgery closure on these two days in May.

We respectfully ask for a minimum of TWO FULL WORKING DAYS to process your prescription. If we need to get medicines over to a branch site for you, or a drug you require is not in stock and needs to be ordered, we really need a further working day to do this – so please help us to help you.

You may request your prescription in person, by post, fax or by email (the surgery email is:        prescriptions.portscatho@nhs.net)

You may also register with our Waiting Room facility to order your medication via an online portal. Do please ask at reception for further details and a registration form if you wish to do this.

Remember, if you are posting your request to us via Royal Mail, please allow a few more days’ notice!

ACTION FOR CHEST PAIN!!

If you or someone you are with experiences the sudden onset of central chest tightness with or without radiation to the neck or arm, it is safest to call 999 immediately and an ambulance will attend as an emergency and do a heart tracing. In the case of a heart attack it is essential that you get to the hospital as soon as possible to initiate treatment and the ambulance crew are experts at achieving this. Thanks to the efforts of the Roseland Surgeries Patient Group, there are defibrillators at sites all over the Roseland and when you phone 999, the operator will be able to tell you where the nearest defibrillator to your location is and the key code to open it if it is necessary.

Productive General Practice programme

You may recall from the last newsletter, that we were commencing work on this programme, looking specifically at our ‘Front of House’ procedures – so everything from the point at which you come into the surgery, telephoning for an appointment, the journey from requesting your medication to it being dispensed etc.

From my discussions with the team, and comments from patients, we do have some minor issues for prescriptions that are ordered and collected at the branch sites. This could be due to medication not being in stock, issues with getting the medicines over to the branch sites by courier in time (taking into account the times these sites are open and closed) or medication not being where it should be at the time you expect it to be.

I am looking at this process very closely with the dispensary team and we are looking at ways in which we can improve things for both patients and staff at the front desk.   We will of course, keep patients posted with our progress.

Domestic Abuse

Most people, when hearing about domestic abuse, think of physical abuse. However, we know that abuse takes many forms be that emotional, psychological, sexual and even financial. We also know that it can be incredibly difficult to ask for help, or accept help when offered. Abuse of any sort can undermine your confidence and make you feel unable to act, even though you know you should.   Regular listeners to The Archers on Radio 4 will be aware of an ongoing storyline featuring psychological abuse – I am really hoping that the abuser (a ‘charming’ man by all accounts) will get his comeuppance.

REACH provides specially trained domestic abuse practitioners to offer support to men and women who are experiencing abuse. You can contact them directly (or ask a family member to do this for you) on 0300 777 4777. Lines are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. All contact is completely confidential.

You may of course speak to your GP or a Nurse in confidence and they will be able to offer you guidance to get you the help you need.

Internet Safety

You may be internet ‘safe’, but are you internet ‘savvy’??…….Did you know that your online footprint is something that can be followed? Smartphones have a GPS chip inside them – this uses satellite data to allow someone to track you – sometimes without your knowledge! Spyware software can be installed onto a device without the owner’s knowledge and this collects private information such as usernames and passwords to gain access to emails, social media accounts etc. You can easily switch off the GPS function (if you know it’s switched on in the first place!)

Many of us use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc and for the most part, they are very good ways to stay in touch, especially if you have family living further afield, or outside of the UK. However, some of these sites set their Privacy rules to a default setting which is basically ‘everyone can see everything unless you say otherwise’!   It’s quite easy to go through the Settings section on your social media accounts and just double check that you’re happy with the privacy levels that have been set.

Please remember that legitimate official organisations such as your bank will NOT email you or contact you ‘cold’ and ask you to divulge passwords and security details.

The Referrals Process

It is often necessary for patients to see a consultant or specialist for further help and advice after seeing their GP. We have to go through a referrals process in order to get you that out-patient appointment and I thought it would be helpful to outline that process. It will come as no surprise to patients to learn that the administrative steps from seeing your GP to seeing a consultant can be somewhat protracted.

Once the GP has agreed with you that you should be referred, he or she will dictate a referral letter for you. That request is picked up by the secretary and she will transcribe the letter. Once it is typed, it is sent back to the GP electronically for verification. At this point, we need to ensure we’ve got all the right details for you – a daytime contact telephone number, and strangely enough (but essential), your weight and latest blood pressure readings. It’s really helpful if you could ensure we’ve got your correct address and contact telephone numbers so if the GP is doing a referral for you, do make sure you’ve given these to reception before you leave.

If you have any problems using the telephone, if you’re hard of hearing for example, please also let us know if you have a relative or carer that could deal with the appointment booking on your behalf, together with their contact details too.

Once we’ve got the letter back from the GP authorised and verified, the secretary logs into the ‘Choose and Book’ website to create the referral electronically. At this point, she will select the relevant specialty and clinic. A dummy appointment slot is created for the patient and the referral letter attached to that appointment. This information is then picked up electronically by the Referral Management Service (this is a service provided by Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group).

The letter from your GP is then vetted by a GP at the Referral Management Service. This is done to ensure that you are referred to the right clinic for your problem (it may be that someone else could see you more appropriately and more quickly). A Patient Choice Adviser then contacts you by telephone to offer you a choice as to where you might be seen for your out patient appointment, and the appointment slot is then booked. Your appointment confirmation will also come to you by post. If you haven’t heard from the Patient Choice Adviser within 2 to 3 weeks of being seen by your doctor, please give us a call to let us know. We can then chase them for you.

For a routine referral, you should expect to wait no longer 18 weeks from the referral being received to being seen at the hospital.

It goes without saying that the system for urgent referrals is different. If you are being referred because your GP suspects you may have a cancer, you will be seen within two weeks as per the national guidelines for referrals for suspected cancers.

Nicola Hayward

Practice Manager

  

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

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