Roseland Surgeries

Roseland Surgeries Patient Group – Briefings

Briefing 88 (and 87)

5 August 2022

A very brief briefing….but important!  If you know of someone living near you who does not have access to this technology please would you share this information?  Covid is still with us – and for the more elderly in the population poses a risk still so it is really important to get that booster jab.  Anecdotally we know of some people who reckoned that as they had received the first two jabs and hadn’t caught covid they were safe – then with this last wave we are experiencing they went down with it…..please make two become three jabs  and encourage your friends and neighbours….

NHS Kernow would not be offering these walk-in clinics if there wasn’t still an issue with infection rates…..

Covid vaccination pop-up coming to St Mawes on the 9th and 11th August.

Where?:              St Mawes, Millennium Rooms Car park next to The Rising Sun, TR2 5AG
When?:               Tuesday 9th & Thursday 11th August
Times?:               09:30 to 16:30  WALK IN!
Cohort?:             All those who are eligible (from the age of 5 upwards)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/how-to-get-a-coronavirus-vaccine/how-to-get-a-booster-dose/ 

Briefing 87

From our Practice manager….

1 August 2022

Forthcoming bank holidays:
Please note that the surgeries at Portscatho, Tregony and St Mawes will be closed on Monday 29th August as a bank holiday.  We will be open again as normal on Tuesday 30th August 8.30 am.  If you need urgent medical attention when the surgeries are closed, remember to call NHS 111 for immediate help and advice.  For medical emergencies, please dial 999.

A real plea for support of our practice!
I am disheartened to report that during the month of July, we had 68 patients who did not attend for their pre-booked appointments with the Doctor or Practice Nurse………… when you look at the amount of time for these booked appointments, it equals just over 19 hours of clinician time.  Put that another way, that’s the same as almost 5 whole GP sessions (or 2½ days!!)
At a time when we are really struggling to cope with the demand from our registered patients and tourists, when you remember that we are still in a pandemic, still trying to provide ‘business as usual’ but suffering with staff sickness and clinicians/staff needing to take holiday themselves, we really are up against it.  Locum GPs are in very short supply too – so if we have a GP off (whether that’s due to sickness or holiday) it’s no guarantee that we have been able to secure cover. It’s also frustrating when the majority of patients will get an automated reminder via text the day before their appointment!
So, a heartfelt plea to our patients:  if you book an appointment that you  no longer need, or you find you can’t make it in to see the doctor, but you want to convert it to a phone call instead, please please please contact us as soon as you can….. we always have patients who are ringing in for cancellations.
Our Practice Nurse appointments are just as important – so if you don’t want to come in because you no longer need the appointment, or you find you just can’t make it, for whatever reason – please call us – we really don’t mind rescheduling or cancelling that appointment and making it available to someone else.
The NHS provides free-at-the-point-of-access care for all its patients – but that doesn’t mean that the appointment doesn’t have a monetary value.   Please either keep your appointment or cancel it.  Thank you for your co-operation.

Flu and Covid Vaccines for Autumn 2022
At the time of writing, we are having some glorious weather – but you know that Autumn isn’t far away and it will be time to get your flu vaccine and covid booster if you’re in an eligible group.  The Joint Vaccination and Immunisation Committee has confirmed the following eligible groups for flu immunisation:-
Patients over the age of 65
Anyone who is immunosuppressed
Patients who are pregnant
Anyone working in health/social care
Carers
Patients with heart/kidney/lung/liver disease, and those with diabetes
Patients aged 50-64 who are NOT in any of the groups above  (this cohort were vaccinated last year along with covid and have been reinstated for this year’s campaign)

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 or shingles, which are often given at the same time.

For covid-19 boosters, the following groups will be eligible for an Autumn booster:-
All adults aged 50 and over
Residents in care homes and staff working there
Frontline health and social care workers
Anyone aged 5 to 49 in an at risk group (immunosuppressed, those patients with diabetes, heart/kidney/lung/liver disease
Anyone aged 5 to 49 who is a household contact of people who are immunosuppressed
Anyone aged 16 to 49 who is a carer

At Roseland Surgeries, we will be taking a co-ordinated approach to vaccinating our eligible patients and in order to ensure that our most vulnerable patients are vaccinated quickly, we will look to deliver a vaccination programme literally as soon as our vaccines arrive.

At the time of writing, we are just waiting on confirmation of delivery of vaccines, but we are aiming for week commencing 17th October.  As there are no restrictions on movement of the covid vaccine this year, we will be able to offer clinics at each of our three surgery sites and we will be offering week days and Saturdays. We should have this confirmed by late August/early September.

Because of the cost of postage and to reduce our carbon footprint, we won’t be sending out letters via Royal Mail. For those patients for whom we have mobile phone numbers, we should be able to send you a text to confirm that we can start booking appointments.  Otherwise, please keep an eye out for notices around the surgeries, attached to your medication bags, information on our surgery website/Roseland Online etc.

Who do you need to see at the surgery?
Because we’re so short of appointments, it’s always helpful to remind patients which clinicians we have available – not everything needs a doctor’s appointment.  In order to get you the help you need via the quickest and most efficient route, we do offer a variety of healthcare professionals that you can see – instead of a doctor!  Medication queries can be dealt with by our pharmacist.   Problems with social services/care providers, help with accessing benefits can be dealt with by our social prescriber.  If you have a new wound, our Practice Nurse can deal with that directly.  Don’t forget, travel vaccines are available again so if you’re planning your next adventure, please leave at least 8 weeks before departure to arrange any vaccinations.  Check out the link on our surgery website for more information.  Remember to give the receptionist as much information as possible to help you see the right person at the right time in the right place.  There is also a useful guide to Who Does What at the Surgery which can be found on our surgery website (via the patient information tab)

Are you chasing a hospital referral?
At the height of the pandemic, the Royal Cornwall Hospital provided a Patient Hotline that you could phone to find out where you were in the referral system.   RCHT has now removed that hotline and so, if you have been referred but you haven’t yet heard anything – and you feel your symptoms have deteriorated – please book an appointment with the doctor to discuss further.  If you have been seen at the hospital and you’re waiting on going in for a procedure, please contact the hospital department directly.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any influence on these appointments.  Just to give you an idea, here are the current waiting times for some specialties:-
Cardiology – 45 weeks
Colorectal surgery – 68 weeks
Dermatology – 28 weeks
Ear, Nose, Throat – 31 weeks
Gynaecology – 47 weeks
Neurology – 56 weeks
Orthopaedics – 57 weeks
Urology – 47 weeks
A full list can be found here:  www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/visiting-hospitals/outpatients/im-waiting-for-an-outpatient-appointment

Access to a GP when the surgery is closed:
We continue to promote the LIVI service for patients to access a video consultation with a GP for evenings and weekends – and there will continue to be a service over bank holidays.   If you have internet access and a smartphone/tablet, you can register to use the service completely free of charge – go to www.livi.co.uk to see more.

Briefing 86

From our Practice manager….

18 July 2022

Flu and Covid boosters for the Autumn 2022 Season

After some ‘to-ing’ and ‘fro-ing’, we have now received final guidance confirming which patients will be eligible for flu and covid boosters for the Autumn 2022 season.

The COVID-19 Autumn booster will be offered to the following groups: –

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults (For our housebound patients, we will phone you to let you know what day the nurse will visit you)
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • All adults aged 50 years and over
  • Persons aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group
  • Persons aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • Persons aged 16 to 49 years who are carers

The annual ‘flu vaccination will be offered to the following groups: –

  • all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
  • all primary school aged children (from reception to Year 6) (children in these age groups should be offered vaccinations via their primary school and we wait to hear confirmation of this from the Schools Vaccination Team)
  • those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (those with heart/kidney/lung disease such as COPD/brittle asthma, diabetics etc)
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • In addition, secondary school children in years 7, 8, and 9 will be offered a flu vaccine (again should be via the school vaccination team).
  • Lastly, patients aged 50-64 who are NOT in a clinically at-risk group (as mentioned above) will also be offered the vaccine – however, this will be available AFTER those who are clinically vulnerable have been offered the vaccine.

We are expecting our flu vaccines to arrive week commencing 19th September (just need this to be confirmed by our suppliers). The covid vaccine should come to our network surgery (Clays) any time after the first week in September, so we should be in a position to co-administer the two vaccines in one clinic which will be a much more efficient way of doing things – and will mean less impact on our usual clinics which we are expected to run as normal. So, if you’re a housebound patient, we will do the two vaccines for you in the one visit.

Please keep an eye out for information in the surgeries, on your medication bags and repeat medication slips, posters on noticeboards etc. As soon as our clinics are available, we can get booking!!

Enhanced’ Access

We would like to hear patient views on a new ‘enhanced’ access programme that our Primary Care Network is offering to patients. From 1st October 2022, Brannel Surgery, Clays Practice, Probus Surgery and The Roseland Surgeries will be delivering additional, pre-booked routine appointments. The purpose of this questionnaire is to understand when and how our patients would prefer us to do this. During weekend appointments we would be limited to the services we could provide – the hospital will not be providing any routine pathology testing, or a courier to collect samples, so we would not be able to offer blood/urine tests and limited support services would be available. The hours will be covered by our existing workforce so this survey will allow us to understand the most in demand times to allocate staffing resource accordingly. The network will share a rota of Saturdays so patients may need to travel to any of the four surgeries for the routine appointment that they have booked.

We would appreciate hearing your views and would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete this short survey – the link for which can be found here

The results will be collated and our Primary Care Network will then look at options available for offering appointments and we will of course, share those results with you as soon as they are available.

Forthcoming Bank Holiday – 29th August

We should like to remind patients that we will be closed on Monday 29th August – please remember if you send a prescription request, general email or electronic consultation (via the platform here on the website) at any time from Friday 26th August after 5 pm, it will NOT be actioned until Tuesday 30th August.

Please do NOT send urgent medical queries by email.

If you need medical attention when the surgery is closed, please phone NHS 111 or dial 999 for a medical emergency.

Briefing 85 

COVID – a reminder!

7 July 2022

COVID cases are on the rise again in Cornwall and Cornwall Council is urging people to do all they can to protect themselves and others from the virus. (https://mailchi.mp/23b0651b2b51/cornwall-and-coronavirus-3281612?e=9a4615f9b7)
We are asking residents and visitors alike to make sure they and their families are fully vaccinated against COVID. Vaccines are still available for anyone aged five and older who has not yet taken up the offer. If you’re eligible for a spring booster, please do book this month to ensure you will have a six-month gap before the next booster is offered in the autumn. Remember you can drop into the Clinic in Falmouth for a 1st or 2nd jab or booster if you qualify – no appointment needed.
https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number?bookingtype=vaccine

CC is also encouraging people to go back to the basics of ‘hands, face, space’

  • wash or sanitise hands regularly
  • try to meet outdoors if possible
  • keep indoor spaces well ventilated
  • wear a mask if you can in busy indoor settings
  • don’t mix with people if you’re feeling unwell. 

There is an increasingly gung-ho attitude to covid – many of us shrug our shoulders and say no longer “if” but “when” I catch Covid.  Whilst that is a good attitude in many ways as we learn to live with the virus, the fact that most people have now stopped wearing face masks is helping the virus to survive and circulate and that is not so good.

You may be infected with a respiratory virus such as COVID-19 and not have any symptoms but still pass the infection onto others. The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is greatest when someone who is infected is physically close to or sharing an enclosed and/or poorly ventilated space with other people.

When someone with a respiratory viral infection such as COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release small particles into the air that contain the virus which causes the infection. These particles can be breathed in or can come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. The particles can also land on surfaces and be passed from person to person via touch.  We have all experienced this with the common cold and also the flu – meet with someone blowing their nose to get rid of catarrh and three days later many of us will also be reaching for the tissues!

Face coverings and face masks can help reduce the chance of you spreading infection to others, especially in crowded and enclosed spaces, and may protect you from becoming infected. Today the Hospitals in Cornwall have announced that everyone has to resume face mask wearing on entry.  You cannot choose whether you get the mild version or one that floors you – better to avoid both!

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people – it helps stop the virus spreading.

…..so why should we be concerned about the virus spreading – herewith today’s Biology lesson!

A successful virus is one that makes more of itself but in order to do this, it must find a host – for Covid19, that is you and me!

Viruses are essentially coils of genetic material stuffed into a protein shell that’s sometimes further wrapped in an outer envelope. It cannot survive on its own – it has to have a carrier/victim. The virus binds to its target’s cells, injecting genetic material that hijacks the host’s (us) cellular machinery to make a new generation of viral offspring. In doing so it stops some of the normal cell processes that take place in our bodies – that is why we feel ill and for each one of us it could attack something different because we are all different.

But each time a new copy is made, there’s a chance that an error, or mutation, will occur. Mutations are like typos in the string of “letters” that make up a strand of DNA or RNA code.  Many mutations are harmless, some are not.

So, the more a virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to replicate, therefore the more the virus will mutate/evolve and the more difficult it becomes to control. Our carefully engineered vaccine serum is in a race that we all hope it will win, but if the shape of the thing that it is trying to smother/block keeps changing then that is a bigger problem!

We can all do our bit by reducing the opportunities for the virus to circulate and by following the Council’s advice to make its life more difficult – not ours!

 

Briefing 84 – 30 June 2022

BOOSTER JABS – reasonably good numbers attended the pop-up clinic in St Mawes which is great. No more dates booked in yet, but they plan/hope to come back in a few weeks. This may be left until the children break up so then they can come back and do a family clinic and can offer vaccines to children as well.
The surgery doesn’t hold any vaccine in stock, so if you get an invite and want to have a vaccine, you will still need to go to a vaccination clinic.  The clinic at Falmouth Town Council Offices continues to operate – Thursdays 1pm to 5 pm and Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm.  You can just turn up (take your invite with you) or pre-book a slot by going online:
www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number?bookingtype=vaccine

From our Practice Manager – a couple of patients say they’re still getting invites for a 4th covid booster despite having had it!  This may be because the team doing the vaccinating haven’t yet updated the system but if their vaccine was months ago, we can check the system to see if we have the date on their records.  It is a slightly confusing system in that the covid vaccination record system is not the same as the usual medical record – the covid vaccine given is recorded on a system called Pinnacle and 24 hours later, that ‘rolls’ into the medical record which we hold.  On odd occasions, we have noticed that Pinnacle is up to date and we have the data in the notes, but still the invite goes out. We can’t actually explain this unfortunately,  (Ed note – though perhaps the more cynical amongst us outside the central NHS management might have a go !!!!!)  The key message I think is please don’t worry – most patients are able to check their covid vaccination status on the NHS App and you can ignore the invite if you’ve had your vaccination.

Anyone immunocompromised should have a 4th vaccine and our eligible patients should have been contacted either by letter or text.  If anyone thinks they’ve missed theirs, please contact the surgery so we can check eligibility.

We are fast approaching a really busy time of year as schools start to break up for summer and the tourists descend upon us.  Please help us to help you – when you’re contacting the surgery, give us as much information as you can to ensure that we book you with the most appropriate person (which is not always the doctor).  We have a social prescriber and pharmacist on site who can help with a variety of things.    If you suffer a fall, minor injuries unit is the best place to go.   Although the weather has taken a slight dip (at the time of writing) we hope it will improve again so keeping yourself hydrated in the heat is vital.  Everyone out in the sunshine should use sunscreen and regularly re-apply throughout the day. Sunburn is painful, sunstroke is extremely dangerous so please don’t under-estimate the damage the sun can do.

Introducing Sophie Maziere and a reminder about her role as our Social Prescriber
Sophie Maziere is the new Social Prescribing Link Worker for the Roseland Surgeries who has just started in the role after working in support and welfare services in education.  She is looking forward to getting to know the local community and how her role can provide support. She will be out and about developing links with the community’s residents, local organisations, volunteers and activity groups over the coming weeks.
Social Prescribing is a way of linking people with non-medical sources of support within the community. As a Link Worker, Sophie’s role is to follow up referrals from healthcare professionals and other agencies as well as self-referral from individuals themselves and to work with people to focus on what matters to them, taking a holistic approach to their health and wellbeing.
Sophie can connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support and to increase their active involvement in their local community. She can provide information/signposting which can include support with wellbeing and mental health, social isolation and loneliness, caring, long term health conditions (non-clinical), general health and fitness and signposting relating to food poverty, benefits, housing, debt, employment and volunteering.
Sophie is happy to chat to anyone about their concerns affecting their health. If you think that social prescribing might be useful for you or someone you know and want to get in touch or if you think your organisation could link into this scheme, please email Sophie on sophie.maziere@nhs.net or telephone Roseland Surgeries 01872 580345.
A portion of Sophie’s salary continues to be paid for by the kindness of the members of our community who committed to those monthly donations to enable us to appoint someone in the first place.  This means we get a full time SP instead of a small part of an NHS funded person and who has time dedicated to providing support in our Practice.

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