Patient Newsletter #3 –
Sadly, we are returning to mask wearing in all patient-facing areas of the surgery. Rates are rising again, and it seems the right thing to act now – to protect our team and our patients – rather than waiting for NHS England to change the guidance.
Vaccination Clinics – Flu and Covid-19
Over 2,700 vaccinations have been administered over 3 Saturdays at The Health Centre.
We are delighted to have been able to offer this locally for our patients and really appreciated your understanding when queues were long. Thanks also to the surgery team who having worked all week, have given up their weekends to make this happen.
We are expecting a challenging winter based on the experience of the Southern Hemisphere countries who are just coming out of their worst flu season for 5 years.
We are asking all eligible patients to consider vulnerable family members and patients in the community as well as themselves when considering whether to be vaccinated.
So, if you are aged 50 and above or are classed as clinically vulnerable, please contact the surgery to make an appointment. Vaccine supplies are limited, and we do not currently expect to be offering clinics after mid-November.
We have been reviewing our appointments system again, this process never stands still.
We have opened–up more face to face slots and we hope that you have seen an improvement in the waiting times for routine appointments. We will continue to work on this to ensure waiting times are as short as is feasible with current workload demands.
We will always speak to our patients and see you on the same day if your condition is clinically urgent but please help us by calling in the morning, before 11am so the GPs can plan their clinics and any home visits. Urgent afternoon appointments really are for the most unwell, to prevent hospital admissions etc otherwise we will ask you to call back first thing in the morning.
For patients who work we do offer extended hours appointments on a Thursday up until 8pm and can offer telephone consultations onSaturdays, please ask when you call to book.
Dr Tom Roe
Dr Roe joined us at the beginning of September and certainly seems to be enjoying being part of the team here. Tom grew up in Dorset and came to medicine late in life, having first pursued careers in academia and then commodity trading.
The financial crash set him free, and he trained as a doctor in London, before moving to Devon with his wife and two young daughters. He worked at Torbay & Derriford Hospitals before completing his training in 2020.
Now our GP team is complete we have begun to contact patients to confirm who their registered GP is.
You are not restricted to seeing your registered GP, you can request to see any GP you choose if you are prepared to wait for an appointment.
Urgent appointments will be with any available GP and cannot be specified.
We cannot accommodate requests to be registered with a specific GP.
Building works update
You may have noticed some building work in recent months, and we wanted to update you on the progress.
Dispensing during Covid was challenging for all involved, so we looked at ways to improve our service.
After several, unavoidable delays we are hopeful that we will shortly take delivery of an automated dispensary machine which will enable 24–hour access to your medications. This will be situated at the eastern side of the building along with a new Dispensary window.
In essence, those patients who sign up for the service will be sent a text message to their phones with a code indicating that their medication is ready to be collected. You enter the code on the machine and your prepared medication will be dispensed for you to take away.
The machine can hold 100 packets, so it will be important to collect your medication within 24 hours to allow as many patients to benefit as possible.
For those of you who do not have a mobile or who just want to continue to collect as you have always done so, a new dispensary window will be next to the machine so you can still chat to Julie, Jane, Elli or Fiona while you collect and they can answer any questions as they do now.
We are very grateful to Start Circle of Friends (SCOF) who have very generously agreed to purchase the machine for the surgery and the community. We are very fortunate indeed!
Women’s Health Clinic
Many of you are familiar with Dr Julie Grove- White who has been a regular member of our locum team for quite some time. She is passionate about women’s health, and we are delighted that she has joined us as part of our salaried GP team, for 1 session a week to offer our patients her expertise on Menopause, HRT and women’s health issues.
The recent focus on the menopause in the national media has been a really positive step in recognising symptoms and encouraging women to ask for help. Please contact the surgery to book an appointment.
Travel Vaccination Clinics.
Leanne, our nurse practitioner, is able to offer NHS travel immunisations and advice and we have already provided a number of these to patients. Please contact us to make an appointment at least 8 weeks before you intend to travel as some immunisations take time to build antibodies once administered. Some vaccinations may still need to be arranged at a private travel clinic and Leanne will be able to advise you if this is the case.
We are committed to expanding the care we can offer our patients here at the surgery and are delighted to add the women’s health and travel advice clinics to our services.