Latest News

Latest

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL PATIENTS - URGENT ISSUES ONLY

We only have capacity to deal with urgent issues for the rest of this week and regret we need to ask all patients to defer contacting us about routine matters.  This is due to a combination of record levels of demand combined with significant clinical staff shortages.  We regret having to make this decision but have done so to ensure we can provide necessary urgent care to our patients this week.  Patients with an urgent need should please telephone us

Our econsult facility is therefore not available though all econsults already submitted will still be processed. 

The econsult service will be replaced next week with a new system designed to better help prioritise the urgency of cases and deliver an improved online patient experience.  Please watch our website for a more detailed news item which will be published soon giving more information. 

All of our staff are working extremely hard, we are seeing patients face to face who need to be seen and the number of clinical consultations is higher than ever before in the practice’s history.  You can be assured that our clinicians and staff are doing the absolute best they can with the resources available so please be patient with them at this time.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR SERVICES – MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

We need the help of patients to prevent our being ‘closed down’ by Covid.

As patients will be aware, the rules face masks / coverings in public places are now being relaxed to the point that, in most places, this is a matter of choice.

Our GPs are deeply concerned about the impact this could have on our ability to provide patients with a service. Increasingly staff working within the health service are having to self-isolate and are therefore unable to attend our premises. An outbreak at any of our surgery sites could lead to one or more of Pool Health Centre, Homecroft, Trevithick or St Day having to close for a number of days.

Therefore, while patients may insist that they have a right to visit our premises without a face covering, we ask them not to exercise that right unless they absolutely have to do so, and to continue to socially distance from staff and patients. Our own staff will continue to wear masks but this is primarily provides for your protection, not their own. We would ask you to afford them the same courtesy. You will also be protecting more vulnerable patients who may be attending for appointments, including elderly people, cancer sufferers and those who have existing breathing problems. Please do not add to the risks they face.

In terms of attending for treatment, it remains our policy that any patient not wearing a face covering for a consultation or procedure will be seen at a site where additional protective equipment is worn by the doctors and other health professionals, so please bear this in mind if asked to attend and let us know your choice in advance.

We are pleased that government have now also realised the necessity for patients to continue to wear masks in healthcare settings and issued their guidance below which completely backs our practice approach: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2021/07/nhs-patients-staff-and-visitors-must-continue-to-wear-face-coverings-in-healthcare-settings/

****NEW PATIENT NEWSLETTER - please see important patient information****

Click link above to read updated practice information

For the very latest government information about COVID, rules, how to get a test, and staying safe, please click this link   https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Change in handling urine specimens

As part of our ongoing clinical improvement we have reviewed the way we manage patients presenting with a suspected urine or water infection.  

We have up till recently been accepting urine samples with some details of symptoms. According to the latest evidence we can treat most urine infections based on symptoms alone. We will therefore only be accepting urine samples when a clinician (doctor, nurse, paramedic) has explicitly asked you to bring one in or when we have written to you to ask for a repeat sample. 

If you feel you have a urine or water infection please complete an online consultation or call if you do not have internet access. If you call, our telephone hub team will ask you some simple questions and may be able to direct you to your pharmacist for quick treatment if required. Your pharmacist can prescribe antibiotics for a simple urine infection. These can be supplied free of charge if you do not normally pay for your prescriptions. 

These changes came into force from Monday 8th March.

  ***************************************************************************************************************************************************

Guidance on Sending Photos/Images 

Sending photos

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we are now doing much more of our work through telephone consultations. Sometimes it is useful for the nurse or doctor to see a picture, or you may feel it will help them understand your problem. This is particularly the case with skin lesions or rashes. To help us and you we will no longer be accepting photos through our email address. All photos will have to be sent through a text message reply. Any photos sent via email will be returned unopened and you will be directed to send them via our text service.

Sometimes you may have a skin problem in an intimate area such as on breasts, genitalia (vagina & penis), or the anus (back passage). In this case please arrange a telephone consultation first. The nurse or doctor will then decide if they need a visual image and arrange this either through a face to face appointment, photos via a video consultation. Please DO NOT send intimate photos without talking to a nurse or doctor first.

If your child has a rash in an intimate area we will usually arrange for a face to face consultation if we need to see the rash. DO NOT take photos of your child’s genitalia or anus and send them to us, this will leave you open to prosecution for making indecent images of a child. 

How to take a high quality clinical image

  1. ​​Ideally ask someone else to take the photo.
  2. Use a plain background.
  3. Ensure good overhead lighting.
  4. Take a wider image to establish location and then a close up of the lesion or rash. Different angles can help demonstrate size/shape of a lesion.
  5. Ensure the images are in focus.

Get Seen Quicker! Did you know you can refer yourself for some conditions, or see a pharmacist for a variety of minor ailments?  Click here for more information on self-help options.

BOOK APPOINTMENTS, ORDER MEDICATIONS AND VIEW YOUR TEST RESULTS - ALL ONLINE 24/7!

Did you know that you can sign up to 'Patient Facing Services' and choose from a variety of online services?  We can offer patients the ability to

  • Book your appointments online (GP appts only - each type of nursing appt needs a different time length and therefore it is difficult to make these types of appts accessible on line)
  • View your repeat medication screen and order their regular prescription directly from that screen (no more having to remember exact details of strength/spelling!)
  • View your investigation and test results (once they have been received into your record and the clinician has reviewed/commented upon them - we usually ask patients to wait a week after having had a routine test (longer for x-rays etc)
  • View your coded medical record (this means the key headings/diagnoses that appear on your medical record)

You don't have to have all of the above access if you don't want it - you can pick and choose the elements that work best for you.  We will need you to complete a form at the beginning, and bring in appropriate ID in order to ensure patients' confidentiality and security of information but once that's done you're up and running.  See more details on how to apply under 'Online Services' section of this website.

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

BBC Health
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website