IMPORTANT PATENT INFORMATION
Please don’t abuse our staff: It’s not in a day’s work
Sadly, NHS staff across Kent and Medway are reporting more and more incidents of the abuse they face when they go into work.
In an open letter signed by chief executives from all NHS trusts in Kent and Medway, people are asked to be kind to NHS staff.
The letter says: “The overwhelming majority of our patients, clients and service users are respectful of the years of training and the skills healthcare professionals have developed so they can care for others.
People understand the caring and compassionate nature that makes someone want to work for the NHS; whether they are clinicians or in support roles.
It goes on to talk about the commitment to high-quality care all NHS partners have and that while it is a small minority of people who behave this way towards NHS staff, the consequences can be far reaching.
“We understand the frustration when you may have to wait a little longer at a clinic appointment, urgent treatment centre or emergency department, or when you may not be able to get through to a GP practice on the phone.
“Some people don’t understand why we are still asking them to wear masks in healthcare settings when they don’t wish to do so. We also know others don’t wish to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The second is a personal choice; the first keeps our staff safer.
“However, what we cannot accept is abuse – verbal or physical – towards our workforce. They are there to help, not be abused.’’
You can find out more at: https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/news-and-events/news
Dr S J T Williams and Partners
What to do when your practice is closed:Please call NHS 111 if you need medical help when this practice is closed. The NHS 111 team has trained advisers, nurses and doctors available at all times. They can help over the phone and advise you where to go if you need to see someone. Please don’t waste time going to the wrong place – phone NHS 111 first. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week. Just call 111or go online: 111.nhs.uk The following link has been designed to help explain the healthcare options available to patients - www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk
We have received reports from Patient Access that users and people who have never registered for their service, have received COVID passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access. Patient Access have sent the following advice for their users:
We strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. We do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.
PHLEBOTOMY AT QUEEN VICTORIA HOSPITAL DEAL UPDATE
Following discussions with Kent and Medway CCG we have agreed to extend our Phlebotomy (blood testing) clinics to enable patients who would have attended Deal Hospital to come the surgery for their blood tests. This change will start from 1 November 2021 at St Richard’s Road Surgery.
For patients registered at Golf Road Surgery, we will be holding a weekly phlebotomy clinic on Thursday mornings from 11.11.2021, to avoid the need for patients registered at Golf Road Surgery to travel to the main surgery for routine blood tests.
Please visit the CCG website (link below) for more information:
COMMUNITY PHARMACY CONSULTATON SERVICE
The Community Pharmacy Consultation Service is designed to improve access for patients with minor conditions, which can easily be treated by a trained pharmacist. All local pharmacists in Deal and Sandwich are signed up to this service.
If a patient contacts the surgery for an appointment with a condition that can be treated by a pharmacist, they will be offered referral to their chosen pharmacy. On receipt of the referral, the pharmacist will contact you to discuss your referral. This will normally be within 24 hours of receiving the referral.
Pharmacists are trained to provide advice/guidance or treatment for many minor ailments. Most minor ailment treatments require medication which is not routinely prescribed in general practice, so going to your pharmacist will mean you will get seen and treated more quickly than waiting for an appointment to see a member of the practice team. If you do need to see a member of the practice team after speaking to the pharmacist, they will let us know.
We have provided a link to an information video about the service below.
COVID-19 BOOSTER PROGRAME
We are receiving a number of calls about COVID-19 Boosters and feel the following may be useful and reduce the need to call us:
- Recalls for COVID-19 boosters will not be received until 6 months and 1 week after your second COVID-19 vaccination.
- 119 cannot book your COVID-19 booster until 6 months and 1 week after your second COVID-19 vaccination.
- The NHS app only provides details the initial COVID -19 (2 dose) course however, all COVID-19 vaccinations can be found under acute medication on the app.
PHLEBOTOMY AT QUEEN VICTORIA HOSPITAL DEAL
You may have seen the following press release issued by NHS Kent and Medway CCG, regarding the cessation of phlebotomy services at Queen Victoria Hospital Deal.
“Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has historically delivered phlebotomy services (blood tests) at Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay and Victoria Hospital, Deal which some GP practices have used for their patients.
Blood tests are part of the routine care that all general practices provide; and patients will continue to have local access to blood tests when needed. NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is working with local surgeries to deliver the service, either in the existing hospital sites or in their own practices. The plans will be finalised before the end of the month and should not mean any significant disruption for patients.
If any patient who is currently sent by their GP to Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay and Victoria Hospital, Deal for a blood test has any concerns about how this will affect them, they should contact their GP practice.”
St Richard’s Road Surgery are currently working with NHS Kent and Medway CCG to look at possible solutions for our registered patients. Once we have confirmed these plans, we will update patients via this news feed.
The practice already provides a daily phlebotomy service however, we are reviewing the timings of this in light of the change in delivery from Deal Hospital.
SHORTAGE OF BLOOD BOTTLES
The shortage of blood bottles is slowly resolving, so please bear with us if we are unable to obtain supplies over the next few weeks/months.
COVID VACCINE BOOSTERS
Patients will be contacted by NHS England for their booster vaccinations, no earlier than six months following second COVID vaccine. Please do not contact the practice, as patients need to book via the text link or by calling 119.
There are a small number of patients eligible for a 3rd COVID vaccination, these patients will be contacted via letter direct from their hospital consultant. These patients cannot book 3rd doses via 119, but should take their consultant letter direct to a 'COVID drop in clinic', so please do not contact the practice as we are unable to book these appointments for patients.
SHORTAGE OF BLOOD BOTTLES
Blood Testing - due to a shortage of blood bottles ALL NON URGENT blood tests have been cancelled until further notice, as the laboratory will not be processing these samples.
The practice is currently contacting patients to inform them if their appointments have been cancelled, if they are unable to make contact via telephone you will be informed on arrival at the surgery.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this situation which is outside our control.
Online Consultations – August Bank Holiday Weekend 2021
To help practices better meet the needs of patients who require care over the August Bank Holiday weekend the online consultation system eConsult will NOT be available from:
18:30 on Friday 27 August 2021until 08:00 Tuesday 31 August 2021
If you need urgent care, NHS 111 is there for you 24-hours-a-day. Pharmacists are experts in medicines and can help you with minor health concerns. You can find out opening hours of pharmacies near you on the NHS England website.
Calling all 16 and 17 year olds and those aged 12 who are eligible
Vaccinations are now open to all 16 to 17-year-olds, and those aged 12 and over who are eligible. Visit the Kent and Medway website Vaccinations for those aged 12 and over page for more information.
Infection prevention control guidelines to remain in place
The highest priority for the NHS remains the safety of staff, patients and visitors.
While COVID restrictions will end in many settings in England from 19 July, everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering (unless they are exempt) and follow social distancing rules.
Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are therefore set to remain in place for all staff and visitors and across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.
Read the guidance provided by Kent & Medway CCG at: https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/Face-coverings-still-needed-in-healthcare-settings
Read the infection prevention control guidance in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control
“Getting in touch with us
We are aware there are significant problems getting through to us on the phone. We are sorry this is the case and would like to explain a little about why that is.
Many GP surgeries across the country are in a similar position. We understand how frustrating it can be for it to take longer than normal.
We would like to reassure you we are working hard to resolve the situation.
There are things that are challenging us:
- There has been an unprecedented post-lockdown increase in demand. Part of this is because many of our patients have been managing health issues themselves rather than contacting their doctor over the last year and as confidence in general is returning, patients are now quite rightly contacting us.
- Some hospital procedures and appointments have been necessarily delayed and now patients want to know when they are going to be seen.
- We have had to change the way we work to keep things safe for our patients and our staff.
What can you do to help?
- Choose well – can the pharmacy help your symptoms? Call 111 if you are unsure which sort of treatment you need. You can also go online 111.nhs.uk
- Download the NHS app. You can use this to order repeat prescriptions and view your medical records.
- Use our eConsult online consultation system, if you are able to this will help you get in touch more quickly and provide us with the information we need to make sure you are seen by the most appropriate clinician.
- Cancel appointments you no longer need, as these can then be used to ensure someone else is seen.
- Contact the hospital to ask when you can expect your appointment or procedure to be rescheduled, we have no control over hospital waiting lists or appointment systems.
- Continue to wear your face mask when coming to the surgery, maintain social distancing and use the hand sanitiser provided to keep everyone safe.
It’s useful to remember our teams are on the front line and see both the best and the worst of us all. They work incredibly hard to help patients navigate the system, but may not be able to offer you exactly what you want at all times.
Please be patient and courteous, they want to find the best solution as much as you do.
We are grateful for your understanding.
GP Partners and Practice Manager.”
New Telephone System Installation and Golf Road Surgery Telephone Number
We are in the process of upgrading our telephone system which will affect the way Golf Road patients contact the practice.
From 01/07/2021 all patients will need to ring the main surgery number (01304) 364111 and all calls will be directed to the relevant team to deal with your enquiry.
Checking vaccination status with the NHS App
People who want to travel abroad can now use the NHS App to show they have been fully vaccinated.
A full course is currently two doses of any approved Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from the NHS App which can be downloaded from app stores, with more information available on gov.uk. The CCG has also published information on its website.
If patients are unable to access this service, and they have had two vaccines, they can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Patients should only call 119 if they have had their second dose more than five working days beforehand. It may take seven working days for the letter to arrive.
Government and NHS information has made it clear that GP practices cannot provide proof of vaccination status so patients should not contact them.
Covid-19 vaccination information
Covid-19 vaccinations for our patients are being provided from Dover Health Centre. There will be home visits for housebound patients.
If you do not want to have your vaccination at the moment, please let the practice know, this will stop you constantly being reminded to book your vaccination. You can opt back in at any time.
Housebound patients will also be contacted by the vaccination HUB when they are due their 2nd vaccination however, we have been informed there may be a delay due to availability of vaccinators currently.
If you have not received a booking link, or an appointment from the site where you had your first vaccination 11 weeks after your first vaccination, then please phone the National COVID Vaccination Booking Service 119
Which priority group are you currently inviting?
As of 19.07.2021 we are currently inviting All those 18 years of age and over.
Is there transport available for getting to the vaccine clinic?
We would ask that anyone who does not have their own transport tries to arrange a lift with a friend or relative. If that is not possible you can try ringing the local volunteer drivers to see if they are able to help. To access this service you must be able to walk unaided, and have NO alternative means of transport. You must be symptom free for COVID and observe all government guidelines, wearing a mask is compulsory. You will ride in the rear seat and the car will be well ventilated, so dress warmly.
All enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (01304) 374883.
They cannot guarantee on any given day a car will be available and it's a first come first serve basis but they will do everything to try and help.
Any drivers wishing to offer their services please email as above, subject DRIVER OFFER. You will be subject to T&C's
Find my NHS number:
A new service is now live to help find your NHS number. This service is for anyone living in England who has forgotten or does not know their NHS number.
THE WAY YOU ACCESS HEALTHCARE IS CHANGING
Due to Coronavirus the way patients access healthcare is changing, please follow the link below to watch a video of how this may affect you.
SOCIAL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION FOR DEAL AND SANDWICH PATIENTS
Deal & Sandwich PCN Social Prescribing. 66 likes. Welcome to home of all things Social Prescribing for the Deal & Sandwich PCN area. We aim to support patients by helping them to address situations...