We are delighted to have further developed our team to provide a comprehensive service to all our patients.
Saul Phillips is a clinical pharmacist. He is working with us and with Westfield Surgery. He works within the practice team, not in a community pharmacy. He will be dealing with many medication related issues. This is a big component of our work and it is lovely to have Saul help with this, and to improve the quality of our prescribing. You may well see him in appointments or speak to him on the phone.
Nadine Bibby is our new musculoskeletal practitioner. She is a very experienced senior physiotherapist by training, and is working with us on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. If you have a joint, neck or back problem, you can request an appointment with Nadine directly, rather than via a GP.
Kate Boucher is our new Patient Care Co-ordinator. She will work to improve and develop our front of house services, and many other aspects of our work.
You will be pleased to know that we are shortly to install a new phone system. It will no longer be necessary to phone repeatedly to get through if we are engaged! There will be a fair queuing system, so you will know you will be answered as soon as possible.
This is a new project which is being introduced across all 24 practices in Herefordshire. Our receptionists have received special training to help them direct you to the best service for your needs. We now have a diverse clinical team at the practice, with GPs, practice nurses, health care assistants, as well as a nurse practitioner, a primary care practitioner, a clinical pharmacist and a musculoskeletal practitioner. There are also many services in the community that can help, such as community pharmacists, opticians, and social services. It is increasingly complicated to “navigate” this system, and our receptionists will help you to do so.
With the increasing demands on services, accessing the most appropriate service for your needs will give you the best and quickest response. The GPs do need to concentrate their efforts on the more complex and serious medical problems wherever possible.
SUMMARY CARE RECORD
We publicised this in our autumn newsletter. The “basic” SCR comprises just your medications and allergies. The “enhanced” SCR also includes significant diagnoses and operations listed in the medical summary in your GP records. We take pride in maintaining very high standards of medical summaries, and we feel strongly it is beneficial for these to be available to any branch of the NHS you should see (with your permission at the time). If you would like to consent to an enhanced SCR, please read the accompanying NHS letter and sign and return the form.
CARE QUALITY COMMISSION
We had an inspection by the CQC in November and were delighted to be assessed as “good” in all areas.
We are committed to training in all areas of our work, and value your support in this.
We train future GPs (our “GP registrars”) who often spend 6 or 12 months with us. Currently, Dr Mike Hennessey is studying with us. We have junior hospital doctors on four month attachments with us, to give them exposure to primary care (we call it the “front line”!). Other junior doctors spend one day per week with us, whilst doing a hospital job. We host nursing students and physician associate students from Worcester University. We have medical students from Keele University, who have four or ten week attachments with us, giving them vital experience in general practice (many enjoy it so much, they choose to become GPs in the future).
Training is demanding, but also very rewarding and enjoyable. All those training with us have full back up from the experienced GPs and nurses in the practice.
We are very keen that more patients use our on-line services, in particular to order repeat medications. This is much more efficient for us, and is also safer than ordering medications by phone. You can also book appointments on-line, and shortly we want to allow access to blood and urine results as well.
If you have not registered for on-line access, do please contact reception to arrange this.
We very much hope we can move, with our neighbours at Westfield Surgery, to new premises in the next two or three years. Herefordshire CCG has set up a Project Board, of which we are members. A preferred site has been recommended and awaits approval by the CCG. Monthly meetings are being held, and a lot of hard work remains ahead. We are working collaboratively with other areas of the NHS, including the mental health trust (2gether) and the hospital (Wye Valley Trust), as well as social services.
COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITIES – “Co-Co”
This new initiative has been set up in Bodenham and surrounding areas, thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of retired GPs Richard and Karilyn Collins. A group of volunteers has received training at St Michael’s Hospice and they are already visiting many patients on a weekly basis to provide support and companionship. This is an invaluable service for those who may be isolated or lonely.
The Marches and Westfield Surgeries have both volunteered to be pilot practices in a new initiative from the Royal College of GPs and Marie Curie to improve primary care services for the end of life period.
PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP
As you will gather, there is much going on. If you would like to participate in developments at the practice do join our PPG. Please contact Kate via reception to do so. It is an important forum for us to hear your views and to agree future plans and developments.