April 2013 Newsletter

Out of Hours

The doctors` Out of Hours Service has moved from Shelton to Campbell Road in Stoke – opposite the Michelin. Ring Kingsbridge Surgery number and you will be put through: 0300 123 1892

It is being run by Staffordshire Doctors Urgent Care (SDUC). The parent company, Vocare, have been running the urgent care service in one of the other Newcastle’s – the one that is on the river Tyne – so they already have plenty of experience.

Patient Survey Report »
Healthwatch Staffordshire »
Dr. Wendy Cooper »
Caregiving Maxims »
Have you got a dentist? »
Doctors` Surgery Days »

Patient Survey Report

Have you had a chance to pick up a copy of the excellent report available at reception on the results of the Patient Survey?

If you turn the results into a bell-shaped curve you will find the vast majority (over 80%) of the findings were in the “good” to “very good” category. That is an excellent result for all involved in the practice.

Turn the percentages into people e.g. take the question “How long do you have to wait for your consultation to begin?” The “poor” rating was 7.63% that is 35 people. Nearly 400 patients rated their consultations to be “good” or “very good”.

This patient overrun (emergency and previously undiagnosed conditions) has been recognised by the doctors who are working to reduce the lead time without detracting from the excellent quality of clinical care.

The Patient Participation Group is not a complaints channel but we do welcome constructive observations on how the practice could be improved.

If you would like to access all the patient survey data then please use the following weblink:


Newsletter Committee

The National Association of Patient Participation runs a Conference every year where you can tell others what you are doing and hear what they are doing. This exchange of information is very interesting and can be very helpful.

A member of the Kingsbridge PPG will be attending the conference which will be held in Bristol on 8th June. We look forward to some interesting feedback.

Healthwatch Staffordshire

On 1st April Staffordshire Link (Local Involvement Network) changed to Healthwatch Staffordshire

What is Healthwatch?

Healthwatch is a new national and local consumer champion to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided.
It is an independent body with statutory functions.
Set up by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 there is now:

Healthwatch England (which influences national policy and guidance and provides leadership, guidance and support to local Healthwatch)

Local Healthwatch (which enables local people to share views and concerns)

There are seven pillars of Healthwatch:

  1. Gathering views and understanding the experiences of all who use services, their carers, and the wider community.
  2. Making people`s views know, including those from excluded and under-represented communities.
  3. Promoting and enabling the involvement of people in the commissioning and provision of local health and social care services and how they are monitored.
  4. Recommending investigation or special review of provider services, either via Local Healthwatch England, or directly to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  5. Providing non-clinical advice, signposting and information to all service users about access to services and support in making informed choices.
  6. Through its annual report making the view and experiences of people know to Healthwatch England and providing a steer to help it carry out its role as national champion on behalf of the Secretary of State and of Parliament.
  7. Provide access to a professional independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service.

From 1st May 2013 the Healthwatch website will be available www.healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk

Engaging Communities Staffordshire`s website is www.staffordshirelink.com


The Present – The Future

Dr. Wendy Cooper, the senior partner, has been with Kingsbridge Medical Practice for 15 years and has seen many changes. The current number of patients on the list has grown considerably over the past couple of years to over 8,000 – the closure of the High Street Practice in Newcastle town centre being perhaps the most significant factor.

The medical staffing level is seven doctors and three registrars. The growth in the number of patients poses the question of whether the practice has reached its optimum number. Dr. Cooper explained current legislation meant the practice has to accept new patients who live within defined geographical boundaries.

Does this mean doctors were being forced into a “one ailment with 12 minutes” regime? An engaging, knowing smile accompanied Dr. Cooper`s answer to this question. The doctors have their own time scale and professional disciplines to ensure patients’ needs are adequately covered. Part of the time difficulty was dealing with the patient who talks about a minor ailment and then, on the point of departure, says “Oh, by the way I have noticed…”. The result is the consultation has to overrun. It would be of great benefit to everyone if the patient could make a note of his/her problem/s and symptoms before going to see the doctor!

The conversation moved on to discuss the patient requesting to see a particular doctor. An on-going condition should encourage the patient to follow up with the same Doctor. This both encourages the depth of mutual understanding and, perhaps more importantly, it enables the doctor to follow the long term treatment plan.

On the other hand, a patient with a “one-off” problem can see any of the doctors to fit into their personal timetable, and often more, according to the urgency of their need. Sometimes, in rare cases, a doctor can be requested to telephone a patient back after morning surgery to assess the situation and make suitable arrangements.

What about the current situation at Accident and Emergency at University Hospital of North Staffordshire? The excessive demand has meant the hospital has been fined for missing targets (that is the number people admitted and treated within 4 hours).

Dr. Cooper highlighted the efforts that all GP practices were taking to advise patients of the other routes they could take rather than going to A & E:

Kingsbridge Medical Practice
Minor Injuries Walk-in Unit at the Haywood Hospital
Local Chemist
Out of Hours Service – now moved from Shelton to Campbell Road, Stoke opposite the Michelin – just dial the surgery number 0300 123 1892 and you will be advised how to contact them.

It is the intention at Kingsbridge, on being advised of a patient`s attendance at A & E to follow up not only the medical aspects, but also the thinking behind going to A & E in the first place. This would enable the practice to build a better picture of why patients do what they do and to try and ensure patients go to the most relevant location to receive treatment for their condition.

The subject was broadened into the number of charities that no longer have the same level of resources they once had to assist patients. This, in part, is due to the economic downturn and subsequent fall in donations. This is again, part of the cultural change encouraging a move away from centralised hospitalisation to caring in the community.

Information technology will pay an increasing part in patients’ welfare in the future. Already patients can use the internet to make appointments and ask for repeat prescriptions and, at the surgery, there is the check-in when arriving for an appointment. There are even, in the country, virtual surgeries using “Skype”!

Dr. Cooper acknowledged this could have some place in the future but could never replace the physical “face-to-face”, “eyeball-to-eyeball” of today’s surgery consultations.

Major changes have taken place this April – Primary Care Trusts have given way to GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups.

How does Dr. Cooper see the future of Kingsbridge Medical Practice?
“The intention is to continue to treat all patients with kindness and respect and offer the best medical practices with professionalism and dignity.”


Eight Caregiving Maxims

for dealing with perplexing behaviours

  1. Don`t try and stop people with dementia from doing something just because it isn`t being done properly.
  2. People with dementia understand far more than they are ever given credit for. Take care what is said in their presence and don`t exclude them from conversations or decisions.
  3. Don`t confuse “caring” with “controlling”. You are a carer not a manager.
  4. Ask the question, “Who is it a problem for – the person with dementia or us?” If it is `us`, just let things ride.
  5. Preserve their autonomy for as long as possible. Celebrate what they can do, rather than bemoan what they can`t.
  6. There is always a reason for perplexing behaviours. Try to find the cause of it and change it if possible.
  7. If they can’t enter our world we must try to enter theirs.
  8. Look behind the illness and reach out to the frightened person still in there who needs to feel secure, respected and cherished.


Need a Dentist?

Everyone should be able to access a good quality NHS dentist. You do not have to be registered (though to get regular 6 monthly check-ups it is sensible to be on their list), just find a dentist near you and contact them – by phone or in person to see if there is an appointment available.

You can also Text “dentist” to 64746 or NHSGO from your mobile. You will get up to three text messages with details of a dentist near you.

Learn more about NHS Choices mobile – Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647

If the dental practice you first contact is full, or does not provide NHS care, that does not mean there is none available locally. Contact NHS England and ask for the dental access helpline. NHS England is required to commission services for both urgent and routine dental care to meet the needs of the local population.

And you always have PALS – Patient Advisory and Liaison Service: 0800 389 8833


Did you know…before the days of the NHS, a very acceptable wedding gift for many brides was an appointment to remove all their teeth.

This meant they never needed to pay a dentist for the rest of their life – there were no teeth to be pulled or filled all very costly. And, one presumes, no tooth ache.

Today, thanks to the NHS, we can all keep our teeth healthy, many of us to old age. If we do have tooth ache and one needs filling or pulling the service is there for us.

And our children can have regular check ups and advice.

Kingsbridge Doctors` Surgery Hours of Work

Dr. W. Cooper: Mondays, Tuesday mornings, Thursdays, Friday mornings.

Dr. S. Lee: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Dr. C. Mallen: Mondays

Dr. J. Merron: Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays.

Dr. A. Hussain: Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, Fridays.

Dr. T. Helliwell: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays.

Dr. L. Clarson: Monday and Saturday mornings

Dr. F. Mohideen: Thursdays

Kingsbridge GP Registrars Hours of Work in the Surgery

Dr. J. Thakur: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday mornings and Fridays.

Dr. E. Clarke: Mondays, Tuesday mornings, Thursday mornings.

Dr. D. Muthumanickam: Thursday mornings and Fridays

Kingsbridge Surgery:

  • Offers pregnant mums whooping cough and flu vaccine
  • Has a Carers Group meeting taking place every three months
  • Offers an NHS Health Check for patients between the ages of 40 and 74
  • Has stop smoking clinics
  • Offers ear irrigation