January 2015 Newsletter
Changes in Practice Partnership
Things are ever evolving in Primary Care and we have 2 changes to announce in our Practice Partnership.
It is with deep regret we announce that Dr Christian Mallen has resigned from the partnership with effect from 31st March. This decision has not been taken lightly but he finds that the demands of working as Professor of General Practice at Keele School of Medicine and the demands placed on Practice partners are no longer compatible.
Dr Mallen is highly regarded in academia and his input on all matters relating to primary care is sought by a wide range of organisations including NHS England and national government. Consequently he cannot devote the time he feels he should to his role as a GP partner. His contribution to the Practice over the years has been significant and we will all, staff and patients, miss him a lot.
We wish him well in his full time role at Keele and hope to see him from time to time in the future.
On the other hand we are delighted to announce that Dr Lorna Clarson, who has been working with us for 3 years, became a Practice partner as from 1st February. Dr Clarson will be working for 3 sessions each week. She has recently been awarded a PhD and will continue to do research work at Keele School of Medicine for the three days she’s not at the Practice. She is an active member of the North Staffs Local Medical Committee and is committed to ensuring that general practice is properly funded to ensure that patients get good quality, appropriate care when they need it.
The results from this year’s patient survey indicated that not all patients are aware of the services the Practice provides. The purpose of this article is to give a bit more information so that you have a clear picture of who does what.
Overall management of all conditions is the responsibility of the Practice Doctors. However, the Practice Nursing team plays a key role in the day-to-day management of long-term conditions and also delivers some specialist services. This ensures that all the clinical resources are used effectively and appropriately.
Dr Hussain and Dr Helliwell carry out some Minor Surgery. Both are trained to use a special piece of equipment for diagnosis of skin conditions. Dr Hussain will remove skin tags and some moles, Dr Helliwell does surgery on trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome. A full range of contraceptive services are available including the fitting and removal of intra-uterine devices (coils) and contraceptive implants. Dr Hussain undertakes these procedures assisted by a Practice Nurse. These services can also be accessed through family planning clinics at other locations locally.
Travel advice, information and vaccinations are provided by the Practice Nurses. There are specific travel clinics and an appointment must be made. You will be asked to complete a travel questionnaire which must be returned 48 hours before your appointment. This provides the nurse with valuable information so that she can check the vaccination requirements for your location in advance in your appointment. You should see the nurse at least 2 months before you are due to travel, where possible, as some vaccinations require more than one injection or a specific time before they become effective.
The national programme for influenza, pneumonia and shingles vaccinations is available to all eligible patients. All patients aged 65+ by 31/03/2015 are eligible for the flu vaccinations. This is provided on an annual basis. Some patients under 65, who are deemed to be “at risk” are also eligible e.g. if they have diabetes, asthma, heart disease or other long term conditions along with pregnant women, carers and patients whose immune system is compromised. Pneumonia vaccination is available to anyone aged 65 by 31/03/2015, this vaccination is given just once. Shingles vaccinations are available to patients in a specific age group, if you are eligible to have this vaccination the Practice will write to you inviting you to make an appointment. The Practice Nurses do other injections as required such as B12, Prostap and Zoladex, and deliver the National Immunisation Programme for babies and children up to school age. Our nurses will remove stitches, provide wound care and change dressings.
They undertake ear irrigation for patients who require wax to be removed from their ears to improve hearing. If a doctor decides a patient needs to have an ECG (to monitor heart capacity) then the nurses’ team does these. Reviewing and helping patients manage their long term conditions is an important part of the care provided by the Practice. The nurses regularly review patients with the following illnesses:-
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Nurse Sam specialises in diabetes care and insulin management and supports those patients who have difficulty maintaining their blood sugars at an appropriate level.
If you want help and advice to stop smoking or lose weight then you should make an appointment to see Jo. She will support you through the process and can arrange for any appropriate medication to be prescribed if required.
Some patients who are prescribed Warfarin are monitored within the Practice. We have a weekly clinic (every Thursday) and when extra monitoring is required patients will be fitted in with an appointment on other days.
There is a machine in the waiting room which patients can use to check and monitor their blood pressure. When this has been done the reading should be passed to the receptionist (don’t forget to give your name) and it will be recorded on your medical records. Appointments can also be made with Jo for blood pressure monitoring.
Patients aged 40-74 may be eligible for a National Health Check. This entails having a blood test then attending an appointment with Jo to go through some lifestyle information and various other checks to help identify any potential health problems e.g. high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc.
The practice has a Carers Group which meets every 3 months. All patients known to be carers are invited to attend this session which is led by Julie Hammersley from the North Staffs Carers Association with help from Jane Mainwaring who used to be employed by the Practice. Julie usually arranges for a guest speaker to attend the session and tea and biscuits are provided. Carers who do join these sessions find them both useful and interesting. It is an opportunity to discuss issues and problems with other people in a similar situation, to exchange experiences and information and to make new friends. All carers are welcome to attend as and when they want to.
North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
The North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for the commissioning of most of the healthcare for the people of North Staffordshire (but not for GP services). The CCG members are the family doctors (GP’s) who work in the GP practices in North Staffordshire. The CCG commissions services for healthcare by working with other local organisations within the NHS, partners such as local councils and voluntary groups, some private organisations and with local patients in order to prioritise investments to ensure that the services provided are the best they can be and to effectively meet the health and care needs of the population of North Staffordshire. They need to be certain that everyone has equal access to health services but recognising that everyone is unique. They also need to be sure that they get the best value for money. Most of all they need to ensure that they establish and maintain communication with the people of North Staffordshire in order to ensure that they get the best possible services from the NHS. Everyone registered with a GP in North Staffordshire can become a CCG member by completing an online membership registration form or complete a membership form from their GP.
Join now and have your say on NHS services in North Staffordshire.
Free NHS Health Checks
These are available for everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 years.
Why do I need an NHS Health Check?
Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, strokes, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented – even if you have a history of them in your family. There are certain things that will put you at greater risk. Even if you are feeling well, it’s worth having your Health Check now. The NHS can then work with you to reduce your chances of developing these health problems in the future. The check will take 15 minutes, after the check there will be discussions with you on how you can reduce the risk, stay healthy and improve your lifestyle where needed. If you are outside the age range and concerned about your health, you should contact your GP.
Free NHS Flu Vaccinations
The vaccine not only protects you but also helps to prevent the spread of infuenza to vulnerable individuals in the community.
The people listed below are entitled to a free NHS flu jab:
- Everyone over the age of 65 years
- Adults (i.e. over 18 years)
- With diabetes
- Who have suppressed immune systems due to disease or treatment (including patients undergoing chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, HIV injections at all stages, multiple myeloma or other disorders affecting the immune system).
- With chronic neurological disease
- Without a spleen or with reduced spleen function
- Pregnant women
- Who receive a carers allowance or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
- Asthma or chronic lung disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
The vaccinations are available from your GP at no cost. Contact reception for details and to make an appointment.
Unfortunately many of us, across all age groups, are affected by loneliness. Loneliness is a huge personal tragedy, but with the right mixture of positive challenge and support, communities can find their own solutions to what is one of society’s big problems – isolation and loneliness.
The important message is that growing older does not have to mean being alone. Reducing the level of loneliness would have a major positive effect on the well-being of the elderly and also reduce the costs of NHS and social care. Within the area covered by Kingsbridge Medical Practice there are several activities run by local and voluntary organisations.
To access detailed information you should contact either
Dr’s Working Sessions
From 4th February we welcome a new GP Registrar, Dr Egbe Efefaroro. Dr Efefaroro is a qualified doctor who is training to be a GP. She will be with us until 4th August 2015.
Practice partners also work Saturday morning on a rota basis
The surgery is open from 8.00a.m. to 12.00p.m every Saturday morning. However, all telephone calls on Saturday mornings go through to NHS 111.