The Evergreen Surgery Newsletter

September 2020

 

Dr Hutchings, Dr Amini and their new partners, Dr Bunting and Dr Greenfield would like to welcome you to the 2nd edition of the Evergreen Surgery Newsletter.

As we expected, the surgery has become increasingly busy over the last few weeks and we would like to thank you for your on-going patience as we try to manage this demand and working with our partners in other services as they get up and running again. The surgery is working closely with other GPs in the area that are part of the Woodford and Wanstead Primary Care Network to ensure we maximise our resources and escalate any concerns we have in providing care to our patients during these challenging times.

We have had some new additions to the staff recently including new trainee doctors, Dr Cockburn, Dr Subhan and Dr Korie. Our receptionist Sue has completed her Health Care Assistant training and you will now see her undertaking sessions in her new role. Finally, we are delighted to have a pharmacist Afifah working with us on a regular basis to undertake some of our medication reviews.

 

 

IT’S FLU SEASON!!

In light of the risk of flu and COVID-19 circulating in the winter months and the potential impact this could have it will be important for you to have your flu jab if you are eligible.

 

We will be providing flu vaccinations from the surgery with several clinics running over the next couple of months. We have reviewed how we will carry out the clinics and reassure you that we can do these safely for our patients in line with the up to date guidance on infection control.

 

Please help us by wearing your mask over your mouth and nose. Use the hand sanitiser we provide for you.  Get ready for your injection whilst you are waiting in the queue by taking off your coat/ jacket etc.) Come by yourself unless you need to be accompanied.  Remember the appointment is only for your flu jab.

 

Do not attend the surgery if you have a new cough, fever, change in taste or smell. Your appointment can be rebooked when you feel better.

 

Our over 65 vaccines are available now so please ring the surgery for an appointment or book online. Alternatively you can arrange to have your vaccination at your local pharmacy or take advantage where this service is offered in the workplace.

 

Under 65 vaccines for those designated at risk (see details below) will be available after the 5th October and we are running some pre bookable Saturday clinics on the 10th and 17th October.  There will also be a number of other clinics set up for October and November

 

This year NHS flu vaccinations will be offered to the following groups of patients:

  • Age 65 and over

  • Under 65 with a chronic disease such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, chronic neurological disease such as parkinsons, liver disease, kidney disease, learning disability, weakened immune system, morbidly obese

  • All pregnant women

  • Household contacts of patients on the NHS shielding list

  • Residents of nursing or care homes

  • Those in receipt of carers allowance or are the main carer for a disabled or elderly person

  • Health and care staff employed by a registered care home or domiciliary provider or personal care budget

  • 2-3 year old children will be offered vaccinations in the surgery.  School age children, reception to year 7 will be immunised as part of the school immunisation programme.

In November the government will review and formalise a plan for vaccinating 50-64 year olds who do not fall into the above categories.

 

If you fall outside of these categories and would still like a flu jab you can pay for this at your local pharmacists.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

In line with government guidance the surgery continues to revise its way of working regularly in order to maximise patient and staff safety wherever possible. Since our last update we have opened our front door entrance and have extended the number of face to face appointments undertaken. The advice remains however, that where possible consultations should be undertaken remotely. The doctor or nurse will therefore make the decision as to whether a patient should be seen at the surgery. The majority of our consultations continue to be via the telephone.

Please do not come to the surgery unless you have specifically been told to.

 

Appointments

Our phone lines remain open from 8.00 to 18.30. Patients should continue to phone the surgery if they require an appointment.  Most of our appointments continue to be for book on the day. However, a number of phone appointments are also available to book in advance on-line via Patient Access https://www.patientaccess.com/ or the NHS App www.nhs.uk

 

Remember if it is not urgent you can try an online consultation via eConsult which you can access from our website www.26highstreet.co.uk

 

All the appointments offered will initially be in the form of a phone call. If the doctor or nurse thinks a video consultation is required they may also send you a link via your phone. Very rarely, they may ask you to attend the surgery.

Attending the Surgery

If you are asked to come to the surgery you will be given a time to arrive. Please bring your own mask or face covering with you. This must be worn at all times in the surgery and should cover your mouth and nose. The door can be opened using the disabled access button on the left hand side. Wall mounted hand sanitiser dispensers are available and should be used as you enter and exit the surgery.

 

We have provided markings to enable you to queue at a 2 metre social distance and we ask that you stand back from the reception desk as we are only able to deal with one patient at a time.

Appointments are for one person only, unless you require a carer to accompany you, and only ONE parent should attend for child immunisation(s).

 

Annual Reviews

If you are due an annual review of a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes, COPD and are invited to make an appointment please do contact the surgery so we can get you booked in with our nurse or one of the doctors. It’s important that we continue to monitor these conditions.

 

Prescriptions

We are operating an electronic prescription service and we will be continuing with this in the long term. Please request your repeat prescriptions online (via Patient Access, the NHS App) or through your pharmacy.  Alternatively, you can post a written request into our new prescription box by the front door of the surgery.

 

All prescriptions will be sent to your nominated pharmacy. Collection from the surgery is not possible.

 

We will accept phone requests for prescriptions from housebound patients only but please ring after 11.00am

 

Blood Tests

If the doctor would like you to have blood tests, you will need to come to the surgery to collect the forms.

 

Wanstead Hospital is currently not open so we have been asked to send our patients to the walk-in service at Whipps Cross Hospital which is open from 8.30-4.00 Monday to Friday.

 

What are we doing moving forward?

The surgery is following NHS guidance on what activities we should currently undertake and this will continue to change over the coming weeks:

  • We will offer you a phone or video consultation; we will see you face to face if the doctor deems it necessary. 

  • We will refer you for urgent investigations if required.

  • We will send off routine referrals but may not be able to tell you when this will be acted upon.

  • We will issue prescriptions electronically.

  • Our nurses will do immunisations and other urgent injections.

  • They will do some dressings.

  • The nurses will also undertake reviews to help you manage your long term conditions such as diabetes or asthma.

  • Cervical screening will also be done.

  • Our HCA will do routine blood pressure checks but If you have a long term condition it may be beneficial for you to purchase your own blood pressure machine to take your readings at home.

 

There are still some services that we are not able to offer including ear syringing and wart freezing.              

 

What you can do to help yourself

Now is a good time to consider what you might be able to do to maintain or improve your health:

  •  If you smoke, now is a good time to stop and there is help available from your local pharmacy.

  •  Take regular exercise – lots of people are finding encouragement by using videos and joining on-line classes.

  •  Eat healthily and if you are overweight then try to lose weight.

  •  Limit how much alcohol you drink – save it for special moments.

 

There is lots of advice available on line including www.nhs.uk/change4life  and www.nhs.uk/better-health