January 2019

Hello!

We are so pleased to see the uptake of the flu jab has been high this year.  For those of you who still haven’t managed to have your injection please get in touch with our reception staff.

I am sure many of you are aware, as the winter creeps in so do the numerous bugs that are flying around.  Consequently, this can put pressure on all healthcare services, including Exmoor Medical Centre, and we continue to try to meet our demand and prioritise our care as effectively as possible.

How can you help us to help you?

Firstly, consider whether your query requires seeing or speaking to a GP, or whether your question can be answered by another member of the team….

In an effort to try to deal with your queries as efficiently and effectively as possible our reception staff are asked to enquire about a patient’s concern when they request an urgent appointment with a GP.  We understand that not everyone may wish to divulge their reasons, but where possible we would ask that you do.  In providing this information you can help the doctor deal with your need in the most efficient way possible.  Where there is a need for a doctor’s appointment that day, you will often find the doctor will need to phone you back to ensure you are seen at the most appropriate time in the most appropriate place.

Sometimes you may not necessarily need to speak to a doctor and may find other members of the team helpful….

Do you have a query about medication?  Do you need a new medication that has been advised by a consultant at the hospital or you would like to request a medication that is not on your repeat prescription?

  • Speak to our dispensers…
    • they will be able to access your records to see if a GP has seen and prescribed according to a consultants letter – and if they haven’t received or processed that request the dispensers can prompt the GP to do so.
    • They can identify if you have had a medication before that is not on your repeat prescription and ask the GP to prescribe it. Again they ask for more information to help the GP process this request. If the GP feels they need to speak to you the surgery will be in touch to arrange this.
    • You may be due a medication review – you may not always need to see a GP for this – it may be worth asking the dispensers if you need to come in or whether the GP has enough up to date information regarding your health to be able to update your medication from your notes.

Do you have a query about a referral? Are you struggling with booking your hospital appointment? Would you prefer to be referred privately?

  • Speak to our medical secretaries….
    • They will be able to look up relevant information and support you with queries around your referrals.
    • They can communicate directly with the GP on your behalf to arrange an alternative referral or discuss your query and get back to you on the GPs behalf.

Do you need information about groups, services and micro providers in the community?

  • Speak to our receptionists…
    • They will be able to direct you to the appropriate place, give you useful phone numbers and advise you on where you can access the help you need

Do you need to request a home visit?

  • We ask that you speak to our receptionists prior to 11am that day if it is at all possible. This enables the GPs to phone when needed and plan lunchtime visits as efficiently possible
  • We ask that home visits are only requested for housebound patients.

Do you need to find out about blood test results?

  • Our receptionists are able to discuss blood tests with patients or those with written consent in place to discuss a patient’s record on their behalf. We request that you phone after 3pm for results as the mornings are usually very busy for receptionists arranging appointments.

Have you heard about our Talking Cafés?

  • We are so fortunate now as part of the West Somerset Living Better Project to have a Talking Café taking place in Dulverton Library every Friday between 10am – 12pm. This is a great place to meet people and also access local services and resources.  These cafés have been a success in Minehead and we are now very lucky to have this in Dulverton. Please feel free to go along and see what it is all about!

That’s enough of the information overload and now on to a fond farewell to our Nurse Louise.  She will we greatly missed by so many and we wish her well… We now welcome our new nurse, Clare Hendy, who is now settling in as a much valued team member…

Best Wishes,

Kelsey

Autumnal blogging

It would appear autumn is officially now upon us – the autumnal equinox has apparently recently occurred thus signifying the appearance of trick or treat costumes in the shops and the call to get flu jabs at medical centres up and down the land!  Our stock has now arrived, the clinics are running as follows, and you don’t need to book in:

  • WHEDDON CROSS VILLAGE HALL

    Thursday 27th September 2.30-4pm

 

  • BROMPTON REGIS VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 9th October 2.30-4pm

 

  • DULVERTON TOWN HALL

    Monday 1st October 10am-4pm

    Thursday 25th October 10am-2pm

         

  • WINSFORD VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 6th November 2.30-4pm

 

  • EXFORD VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 13th November 2.30-4 pm

 

The CQC visited over summer – overall this was very encouraging and we are again rated as ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ ratings in three areas;  long term conditions, being effective and vulnerable people…  I think it is fair to say the assessors were impressed with the work we have been doing around care planning but wanted to see more hard evidence about its efficacy which we have taken on board…  We are grateful to the team for their preparation for this and keeping calm heads with an hour long power cut mid way through the assessment day!   Also pleasing was a recent NHS patient survey showing that we are rated the 5th highest in Somerset here at Exmoor Medical Centre out of around 70 practices in the county.

In other news we said farewell to Dr Amanda Kemp last month – Amanda was with us for a year in her final year of training we were grateful for her hard work and commitment, were delighted when she (very deservedly) progressed through her exams and assessments and wish her the very best with her new job in South Devon.   In her stead is Dr Paige Burchell who is with us until February who has settled in very well. Welcome Paige!

 

Lastly,  anyone wishing to enjoy a gentle walk with a local friendly group should look no further then our Health Walks group.  I would hate for anyone thinking about coming along to be put off by worrying they  may be too slow or unfit…  Please do ask for details from one of the staff.

 

Pete

At last… some sunshine!

The sun is finally out!  As many of us find, the sunshine helps motivate us to get outside and get active.  The views on Exmoor over the past few weeks have been spectacular and reminds me of just how lucky we are to live in this area.  So what better excuse than to come out on our Health Walks that take place fortnightly in various locations in Dulverton and surrounding areas?  If you want to find out more please enquire at the reception desk.

 

For any of our Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients we have exciting news!  Award winning NHS gastro-dietitians have now set up the First Line Advice IBS webinar ‘on demand’ which means that patients can watch it whenever they wish.  You do not need a referral letter, simply email them on: gastro.webinars@nhs.net.  And they will do the rest!

 

For those of you on regular medications, we also want to take the opportunity to point out this important information….

Medicine Sick Day Rules:

When you are unwell with any of the following:

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea (unless only minor)
  • Fevers, sweats and shaking

Then STOP taking the medications listed below and restart when you are well (after 24-48 hours of eating and drinking normally).  If you are in any doubt, contact your pharmacist, GP or nurse.

Medicines to stop on sick days:

  • ACE inhibitors
    • Medicine names ending in “-pril” eg. Ramipril, Lisinopril, Perindopril
  • ARBs
    • Medicine names ending in “-sartan” eg. Candesartan, Losartan, Valsartan
  • NSAIDs
    • Anti-inflammatory pain killers eg. Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac
  • Diuretics
    • Sometimes called “water pills” eg. Furosemide, Spirinolactone, Indapamide, Bendroflumethiazide
  • Metformin
    • A medicine for diabetes

Ask your GP or dispensary for a Medicine Sick Day Rules card to carry on you if you think this would be helpful…

 

As many of you may know, we are now offering some of our patients with the most complex needs opportunities to discuss Advance Care Planning with their GP or our Living Better nurse, Heulwen Stevenson.  Advance Care Planning is a way to share your wishes for future healthcare, and name someone who can speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.  You can watch a great video that explains all of this on: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mPtu-FpY1Kw.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to discuss your future wishes, but would like to, please phone reception to arrange a consultation with a GP.

 

On a final note, we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who continue to give their voluntary support for the practice.  This includes our delivery drivers for the dispensary, our patient group members, our community drivers and many others I am sure.  We really are extremely lucky for you all to give your time so generously throughout the year…

 

Kelsey

Spring has sprung!

It is good to see in the Spring equinox and change our clocks to British summer time finally….I am hoping that will be the last of the snow for 2018 too! Thank you to everyone who popped in and offered their help to us during the snow, it make such an enormous difference when we are offered help with medicine delivery and other offers of support during the bad weather.
We are also hoping that we will be through the worst of the horrid viruses that have been making so many people unwell recently. On that note please may I politely ask that if you are very unwell and feel you are absolutely unable to make it into the Practice for an appointment, that you request your home visit before 11am. Please remember that home visits are for housebound patients only. This is so that our GPs can telephone you first so that we can offer you the best possible care and that they are  able to plan their day more effectively.
We are delighted to announce that our new Healthy Walks program has started this month, we are offering short walks for  patients of the Practice who are not usually active led by our two trained volunteer walk leaders. Initially this is offered to patients that our clinicians have recommended. We are looking for more volunteer walk leaders so that we can offer the opportunity more widely in the future. Please speak to our Reception Team if you are interested.
We are delighted that so many of our patients almost half of all our registered patients are using our online patient access system. This is a truly amazing number and makes our work far more efficient in terms of booking appointments and organising medications. If you would like to sign up please follow click here and click the green register button.
Now for the little grumble, if you have any queries about your medication please can you write these on your repeat medication request via patient access, this way is most efficient and safe way for us and the information lands within your medical record. It is difficult if we receive email queries as there is the possibility of transcription errors or other misunderstandings occurring.
It has also been brought to our attention that a few company’s are offering to process your repeat medications for you stating that this would be helping your GP Practice, these are private companies making a profit. We are a Dispensing GP Practice and the revenue from running the Dispensary supports the Practice as a whole, without the Dispensary the GP Practice in Dulverton would not be viable. Please support our Dispensary.
Wishing everyone an enjoyable Easter break
Kathryn
Practice Manager Partner

December 2017

Merry Christmas One and All!

This time of year is always a reflective one for me, looking back at the happenings of the previous year and often thinking “where has that twelve months gone!”.   So, here we are following a year of some fond farewells as well as the excitement of welcoming new members to our practice team.  Our newest of which being Claire Floyd as our new healthcare assistant.  Claire has worked with us previously and we are so grateful to have her back with us at the practice.

Another huge accomplishment for our practice this year is achieving our “Going for Gold” Accreditation.  This work was started in August 2014 and as a practice we have worked together to improve our systems and delivery of healthcare to those patients whose needs require a very important multi-disciplinary approach.  We are now looking to extend this work to provide protected GP time for our patients with complex health needs in the hope that we can build upon the service that we currently deliver.  Achieving national recognition for this work is something our whole team feel extremely proud of and we have had fantastic feedback from patients and carers over recent months.

As you know we have also been planning to start our Health Walks and we are so excited to say that we now have two patient volunteers that have been trained up and will be looking to start regular walks for our patients in the New Year.  These will be regular guided walks that will be graded according to difficulty and designed to help give people the confidence to get out into our beautiful surroundings.  For those of you who may have BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night, Denise Larrad was awarded the “Unsung Hero” trophy for her outstanding voluntary work helping people in her community get active.  Her words were truly inspirational particularly speaking about the detrimental impact inactivity can have on our health.   Is it time for a New Year’s resolution to get more active?  Maybe these groups can help? Watch this space – more details will follow in the New Year!  (If anyone is interested in helping to support the running of this group or feel they would benefit from participating in a regular health walk please let Lindsay Smith know).

We are now well and truly into the winter weather! There are undoubtedly higher pressures on healthcare services at this time of year.  Could we please ask that wherever possible home visit requests for housebound patients are made by 11am to enable our GPs to plan efficiently.  We appreciate that this may not always be possible, but we are keen to try to meet the demand as effectively as possible over the coming months.  In addition, if you are happy for us to leave answerphone messages please let our receptionists know.  Please note, we require a personalised message on the mobile or landline answerphone to be able to leave this message for confidentiality reasons.

That’s all from me for now!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kelsey

November 2017

The clocks have gone back, winter is upon us but we still have a few flu jabs left!  – If you haven’t had one yet and would like one please get booked in or else let us know.
Since the last blog we have some new faces – Welcome!
Firstly to Michelle Colley – our new salaried GP has now started and some of you will no doubt have seen her.  Michelle has settled in well, is a pleasure to work alongside and knows her stuff!  In these times of difficulty in recruiting GPs, to have her working with us is a great boon to the practice.
Heulwen Stevenson is our new ‘living better’ nurse.  Some of you may have met Sandra Jarvis and/or Louise Ford – Heulwen takes over in the same role – namely working in the community for people with multiple medical conditions who often struggle to get into the surgery…  Heulwen is part of some new exciting work we are doing – led by Dr Boddington – to allow us as GPs – and patients with (often) multiple long term medical conditions to meet for a longer time slot than usual for a review.  Appointments will be starting to come out shortly for this.
We also say good bye to some old faces
Will Morgan – our registrar is now working as a locum GP nearer his base in Exeter.
Andrea Phillips our Health Care Assistant is also moving shortly – again to be working nearer to her home – We will miss Andrea – she may not thank me for reminding her how many years she has been at Exmoor Medical Centre (and Trumpington House beforehand) so in terms of ECG stickers used (for heart tracings) I think she will have put on around 50,000 and taken over 20,000 blood tests totalling around 500 pints. Sincere thanks for your hard work.
We are also pleased that Carl Egan – a fifth year medical student from Brighton Medical School had a successful six week placement with ourselves.  Training (registrars and medical students) is something we think is important for general practice as a whole, potentially for future recruitment to our practice and for ourselves as doctors and the team – to keep us up to date and bringing new ideas in.
Yours Aye.
Pete

Summer news

Here we are in the middle of summer already and it is time to update everyone with our news from the EMC.

As you will all know Dr Trill has now left the Practice and embarked on her cycle touring adventure all the way from Tromso in Norway to Rome with her husband Peter. We wish them well for their travels and strong legs with tailwinds for all the hills! Dr Trill will be taking up a new role as Deputy Medical Director at Musgrove Park Hospital in October and we wish her every success in her new role.

During August and September we are delighted to announce that Dr Will Morgan our current GP registrar will be staying on as a fully fledged GP working with us over the summer, please book appointments in the usual way via online access or phoning into Reception to see either Dr Byass, Dr Boddington or Dr Morgan.

Alongside our regular GPs our new GP Registrar Dr Amanda Kemp will be joining us during the first week in August, I’m sure you will join me in welcoming her to our team. Amanda has been training as a GP in North Devon and will be with us for a year as she completes her GP training with us.

In late September our new Salaried GP Dr Michelle Colley will be joining us for seven sessions each week alongside Dr Peter Byass and Dr Kelsey Boddington. I am pleased to report that our entire team is fully staffed at the EMC and we feel excited about this next phase. I’m sure you will join me in welcoming Michelle to our team too. Michelle has been qualified for a year and has a wealth of experience working in many North Devon Practices and also for Devon Doctors out of hours service.

I would like to mention a little about our current appointment system. We are advised by NHS England to provide ten minute appointments during routine surgeries; this is so we can offer a good volume of GP & Nurse appointments during the week and most practices offer these appointments. Ten minute appointments are designed to deal with one medical problem at a time, to make appointments run a little more smoothly please can we ask that if you are expecting to have an examination during your consultation that you dress appropriately so that the GP can examine you? We always aim to offer same day or next day appointments at all times and we pride ourselves on being able to achieve this high standard.

As you know GPs are under increasing pressure to meet rising demand. In order to manage any urgent or emergency appointments we have introduced a new more innovative and efficient way of dealing with these requests. If you request a home visit, same day or urgent appointment, you will now receive a telephone call from the GP to get a little more information to best understand how to meet your needs. You may then be asked to come into the Practice or if you absolutely are unable to make it in you will receive a home visit. We have made space for this during the duty GP’s day so that all other GPs are booked up in the usual way and available for routine face-to-face appointments. Please get in touch if you have any thoughts regarding this new system.

Also, if you would like to check your height, weight or blood pressure this is available in the confidential room in Reception. There are some slips of paper to note down your readings please pass these to Reception Team and we will add to your medical record which will help our clinicians when you have appointments as recent readings are very useful to help with diagnosis and treatments.

All that is left is for me to wish you a very happy summer here’s hoping for some more warm weather too.

Kathryn

Mrs. Kathryn Kyle

Practice Manager