Patient Forum September newsletter
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We are pleased to welcome Dr Andy Eaton back to the Crewkerne Health Centre team on 20th August. Dr Eaton will be looking after patients who were previously under the care of Dr Quast (Dr Field temporarily) and is also currently accepting new patients on his list. His normal days of working will be Monday, Tuesday morning and Thursday.
Prostate Cancer Testing
There has recently been publicity in the media about Prostate Cancer, and we would like patients to be aware of the following
- Men with increasing symptoms which may relate to their prostate should discuss these with a clinician. This includes reducing flow of urine, getting up more often at night, or other difficulty passing urine.
- The majority of patients with these symptoms will NOT have cancer, but will have benign prostate enlargement.
- If any patients, male or female, see blood seen in their urine, then it is important to bring in a urine sample for testing, and to discuss with a clinician.
- PSA testing for prostate cancer is NOT an effective screening test, and is generally recommended only in male patients with urinary symptoms, or sometimes a strong family history of prostate cancer.
- If a patient wishes to consider a PSA test in any other situation, it is best to first discuss the pros and cons of this with a clinician.
Symphony Healthcare Services Ltd welcomes Crewkerne Health Centre.
CREWKERNE HEALTH CENTRE JOINS SYMPHONY HEALTHCARE SERVICES
At the beginning of July, Crewkerne Health Centre became the fifth GP practice in Somerset to join NHS healthcare organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services Ltd.
Symphony Healthcare Services is a subsidiary of Yeovil Hospital and was launched in April 2016 as part of the Symphony Programme Vanguard, to provide much needed stability and sustainability for primary and secondary care in Somerset.
As a larger NHS organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services aims to enable closer working between GP practices and Yeovil Hospital to help patients access the right services more easily than before. Practices joining SHS will benefit from additional support from other existing GP practices within SHS and a central support team.
Crewkerne Health Centre has operated on its current site in Middle Path, Crewkerne since 1973 and provides healthcare services for around 11,000 patients in the local community.
Dr John Horne, GP Senior Partner from Crewkerne Health Centre said “Like many GP Practices across the country, it has become increasingly difficult for us to meet the challenge of growing patient lists, an ageing population, more complex long-term health conditions and a national shortage of GPs. We believe that by joining a larger NHS healthcare organisation we will be in a better position to secure healthcare services for the local community. Our experienced and professional team in Crewkerne will continue to provide patients with the high quality healthcare services on which we pride ourselves. We are very pleased to join colleagues within SHS and to have the opportunity to work together to create a strong, resilient primary care service to meet the needs of our patients, both now and in the future.”
SHS Managing Director, Mandy Seymour-Hanbury added “We are thrilled to welcome Crewkerne Health Centre in to Symphony Healthcare Services. Many families have grown up with the support of their local healthcare practice and it is this local service that we want to maintain and develop through Symphony Healthcare Services. By establishing a larger, better supported organisation we can work together to manage and develop our practices and address the challenges that they face; such as recruiting and retaining new doctors and specialist healthcare teams. This is a genuinely exciting time for the NHS in Somerset, and, by integrating in this way, we are committing to a sustainable future for local GP services and hospital care.”
To register as a patient at the Health Centre or for any enquiries about the services provided, please contact the surgery on 01460 72435 or visit the website www.crewkernehc.co.uk
Improved access to routine GP Services Extended to Evenings and Weekends
Patients with long term health conditions, young people and shift workers are just some of the people expected to benefit from a planned extension to the availability of appointments at Somerset's GP practices. This scheme fulfils a pledge made by the Government in 2015 to improve access to primary care services.
All practices in Somerset are currently contracted to deliver primary care medical services from 8 am until 6.30pm. Through this new national scheme patients registered at a Somerset GP practice will now also be offered appointments from 6.30pm until 8.00pm Monday to Friday and some appointments at weekends.
Crewkerne Health Centre is working with a group of practices in the Yeovil area to deliver this improved access. These practices are Buttercross Health Centre in Somerton, Church Street Surgery in Martock, South Petherton Surgery, Preston Grove Medical Centre (Yeovil), Penn Hill Surgery (Yeovil), Hendford Lodge Medical Centre (Yeovil), Hamdon Medical Centre (Stoke sub Hamdon), Ryalls Park Medical Centre in Yeovil, Oaklands Surgery (Yeovil), Ilchester Surgery, Abbey Manor Medical Practice (Yeovil), West Coker Surgery and Yeovil Health Centre (Middle Street, Yeovil).
Health staff working at evenings and weekends will have access to the patient's medical records when consent is given and will be able to provide the same high standard of care as patients would expect during normal opening hours.
Patients who wish to book a routine appointment on any evening or weekend can do so by telephoning our appointments line on 01460 74797 (8.30 am - 6.30pm) or visiting the practice (8.00 am - 6.30 pm). You can also visit one of the other practices named above to book an appointment. Extended hours appointments at Crewkerne Health Centre will be on a Monday evening, but staff will be able to book you an appointment at another local surgery on any other evening which is convenient for you as the patient. Same day appointments are available and to access these at the weekend, please contact the NHS 111 service who can book a same day appointment at the weekend with the Urgent Care Service (which is based at Yeovil District Hospital).
Please note that this is a service for ROUTINE appointments and this does not replace the current Somerset Out Of Hours Urgent Care Service. If patients or their family members become ill overnight or at the weekend and need medical advice or help outside practice opening times, they should continue to call NHS 111.
Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions on this service and maps showing local provision.
At Crewkerne Health Centre the doctors have been using telephone triage for some time. This system has been developed and refined with input from the practice's Patient Forum and is increasingly popular with patients. Telephone triaging is only performed in our practice by doctors and senior experienced nurses. Many patients' problems can be dealt with using this form of consultation. We also believe that this system allows the doctors to identify those patients that need to be seen, identify the clinician who is most appropriate to deal with patients' problems and, most importantly, identifies patients who need to be seen as a priority because of their clinicial presentation. This ensures that the sickest people get seen first rather than those who manage to secure the first appointments.
The demand for general practice has been growing every year and there are proportionately fewer GPs available nationally to provide that service. This means there needs to be a filter of some kind to ensure patients get the care that they need, in the most timely manner and by the most appropriate clinician.
On line services
In line with our planned improvements to increase on line services for patients, some appointments with all GPs can now be booked online. Registration for this service is required and reception staff will require to see ID (photo and address)before a login and password can be issued. At the moment no nurse appointments may be booked on line, but as the service rolls out, the number of available appointments will increase.
Prescriptions are also available on line through the Patient Access system. Again ID is required before a login and password are issued and access to this service also allows you to view the medication, immunisations and allergies noted in your medical records.
Unfortunately, due to issues around confidentiality, neither of these services are available to patients under the age of 18. Parents wishing to order medication electronically for their children are asked to do so using the e-mail address email@example.com
Having recently taken up a part time role as Medical Director with Symphony Healthcare Services, Dr Balian will now only be in the practice two days per week (usually Monday and Wednesday).
Health Centre Staff News
Dr Julia Hewson will be returning from maternity leave on April 30th .
Until mid August, Dr Quast's patients will be looked after by Dr Mark Field. Dr Andy Eaton, who has been covering Dr Hewson's maternity leave, will join us on a permanent basis in August and will take over looking after Dr Quast's patients.
Louise Moore, an experienced nurse practitioner who is able to prescribe, joined the Health Centre team in December.
Minor Injuries Service
This service is now available at the Health Centre between 8 am and 6.30 pm from Monday to Friday. Injuries should have occurred in the last 48 hours and you will initially be assessed by a member of the practice nurse team. No appointments are necessary for this service.
Minor Ailments Service
The Health Centre Pharmacy, which opened in August 2012, now offers a minor ailments service. The pharmacist is able to give advice and medications for a range of illnesses e.g. cystitis, coughs, colds, sore throats etc. The Pharmacy is open from 7am until 10.30 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays.