2013-14 Patient Survey Results
The results have now been collated and are displayed in the survey report link on the right-hand side menu. Many thanks to members of the PPG for their time and effort in distributing questionnaires and special thanks to the chair Sue Hoyle for pulling the responses together.
Thank you to everybody who attended the recent fundraiser and to members of the PPG and Rowley Hill Club who without their help, this wouldn’t have happened. The PPG are very grateful to be the recipients of the charity day and look forward to working with the community to provide more local services.
Alert- ‘ NICE’ Spam Emails
We are aware of a spam e-mail, allegedly from NICE Services to patients informing them that NICE has been sent a sample of your blood analysis for further research. “During the complete blood count, we have revealed that white blood cell is very low and unfortunately we have a suspicion of cancer.” You are then asked to print out the test results and attachment and visit your family doctor as soon as possible. There have been reports of this in the Huddersfield area. It is obviously very worrying for our patients but please be assured you would never be contacted in this way. If you do receive an email of this nature, please contact the surgery so we can inform the CCG.
What’s Day-to-day Life Like in a Hectic Practice?
Have you ever wondered what we actually do on a daily basis? The following article pretty much sums it up and gives a humerous insight into what life is like at Lepton & Kirkheaton Surgeries.
Did you know if you are aged between 40 and 75, you are entitled to a free NHS health check, providing you do not suffer from a long term condition such as Diabetes, Chronic heart disease (CHD), Cardiovascular disease (CVD) or Chronic kidney disease (CKD)? Please contact the surgery if you would like to make an appointment and we can check your eligibility.
Connect to Support
“Connect to Support” helps Kirklees patients and professionals access to support all in one place, by visiting a “shop” online, they can view care services, leisure services and other activities that promote health and wellbeing. www.connecttosupport.org/kirklees.
Farewell to the Patients of Lepton and Kirkheaton Surgeries
I would like to say goodbye to all the patients I have worked with in the area over the last 29 years It has been a privilege to have done this work and I have so many memories of my time here, many fond, some more traumatic and sad. Thus is the way of life.
I would also like to say thanks for the help I have received from many of you over the years and for the help that people have afforded each other, which has often been invaluable in maintaining the health and viability of some vulnerable people.
My retirement came earlier and more suddenly than I had envisaged and I was not able to let people know that I was retiring in advance, as I would have hoped. My sudden departure has caused some turmoil at the practice and I apologise for that but I think that I can leave the practice in safe hands.
As I retire I would like to issue a word of caution. I think at the moment General Practice is facing many threats and given how busy I have been over the last 29 years, but more so over the last few years, I think it is a resource that is used and needed. It may well be that communities will need to let our political masters know that they would like to keep their General Practices and what they would like them to be resourced to do. This is a nationwide problem but does not make the headlines in the newspapers as potential hospital closures do. General Practice does 90% of the patient contacts in the health service yet receives just over 8% of the funding and this is due to diminishing.
I would exhort people to support the Royal College of General Practitioners’ campaign “Put patients first: Back general practice campaign” to help preserve and improve this resource (http://www.rcgp.org.uk/campaign ).
I would also like to say thank you for all the kind wishes, cards, letters and gifts that I have received over the last few weeks, which I must say has taken me by surprise. It is much appreciated and will remind me of all the people I have treated as I potter around my garden.
When one is working with illness all day long it feels a bit odd to wish all my patients good health but I hope they can be as well as they could be, although if everyone becomes too healthy my successors will have nothing to do. You never know, there might be a sudden improvement in the health of the local population linked to my leaving.
Once more I would like to say thank you and best wishes for the future.
Diarmuid Barnwell 9/4/14
My 13 Tips to Getting the Best Out of Your Local GPs’ Surgery
Dr Mark Porter Chris McAndrew for The Times
Published at 12:01AM, June 18 2013
I am proud to be a GP but, along with many of my colleagues, my self-esteem has been dented by the way we are being portrayed. Not only are GPs seemingly responsible for NHS crises ranging from teetering A&E services to burgeoning antibiotic resistance, but we are also overpaid and lazy. Little wonder that patients get so fed up when they can’t get in to see us.
This is neither the time nor place to defend my profession but I believe most GPs are hard-working dedicated doctors who earn much less than the figures bandied about and who has become a handy scapegoat for politicians.
However, I hold my hands up when it comes to access — getting to see your doctor is far harder than it should be. Access isn’t just an issue for patients — doctors and practice staff worry about it too. No one likes working in a system where people experience lengthy waits: it creates stress and frustration on both sides. Like most surgeries, we have tried various systems but no matter how you increase supply it is more than matched by demand — and you end up back at square one. GP surgeries in England alone now offer 100 million more appointments than they did 20 years ago (see below), but waits remain unacceptably long in most practices.
To be candid, I don’t see the situation improving any time soon, so here is my insider’s guide to getting the most out of the current system:
1– Think before you dial. If your problem is a real emergency — chest pain, collapse or a suspected stroke — dial 999. If not, call your surgery to discuss what you need, or if you are not sure who to call, dial 111.
2 – Avoid busy times, particularly Monday mornings. If your problem isn’t pressing, try not to call before 10.30 am on any day. However, if you are requesting a home visit — from a doctor or district nurse — you should join the morning rush: the earlier your practice knows about visits, the sooner it can allocate them.
3 – Only request a visit if you, or the person you are concerned about, is housebound. A doctor can see 4 or 5 patients in the surgery in the time it takes to do a home visit. It is very frustrating to be called out only to find a note on the door saying “Back in 10 minutes. Taking the dog to the vet”. It happens.
4 – Think ahead. People expect to book with their dentist or hairdresser at least a couple of weeks ahead; GP surgeries should be no different when it comes to routine appointments for procedures such as smears, blood pressure checks, immunisations and blood tests.
5 – If your problem is urgent and you feel you need to be seen quickly, that should always be possible. Systems vary but every practice I know will see urgent cases the same day, typically as “extras” at the end of morning or evening surgery. I can’t advocate just turning up but some patients do, and they invariably get seen … eventually.
6 If you are not sure that your problem warrants an urgent slot but can’t wait for a routine appointment the following week, ask for a doctor or nurse to return your call. Some practices have a dedicated on-call doctor or nurse who does telephone triage, while others divide the telephone workload when they finish morning surgery.
7 – If your query is related to a long-standing condition such as diabetes or asthma, why not ask to speak to the nurse you normally see in clinic (most practices now have specialist diabetes or asthma nurses)? Or ask if you can e-mail them?
8 – Don’t abuse the system. If you cannot make an appointment, phone and cancel it so we can give it to someone else (30 million appointments are wasted each year because of “no-shows”). Also, be honest about your need for an urgent appointment: every GP is used to seeing people with an “urgent” verruca but this sort of abuse of the system makes receptionists wary.
9 – Do you actually need to see a doctor? If it is a problem such as uncomplicated heartburn, hayfever or a cold, why not go directly to your pharmacist? Over-the-counter medicines can be cheaper than prescription fees and the pharmacist can always refer you if they are concerned.
10 – Ask about the most efficient way to collect repeat prescriptions. Systems vary from e-mail to monthly pick-ups from a pharmacy. All are designed to make it easier for everyone.
11 – Be assertive but polite. Working in reception is a tough job. Staff are there to help you, so give them a chance. But if you are not happy with the service, stand your ground — the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
12 – When you do eventually see the doctor, be succinct. Have your symptoms clear in your mind and share your concerns (lots of people Google their symptoms and part of our job is to reassure them their condition is not as serious as they suspect, hopefully). Oh, and please wear something sensible that will allow easy access if you need to be examined.
13 – Finally, if you don’t like the level of service offered by your surgery, and you have a choice of going to another (and not everyone does) then vote with your feet.
A Growing Problem
1 – Although GP practices are often thought of as being on the periphery of an NHS that is mostly based in hospitals, the reverse is true – 9 out of 10 of all NHS contacts take place in primary care.
2 – GP surgeries in England alone now offer about 300 million appointments a year, up from just over 200 million in 1993, and the figure looks set to rise to closer to half a billion over the next 20 years.
3 – There are more GPs today than there has ever been. There are about 31,000 GPs registered in England, operating out of 8,000 practices.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
For further information, please visit their website http://www.nhs.uk/111/.
Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (GHCCG)
As of 1st April 2013, NHS Kirklees ceased to exist and was succeeded by a new clinical commissioning group consisting of 40 member practices of which we are one. For further information, please visit their website www.kirklees.nhs.uk/greaterhuddersfield.
Alert- ‘ NICE’ spam emails
We are aware of a spam e-mail, allegedly from NICE Services to patients informing them that NICE has been sent a sample of your blood analysis for further research. “During the complete blood count, we have revealed that white blood cell is very low and unfortunately we have a suspicion of cancer.” You are then asked to print out the test results and attachment and visit your family doctor as soon as possible. There have been reports of this in the Huddersfield area.
It is obviously very worrying for our patients but please be assured you would never be contacted in this way. If you do receive an email of this nature, please contact the surgery so we can inform the CCG.