11th May 2021 - We, as a practice, have continued to see patients face to face on a medical need basis throughout the whole pandemic. Accessing the surgery has been in a different way but if someone has needed to be seen they have been. Any changes were brought in to protect patients and staff and to ensure continuity of service to our patients. Our clinicians have all seen people in the surgery and on home visits throughout the last 15 months and this is not going to change.
Our workload has increased hugely since this time last year. Our practice list size has grown by 2000 patients due to the closure of Brandon Lane Surgery, and as well as providing general medical services we are also delivering a Covid 19 vaccination service. Please understand that every member of the practice team has gone above and beyond their job, sometimes at a cost to themselves and their family, to ensure that our patients get the best possible care that we can deliver. We understand that our telephone lines are busy, particularly at Meadowfield Surgery. We have had new telephone systems installed at 3 of our surgery sites and the number of lines into the surgeries has increased, however the number of telephone calls we receive continues to increase with enquiries about Covid 19 testing and vaccinations. Following a number of Facebook comments about staff at Meadowfield Surgery not answering the telephone, we would like to reassure you that our reception staff spend most of their day answering telephones. We have a team of staff at Meadowfield Surgery who work upstairs answering the telephones. The Receptionist on the front desk does not answer the telephone as they are there to assist patients who are asked to come to the surgery.
We are aware that a number of patients are due their second Pfizer vaccination next week and we have not yet contacted you to make an appointment. This is because the delivery of Pfizer vaccines for next week has not been confirmed. Please note the Practice has no control over vaccine delivery, hence the difference in days/dates vaccinations are given. We truly understand your frustrations when you are waiting for us to call you, however this does not excuse you from shouting and swearing at our staff or from calling them useless, stupid, incompetent and a number of other unrepeatable things. There is a zero tolerance policy across the NHS for patients who are abusive and/or violent to staff. At The Medical Group we take this policy very seriously, and will not hesitate to remove patients from our list who do not abide by this policy.
We will get things wrong occasionally, and are happy to look into anything we could do better, but we never set out to annoy or upset anyone. Our Doctors and staff are tired, many have been working 7 days a week to ensure patients receive the Covid 19 vaccination. We have been through the same things that you have in this pandemic whilst working harder than ever before and a patient shouting or swearing can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. We ask that you be kind to anyone you come in to contact with at the surgery. We also ask you not to post derogatory comments on Facebook; if you have a genuine complaint please let us know by writing to us, a member of our team will then get back to you to discuss your concerns.
Thank you for you co-operation
30th April 2021 - We are receiving unprecedented amounts of e-consults (around 200 per week). We would ask in the first instance that you look at the ‘I want help for my condition’ section of eConsult. You can pick the problem area and click ‘I want to help myself’ which gives current advice and 1st line treatments for many health problems. You can also try a local pharmacy for advice about a range of conditions. Please try this advice before submitting an e-consult to the Practice. The eConsult service is available Monday to Friday only.
Do you really need paracetamol on prescription?
As a practice we are constantly reviewing our prescribing to make sure that our patients are receiving the most appropriate treatment for their medical conditions and that we are making the best use of limited NHS funds. We are asking you to please "Think Twice" before asking your GP to prescribe over-the-counter medications such as Paracetamol for common or short-term ailments. We would suggest that you buy paracetamol over the counter when making your weekly essential shopping trip. Paracetamol is so cheap over the counter but the admin costs behind an NHS prescription are much higher. Did you know a box of 32 paracetamol tablets on prescription costs the NHS approximately 4 times as much as it does to buy the tablets from a pharmacy or supermarket and if you take into account the staff time and dispensing payments the total cost to the NHS is almost 100 times more than buying over the counter? This practice spends approximately £274,000 annually on Prescriptions for Paracetamol. Every pound we save is another pound the NHS can invest in better A&E care, new cancer treatments, hip replacements, cataract extractions and much better mental health services. £274,000 would pay for approximately 300 cataract extraction or 75 hip replacements.
Please "Think Twice"
Response to COVID-19 Vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca media reports
The UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe, have said that evidence DOES NOT suggest that the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is linked to blood clots.
People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
Please read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-response-to-irish-authorities-action-to-temporarily-suspend-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine
The Medical Group is working towards the Green Impact Award. We are committed to making changes and improvements in the Practice that will help reduce our carbon footprint, as well as improving health and wellbeing of patients and our own staff.
Our key areas of focus for sustainability are:
- Improving our energy efficiency
Sourcing food and drink responsibly and reducing/avoiding use of plastic where possible
Reducing waste and increasing recycling
Reducing our use of paper
Working towards implementing the Green Impact Toolkit
ALL OF OUR SURGERIES ARE NOW OPEN TO PATIENTS WITH APPOINTMENTS ONLY. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE AN APPOINTMENT MUST NOT ATTEND THE SURGERY AND CONTACT THEIR SURGERY BY PHONE.
As per government guidance we have moved to a telephone triage service
You may find it more convenient to submit an E-consult via our website themedicalgroup.co.uk You will receive a response from a clinician within 48 hours
If your problem is more urgent please contact the surgery and a telephone triage appointment will be arranged. If the clinician feels you need to be seen, please be reassured that a face to face appointment will be made.
If you have a NEW persistent cough OR a high temperature above 37.8C OR have had loss/change in smell or taste and are worried you may have coronavirus you need to follow these guidelines
If you live alone you should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms following the current advice.
If you live with others then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days
After 7 days of self-isolation, people who feel better and no longer have a high temperature can return to their normal routine
If they have serious symptoms that they cannot manage or have no signs of improvement after 7 days they should use NHS111
If your symptoms worsen please see NHS website for more information www.nhs.co.uk/coronavirus or call 111
If you require a sick note please go to www.111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for understanding.