The Calverton Practice Newsletter
'Full Steam Ahead'
At the time of writing this article we are just about to launch our new triage system, hopefully by the time of your reading it will be bedded in and working well! As you may recall from Dr Wight's newsletter back in September we felt that something had to change to allow particularly our part-time partners to continue working effectively and safely. What you may be finding is that your usual GP is not necessarily available to speak to as previously, however there is always a duty 'triage' doctor in the morning to prioritise calls and a similar 'on-call' duty doctor to deal with emergencies in the afternoon. Our hope is that this will actually free up more pre-bookable appointments in due course though it remains to be seen how quickly the new system beds in.
Also new is that Dr Brown (currently on maternity leave) will have her own list of patients who will for the time being be looked after by Dr Debbie Knott who is our latest (albeit temporary) new recruit. Debbie is an experienced local GP and she will be with us until Dr Brown returns in mid to late February.
Other news to report is the completion, at long last, of the internal refurbishment of some of our downstairs consulting rooms. We are very pleased with the result and the extra capacity more rooms gives us for the future. We are also now actively looking into extending further the building and planning has been put in. In doing this we are anticipating the expected further growth of housing in Calverton and recognising that the Calverton Surgery is a very popular place to be registered as a patient.
The recent expansion of our practice boundary to include Lambley has resulted in several new patients registering from that village and we anticipate more will follow in the coming months.
Finally those of you who follow the trends in NHS planning will know that the GP 5 Year Forward View Plans include more services being offered in the community and a likely extension of GP access hours for routine appointments in the relatively near future. At a time of GP and other staff shortage, the only way this can realistically be done is by setting up 'Hubs' so that practices can work together to provide such services though many of us (myself included) worry that a service spread more thinly may inevitably erode the ability to provide continuity of care over time.
I have now been looking after many of my patients for over 20 years, you could say we have matured together and many of my former 'youngsters' are confronting the challenges of ageing and multiple medical problems. I like to think of this as a further chapter in the book of our shared relationship and feel very strongly that this makes the what can be the very challenging job of General Practice much easier and satisfying for both parties. So often I hear from patients frustrated at having to tell their medical story yet again to someone new (particularly at a hospital out-patient clinic) and frequently if in hospital are bewildered at the constant change of medical staff looking after them. If you have a sore throat, earache or your knee hurts is probably doesn't matter who you see but for many patients, problems are multiple and long term, in this group of patients’ continuity is king!
What we are anticipating in the practice looking forward is that some of you will start to see some of our other regular doctors so that your 'usual doctor' may not be the doctor you are registered with but rather the doctor who has dealt with your problem (or problems) most recently and can then provide that all too important 'continuity of care' I have mentioned.
There are some comings and goings to report. As well as Dr Knox who is joining us, we welcome Practice Nurse Jolene Parkes. She is covering for the recently retired Calverton 'legend' nurse Mary Stansfield, a stalwart of our treatment room and vaccs & imms service. Mary also led on ensuring our prostate cancer patients were followed up correctly and at times helped out with our women's health clinics. Mary tells us she will be busy now travelling and has acquired a greenhouse to keep her busy. I am sure you will all join me in wishing her well in her well earned retirement.
Finally a quick reminder to all of you eligible for a flu jab to get booked in if you haven't already done so. Public Health is warning us that this year may be a bad one for flu so it is especially important to get your jab ASAP if you need one. We would particularly like to see our younger eligible patients this year so if you are pregnant or have asthma or diabetes please ensure you have your flu jab this time around.
The November Meeting (Wednesday 1st November) in the Village Hall, 7.30 pm for 8.00pm, and will be a fashion show, ”Vintage to Versace”.
Ticket price is £5.00 and includes a glass of wine and a mince pie. This is just for entertainment and is not a heavy selling night. Tickets are available on the door. Entry is open to all.
TACKLING DOMESTIC ABUSE
Tackling Domestic Abuse is a national priority for the Home Office, Police, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.
Neighbourhood Watch is working with Crimestoppers to raise awareness about domestic abuse and what our supporters and volunteers can do to help prevent and report it.
We would be grateful if you could spend just 3 minutes completing this survey, the results of which will help us to signpost people to the right place to report their concerns. Your responses are completely anonymous.
You can complete the survey by clicking on the link below.