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Byhowbeck

Barton Family Practice News – February 2024

We would like to use this first newsletter of the year to explain some changes to our appointment system. The fundamentals of the system, whereby the on-call GP assesses the reason for contacting the surgery, and advises the best way forward, (otherwise known as ‘triage’) will remain the same. However, we would encourage patients to state their preferred consultation mode, usually either face-to-face or telephone, and/or their preferred clinician. We shall try as much as possible, and where clinically appropriate, to fulfil your requests. Clearly, there may be reasons why the outcome may differ from your initial request, and a simple example may be where the on-call GP assesses your problem as being of an urgent nature and advises a 999 call, or that you need to be seen face-to-face for a physical examination, to make a diagnosis and advise you appropriately.

We are also removing the restriction on making appointments at the reception desk. Appointments can now be made by speaking to a receptionist at the front desk but be mindful that you may be compromising your confidentiality if you must speak loudly at reception, where other people in the waiting room may overhear you. We are in the process of replacing the screens at reception with new ones that have better acoustic properties. You will have to wait to speak to a receptionist if she is busy on a call.

Follow-up appointments can also be booked in advance at the request of the consulting clinician but note that reception can only act on this if it is documented in the clinical notes, or you have been given a booking slip by the clinician. This is obviously subject to the availability of pre-bookable appointments.

We remain convinced that the current system of assessing requests and the demand for appointments in real-time, and a GP advising the most appropriate course of action, is the most efficient way of using a very finite resource, i.e. appointments.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that emails or handwritten letters should not be used for urgent problems. These means of communication are likely to result in delays and may be harmful. If you need to contact the surgery about an urgent problem, please do so by telephone. Do remember, however, that emergencies require a 999 call.

Best wishes, as ever, from the team at Barton Family Practice.

Byhowbeck

Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite

Cervical Screening is carried out to check the health of your cervix, it is not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 – 64 should go for regular cervical screening. You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you to make an appointment.

The test itself should take less than 5 minutes and is usually done by a female nurse or doctor. This video explains what happens during your screening.  

You can also find more information and support at https://www.jostrust.org.uk/

Byhowbeck

It’s time to talk about loneliness

We all get lonely. Its time to talk about it.

Whether its your regular barista, the friendly dog on your walk, or the shopkeeper down the road, everyday moments of connection matter. They allow us to make connections, feel happier and less lonely.

You can find information and support if you are feeling lonely at https://www.marmaladetrust.org/law

Byhowbeck

Are you a carer looking for advice or support?

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

If you are a carer and need advice and support, you can find information at:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/introduction-to-care-and-support/

https://www.carersuk.org/

Byhowbeck

When anxiety becomes an issue

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Weeks theme is ‘anxiety’. Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all but sometimes I can get out of control and become a mental health problem.

You can find out more about anxiety and what help is available at:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/anxiety/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/mental-health-awareness-week/what-can-we-do-cope-feelings-anxiety