A lot has happened in the 2 months since our last newsletter. Regarding the health sector, we are now in the grip of a full-scale NHS crisis. Without wishing to be alarmist, I would like to point out the obvious, that we are part of the NHS and therefore also in crisis. Demand for GP appointments is at an all-time high, and we have been unable to replace the GPs we have lost. It is proving difficult to recruit new GPs and even securing a locum is challenging. Making matters worse, Dr Atijosan is leaving in January for new pastures. Please bear with us as we struggle to try to provide enough GP appointments.
The Nursing team are appealing for all eligible women to attend for their cervical smears when they become due. They are concerned that some women have failed to attend their appointments. Cervical screening is an effective way of reducing the risk of cervical cancer and we would encourage all women to attend.
And now an appeal from Reception. Please stand back until invited to approach the reception counter. The receptionists use headsets, and report that patients sometimes think they are idle, whereas they are in fact listening or speaking to someone on the phone. They are working hard and will be with you as soon as they can.
We are all too aware of the difficulties with the local chemist and understand that they have stopped ordering repeat prescriptions on patients’ behalf. One solution could be to register for online prescription ordering at reception. You will need a form of photo ID so that you can be issued a PIN number. Please enquire at reception.
Continuing with our series on the Practice team, it is the turn of the Healthcare Assistant. We have two healthcare assistants whose role includes health promotion, such as lifestyle advice to manage obesity, hypertension, and pre-diabetes, checking blood pressures, analysing urine samples, and applying simple dressings. They also assist in running chronic disease clinics, for example, by conducting diabetes foot checks and taking blood samples. In addition, they order and maintain clinical stock items. They are busy people but are never too busy to smile.
We are saying goodbye to Dr Atijosan, whom some of you will know as Dr Goke, this January. He has been an immense help at the Practice, working hard, efficiently, and always professionally. We wish him the best of luck for the future.
Best wishes from the Barton team.
Dry January is the UKs one month challenge. It isn’t about giving anything up. It’s about getting something back. Get your fun back. Get your energy back. Get your calm back. Get you back!
Both men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week but cutting back can be a really effective way to improve your health.
You can download the Drink Free Days app to keep track of your alcohol intake https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/drink-less/
Firstly, an update about patients’ access to their GP records via the NHS app. The plan is that entries, including those made by free text, and correspondence sent into general practice, will be visible to all patients in the future, and was to have gone live on the 1st of November. This has now been postponed, with a new launch date to be announced. We shall keep you informed of developments.
Many thanks to everyone for the positive feedback we receive. This makes such a difference to the staff and clinicians at the surgery, who often feel undervalued and sometimes demoralised. It really is appreciated. That is not to say that negative feedback is not useful, particularly when it is constructive, as it can help improve the service we provide. Gratuitous abuse, however, serves no useful purpose.
Have you ever wondered what a receptionist does beyond answering the phone and booking appointments? A receptionist’s job is surprisingly complicated, busy, fast-paced, and stressful, and requires excellent communication and organisational skills. Receptionists work a shift pattern to enable adequate cover for busy times of the day. On any given day, the roles involved include arriving early to open the Surgery for 8 am, answering the phone and getting details from patients wanting an appointment or with other queries, receiving deliveries and passing on samples and letters to the hospital courier, generating repeat prescriptions for signature, scanning documents to patient records, dealing with patient and document tasks, and sending, and receiving emails. Booking an appointment for the nursing team is complicated because there are many different appointment lengths for each different problem, and all the nurses have separate roles. They must have enough training to recognise potentially serious symptoms when speaking to patients, or identify ill patients in the waiting room, and alert clinicians when needed. They need to understand the NHS and available local services. Finally, and at the end of the day, they make a check of the premises, shut down their computers and lock up the surgery at 6 pm (or later, if there are still patients in the building). And all this needs to be done with a smile. Challenging does not come close to describing it! So, if you are bored with your current job and feel you have the necessary skills and aptitude for reception work, please contact the Practice Manager, Louise Smith.
We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay healthy and safe in 2022.
Know your numbers is an annual campaign raising awareness of high blood pressure, encouraging all UK adults to get a blood pressure check. To find out more information and to find out how you can lower your blood pressure, visit https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/
Staffordshire Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service is here to support children and young people from 5 to 18, with their mental health. Find out more on the action for children website.
Action for children also run the Blues Programme, which gives young people, aged 13 – 19, the tools to look after their emotional wellbeing. Over 6 weeks it teaches emotional resilience, and reduces low mood and anxious thoughts. Find out more about ‘The Blues Programme’.
An official 999 service has now been launched in British Sign Language.
Using a dedicated smartphone APP or the 999 BSL website, callers will be connected to a 999 call handler via a BSL interpreter.
The service can be accessed at 999bsl.co.uk – you can also download the iOS or Android app there.