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July Newsletter Posted on 6 Dec 2019

70 years of the NHS 1948 - 2018

JULY 2018


We are always trying to improve and develop ways to make the patient contact with the practice as easy as possible. However, there is no doubt that it is getting harder to get a GP appointment.

Demand for GP appointments has increased steadily in the UK- up from 300 million appointments per year in 2010 to 370 million in 2015. In the same time there has only been a negligible increase in the numbers of Clinical Staff. We are currently seeing, visiting or speaking to between 40 and 60 patients per day and we need to make sure that GP appointments are only used for problems which could not be dealt with by other health care professionals.

At present we reserve about 50% of appointments for emergencies but many of these are for problems which could easily be dealt with by the excellent Minor Ailment Scheme or by our Health Care Assistants or Nurse Practitioners.

We have decided to adopt a signposting system for appointments to ensure that patients are seen by the most appropriate member of our team. This means that our staff will enquire as to the general nature of the problem. Please be assured that they are not prying and are bound by the same strict code of confidentiality. The aim is to make sure that it is the patients who really need to see a GP are seen more quickly.

SIGNPOSTING- seeing the right person for the right problem helps the NHS save resources

Remember that visits to Out Of Hours and especially A&E are considerably more expensive than visiting your GP. DIAL 999 for choking, suspected stroke, chest pain, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness, serious blood loss or other emergencies.

For any other problem which cannot wait until the Surgery reopens ring 111

You can also receive excellent medical advice and treatment from your chemist. The Minor Ailment Service is Pharmacy Led and should be the first port of call for the following conditions. (This will free up GP appointments for more complex or urgent problems)

  • Athlete’s foot Allergies Backache Cold sores Constipation Cough

  • Diarrhoea Earache Eczema Piles Hay fever Headaches Head Lice

  • Indigestion Mouth Ulcers Nasal Congestion Pain Sore throat Thrush

  • Worms Warts Verrucas Colds Eye infections Teething

  • The first “port of call” for an eye problem should be your optician who is able to carry out a far more thorough assessment than the GP

Please use GP appointments appropriately- they are precious and demand for appointments continues to outstrip supply. We lose 200 appointments each month due to missed appointments- some are requested on the same day that they are missed. Patients who remember health care prior to the NHS recall being unable to afford to see a doctor and its disappointing that a small number seem to regard GP and Hospital appointments as “disposable.” A missed GP appointment costs the NHS about £35 and a hospital appointment about £150 and results in those who wish to be seen waiting even longer.

In general you should NOT make a GP appointment for the following

  • Sick Notes

  • Letters

  • Completion of forms

  • Repeat medication

  • Interpretation of blood results

  • If you wish to discuss something but do not need seen then ask for a telephone appointment with either the Nurse Practitioner or GP.

The receptionists are trained to point you to the right person

Nurse Practitioners- Our Nurse Practitioners are experienced at dealing with and prescribing for the vast majority of conditions which arise on an urgent basis including

  • Acute back pain and musuloskeletal pains

  • Cystitis

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

  • Sore throats Tonsillitis Chest and Ear Infections

Please don’t make appointments for our Nurse Practitioners to take blood samples-this frees up their time to carry out more complex tasks.

Health Care Assistant- Our “HCAs” are experienced in taking blood samples, carrying out simple dressings, giving simple injections, checking BP, syringing ears.


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