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January 2017 Newsletter Posted on 6 Dec 2019

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

There is never a better time to think about long term lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise, watching your alcohol intake, improving your diet and most importantly, stopping smoking.

There is a very good NHS resource called “ONE YOU” which has a lot of useful information on health and wellbeing and a questionnaire which analyses your health. It can be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/oneyou/

FLU

There has been an increase in the number of cases of flu in December. Symptoms of cough, sore throat, generalized aching can last for at least >1 week. Since this is usually caused by a virus, antibiotics are ineffective and the “old fashioned,” advice of plenty of rest, fluids and paracetamol is still the best method of dealing with this bug.

However, if symptoms are persisting beyond 7-10 days or if you have other chest or heart problems or are becoming more unwell then it would be better for you to be seen (especially applies to infants and elderly.)

If you are over 65 or have a history of diabetes, asthma on regular medication, stroke/TIA, angina or heart disease, BMI>40 or pregnant then you should see our practice nurse for the flu jag if you haven’t had it yet.

Dr S ROY

Our partner Dr Sumi Roy is travelling to Australia with her husband for a 12 month sabbatical. Her last working day will be on Friday 6th January. We wish her all the best “down under” and look forward to her return in 2018. We are delighted to announce that Dr Aafia Mubbasher will be holding the fort until Dr Roy returns.

CONSULTATION LENGTH- 10 MINUTES

The standard GP consultation length in NHS practices up and down the UK is 10 minutes. Most GP’s and Practice Nurses agree that 10 minutes is not really long enough to deal with anything but the simplest of problems. Each GP sees approximately 16-20 patients at 10 minute intervals every morning and the same number in the afternoon and usually speaks to 10-20 people per day on the phone as well as house calls. Obviously, there are situations where an appointment will over-run, for example, in the event of an emergency or where someone is very distressed.

However, the commonest reason for appointments over-running is there are simply too many problems to discuss in a single consultation. In such situations, the consultation “eats into” the next patient’s consultation and surgeries frequently run very late which can be very inconvenient to patients.

With the ageing population together with patients often having multiple health problems and on multiple medications, it is becoming impossible to deal with multiple problems in 10 minutes.

The best option would be for consultations to last for longer but, unless there were more doctors and nurses to see patients, this would mean that it would take longer for a patient to get an appointment.  However there is already a shortage of GP’s in the UK and this is likely to get worse rather than better in the foreseeable future.

We all need to make sure that appointments are used appropriately so that we see those patients who need to be seen.

  • If you have a minor illness then you should contact the excellent Pharmacy run Minor Ailments Service. There are posters on this service in the waiting room.
  • Please remember to arrive on time- this is often why surgeries run late.  
  • If you have made an appointment you must cancel it if you no longer need it. We are losing 200 appointments per month due to patients missing appointments and we have removed several people from our list who have repeatedly missed appointments.
  • Please remember that the consultation length is 10 minutes. If you have several issues which you wish to discuss then you will be asked to make a further appointment if your appointment is “eating into the next patient’s appointment.”  Alternatively, ask for a double appointment if you wish to discuss more than 1-2 problems.
  • Please do not ask for other people to be seen at your appointment. It may “only take a few minutes,” but it will inevitably cause surgeries to run late and inconvenience others.
  • Please do not ask for repeat prescriptions.
  • If you have a problem that does not require you to be seen then ask for a telephone consultation- i.e. for blood results, completion of forms or other problems that don’t require you to be examined.

We are sorry that we have had to adopt such a policy but demand for appointments is steadily increasing (up from 300 million to 360 million Primary Care appointments in the UK in the last 7 years) and is still increasing therefore we have to stick more rigidly to a 10 minute appointment.

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