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May newsletter Posted on 6 Dec 2019

SUN AWARENESS

Every year, 10,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma and 2,000 people die from the condition. It is estimated that the number of cases will double in the future due to excess sun exposure in the 70’s and 80’s. Most skin cancers are caused by excess sun exposure. If you have a mole that is >0.6cm and is increasing in size, becoming darker, has irregular colours within the mole or it has an irregular border then you should make an appointment to see the GP.

Prevention of sun damage is also important. You should apply sun cream every day (even in Scotland!) from May-October and if travelling to hot countries then you should apply high protection sun cream and avoid tanning (which is simply skin damage) and sun burn.

MAY DAY BANK HOLIDAYS

Please note that the surgery will be closed on Monday 2nd May and Monday 30th May. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 by calling 111.

SIGNPOSTING

We are always trying to improve and develop ways to make the patient contact with the practice as seamless 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 Assistants or Practice Nurses.

We have decided to adopt a signposting system for appointments to ensure that patients are seen by the most appropriate member of staff. 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, unconsciousness and serious blood loss.

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

Please use GP appointments appropriately- they are precious and demand for appointments continues to outstrip supply. We continue to lose 200 appointments each month due to appointments being missed.

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 or GP.

The receptionists are trained to point you to the right person

Practice Nurses- Our Nurses 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

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