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Noticeboard

The New Model of Primary Care

 
We want to keep patients informed about the new GP contract in Scotland and how this might affect patients.
 
The new GP Contract is introducing a number of essential changes which are likely to have an impact on the majority of the population at one point or another. Changes are being implemented in different phases across the whole of Aberdeenshire with the aim that all of the current developments are implemented by April 2021.
 
The key aim is to try and improve the care to patients whilst managing the challenges currently felt within the NHS – an ageing population living longer with more long term conditions, reducing numbers of GPs, increasing demand and expectation from patients on healthcare resources and the training and development of a wider primary care workforce than ever before.
 
We want to be at the forefront of implementing these changes to provide the best and most comprehensive care we can to our patients. The traditional model of a GP surgery is changing, something our patients are already familiar with due to our current triage system which has been developed and implemented to help move towards this new way of delivering care.
 
Across Scotland there will be a range of different highly trained health care professionals working in GP surgeries and Alford will be no different. This means that it will become more and more likely you will NOT see a GP for your health issues. Pharmacists, advanced nurse practitioners, advanced practitioner physiotherapists and other health care professionals will see you instead. The GPs will continue to provide care to those who need it most and will also always be available for support, leadership and guidance to this expanding team. However, if you contact the surgery in the future to request a home visit, it is more likely that you will see an advanced care practitioner than a GP.
 
We have confidence in this approach having had great first hand success with our advanced nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner and practice pharmacist and we welcome changes that will improve the access to the right help for patients with the right person at the right time.
 
At time of printing Alford has the benefit of four such new services with the appointment of a Psychotherapy team (Psychotherapist and Wellbeing Worker), Primary Care Clinical Pharmacist, Advanced Care Practitioner and services of the Primary Care Vaccination team.
 
Primary Care Psychological Therapies Service – Referral is required to see the Psychotherapy team, which can be done after discussion with a member of our clinical team.
 
Primary Care Clinical Pharmacist – You may have contact with Ellie Robertson, who can deal with a range of medication related issues and build on the existing medication expertise that we have with our current practice pharmacist, Jane.
 
Advanced Care Practitioner – Should a home visit be required, it is more likely that you will see Amanda McKandie, a specialist in clinical care at home.
 
Primary Care Vaccination Service – This is currently in development, however, the first part has been put in place with the introduction of a Vaccination team who has been administering nasal flu vaccination to children aged 2 years (on 1 September 2019) to 5 years (not in school). As the service develops, all vaccinations will be administered by the team and this should be in place by 2021.
 
It is anticipated that we will have additional physiotherapy services within the practice by the end of 2020. This means that, if you ask for an appointment for back pain, it is more likely you will see an advanced practitioner physiotherapist than a GP.
 
We will keep you informed as these services, and others yet to be developed, are fully implemented over the next couple of years.
 
Alford Medical Practice

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FLU VACCINATION 2019/20 🤧

Flu vaccination is still available for all patients who fit the criteria below, including children aged between 2 years (on 1 September 2019) and 5 years (not in school).

The eligibility criteria for Flu vaccination are:-

Over 65
Heart disease
Lung disease (including asthma or COPD)
Diabetes
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Previous Stroke
Degenerative disease
MS
Pregnant
Body Mass Index measurement of 40 and above
Unpaid Carer (if you are an employed carer – please contact your employer)
Immunocompromising condition, eg receiving chemotherapy/radiotherapy, on DMARD drug etc

**Child aged between 2 and 5 (not in school)**

Three clinics for children aged between 2 and 5 (not in school) are already fully booked with the last clinic being held on Thursday 19 December 2019.
 
Appointments for this clinic are available to book now by telephone (019755 62253) or in person at Reception.

It is very important that you protect yourself with a ‘flu vaccine, even if you feel hale and hearty, and we ask that you make an appointment to have this done at the Surgery.

It is equally important to let us know if you do not wish to have a ‘flu vaccination and we would be grateful if you inform Reception on (019755) 62253 so that we can record this in your notes.

Please keep an eye on this page (alfordmedicalpractice.co.uk), the Practice Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alfordmedicalpractice/) and posters in the surgery for up to date information.

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WE ARE CLOSED FOR STAFF TRAINING BETWEEN 1.30PM and 2.30PM ON TUESDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2019

If you require urgent attention during this time, please call 07909693683

For severe life threatening emergencies, call 999

The Know Who To Turn To website offers a full directory of the services on offer and when you should use them.

 #KnowWhoToTurnTo  

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Termination of Morning Open Access Service

(as of Monday, 31 July 2017)

Due to an increase in requests for urgent appointments throughout the day, the morning Open Access service has become unsustainable and the doctors have made the difficult decision to change from a morning walk-in service to a pre-booked appointment system in the morning as well as the afternoon.

The last Open Access surgery will run on Friday, 28 July 2017 with appointment-only surgeries commencing on Monday, 31 July 2017.

A few morning appointments are now available to book for Monday, 31 July 2017 onwards.

Emergencies will always be seen

The Practice will continue to offer Emergency appointments for urgent matters that cannot wait until the next free pre-bookable appointment but this may not be with the Minor Ailments practitioner or GP of choice.

These appointments will be spaced throughout the day and will be given out by the Duty Team in time order.

For more information, please click on the link below.

Patient Update Leaflet

Please note that application forms for Online Services (Prescriptions) are available for collection, either from Reception, online or at N S Wilson (local Pharmacy).  

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Public Holiday Closures

We will be closed on the following dates in 2019:-

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Monday, 22 April 2019*

Monday, 6 May 2019

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Thursday, 26 December 2019

*Open as normal on Good Friday (19 April 2019)

Should you require medical attention during this time, please contact NHS24 on 111 or in the event of an emergency, call 999 immediately. 

In addition to providing 24 hour advice, NHS 24, along with GMED (Grampian Medical Emergency Department) provides emergency cover during the hours of 18:00 and 08:00 when the practice is closed, throughout the weekend and public holidays. If you need medical assistance between these hours, telephone NHS 24 on 111 (if you have any difficulties contacting NHS 24, please dial 100 for the operator).

A receptionist from NHS 24 will answer your call and either:

  • Arrange for you to speak to a doctor or nurse
  • Invite you to attend the centre to be seen by the doctor 
  • Arrange a home visit if you are too ill to visit the centre

Transport to and from the centre may be available if you cannot arrange this yourself. Out of hours cover is the responsibility of the local Health Board. Further advice and information can also be obtained from NHS 24, whom you can contact direct on 111 or by visiting http://www.nhs24.com/ 

For severe life threatening emergencies, call 999

Emergencies

You should call 999 for the following emergencies:-

  • suspected heart attack or severe chest pain or breathlessness
  • loss of consciousness
  • choking and you are unable to help
  • Suspected stroke

Attend the nearest A+E department/Casualty rather than coming to the surgery for any of the following:-

  • a serious injury such as a suspected fracture 
  • head injuries especially if the person has been knocked out
  • bad burns
  • road traffic accidents
  • eye injuries
  • nosebleeds not settling with first aid

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DID NOT ATTEND APPOINTMENT RATE

 

Ever wondered why you couldn’t see the Doctor or Nurse sooner?

 

Did you know that, in August 2019:

75 appointments were booked by patients who then failed to attend them

 

39 Doctor appointments – equivalent to THREE morning surgeries*

and

36 Nurse appointments – equivalent to TWO morning surgeries*

If, in the future, you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can offer the appointment to someone else.

 

Thank you

Alford Medical Practice

*approx

Non-NHS Services

Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:

  • non_nhs_services3Insurance claim forms (holiday, sickness etc) 
  • Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc)
  • Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
  • Private sick notes
  • Passport signing
  • Vaccination certificates

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.

Why do GPs charge fees?  Your questions answered.  

Isn't the NHS supposed to be free? 
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions:  Prescription charges have existed since 1951, and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.  Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example, dental fees.  In other cases it is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies, claim forms for referral for private care and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient's medical records.

 

Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS.  They are self employed, and they have to cover their costs - staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc - in the same way as any small business.  The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work, but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor's costs.

 

What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The government's contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients.  In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. 

 

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are:
Certain travel vaccinations
Private medical insurance reports
Holiday cancellation claim forms
Referral for private care forms
Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
Medical reports for an insurance company
Some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
Examinations of local authority employees

Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?

Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients.    GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time.

I only need the doctor's signature-what is the problem?  

When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true.  Therefore, in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor needs to check the patient's entire medical record.  Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police. 

What will I be charged?

The BMA recommends that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and how much.  It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge, but the BMA produces lists of suggested fees for the Doctors to use as a guideline.

THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS

What can I do to help?

Not all documents need signature by a doctor.  For example, you could ask another person in a position of trust, who may be willing to sign a passport application free of charge.  (Teacher, Accountant, etc)

You can complete the form to the best of your ability in pencil, so the doctor just has to quickly verify your entries against the information we hold.

Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight, urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this will cost more.

 
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