A helpful patient information video regarding the changes to patient access to GP Practice appointments in the run up to Christmas 2021.
If you'd like to find out more, please contact Andrea MulesCommunity Connector for Barnstaple Alliance Primary Care
07508 834 813
How do you wish to be cared for?
What is important to you?
Who should you tell?
At certain points in life we find time to reflect on what we would wish for, should our
This booklet is here to help you think through what is important to you, and how to start
making a record of your wishes for family, friends and health professionals involved in
your future care.
If you lost the ability to communicate, those around you would know what you would
have wanted and can work to make this possible.
These thoughts may change over time, but recording your wishes early can help those
around you put you at the centre of your care later on.
To view the leaflet or download it click here: My Wishes Leaflet
Click here to download: Patient charter for veterans of the UK Armed Forces.
Click here to download the top tips for veterans
"Have you or somebody you know been diagnosed with cancer and are struggling to get to hospital appointments for essential treatment?
Go North Devon have a team of friendly drivers who are on hand to get you to your vital chemotherapy and oncology appointments at NDDH and other hospitals in the North Devon area. For more information please call us on 01271 328866. We would love to help!"
Some important information from the NHS to help you stay well this winter.
If you’re worried about your health, don’t delay, your NHS wants to see you – help us help you get the care you need this winter.
Click on image below to download the leaflet .
Click here if you would like a large print leaflet.
Our new page Further Information currenty has information regarding The Over and Above Ferm Centre and Devon Recovery Learning Community. Please take a look.
Message from North Devon District Hospital:
Patient Initiated Follow Ups for long term conditions at NDHT
What is it?
We are currently rolling out patient initiated follow ups (PIFU) for some long term conditions at NDHT. PIFU describes when a patient (or their carer) can initiate a follow-up appointment as and when required, e.g. when symptoms or circumstances change.
This helps patients access support when they need it (e.g. during a flare-up of their symptoms) and avoids unnecessary routine ‘check in’ appointments. Patients are empowered to manage their own condition and take responsibility for initiating the appointment. For clinicians, it means more time to spend with the patients who most need their support whilst feeling assured that they are there for all of their patients when they are needed most. It also means a reduction in the time/cost/stress of patients travelling to an appointment which may be unnecessary.
Who is doing it?
We currently have this process in place in 5 specialties – Respiratory, Rheumatology, Podiatry, Pain Management and Neurology – and we are working with others to roll this out across the Trust.
For more information and Patient Information Leaflets for Rheumatology, Neurology, Pain Team, Podiatry and Respitory visit https://www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/services/outpatient-appointments/patient-initiated-follow-up-appointments/
Although the Government have relaxed COVID restrictions from 19th July 2021 please note that the Practice will continue to require patients and staff to wear face coverings. We are taking these steps as we are still seeing ill and vulnerable patients and not all patients have been able to receive a vaccination.
In order to ensure that as cases continue to rise our staff are not compromised and we can remain open to provide your healthcare needs we would ask that you respect our decision for the time being.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.
Your local GP practice teams in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay continue to work incredibly hard to support the health and care needs of our local communities.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing vaccination programme, they continued to care for people in the county. They have provided face to face, telephone and online support to patients who have needed it.
As a result of the pandemic, many local people’s physical and mental health needs have increased.
In some cases, this is due to the lockdown measures in place and the impact this has had.
We also know that people delayed contacting their GP about their healthcare needs during this time because they didn’t want to put pressure on vital services, or they were concerned about accessing healthcare during the pandemic. But now GP practices in Devon are busier than ever.
While practices have had to move to greater use of telephone and online appointments, they have continued to offer face to face appointments to those that need them.
You may be interested to know that in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay there have been:
• 4 million face to face appointments in general practice over the last year
• 2 million telephone consultations
• 500,000 online consultations
While the number reduced last year, almost 60% of the appointments with GP practices are now face to face in the county.
General practice has quickly and successfully set up and run COVID-19 vaccination centres on top of increasing demand. Over 700,000 doses of the vaccine have been given by general practice locally, in just five months since the launch of the programme.
This work has been carried out in addition to the day-to-day care GP practices have continued to provide their patients and local communities. As a result, you may have noticed a delay in being able to contact your practice or get an appointment when you want; this is in part due to the volume of patients trying to get through every day and the number of people needing our care. Practices are doing all they can to ensure you can contact them, including installing additional phone lines and offering online contact via their websites.
While face-to-face appointments continue to be offered based on clinical need, many issues can be resolved during a phone consultation without patients having to travel to a surgery. You should expect to be asked about your problems in advance by a member of the practice team. This is so that the practice team can ensure that your problem is dealt with quickly and effectively and you are directed to the most appropriate healthcare team for your needs.
Because of the number of people needing care, there are currently longer waits for routine appointments than usual at some practices. The NHS in Devon is doing all it can to reduce waiting times both in general practice and in the hospitals.
GP services are required to follow national guidelines to prevent the transmission of COVID. This includes social distancing and wearing face coverings. Please follow these requirements which are there to keep you and the GP team safe. Practices are still operating at reduced capacity in the buildings and have very limited space in waiting areas; appointment times are longer to allow for cleaning in between patients and changing of personal protective equipment by staff.
We understand how anxious people must feel when they simply want to talk to someone about a healthcare concern or worry and how frustrating it must be to not to be able to get through on the phone or have to wait for an appointment.
We are asking the people of Devon to continue to be patient with us. We are working hard to ensure access to all that need us, but we need your support to help us do this.
Our staff care about their patients and are simply trying to do their best to support everyone’s healthcare needs in the most suitable way, despite the current levels of demand.
Before contacting your GP, you can look up your symptoms online using the NHS App, the NHS website or 111 online and there may be steps you can take to help yourself before needing to contact a healthcare professional.
You can also continue to support us by seeking help when you need it from the most appropriate service. There are a range of options to get help in addition to your GP surgery:
As lockdown eases, don’t forget your local pharmacist can provide health advice and help with minor illnesses like colds, rashes, sunburn, hay fever and diarrhoea. You don’t need an appointment and they can even provide you with the right medicines at the same time.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental wellbeing, our 24/7 mental health lines are available:
• Devon and Torbay – 0808 196 8708
• Plymouth - 0800 923 9323
Our NHS 111 service is available 24/7 to provide advice, treatment and care. Just ring 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk and the service will provide advice and refer you to another service if you need it. If you need to be seen in person, they can book you a time slot.
Minor injury units
Emergency Departments are for life-threatening emergencies. There is a network of minor injury units in Devon who can provide the treatment you need – often they’ll see you quicker, and closer to home.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Dr Paul Johnson
Chair, Devon Clinical Commisioning Group
Chief Executive, Devon Clinical Commisioning Group
First Contact Physioterapist (FCP) available at Queens Medical Centre
To directly book an appointment with Charlie, our First Contact Physio, call the Surgery on 01271 372672.
Helping patients manage their referrals online
Patients are now able to receive their first outpatient appointment request information via email, instead of (or as well as) the traditional letter. This email will come from e-RS, not the GP practice email. It is sent to the email address registered when the patient created their NHS login. This makes it easier and quicker for patients to securely access their digital health and care services with one username and password.
For patients who have an NHS login account, a ‘Send Patient Email’ button will be displayed to the initiating referrer after a shortlist has been created and submitted. The button will not show for patients who do not have an NHS login account.
The patient will receive an email with a link which will take them to an NHS login screen to enter their access details. Once they have successfully logged in, the patient will see their home page for MYR where they can book or manage their appointment. Should an appointment be unavailable the patient can still put the request in, and the provider will contact them when an appointment is available.
Should it be required, the email can be resent or printed out.
Watch this short video which explains how patients can access their referral information online.
Additional GP Appointments available
NHS urges people not to contact their GP about a vaccination
The NHS is urging people who have received a letter from the National Booking System not to contact their GP practice about a vaccination.
Anyone who has received a letter from the National Booking System inviting them to book an appointment should use the NHS website or call 119 (free, 7am-11pm, seven days a week).
The NHS is urgently appealing for plasma donations from people who’ve had COVID-19
NHS Blood and Transplant are leading an urgent programme on behalf of the Government to enable a planned UK trial that could produce a vital treatment to save more lives against COVID-19. This requires plasma donations from patients who have had COVID-19 are now recovering. We welcome all donations but are seeking donations in particular from recovering male patients who are 18-65 years old as they are more likely to have high levels of antibodies against the COVID virus.
For more details please call 0300 123 2323 or visit the website www.nhsbt.nhs.uk and search for Donate Plasma.
Find your NHS Number - use this service to get your NHS Number
A new service is now live to help find people find their NHS number. This service is for anyone living in England who has forgotten or does not know their NHS number. This service can also be used on behalf of someone else where the name, date of birth and registered home postcode is known. You can opt for the number to be sent to you by text, email or letter.
How to make your own face covering in a minute
The NHS suggests wearing face masks in enclosed public spaces such as shops, public transports and when visiting your GP practice.The NHS suggests wearing face masks in enclosed public spaces such as shops, public transports and when visiting your GP practice.
Beware of Covid-19 scams
Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.
Possible cervical screening text messaging scam
We have received reports today of a possible scam.
Some women are being contacted by text message, claiming to be from the call and recall service to advise they are overdue for screening. The message asks them to call a mobile number and provide personal details.
These messages are NOT from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. We would only ever ask you to contact the main surgery telephone number.
The Action Fraud Line has been contacted.
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