IF YOU NEED MEDICAL ADVICE/HELP WHEN THE SURGERY IS CLOSED:
Dial 111 to access the Somerset Out of Hours through NHS111.
In the event of a Medical Emergency (chest pains, loss of consciousness etc.) dial 999
16th September 2016
We have received details of a particularly cruel phishing scam which is circulating at the moment and affecting people with remote pacing and cardiac monitoring devices.
A patient appears to have been the victim of an opportunistic phishing scam, and paid £167 over the telephone using his debit card to the caller.
The caller stated that his “box/equipment” was not working due to “Dust”. He was offered the opportunity to replace it and at the same time offered the option of purchasing either a five year warranty for £140 or lifetime warranty for £167. As the patient was due to have a routine remote check on his device by the Pacemaker clinic, the patient believed that the call was legitimate and therefore paid £167 to the caller. The patient and his partner were subsequently suspicious, so they called the Pacemaker clinic a few hours later to check if the problem had been fixed. The clinic explained it was not a call from the hospital or from the manufacturer of the equipment.
Clinics and device companies would never ask for personal details or charge for services.
Normal appointments for blood tests are from 7.45am - 5pm Monday to Thursday and 7.45 am to 2.00pm on Friday, subject to HCA availability.
We are sorry we cannot offer late Friday afternoon appointments for blood tests as the blood samples are collected from the Surgery at 2.30pm and most samples cannot be stored overnight.
Post Natal and Baby Clinic: We have developed the MAMA Clinic (Maternity and Mums Advice Clinic), which is held every Thursday morning. A GP and Nurse will be available during the clinics. The clinic means that Post Natal Checks (carried out when your baby is approximately 8 weeks old), will take place along with your childs first immunisation. The MAMA clinic has been designed to reduce the number of visits you and your baby are erquired to make to the practice.
Family planning appointments can be arranged with a GP or Practice Nurse. We provide advice on safe sex and the full range of contraceptive options, including emergency contraception.
Please do not be embarrassed to contact the surgery should you find yourself in need of emergency contraception advice or help. For information; it is important to inform you that the "morning after" pill must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse (the earlier the better) or an Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (lUCD/coil) can be fitted within five days and can be left in place.
Please ask for an urgent appointment with either a Practice Nurse or a GP if you require either of these services.
We feel it is also important to see a doctor or nurse for family planning advice after taking emergency contraception so you will be advised to make an appointment to arrange a method of regular contraception.
When you are sent for a test by your GP please ask him/her at the time when you should contact the Surgery for the results. It may not always be necessary for you to make an appointment to receive the results; you may receive a letter or a telephone call. Your GP will advise you.
If you are asked to telephone the receptionist for your results, or you would like to know if we have received them, please telephone the Surgery after 2.00pm if at all possible as this avoids the busy period in the morning when patients are booking appointments.
Please be aware, in order to maintain confidentiality we can only give results to patients themselves, or to the parents/guardians of children.
If your test is taken at a hospital, please telephone the relevant hospital department in order to get the results, as these results can take some time to get to the practice.
If your GP thinks you need to be referred to a Consultant, you will be referred through the Choose and Book system. This gives you a choice of hospital to attend and the opportunity to book an appointment that suits you.
Your GP will discuss the options with you at the time of your consultation. You will then be given a leaflet to take home with you. Within the following 7 days you will then be sent a letter from the Surgery giving details of the hospital choices available to you and instructions about how to book your appointment. The letter will contain your password and a unique booking number for you to quote when booking your appointment. If you have difficulties with this system please do not hesitate to contact the secretaries at the Surgery on 01278 720011 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday- Friday.
The Practice is supported by the Somerset PArtnership Talking Therapies. If you are referred for counselling you will be referred through the Choose & Book system. You may be seen elsewhere in the town or in the Surgery. If you wish for more information telephone 01278 727447.
The Practice sometimes runs a weight clinic and has a visiting dietician. Your doctor may refer you to this service. If you wish for help and advice please don't hesitate to speak to your GP.
Lloyds pharmacy is located on the premises for your convenience and there are other pharmacies in the local vicinity where you can collect your medication. You can choose to have your prescriptions sent directly to a pharmacy of your choice if you do not wish to collect it from the Surgery, However if you choose to do this it will add an extra day to the time taken to dispense your repeat medication. If you wish to use this service please inform Reception or the prescription clerk.
If you have difficulty obtaining medication please ask to speak to the Pharmacy Manager and not the Surgery as we have no control over their service.
We are fortunate in having a number of other high quality healthcare professionals on site. They are independent practitioners and are not directly employed by the Surgery. Under certain circumstances the doctors may refer patients to these services under the NHS, but patients may also arrange private treatment with them.
Private Charges In General Practice
The majority of work which is completed in General Practice is NHS work. The GPs are sometimes asked to complete forms for insurance companies, prepare a letter or reports for solicitors, housing agencies and undertake medicals. These items are all private services, which mean that there is a charge for this work to be completed. Like many Surgeries, we request payment for this in advance of the work being completed. Private work is entirely optional, we do not have to actually offer them, but we do because we know our patients sometimes find the services valuable. The Practice has put together these frequently asked questions to help patients.
Why do private letters/reports/medicals take longer than NHS services?
The Practice prioritises NHS work over private work. Many of the GPs at TRMC are in the Practice for over 12 hours a day completing NHS work. Private work is done in addition to NHS work.
How long will I have to wait for my letter/report?
We aim to complete within two-three weeks once we have received payment.
I only need a simple letter, why does it cost so much?
This work does take time, and various members of the practice team are involved. The Practice values this time spent so we have set our costs accordingly.
I need a Taxi/HGV medical?
Not all patients who require a taxi or HGV medical have any medical conditions. We charge a standard fee for this service. As the GPs are filling in the same legal documents regardless of your medical conditions. Some patients can take longer than others but we have a standard fee as this is the fairest way. There are other providers for taxi and HGV medicals which you are free to go to.
Why has my life insurance request taken so long?
The Practice also receives requests from insurance companies. These requests sometimes require lots of work to be undertaken and the fee which has been negotiated often does not reflect the amount of work which is actually required. Sometimes re-negotiation takes place between the Practice and the insurance provider, which can cause delays. If you are concerned about the delays, please contact your insurance provider.
Why are some requests for letters/medical reports refused?
The Practice will not provide fit to letters for anyone doing any activity, as our insurance will not cover us to do this. Items include parachute, bungee jumps, diving etc. We will provide letters to airlines stating patient’s medical conditions/pregnancy stage but will not comment on fitness.
The Practice does not counter sign passport applications or driving applications.
If you have any queries with any request, please speak to the reception team, who will discuss your request with the GP.
I have not been charged previously, so why have I been charged now?
That was a mistake, we will not charge in retrospect but will charge moving forward.
Do I have to pay for travel vaccinations?
Some travel vaccinations are within the NHS some are not. We ask for six weeks’ notice for any travel requests, if you are travelling sooner than that, you will need to contact a travel clinic.
Self Certification Sick Note for less than 7 days
If you have been ill for 7 days or less, you don't need to see a Doctor, you can complete a Self Certification forms yourself. However, some employers insist on Doctor's Note regardless. A Doctor's Note in these circumstances involves a charge of £20.
My employer has asked me for a blood test or letter?
Any tests which are required by your employer should be offered through Occupational Health Service, which your employer should have access to. These tests will not be done on the NHS.
Sometimes we receive requests for letters from an employer about a patient’s fitness. This is rarely appropriate for a GP to do and should be requested via Occupational Health. The GP will do a letter stating current conditions and past medical conditions but will not comment on fitness to do a particular job.
I need a copy of my medical records for my Solicitor?
If your Solicitor requires your results, as long as we have received your consent we will provide them. The Solicitor will pay a fee for this.
I cannot afford to pay.
We are sorry, we do not have a sliding scale of fees. We charge a fee which reflects the time required.
A 20% additional charge will be added for work requested as URGENT.
Friends and Family Test
Thank you to all our patients who have completed the feedback using the friends and family sheets or via the iPad in the waiting room.
Overall February - April 2017:
Neither likely or unlikely
We have also received written feedback, which has highlighted the following issues, but as a Practice we are pleased to say we know about and are working to address them.
We like to share the positive feedback received from patients. Here is a sample of some we have received.
11.09.2017: Please be aware there is an national shortage of Hepatitis A vaccinations, due to a manufacturing problem. Unfortunately, this shortage will not be resolved for the foreseeable future.
TRAVEL RISK ASSESSMENT FORM
Travel Risk Assessment Form
Taunton Road Medical Centre
Travel Health Advice
The following information will help you to stay healthy on your trip.
Please make sure you read it following on from your appointment with us.
Diseases can be caught from drinking contaminated water, or swimming in it.
Unless you know the water supply is safe where you are staying,
ONLY USE (in order of preference)
This includes water used to make ice cubes in drinks and water for cleaning your teeth
It is safer to swim in water that is well chlorinated. If you are travelling to Africa, South America or some parts of the Caribbean, avoid swimming in fresh water lakes and streams. You can catch a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis from such places. This disease is also known as Bilharzia. It is also wise never to go barefoot, but to wear protective footwear when out, even on the beach. Other diseases can be caught from sand and soil, particularly wet soil.
Contaminated food is the commonest source of many diseases abroad. You can help prevent it by following these guidelines :
Two phrases to help you remember
COOK IT, PEEL IT, OR LEAVE IT!
WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT!
Another source of calories is alcohol! If you drink to excess, alcohol could lead you to become carefree and ignore these precautions.
Many diseases are transmitted by what is known as the ‘faecal-oral’ route. To help prevent this, always wash your hands with soap and clean water after going to the toilet, before eating and before handling food. Using hand gel is another sensible option.
This the most common illness that you will be exposed to abroad and there is NO vaccine against it. Diarrhoea is caused by eating and/or drinking food and water contaminated by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Risk of illness is higher in some countries than others.
High risk areas include North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, S.E. Asia, South America, Mexico and the Middle East.
Medium risk areas include the northern Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Caribbean Islands.
Low risk areas include North America, Western Europe and Australia
You can certainly help prevent travellers’ diarrhoea in the way you behave - make sure you follow the food, water and personal hygiene guidelines already given.
What is travellers’ diarrhoea?
Travellers’ diarrhoea is 3 or more loose stools in a 24 hour period often accompanied by stomach pain, cramps and vomiting. It usually lasts 2-4 days and whilst it is not a life threatening illness, it can disrupt your trip for several days. The main danger of the illness is dehydration, and this, if very severe, can kill if it is not treated. Treatment is therefore rehydration. In severe cases and particularly in young children and the elderly, commercially prepared rehydration solution is extremely useful.
Travel well prepared
A good tip is to take oral rehydration solutions with you. These can be bought over the counter in a chemist shop, available in tablet or sachet form — for example:
DIORALYTE or ELECTROLADE or DIORALYTE RELIEF. (The latter is a formula containing rice powder which also helps to relieve the diarrhoea, particularly useful in children). Prepare according to instructions. Take care regarding their use in very small children and seek medical advice where necessary.
Anti diarrhoeal tablets can be used for adults but should NEVER be USED in children under 4 years of age, and only on prescription for children aged 4 to 12 years.
Commonly used tablets are IMODIUM® and LOMOTIL® or NORMALOE®.
None of these tablets should ever be used if the person has a temperature or blood in the stool.
Do contact medical help if the affected person has:-
In some circumstances, antibiotics are used as a standby treatment for travellers’ diarrhoea. Such medication is not usually available on the NHS in anticipation of you being ill when away and needs to be prescribed. A woman taking the oral contraceptive pill may not have full contraceptive protection if she has had diarrhoea and vomiting. Extra precautions must be used - refer to your ‘pill’ information leaflet. If using condoms, take a supply of good quality ones with you which are CE approved.
HEPATITIS B and HIV INFECTION - these diseases can be transmitted by
Ways to protect yourself
Remember! Excessive alcohol can make you carefree and lead you to take risks you otherwise would not consider.
Mosquitoes, certain types of flies, ticks and bugs can cause many different diseases. e.g. malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever. Some bite at night, but some during daytime so protection is needed at all times.
Avoid being bitten by:
Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes, there is no vaccine yet available. If you are travelling to a malarious country, the travel adviser will have given you a separate leaflet with more details, please read it. Remember malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. If you develop flu like symptoms, including fever, sweats, chills, feeling unwell, headaches, muscle pains, cough, diarrhoea – then seek medical help immediately for advice and say you’ve been abroad. This is VITAL, don’t delay.
Remember the ABCD of malaria prevention advice:
Awareness of the risk
Chemoprophylaxis (taking the correct tablets)
Diagnosis (knowing the symptoms and acting quickly)
Rabies is present in many parts of the world. If a person develops rabies, death is 100% certain.
THERE ARE 3 RULES REGARDING RABIES
Major leading causes of death in travellers abroad are due to accidents, predominantly road traffic accidents and swimming/water accidents. You can help prevent them by following sensible precautions
PERSONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provide excellent information about this. They have information for many different types of travel and also advise on travel to specific destinations in times of political unrest and natural disasters. Please go to their website for more information at
company of these details and check the small print of the policy thoroughly.
It is sensible on any long haul flight to be comfortable in your seat. Exercise your legs, feet and toes while
sitting every half an hour or so and take short walks whenever feasible. Upper body and breathing
exercises can further improve circulation. Drink plenty of water and be sensible about alcohol intake
which in excess leads to dehydration. Further information can be obtained from the websites detailed at
the end of this leaflet with more specific advice and information on travel-related deep vein thrombosis.
SUN AND HEAT
Sunburn and heat-stroke cause serious problems in travellers but in the long term can be a serious cause of skin cancer. There is no such thing as a safe suntan, but the following advice should be taken:
For additional information sources, please see details overleaf
Have a good, but safe and healthy trip!
Examples of interesting website addresses:
· Fit for Travel - Scottish NHS public travel site for general advice on all aspects of travel and country specific information, including malaria maps
· NaTHNaC - National Travel Health Network and Centre England based, with similar information to above
· NHS Choices – look at travel health in the ‘A-Z’ section and also travel health in the ‘Live Well’ section (these are both different). Excellent general website also.
· FCO - Foreign & Commonwealth Office, especially useful for safety and security and specific pages for types of travellers, e.g. gap year, responsible tourism. Also look at ‘Our Publications’
· Malaria Hotspots – general information for travellers providing information about malaria including a useful podcast in the ‘malaria travel tips’ section
· Sunsmart - is the Cancer research website providing information about skin cancer and sun protection advice
· Travel health products to take away with you – these are just a small selection of many resources available. Please note the Village Medical Centre is not endorsing such items, merely providing information.
· Medex – Useful advice booklet on ‘travelling at high altitude’
· Medic Alert® - life-saving identification system for individuals with hidden medical conditions and allergies
· Kids Travel Doc™ - a paediatrician’s guide to travel and outdoor recreational activities
· Diabetes UK – information specific for those with diabetes who wish to travel – go to ‘Guide to diabetes’ then to the ‘living with diabetes’ section then go to ‘travel’
· Global travel clinic locator from the International Society of Travel Medicine
· IAMAT – International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT)
· Google translate – Free online translation service
Travel Health Advice Leaflet
Severe asthma, emphysema and other respiratory diseases
Chronic heart disease
A weakened immune system
PRE-BOOKABLE FLU APPOINTMENTS
*Appointments for eligible patients aged 16 and over are available from 20th September
*Appointments both eligible adults and children are available from 11th October.
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