FLU VACCINATIONS AT FROME VALLEY MEDICAL CENTRE
Please note that if you are attending the surgery for any reason, including the flu clinic, you still need to wear a face covering. Please walk if at all possible as the car park can become congested.
FLU VACCINATION CLINIC 11TH SEPTEMBER
Unfortunately due to a national delivery issue, our flu vaccine will be arriving up to 2 weeks later than planned. Therefore, we will not be able to run the vaccination clinic scheduled for Saturday 11th September. This will now be held at the surgery on Saturday 16th October. If you had an appointment booked on 11th September, you should now attend on 16th October at the same time as previously scheduled.
*Routine Blood Tests*
Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments
All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.
We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment the reception team at the surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.
Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change:
- Keep checking our website for regular updates – we will be sharing the latest patient information here as soon as we receive it.
- Check your phone for messages from us – we will also be using our patient text service to keep people informed.
- Please don’t call or contact us with questions about routine blood tests – we are experiencing exceptional levels of demand at the moment, and your cooperation will help us to reach those without smartphone or internet access with this critical information.
- Do get in touch online if your condition worsens or changes so that we can prioritise your blood test if necessary following clinical review
The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep all our patients regularly updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause, and apologise for the inconvenience.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the wider resources available locally to support you, including the emotional support line for those experiencing anxiety or distress. You can find more here: https://bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/localresources/
*Flu Vaccination & COVID Booster Update*
We now have appointments for patients over the age of 65 (born before 1st April 1957) and eligible patients under the age of 65 available to book either online or by ringing the surgery AFTER 11am.
If booking online, please ensure you book into the correct slot type for your age. Different types of flu vaccine are used for different age groups, so we will not be able to vaccinate you if you are booked in inappropriately. All patients eligible for a free flu vaccination will be invited by letter or txt when the appropriate appointment is available to book.
We will soon be starting the COVID booster vaccination program which will run as before in strict priority order, as instructed to us by the JCVI. We will contact eligible patients as soon as we have more information.
We are still experiencing exceptional demand, both for GP and nurse appointments - many thanks for you patience during these unprecedented times.
*Pressure in surgery*
Please see following link for information on how you can support managing pressures in general practice:
Local health and care leaders call on public support to manage pressures as patient numbers surge - Healthier Together (bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk)
This app aims to provide advice and support when children are unwell, and offers straightforward advice on treatment and which NHS services to use. For more information, please visit the following link: Download the HANDi app | NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG (bnssgccg.nhs.uk)
*Facemasks still required*
Please be aware if you are attending the surgery for any reason please continue to wear a face covering and socially distance. Despite restrictions lifting from July 19th, England's Chief Nurse has reminded the public that "everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules."
*Appointments available to book online*
You can now use the NHS app or Patient Access to book blood or smear test appointments at the surgery. Please only book if you know you are due a test and only book in for either of these reasons. If you book for ANY other reason we will not be able to see you and your journey will be wasted. Many thanks for your understanding.
*In line with other Practices, we are now only accepting phone calls between 8:00 - 11:00 for on the day appointments.*
For any other queries, please ring after 11:00. Our phone lines are exceedingly busy at the moment. For general COVID-19 queries please see the government website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
The link below is for our eConsultation service. We are pleased to help patients as much as possible and deliver the best care, but we wanted to remind you that we are still a limited resource. We are still focusing on urgent and serious issues during the current pandemic. Thank you for your understanding, please not submit multiple eConsultations or list multiple problems in them it is most helpful for advice, and simple single issues.
Patient access and NHS app are also great ways to use our services, including online prescriptions and checking your results
At Frome Valley Medical Centre we recognise the impact of all areas of our work on the health of our planet, as well as on our patients. We are pleased to announce we have signed up to the Green Impact For Health Toolkit, which will help us move our practice into being more environmentally friendly, reducing our carbon emissions and plastic waste, helping us to care better for both people and the planet at the same time. For more information about why this is important please read this: Why Greener Practice? — Greener Practice
Important Information - Changes to our Appointment Booking System
With effect from 1 November 2020 Frome Valley Medical Centre will be operating an on-the day appointment system.
You now need to telephone the surgery on the day you require an appointment. There is no need to phone ahead to book routine appointments in advance. Our trained team of care navigators will guide you through a series of questions to ensure you are given access to the best person or service to support you.
We believe this system will be much more efficient and will allow you access to your GP on the day that you need to be seen. It will help reduce long waiting periods of time to see a GP and prevent appointments being booked just in case symptoms do not improve. In turn, this helps us reduce missed appointments from patients who fail to attend and ensure that all our appointments are used by patients who need them.
Don’t forget the many other resources available to you that may be better suited for your problem than a consultation with a GP:
- Over the counter medication
- Advice from local pharmacist
- Resources available on-line from the NHS website
- Phoning 111 and asking advice from that service
- Minor Injury Clinic
- Phoning 999 in any potential life threatening emergency
For queries that are not urgent or do not need to be directed to a GP you may want to use eConsultations – available on this website.
To aid patients needing a consultation, we politely ask all patients phoning with a general enquiry to do so after 11:00 a.m.
We believe this new system will be welcomed by the majority of our patients. However, in order to continually review and adapt this will be launched as a trial three month trial period. We would welcome all feedback, good or bad, regarding how you have found the system to work for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively the Frome Valley Patient Participation Group on email@example.com.
Please see the News Section of this website or our Patient Information Leaflet for more information.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT/FROM THE SURGERY
Our receptionist will ask information so that they can help you best. They may direct you to a different service, and are trained around when this is appropriate. To protect patients and staff initial contact for all doctors appointments will be by phone. Please be aware that this may display as Private Number or Caller ID Withheld. Please make sure your phone is available for us to call. You may still be asked to attend after the call but please do not come unless asked to do so.
In order to protect other patients and staff at the surgery, we are asking that all patients and visitors to the surgery wear a face covering. We ask for the patient and only one essential carer or family member to attend the surgery wherever possible. If the carer or the single family member accompanies the patient into the surgery or the pharmacy premises, then we ask that both of you wear face coverings. The exception to this would be if wearing a face covering might cause significant distress to the patient, or if they are a child under the age of 8 years.
"Why does the receptionist need to ask what's wrong with me?"
The reception staff are members of the practice team and it has been agreed they should ask patients 'why they need to be seen'. Reception staff are trained to ask certain questions in order that you receive:
- The most appropriate medical care,
- From the most appropriate health professional,
- At the most appropriate time
Receptionists are asked to collect brief information from patients:
- To help prioritise house visits and phone calls
- To ensure that all patients receive the appropriate level of care
- To direct patients to see the nurse or other health professional rather than a doctor where appropriate
Reception staff, like all members of the team, are bound by confidentiality rules
- Any information given by you is treated strictly confidentially
- The Practice would take any breach of confidentiality very seriously and deal with accordingly
Some elements of your medical record are available to other services via Connecting Care.
Click on the link below for further information:
Did you know that every patient has a named GP?
Frome Valley Medical Centre is required to allocate all of our patients a Named GP for medical record purposes.
Patients can be rest assured that they are still welcome to book with any GP for a consultation.
If you would like to know who your named GP is, please feel free to ask a member of our Reception team.
Duty of Candour
Frome Valley Medical Centre has a Duty of Candour to our patients. This is a statutory (legal) duty to be open and honest with patients (or ‘service users’), or their families, when something goes wrong that appears to have caused or could lead to significant harm in the future. It applies to all health and social care organisations registered with the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England. This leaflet explains what to expect if such an incident occurs and what to do if you think your healthcare provider has not complied with the duty of candour : Duty of Candour Information
(Site updated 23/09/2021)