Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)
From 1st April 2022, when you call the practice and your symptoms indicate that you can best be helped by a pharmacist, you will be offered a same day private consultation with a community Pharmacist at your local pharmacy. Community Pharmacists have already successfully seen thousands of patients for a consultation for a minor illness, following a call to NHS 111. This new way of arranging consultations with the Pharmacist by a GP practice, has been successfully piloted around the country.
Why are you doing this?
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of minor illnesses, and a same day consultation can be arranged quickly and at a time to suit you. This in turns frees up GP appointments for those people with more complex symptoms who really need to see a GP.
What happens when I see the community Pharmacist?
We will share your personal details with the pharmacist and details of your minor illness and the Pharmacist will contact you to arrange your consultation on the same day, or at a time that suits you. You may be seen in person in a private consulting room, if the Pharmacist thinks it appropriate, or your consultation may be carried out over the phone or via video. You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms and current medication, in the same way the GP would ask you about them. Usually, the Pharmacist will provide you with advice and can sell you an over- the-counter product where needed, if you choose. They will also send details of your consultation back to us for our records. If the pharmacist feels you need to be seen by a GP urgently, they will call us to ensure you are seen, or they will advise you to contact the hospital emergency department if deemed necessary. You may also be referred back to us to arrange a non-urgent appointment or follow up.
What if I get free prescriptions from my GP?
Your Pharmacist will provide you with advice on how to treat your symptoms, which may include a medicine or product. Medicines that can be purchased in a pharmacy to treat minor illnesses, are usually inexpensive and would not normally be prescribed by your GP anyway. You are free to choose if you wish to make a purchase or not.
What happens if I don’t want to see the pharmacist?
We want to ensure that you are offered an appointment with the most appropriate qualified health care professional based on your symptoms. If you have minor illness symptoms that can be treated the same day through a consultation with a qualified community Pharmacist, but do not want to accept this referral, you will be offered a routine appointment with your GP at a future date.
What if the patient is my child?
Children aged over five years are eligible to use this service and can be seen by the Pharmacist. Children who are able to make their own decision about their health may be seen unaccompanied.
Why is this a good thing for patients?
Community pharmacies are local, open longer hours than the GP practice and can offer you the same consultation outcome at a time that is more convenient for you. If the pharmacist thinks you need to see the GP, they can help arrange an urgent appointment for you. Patients who have already used the service liked the convenience of having a consultation on the same day, or a day that suited them, at a pharmacy of their choice. Nearly four out of five people (78%) who had a consultation with a community Pharmacist were successfully helped.
Services During COVID-19
The government has recently announced a number of changes to lockdown measures, social distancing and shielding guidance. Much of this guidance is offering more freedoms and flexibility around how we work and socialise.
Whilst we appreciate these changes will be welcomed by many, staff at Firs House Surgery and the wider NHS remain vigilant and cautious. Given the nature of COVID-19, and the needs of the people we see at the surgery, we will continue to employ strict measures that limit exposure. These measures include staff and patients wearing PPE, strict social distancing within and on the grounds of the surgery, restricted access to the building for the public with patients invited to attend only, and the continuation of telephone triage prior to attending.
The world may appear to be returning to some semblance of normality but we are conscious that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, so please understand that at this time we will maintain a cautious approach to how and when we offer our wider services. Moving forwards, the focus for Firs House will be on reducing the risk of exposure for our patients and staff, and only opening up services once we can offer assurances it is safe to do so. With this in mind, we ask for your continued patience and understanding, especially if we are not in a position to offer some non-urgent services.
30th June 2020
Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications. Flu can be unpleasant, but if you're otherwise healthy, it'll usually clear up on its own in about a week. But flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:
•anyone aged 65 and over
•children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
•children and adults with weakened immune systems
Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it's recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.
Flu Clinics 2021/22 at Firs House
Similarly to last year, we will be hosting the flu clinics in September and October 2021 mindful of the challenges COVID-19 present, including social distancing; infection control; PPE requirements; and managing the volume of clinical waste generated by the PPE.
Due to COVID-19 we will be running our adult Flu Clinics on weekends only outside our normal weekday clinics, to allow for social distancing. Unlike previous years, appointments will be brief and we will be unable to discuss any health concerns outside the influenza vaccine.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
We are delivering our flu vaccine programme to an expanded range of patients again this year:
•All over 65’s
•All patients at risk due to a medical condition – see the following full list of eligible conditions.
•Carers as detailed below.
•Infants aged 2 and 3, not otherwise at risk.
•Patients who were ‘Shielding,’ and any persons who shares a residence with a shielding patient – this is a new cohort of patients for this year. If you were on the Shielded list and someone lives with you permanently who is not registered locally, please ask them to register as soon as possible so they can be vaccinated to protect you.
•Patients aged 50-64’s.
Please see NHS website – Who Should Have The Flu Vaccination, for full details click HERE
More information on the flu jab is available HERE
For children 17 and under flu immunisation is offered based on eligibility – please see NHS Children’s Flu Vaccine, click HERE for details.
- Saturday 18th September
- Sunday 19th September
- Saturday 25th September
- Saturday 9th October
- Sunday 10th October
- Saturday 16th October
Please contact the surgery on 01223 234 286 between 15:00hrs and18:00hrs to book your jab. Please do not call to book your flu vaccine outside these hours as we are busy managing patients urgent queries.
Joint Injection Clinic
We offer joint injections for a number of conditions where you have not responded to other forms of treatment.
A steroid injection is usually given into a joint or soft tissue to help reduce pain when joints may be swollen and tender. We usually use a steroid and local anaesthetic mix and inject around the affected area/joint. The injection helps reduce pain and as a result improves mobility and function.
Joint injections are done for a number of conditions – osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel and many other conditions.
Due to the current circumstances, we are asking patients to review and complete the Consent Form before they attend their appointment with the joint clinic.
Cervical Screening (Smear Test)
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening, or the “smear test”, is a routine health check that identifies potentially harmful cells and changes on the cervix. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but catching any changes early can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills two women every day. Regular screenings can help reduce that number, which is why it’s so important you attend your screening when invited.
Who is the screening for?
If you are a woman, or someone with a cervix, you will be invited for your cervical screening at regular intervals:
If you’re aged 25-49, you’ll be invited every 3 years
If you’re aged 50-64, you’ll be invited every 5 years
It is advisable you have regular cervical screenings, but ultimately, it is your choice whether you attend.
What happens during cervical screening?
Your screening will only take a minute or two, the whole appointment usually takes around ten minutes. During your screening, a nurse will give you a private space in which to undress from the waist down. They will also give you a paper sheet to cover yourself and will ask you to lie on the bed. They’ll then place a speculum (a hollow cylinder with a rounded edge) in your vagina. This helps them see your cervix. Then, using a small brush, they’ll gently gather some cells from your cervix. They’ll remove the speculum, put your sample in a pot and send it off for testing. You’ll get your results around two weeks later.
The nurse is there to answer any questions or concerns you may have before your appointment, so please talk to them if you’re feeling nervous. There are also a range of things you can do to put yourself at ease during your screening:
• If you’d like, you can take a trusted friend or family member with you
• Wear a long, loose dress or skirt. It may make you feel more covered during your screening
• Take long, deep breaths to help you relax
• Listen to a podcast or some music during your screening to put you at ease
• Speculums come in a range of different sizes. It is a rounded cylinder which is gently opened so nurses can see your cervix. You may want to discuss the size of the speculum with the nurse before you have the test.
If you’re due to have a cervical screening, you’ll receive a letter in the post. Don’t ignore it, book your cervical screening with Reception today.
If you missed your previous screening, contact Reception to book an appointment today.
How to book your cervical screening appointment
If you are due a cervical screening you can call reception and book an appointment with your GP or Practice Nurse.
More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year – and that means the risk of serious health complications and early death. Modern life can make it hard to be healthy but for many people Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making small lifestyle changes.
Marie Rouse, our Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Specialist Nurse, runs diabetes clinics every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. These take place at both our Histon and Cottenham surgeries. Please speak to reception to book an appointment.
Soup & Shake Diet
Despite media reports or a national offer, Cambridgeshire is not currently taking part in the pilot for the new NHS Soup and Shake diet for Diabetes Type 2 and weight loss patients. Please keep checking the link below for updates.
Family Planning Clinics
We advise on all types of contraception. You can see any of the doctors or the nurse for advice during normal surgery hours, please speak to Reception to book an appointment.
Coil and cap fittings need a special appointment, Reception staff will be able to advise on clinic availability.
The Contraceptive Implant
Advice Regarding Coil Insertion
We provide antenatal and postnatal care with the help of the Community Midwife. The Midwife is also able to offer pre-conception advice.
Practice Nurse Clinics
The practice nurses are based in the surgery and can be seen by appointment. They provide a wide range of treatments including:
◦Contraceptive advice (including emergency contraception)
◦Travel health advice and Travel Immunisations
◦They are also able to give advice for some minor illnesses (ask at reception for details).
If you’re a smoker, giving up is the single most valuable step you can take to improve your health. It can improve your lifestyle and finances too! Please book an appointment with one of our practice nurses to discuss quitting smoking. The NHS can help you to quit using a variety of support tools and advice.
When you go smoke free, you are up to four times more likely to succeed if you use NHS support and stop smoking medicines such as patches or gum to manage your cravings.
Useful websites are -