Are you hay fever ready?
With the arrival of warmer days, many of us will be looking forward to spending more time outdoors, either in our gardens or local parks. But this time of year also sees the arrival of hay fever - with symptoms including runny eyes and nose; sneezing and itchiness.
Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, GP at Market Lavington Surgery advises what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, “The symptoms of hay fever can be really unpleasant and the best way to control it is with antihistamines, which are inexpensive and can be bought from many shops and pharmacies on the high street.
“You do not need a prescription from your GP for antihistamines and by taking them now so they get into your system will be really beneficial in reducing the effects of hay fever.”
Other ways to help reduce the effects of hay fever include:
- Wearing wraparound sun glasses when outdoors to protect the eyes
- Showering and changing your clothes after being outdoors will help stop the spread of pollen through your home
- Putting a small amount of petroleum jelly in your nose helps to trap pollen grains
- Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts and staying indoors to avoid going out when the pollen count is high
Dr Sandford-Hill continues, “If you have any questions about hay fever medication, remember that your local pharmacist can help you understand which is best for you – particularly if you are already on medication. If the pharmacist feels that you need to see a GP, they will recommend this.”
Hay fever affects one in five people at some point in their lives, often developing in childhood and more so in those with a family history of asthma or eczema. Most people report their symptoms improving as they get older with up to 20 percent saying their symptoms have gone away completely over the years.
As well as your pharmacist, you can also get health advice through NHS 111 and the NHS choices website – www.nhs.uk
doctorlink - a new online solution
Roundstone surgery is trialling a new product called doctorlink that enables patients to manage their care needs remotely where appropriate.
What is doctorlink?
doctorlink can be accessed from any web enabled device 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location
doctorlink provides the ability to seek clinically approved medical advice around the clock. This helps to reduce unnecessary surgery appointments and will provide advice on how to best manage your symptoms
doctorlink facilitates booking an appointment should a clinical consultation be recommended
How does it work?
- doctorlink uses a Symptom Assessment tool to perform e-triage on patients who access the practice online looking for an urgent/same day appointment.
- The outcomes of the symptom assessment are processed according to the clinical need. If a clinical consultation is recommended the patient will booked into an appointment slot appropriate to the symptom assessment outcome (e.g. telephone consultation with a nurse practitioner within next 48 hours, same day face to face consultation with a GP).
- The practice will receive a copy of the all the symptom assessment outputs just as they would following an out of hours 111 consultation.
- As doctorlink is accessible 24/7 it is able to cater for both in and out of hours scenarios directing people to either 111 or the surgery as appropriate.
Roundstone surgery has agreed to trial doctorlink and will be working closely with the providers to manage its integration into the practice and help patients get signed up. All feedback from the trial will help shape and develop the product ensuring that it is of use for clinicians, practice reception staff and patients. doctorlink will be accessible for patients of Roundstone surgery from 15th May. If you are interested in using doctorlink, you access it via:
The application is easy to use and once you have signed up you will be able to check your symptoms and book appointments at the surgery. Please note that you need to use a supported web broweser to access the product such as google chrome, safari or firefox.
Please rest assured that:
- doctorlink is not connected to your patient record so information about you is not being shared with doctorlink
- Patients do not have to enter any personal details to get medical advice (just age, gender and subsequent questions about your symptoms)
- You can continue to ring the surgery for same-day urgent care and speak to or see a GP or another member of the clinical team as you always been able to.
Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) - A new and convenient way to order your repeat prescriptions (Available from 8th May 2017) 0300 123 6242
The Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service is the easy way for you to order your repeat prescription! All it takes is a simple phone call that you can make from the comfort of your own home - there's no need to go into your GP practice or pharmacy. You'll speak to a trained prescription coordinator who can discuss your needs meaning you'll only order medication when you need it - saving the NHS money to spend on other important services.
Why use this new service? - Ordering your repeat prescription is a quick and simple telephone call. You will speak to a dedicated person who has time to answer any of your repeat prescription queries.
Who will I talk to? - The POD is staffed by experienced and trained prescription coordinators and pharmacists. We will ask you how you are getting on with your medication and will remind you when you need a medication review. With your consent, we will have access to all repeat prescription records and to your GP practice should the need arise. This will be private and confidential, and your personal information is held securely.
Why are we offering this service? - Our aim is to ensure that patients are receiving the correct quantity of medication that they need in a timely manner, to help reduce the amount of prescription waste in our area. Unused prescription medicines cost the NHS £2.7 million every year in Wiltshire. Reducing wastage will enable the NHS to spend this money on other important services.
Already use a pharmacy to order your repeat medication? - No problem, you can still use the same pharmacy to supply your medicines. Please inform the pharmacy that you are using POD to order your prescriptions and confirm any delivery arrangements you have with them. If you have a current arrangement with a pharmacy to delivery your prescription then this still continues.
Once you have called POD, your prescription will be authorised by your GP, in line with their normal timeframes. If arranged for pharmacy collection, it may be available at your nominated pharmacy within a further 48 hours. Please don't forget to allow time for the pharmacy to dispense the medicines.
Call POD on 0300 123 6242. Opening Hours 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
Online prescription ordering remains available.
Once you have called POD, your prescription will be available at your nominated pharmacy within 4 working days.
There is no need to register for this service, simply call when you have 7 days left of your medication.
Around the Clock Healthcare for Wiltshire
Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is helping local people to make the right decision about where to go for healthcare treatment with the help of an easy to use clock.
Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said, “We recognise that knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. There are numerous ways for you to get healthcare advice and treatment and knowing what health services are available when you start to feel ill, will help you to manage your condition quicker.”
Because it’s confusing, people very often go straight to a hospital or to a GP regardless of their healthcare requirements. To help you understand the range of healthcare services available and to help you make the right decision about where to go for treatment, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use “Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire’ leaflet available to download from their website. Please click HERE
NHS 111 – Free non-emergency number where trained callers will listen to your symptoms and direct you to the best medical care for you and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
NHS Choices – UK’s biggest health website for information and advice
GP out of hours – available from 6.30pm until 8am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays. Call your GP practice to access the service
Minor Injury Unit – treats minor injuries that are not life-threatening e.g. cuts, bites, stings and simple fractures
Pharmacy – experts in medicine and can give you advice on common ailments and are a potential alternative to a GP visit
GP – if you have a condition that can’t be treated with over the counter medication or advice from a pharmacist, make an appointment to see your GP
A&E – for genuine life-threatening emergencies only and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
When we are able to make the right decision on the type of treatment we need, we’re actively helping to ease the strain on a pressured NHS by taking personal responsibility for our health. This helps free up time for doctors and healthcare professionals allowing them to focus on those people who need their services the most.
Dr Jenny Doyle - Change of Named GP
We are sorry to announce that Dr Jenny Doyle has left the practice. Her patients have been allocated as follows:
Surname: A - CH Dr Katherine Downey
Surname: CI - FI Dr Joanna Harden
Surname: FL - HU Dr Marianne Hales
Surname: I - MI Dr Lucy Thompson
Surname: MO - ST Dr James Gordon
Surname: SU - Z Dr Elizabeth Reece
These doctors are now the named doctors for her patients. We prefer patients to see their named GP, but understand this is not always possible and we are happy for patients to see any of the GP's if they are available.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection - Rated Outstanding
The Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring the standards of hospitals, dentists, care homes and care services. They are also responsible for monitoring the standards of GP surgeries.
The practice, along with all other GP surgeries has registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC will routinely monitor the service we provide, carry out inspections and write reports based on their findings. Our first inspection took place on Thursday 5th May 2016.
The practice was delighted to receive an overall rating of Outstanding. The practice works hard to offer high quality, patient–orientated primary care services to its 17,000 patients and is delighted that the CQC recognised this. This award is due to many years of focused work by all members of the practice team, responding to the needs of its patients. The practice is determined to continue to improve its services and improve health care within Trowbridge.
To find out more about the Care Quality Commission, to provide any feedback or to view any reports, please visit their website http://www.cqc.org.uk/
To read what the CQC has reported about Lovemead Group Practice, please click here http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-569577808
We are delighted to have been awarded a Gold Standard award as part of the Wiltshire Investors in Carers Scheme. This scheme for Wiltshire has been developed by local Carers, members of voluntary agencies such as Carers Support, a number of GP surgeries and members of NHS Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council. Pictured are Rosie Browne, our Carers Administrator and Tracy Wakeley, Reception Team Leader, receiving their award.