Autumn update 2021
Dear Markfield Medical Centre Patients,
Thank you for bearing with us during the last year which has been a stressful time for everyone. We have been touched by the many kind messages of support we have received whilst we tried to provide you with the best care.
Previously we have posted information on our website and Facebook page to keep everyone updated on how we are working to support patients.
This is to update everyone on how we are working now withthe increased demand, the changing delivery of primary care and how we can work together with you to deliver safe care.
Face to Face Appointments
We would like to reassure you, that where clinically needed, we are seeing patients face to face; we have put extra precautions in place to keep everybody safe and this has involved screening patients first and sometimes requesting patients have a Covid test before coming to see us.
One of the main precautions has been the use of telephone consultations in the first instance, this has enabled the GP’s to offer more appointments, speak to more patients because of no cleaning time required and to avoid a packed waiting room.
Our nurses and HCA’s have continued to do the majority of their appointments face to face for example blood tests, dressings, stitch removals, smears etc, they are able to do some of your reviews over the telephone which has meant we’ve been able to keep on top of these.
We have been very careful to ensure patients with Covid symptoms have not come into the practice, this is to protect our extremely vulnerable patients and our staff, some of which are also clinically extremely vulnerable.
We are staggering our nurse and HCA clinics around the GP face to face appointments to ensure we do not have a busy waiting room and in doing so we’re reducing risk to everyone.
If you really want to see your GP face to face, then let the GP know during your telephone consultation with them.
NHS England has published data on the increased numbers of appointments within General Practice compared with the same period in previous years, the following link displays the data:
With a more elderly population who naturally have a greater need for primary care we are experiencing a huge increase in demand. This demand is above what we would expect and includes:
• Consultations from patients with multiple problems and concerns
• Requests to chase hospital appointments
• Enquiries re Covid Passports for travel and all vaccination queries
• Requests for help with minor problems where self-care would be more appropriate
Many patients phone us without trying home remedies first such as simple pain killers or other treatments for problems like constipation or diarrhoea. You can also consult your local pharmacist for advice.
Information on various conditions can be looked up on the NHS Website, it provides a useful Overview of the condition, the causes, diagnosis, treatment and complications, it will also advise you when to contact the GP.
We are not suggesting that if you are seriously ill, or if you have a red flag symptom, that you wait to get worse before getting in touch with us. We’re talking about lots of people who are still very well in themselves, carrying on with all usual activities, going to work, or to the shops with very short-lived minor symptoms and who have not tried anything to help themselves.
Red flag symptoms are symptoms like chest pain, bleeding, paralysis, difficulty swallowing that could indicate serious disease like cancer, a stroke or heart attack. We actively encourage you to get in touch with the right professional if you have red flag symptoms.
With self-care most cases of minor illness do resolve without ever needing treatment from the GP, by encouraging self – management in these instances will reduce the huge pressure we are currently experiencing.
Changing Primary Care
Some of you, who have been with us for a long time, might have been surprised, at having consultations or visits from other teams and not your usual doctor. This is because General Practice is changing.
NHS England, Primary Care Network (PCN’s) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) have set up many new services to manage increased demand and to support patients and practices alike. This ensures practices can continue to offer you care for complex ongoing needs and also facilitates support from the appropriate speciality.
Some of these services are
1. Home visiting services for housebound patients (AVS Acute visiting service).
2. The Clinical Practitioner (Former Paramedic) for assessing and treating acutely unwell patients.
3. The FCP (First Contact Physio) who is trained in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems.
4. The Social Prescribers helping patients with complex social and medical problems.
5. Prescribing minor illness Nurse.
6. Pharmacist, carrying out medication reviews and medication queries.
7. Hot Hub clinics
These services will evolve with changing needs of our population.
Sign Posting - is designed to connect patients more directly with the most appropriate source of help or advice. It aims to change the assumption that GPs are the first point of care for patients
Markfield Medical Centre has been using active signposting for some time. This is an official and integral part of the NHS’ High Impact Actions plan to help free up time for General Practice, but it does require patients to engage with this and contact services they are directed to for help.
To help support us with this our Reception staff receive training to ask certain questions in order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate medical care from the most appropriate health professional at the most appropriate time. To direct patients to see the nurse or other health professionals rather than a doctor where appropriate allows the doctors to see the complex medical conditions.
We aim to improve the patient’s journey by signposting to the appropriate service and will continue to develop this once work on covid vaccinations allows us more time to develop the services.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement supported all GP practices in England with the rapid implementation of a ‘total triage’ model using telephone and online consultation.
Total triage means that every patient contacting a GP practice is first triaged before making an appointment.
The benefits of telephone consultations have surprised everyone working in primary care and we are the same. We have found that the doctors can deal with many things efficiently on the telephone and the use of electronic prescriptions means that any treatment can be ready for you to collect from the pharmacy almost instantly. It has also had simple benefits such as reduced traffic congestion as well as allowing the doctors to spend more time with patients that they need to see face to face and then physical examinations are not rushed.
We have continued to see patients face to face throughout the last year and this will continue to be an option after a telephone consultation/assessment with the doctor.
We are not planning on changing back to full face to face booked appointments at present but we are going to work with patient’s representatives to look at how we manage and offer consultations to enable us to work in the most efficient way we can.
You can access online consultations through our website
Testing for Covid 19
Please go for a Covid PCR test if you have possible Covid symptoms
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea, or a skin rash.
Please see the below Test and Trace advice on which test to take.
There remains work for the team to do at Markfield Medical Centre such as catching up on patient reviews, chronic conditions, immunisations, planning and working with others such as secondary care colleagues to improve health outcomes, the Covid booster programme and the Flu campaign.
Whilst we continue to do this you can help us by:
• Using services carefully and thinking about self-care first.
• Helping the doctor to prioritise care if you have a number of problems that need to be dealt with.
• Being open to seeing other practitioners.
• Contacting others that can help you like mental health support services.
• Having a Covid test when appropriate.
Please continue to work with us, to help us help you.
We have learnt a lot during the pandemic and want to improve care as we come out of it however we can only do this within the resources we have and we need to use them wisely.
We have more patients wanting to register with us whilst dealing with an increasing flow of work from the hospital.
We will be using social media more to help keep you informed and have an article coming out soon in the local Herald. Please look at our Facebook page and our Website for updates.
Our patient participation group (PPG) chair, Alan Bourne, posts updates on the Markfield Next door app.
We look forward to working with you to ensure all our patients get the best possible care.
With many thanks from,
All the Doctors, Nurses, HCA’s and Support Staff at Markfield Medical Centre
COVID Booster Jabs
We will be offering Covid Booster Jabs for our extremely vulnerable patients, those living in residential care homes for older adults, all adults aged 50 years or over and frontline health and social care workers.
These will be delivered across two hubs, one at Measham Leisure Centre and one at Coalville Hospital site. These two sites are managed by our Primary Care Network Team.
These two sites have the space and facilities to be able to safely give the booster vaccines and carry out the 15 minute observation time. They have a large team which consists of first responder volunteers, a lead GP on site at all times, lead admin managers, pharmacists to prepare the vaccines, administrators and receptionists.
The staff working at these two sites are predominantly our own Practice Staff from the 12 GP practices in North West Leicestershire, along with many volunteers and retired staff.
Commonly asked questions
-When will I be able to have my booster?
6 months after your 2nd Covid vaccine was given.
-How do I book my booster Jab?
When due, we will be sending invites to patients via SMS text messages with a link and by letter if you do not have a mobile phone.
-Why is the practice not giving the booster jabs?
This is largely down to staff capacity and the space needed to be able to accommodate the 15 minute observation time that is required with the Pfizer booster.
NHS England has said it is operationally unfeasible to deliver the Covid vaccines directly to individual practices and therefore will only deliver to approved hubs.
-When can I have my Flu Jab?
We will be holding Flu clinics over the next three months, clinics will be held in the working week and we will be opening on Saturdays to accommodate the flu campaign and to ensure good uptake.
PRACTICE TRAINING DATES
Protected Learning Time (PLT’s)
Each month the practice is closed for one afternoon to routine services, this is to enable protected time for staff training. Occasionally pre-booked clinics will be arranged during these afternoons, for example Flu clinics in October and November. Dates for the remaining year are 22nd September, Thursday 21st October and Wednesday 10th November 2021. Closed between 1pm and 6.30pm.
Please find attached and below information relating to services that are available for NHS for Reservists, Service Leavers, Veterans and families.
Long Covid Support
Please find below leaflet for Long Covid 1 to 1 support - Long Covid Support
Please find information below - Long Covid Study
Psychological Impact of Covid-19 Questionnaire
How has COVID-19 impacted your health and wellbeing? What has been helpful and what has not been helpful for your mental health?
Researchers from a collaboration group are asking people to complete a short questionnaire to help better understand how the coronavirus and changing restrictions are affecting us all and the impact on our day-to-day lifestyle. We hope to find out what is helpful for people during this time and also what may be causing some people to be affected more than others in terms of their wellbeing.
Can you spare 15 minutes to help? Click on the leaflet below and follow the link:
Covid Vaccination Status – NHS App
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. People can prove their vaccination status:
People are being asked not to contact their GP practice for proof.
The following link has some useful information regarding proof of vaccinations-
Please continue to take all recommended precautions even when you have been vaccinated.
Dr Trzcinski and Partners