The practice would like to inform you of the latest merger news, please see the Merger Newsletter for the latest timeline for changes and how this will effect you, included are the new telephone numbers, website information and online access for Woodford patients only.
Consultation with patients regarding the proposed merger of: Woodford Medical Centre and Fieldhouse Medical Group
As a patient at one of the above GP practices, we are writing to you to let you know that we are starting a formal consultation about the possibility of merging both of these practices into one practice from 1st April 2023.
General Practice is currently being faced with unprecedented challenges, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic. The limited finances available in the NHS and difficulty recruiting new doctors and nurses as existing staff move on or reach retirement age are likely to affect our ability to deliver contracted services in the future.
The two practices involved in this merger have already been closely working together since moving into Freshney Green Primary Care Centre, and their relationship was further strengthened by the creation of the Freshney Pelham PCN. As a result, they deliver several health care services together including the extended access service each evening and at weekends.
If the practice proposal to merge is successful we will continue to operate from the existing premises at Freshney Green Primary Care Centre, so in reality, patients will not notice any major changes to the service they currently receive.
The aim of the merger is therefore to:
- Provide sustainable high quality consistent care for our registered patients.
- Improve access to more clinical staff for patients, at more sites
- Futureproof the Practices and provides us with better opportunities to recruit clinical staff.
Next steps, please tell us your views.
The formal consultation to obtain your views on the proposed merger will start from 5th December 2022 and ending on 9th January 2023.
Your feedback will be used to help us make a decision and to ensure we provide a service that meets our patients’ needs.
You can have your say on the merger using the following methods:
- Collect a comment card from your practice. In each practice there is a designated box for completed comment cards.
- Complete the feedback from received via text message (for patients that use this service)
- Email either practice directly to request a questionnaire on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to us at the Freshney Green Primary Care Centre address.
- If you wish to speak to a member of staff to talk you through this, please contact the Practice and arrange for a call back for the Business Manager.
Frequently Asked Question sheets are available at the practice and also on our website.
The closing date for comments and feedback will be 9th January 2023.
Dr Buckley, Dr Fazil and Dr Chathley
Practice Merger Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have included some frequently asked questions below which may answer any queries you have about the merger. Updated information about the merger will be available on the practice websites and at Freshney Green Primary Care Centre.
When are you merging?
1st April 2023
What will the telephone numbers be?
Our main telephone numbers are staying the same. Please continue to use the number you have always used.
When will the surgery be open?
Our sites is open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.30pm.
Extended access appointments will remain unchanged
What happens if I need a GP outside normal hours?
There is no change. Please telephone reception on the usual number and a recorded message will tell you what you need to do next.
How do I make an appointment?
Appointments can be booked using one of the following methods:
- By telephoning our call centre and discussing with care navigator
Will I still be able to see my usual GP and nurse?
Yes. All of the GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants at both practices will still be available after the merger.
Please note that there are also a number of other health care professionals available depending on your health care need. These include paramedic, dietitian, physiotherapist, social prescriber, health and wellbeing coaches and mental health counsellors
I sometimes have appointments with specialist workers (e.g. counsellors, retinal screening, midwives and health visitors). Will I still be able to see them?
Yes. There is no change to booking appointments with these specialist workers.
How do I get in touch with the District Nurses?
There is no change to how you can contact the District Nurses.
What do I do if I need a home visit?
Home visits are made for those who are too ill to attend the surgery. If a home visit is deemed to be necessary, this will be arranged.
How do I order my repeat prescriptions?
Patients can continue to order repeat prescriptions as they have always done
Please allow 48 working hours for your prescription to be prepared.
How do I collect my prescriptions?
There is no change to how you can collect your prescriptions.
How do I get my results?
There is no change to how you can get your results. Please contact the surgery, but please avoid telephoning for results in the morning as this may block important requests for appointments or visits.
What will happen about my annual reviews?
We will ensure that you receive the annual reviews that you need, and we will send you reminders.
What will happen about baby and childhood immunisations?
We will contact you to remind you when you need to bring your baby or child in for their immunisation injections.
What will happen about my annual flu vaccination?
We will let you know when the flu clinics will be well in advance so that you have plenty of time to arrange an appointment.
Will the Patient Participation Groups (PPG) continue?
Yes the groups will continue, however there will only be one PPG in the future.
How will you keep in touch with patients?
Please continue to visit our websites at www.woodfordmedicalcentre.nhs.uk and www.fieldhousemedicalcentre.nhs.uk for the latest news or visit our Facebook Pages Field House and Woodford. In time we will be creating a new website, but we will let you know when that happens.
If you have any questions about the merger then please contact our reception team and they will arrange a call back appointment with the Business Manager
It is with regret the practice can no longer provide ear syringing to our patients as this is not a NHS funded services, there are several private services locally patients can self-refer to, these include:
Grimsby Ear Care https://grimsbyearcare.co.uk/wax-removal/
Specsavers Opticians & Audiology https://www.specsavers.co.uk/earwax/earwax-removal
Boots Hearingcare https://www.bootshearingcare.com/
Strep A infections - know the signs
Parents are being urged to be alert for the signs of Strep A infections. This is also known Group A streptococcal (GAS) or invasive Group A streptococcal (iGAS) infections.
Especially in winter, there are a range of causes of sore throats, colds and coughs caused by viruses that will get better by themselves without needing antibiotics or medical intervention, meaning it not being necessary to contact your GP surgery.
Occasionally, Strep A can lead to more serious illnesses like scarlet fever and, albeit rarely, very serious disease such as sepsis, Pneumonia or bone infections.
Across England there has been an increase in cases this year, particularly in children under 10. Nationally, there have sadly been some deaths. We want parents to know what to look out for and when to seek medical care.
- If your child has a fever, sore throat, or fine red or pink rash that feels rough (like sandpaper) read our advice below.
- If your child seems more unwell than usual or if your child is getting worse or this illness is different to their normal coughs and colds, please seek medical attention.
What to do if you suspect your child has scarlet fever
Scarlet fever mainly affects children under 10, but people of any age can get it. In the early stages, symptoms include a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel.
We are asking parents to contact their GP if they suspect their child has scarlet fever, because early treatment with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection.
Parents should contact their GP if they feel:
- their child is getting worse
- their child is feeding or eating much less than normal
- their child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
- their baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
- their baby feels hotter than usual when they touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
- their child is very tired or irritable.
Call 999 or go to the Emergency Department if
- your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- there are pauses when your child breathes
- your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.
- Don’t put off seeking help if your child continues to get worse.
Strep infections are spread by close contact with an infected person and can be passed on through coughs and sneezes.
Please consider that emergency departments and GP surgeries are very busy. If you feel that your child can stay at home or be seen elsewhere, such as a pharmacy, please do so.
Know what to look for and when to seek medical care. Go to https://humberandnorthyorkshire.org.uk/strepa/
For further information on scarlet fever, visit www.pha.site/ScarletFever
Abuse and tolerence within the NHS
We are aware that there has been a lot of noise and misconceptions in the media regarding Primary Care reopening its doors and returning to seeing patients. This is the latest instalment of what we see as a persistent and consistent message to discredit General Practice, and, as a result, our staff (both clinical and administrative) are experiencing unprecedented levels of aggression and abuse.
A Practice Index survey revealed more than 75% of staff suffer daily abuse from patients. With the majority (78%) facing threatening behaviour, racist or sexist abuse from patients, and 83% reporting having called the police for help (Practice Index, 2021). Because of these staggering figures, on the 20th May 2021, the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) launched their campaign “If I die it will be your fault” to end all abuse towards general practice staff.
The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ru4QhVZ2a8&t=5s
We would like to remind our patients that we will not tolerate any abuse towards our staff. Our practice remained open throughout the COVID pandemic and we continued to see patients face to face whenever there was a need.
Between January and November 2020, Field house Medical Group nurses and GPs made over 28,000 face to face contacts with patients and over 25,000 telephone contacts. Despite their own personal concerns and anxieties, our staff have worked relentlessly to ensure you and your family were safe. We risk assessed all of our staff, put measures throughout our offices and, with the exception of a handful of staff who needed shielding, we were here, working in the building for the whole of the pandemic. Remember: NHS staff are not heroes, they are humans, just like you. Please treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve.
Most people will be aware of the news about the approval of one of the COVID Vaccines (the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine) announced nationally today. This is very welcome news and we will be working with our NHS and council colleagues to get the vaccine to those eligible as soon as it is available. Patients will be contacted when the vaccine is available to them. Please do not contact your GP practice regarding the COVID vaccine.
The UK vaccination programme is being rolled out in phases and over the next few weeks and months many more clinics will be established to provide vaccinations.
The national Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has determined the priority order for people receiving vaccinations and in this initial phase we are focusing on the over 80s, care home residents and care home staff. Vaccinations of the over 80s and care home staff are underway and the vaccination of care home residents will also begin soon. Everyone in the UK will be offered a vaccination, however the whole programme of work will take months to complete due to its scale and complexity.
We appreciate that many people are enthusiastic about having a vaccination and in the Humber Coast and vale region we are working hard to vaccinate people as quickly as we can in line with the JCVI prioritisation.
We are delighted to be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients, with the rollout well underway as we vaccinate our more vulnerable patients, care home residents and staff first.
We understand there is a huge amount of interest in the vaccine however, please do not contact the Practice to book an appointment. The vaccination programme will take months, it will not happen in a few days. Please be patient, do not worry, no one will be excluded from the programme and when it is the right time for you to be vaccinated, we will contact you to book your appointments. In the meantime, do continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.
You can get information about the COVID-19 Vaccination online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
How to get your COVID-19 vaccination
Currently those people at risk of serious illness from coronavirus in the priority groups 1 – 4 are being contacted by the NHS in a range of ways to book an appointment.
You may already have been contacted by your own practice or somebody working on their behalf to offer you an appointment at one of the local designated primary care centres. They are currently working through the eligible cohorts and you will be contacted when it is your turn.
However, local people may also receive a letter from the National NHS Vaccination Booking Service offering them to book their vaccine with the national system at a nearby vaccination centre or community pharmacy. If you have not already got an appointment, you can book in this way if you wish to.
If you receive a letter from the NHS to book with the national system and you have already had your vaccination, or you already have an appointment booked at a local primary care centre, then please ignore the letter. Please ensure that you keep any appointments that you have already booked.
Contact from Patient Access
We have received reports from both Patient Access users and people who have never registered for the service, that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access.
We would like to share the following guidance from Patient Access for your information, and for you to share with your patients where appropriate.
We advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender, all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com. We advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security
We strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.
Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. We do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access