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Practice Updates

Please read the following Practice Updates which are published monthly in the East Bergholt Parish Magazine. These monthly updates enable the Practice to let our patients know what has been going on across our two sites. 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update July 2019

 

 

Appointment System Update

 

The practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.

 

We will be holding open days at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary on Tuesday 23rd July between 2pm and 6pm, and at the East Bergholt Medical Centre on Wednesday 24th July between 6pm and 8pm. These are drop-in events and patients are welcome to call in between these times.

 

We will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and we value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.

                 

Extended Hours

 

I’m pleased to announce that from 1st July the practice will be extending its opening hours. Our Capel St Mary site will now be open every Tuesday from 7am to 8am and 6:30pm to 7:30pm for patients with pre-booked appointments between these times. We will be holding two phlebotomy clinics between 7am and 8am and a dressings clinic between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These appointments are pre-bookable via our reception team. We will also be holding GP surgeries between 7am and 8am, and 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These will be bookable by the doctors. So if you need a GP appointment outside normal working hours, please let the doctor know when you speak to them. Please note that no other service will be available during these times e.g. appointment booking or general queries.

 

Training Days

 

Please note that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Thursday 18th July

Wednesday 11th September

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. Our phone lines will be closed for the afternoon. If you need medical assistance please contact 111. If your need is urgent then please dial 999 or attend your local A&E.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update June 2019

 

 

CQC Inspection

 

The practice was inspected by the CQC on 24th April. The inspection team were at the practice for the whole day and interviewed staff and patients. They inspected both Capel and East Bergholt sites. They rated the practice as ‘Good’ overall. We were rated ‘requires improvement’ for responsiveness, though this was partly based on patient satisfaction figures from over a year ago, and ‘good’ for safe, effective, caring, and well-led areas. This is an improvement on last year’s rating and the CQC acknowledged the hard work by staff to improve the service we offer. We are delighted with our rating and hope our plans for further improving the service over the coming year will result in an even higher rating when we are next inspected.

 

Appointment System Update

 

Further to last month’s announcement, I can confirm that the practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.

 

The new system will be a call back system which has been successfully implemented at many practices across Suffolk. Our medical receptionists will continue to take details from patients and will determine how they can best help them. This may include booking an appointment with a practice nurse or HCA, directing to a pharmacist, booking a minor illness appointment with a nurse practitioner, or liaising with a doctor on the patient’s behalf.

 

Where a patient needs to talk to a doctor, they will be placed on the list of the doctor of their choice who will call them back within an agreed time slot. They will discuss the patient’s problem with them and if necessary arrange for them to see them or another clinician the same day.

 

The system is an on-the-day only system. There will be no pre-bookable appointments. These will not be needed as patients will be able to speak to a doctor and see them the same day if necessary. The only exceptions to pre-booking will be patients with medial conditions which require arrangements to be made for them to attend the practice.

 

We will be holding open days at East Bergholt and Capel on the afternoons of 23rd July at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary and 24th July at our practice in East Bergholt, where we will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.

                 

eConsult Service

 

Don’t forget that our eConsult service is available via our website at www.constablecountrymedicalpractice.co.uk. eConsult enables you to request advice and treatment from our practice online, any time of the day. You can also obtain self-help advice for hundreds of conditions.

 

If your problem is non-urgent and can be dealt with by the practice, we will receive a report which will be reviewed by one of our doctors. They will determine the most appropriate next step which may include a telephone or face to face appointment. You will be contacted by 6pm the following day with advice or to book an appointment if necessary.

 

Training Days

 

Please note that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Thursday 20th June

Thursday 18th July (open days)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. Our phone lines will be closed for the afternoon. If you need medical assistance please contact 111. If your need is urgent then please dial 999 or attend your local A&E.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update May 2019

 

 

Appointment System and Patient Contact Review

 

The practice will be implementing a new appointment system in July/August. The current system works well but we have been reviewing systems used at other practices and we feel we can improve it further.

 

However, the appointment system is just one facet of the practice and we want to take the opportunity to review all patient contact with the aim of making it simple for you to contact us and for us to address your needs in a clear and straightforward manner. We will also review how we contact patients when we need to, for example to inform them of test results or to book annual checks.

 

Over the next couple of months we will be consulting with patients to understand how we can improve the service we offer to ensure it is efficient, easy to use and provides the level of service you expect from your GP practice. This includes the use of text message, email, our website, online consultations as well as your contact with the practice over the phone and face to face. In short, we want to offer an excellent patient experience which meets the individual needs of patients.

 

We will be holding open days at East Bergholt and Capel in June (dates TBC) and will provide more details as we firm up how we intend to change our systems.

 

In the meantime, we would like to hear your thoughts on what works well (we don’t want to change what already works well) and what can be improved. Areas to consider are how you prefer to interact with the practice (e.g. phone, email text), areas where we need to focus on because needs are not always met first time, e.g. medication, and indeed any other aspect of providing healthcare which you feel we can improve upon e.g. continuity of care.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated and you can either send me a short letter, let any of our staff know your thoughts who will then relay them to me, phone the practice and ask to speak to me or send a suggestion via the contact page on our Website at www.constablecountrymedicalpractice.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Training Days

 

Please note that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Thursday 20th June

Thursday 18th July

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. Our phone lines will be closed for the afternoon. If you need medical assistance please contact 111. If your need is urgent then please dial 999 or attend your local A&E.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update April 2019

 

 

Tips To Help The Practice Operate Efficiently

 

In order to ensure we help you in the most efficient way, please help us by following the guidelines below:

  • Tell the receptionist the nature of your problem. They can ensure you see the right clinician (GP, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, HCA) and you may not need to come into the practice if it can be dealt with over the telephone. It may also be appropriate for you to seek advice from a pharmacy. If you need to see a doctor, they will be aware of your problem before you see them which helps them prepare for your consultation. Of course, if your problem is personal and you would rather not disclose it, then that is fine.
  • When you see a doctor, provide as much information you can about the problem. Details which may not seem important may be relevant and assist to doctor in diagnosing and treating your problem.
  • If you have more than one problem to discuss, please ask for a double appointment so the doctor has sufficient time and other patients are not delayed.
  • If you need to see a nurse for wound care or an injection, or a phlebotomist, please ensure you wear suitable clothing and remove outer clothing prior to entering the clinic room. This will help our staff to keep to time.

 

GP+ Service

 

Suffolk GP Federation provides out-of-hours services on behalf of the majority of practices in Suffolk. It operates from a number of sites, the nearest to the practice being Stowmarket (Stow Health), Ipswich (Riverside) and Felixstowe (Felixstowe General Hospital). Typically, services are offered from 18:30 to 21:00 during the week and through the day on Saturday and Sunday. 15 minute GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments are available but can only be booked by the practice or other healthcare organisations. At the time of booking, patients will need to provide their consent to share their medical notes with the clinician they see. This service is proving to be very popular as it relieves pressure on the practice on busy days and also provides patients with alternative options for addressing a medical problem. You may be offered an appointment with GP+ or you can ask the receptionist for current availability. Some of our own doctors also work for GP+ at the weekends.

 

It is also possible to book an appointment with a practice nurse at GP+ at the Riverside clinic in Ipswich. Appointments suitable for booking include Injections (Depo, B12, Clexane. Note that the patient must bring the injection with them), Dressings (the patient must bring the dressings with them), Hypertension reviews, Suture removal, Pill checks (not first issue).

 

Training Days

 

Please note that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Wednesday 22nd May

Thursday 20th June

Thursday 18th July

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. Our phone lines will be closed for the afternoon. If you need medical assistance please contact 111. If your need is urgent then please dial 999 or attend your local A&E.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update March 2019

 

 

New Appointment Cancellation Service

 

If you need to cancel an appointment, you can now send us a text message. This should help reduce the number of non-attended appointments and also provide a simple method for patients to let us know they need to cancel rather than wait in the telephone queue first thing in the morning.

 

To cancel an appointment, simply send a message to 07562 618401 and include your name, date of birth and the date and time of the appointment you wish to cancel. Please note that this number can only be used for appointment cancellations.

 

Launch of eConsult Service

 

I’m pleased to announce that we have launched a new service called eConsult. This service is available via our website at http://www.constablecountrymedicalpractice.co.uk/.

 

Our eConsult service enables you to request advice and treatment from our practice online, any time of the day. You can also obtain self-help advice for hundreds of conditions.

 

You can access eConsult any time of the day and the system will ask you a number of questions regarding the nature of your problem. It may provide self-help advice, or direct you to a pharmacy if it’s a problem which can be addressed by a pharmacist. The system may also advise you to phone 111 or 999 if your responses suggest you require urgent attention.

 

If your problem is non-urgent and can be dealt with by the practice, we will receive a report which will be reviewed by one of our doctors. They will determine the most appropriate next step which may include a telephone or face to face appointment. You will be contacted by 6pm the following day with advice or to book an appointment if necessary.

 

We hope this new facility will further improve access to the services provided by our practice.

 

National GP Patient Survey Questionnaires

 

Just a reminder to please complete and return your GP Patient Survey if you receive one. Feedback is really important to us. We have been working hard over the last couple of years to improve the service we offer and patient feedback is vital in understanding the progress we have made and which areas we need to focus on.

 

Training Days

 

Please note that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Thursday 4th April

Wednesday 22nd May

Thursday 20th June

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. Our phone lines will be closed for the afternoon. If you need medical assistance please contact 111. If your need is urgent then please dial 999 or attend your local A&E.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update February 2019

 

 

Flu Vaccinations

 

As of 27th January, approximately 77% of our patients aged over the age of 65 have been vaccinated against flu. This is the highest rate we have achieved for a number of years and we are ranked 9th out of 40 practices in Suffolk.

 

Although this is a good achievement, we want to do even better next flu season. This season we had four flu clinics, two at each site, after which patients could make appointments. This worked well, but please let us know if you have any ideas on how we can improve the system to make it as easier for our patients to receive a vaccination, bearing in mind we have in the region of 4,200 eligible patients. We’ll discuss these ideas with the PPG prior to planning next year’s flu clinics.

 

Staff Changes

 

We have had a few staff changes recently. Dr McDonald and Dr Ola will sadly be leaving the practice in February, though are likely to continue to work for us occasionally when we need locum GPs.

 

However, Dr Vincent Omorogbe joined the practice as a full-time GP Partner on 1st January. Dr Vincent has work at the practice in a locum capacity over the last 2 years. Dr Parikh has also become a GP Partner and now works full time at the practice. So with Dr Tetteh and Dr Victoria we now have four full-time GP Partners. We also have Dr Nasta and our two Nurse Practitioners June and Sarah.

 

Moni, our pharmacist has left us in December but Vicky, a pharmacy technician, joined the practice in January and will undertake a similar role, answering many medication queries patients may have.

 

Although there is a national shortage of GPs, we are fortunate to have five permanent doctors supported by an excellent clinical team. Our aim is to minimise the need for locum doctors so we can improve continuity of care, which is one of the main points we have identified from patient feedback.

 

National GP Patient Survey Questionnaires

 

Just a reminder to please complete and return your GP Patient Survey if you receive one. Feedback is really important to us. We have been working hard over the last couple of years to improve the service we offer and patient feedback is vital in understanding the progress we have made and which areas we need to focus on.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

Thursday 14th March

Thursday 4th April

Wednesday 22nd May

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update January 2019

Missed Appointments

The high number of missed GP and Nurse appointments nationally has recently been highlighted by the press. Unfortunately, our practice also suffers from this problem. Through December 2018 the number of missed appointments and the time wasted was as follows:

Doctors: 12 missed appointments, 2.5 hours wasted

Nurse Practitioners: 3 missed appointments, 40 minutes wasted

Practice Nurses: 24 missed appointments, 6.5 hours wasted

Health Care Assistants: 7 missed appointments, 1 hour wasted

Phlebotomists: 10 missed appointments, 75 minutes wasted

When an appointment is booked, patients receive a text message confirmation, so please ensure we have an up-to-date mobile number recorded for you. Patients will also generally receive a reminder text message the day before their appointment, though not in every case.

If you cannot make an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so it can be made available to other patients. There is nothing more frustrating than our clinicians preparing for a patient consultation or procedure only for them not to turn up. If you are going to be late then let us know and we will try to accommodate you, though it may not be possible if it will result in other patients being delayed.

 Community Connector Bus

 If you sometimes you wake up and think “more of the same” and wish for something different and interesting to happen in your life, or if one of life’s many challenges has been thrown at you recently and you don’t know where to turn for advice, or if you need to take greater care of your health and wellbeing or be more active physically or socially, or if you find yourself alone because of bereavement or other circumstances….. then the Community Connector scheme could be for you!

 The Community Connector bus will be visiting the practice at East Bergholt between 10am and 2pm on

Wednesday16th January

Wednesday 6th February

Tuesday 5th March

Wednesday 27th March

 The scheme will connect you to others for support and advice on matters such as debt, benefits, housing, health and fitness, walking, cycling, dance, volunteering, social activities, clubs, arts and much more. This initiative is supported by Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Family Carers. No appointment is necessary, just turn up!

 National GP Patient Survey Questionnaires

 You may receive a survey from Ipsos Mori over the next couple of months requesting feedback on the how the practice has performed. If you receive one, please complete and return it. Feedback is really important to us. We have been working hard over the last couple of years to improve the service we offer and patient feedback is vital in understanding the progress we have made and which areas we need to focus on.

Training Days

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

Wednesday13th February

Thursday 14th March

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update November 2018

 

 

Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Pharmacist

 

The practice is fortunate to have two excellent Nurse Practitioners, June and Sarah. They are able to deal with a wide range of problems from Asthma attacks to Headaches and Insect bites to Vomiting. They can also prescribe medication and will always consult a doctor if they need a second opinion. Our reception team have a complete list of problems they can address and this is why we ask patients the nature of their problem when they contact us. Of course if it’s personal you don’t have to divulge the problem, but doing so enables our team to ensure you are seen by the most appropriate clinician.

 

We also employ a clinical pharmacist, Moni, three days a week to help with re-authorising medication, undertaking medication reviews, resolving patient medication queries and ensuring patients on high-risk medication are monitored as necessary. We are one of just a few practices in Suffolk to employ a pharmacist and this has enabled us to provide a better service to patients and free up our doctors to focus on other patient needs.

 

If you have a query regarding medication our receptionist will ask Moni to contact you when he is next in, which may be the same day or the next working day. This will further help to relieve pressure on our GPs which in turn will increase their accessibility to address other patient problems. Of course, if patients have an urgent medication problem, and Moni is not working that day, then it will be passed to a doctor.

 

Patient Feedback and the Patient Participation Group

 

Please continue to leave us feedback via our website, NHS choices, Healthwatch Suffolk, our Smiley Face board at East Bergholt and patient comment forms. We review all feedback and are continually aiming to improve the service we offer. In October 90% of Patients said they are likely or very likely to recommend us to friends and family. 100% said that our doctors provide a good or very good service. Our Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and admin staff also scored 100% which is a great achievement.

 

We have an excellent PPG and meet with them every month. We review feedback and continually make improvements to the way we work. The PPG represent you, so please contact them if you have any suggestions for further improvements.

 

Alterations continue to improve our Capel surgery though we try minimise disruption to patients. The building has been transformed since March this year. We now offer more pre-bookable GP appointments and have a commitment that patients will be able to speak to a doctor the same day, and will be seen in person if necessary (unless demand is exceptionally high). Our phone system upgrade has been well received as it tells patients where they are in the queue and provides updates. If there happens to be 30 calls in the queue, stick with it as our reception team answer calls quickly. Our PPG have also planted winter flowers in the baskets at Capel and in the pots at East Bergholt.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

12th December 2018 (Wed)

14th January 2019 (Wed)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update October 2018

Flu Clinics

 

Our flu clinics are now well under way. The vaccination programme is complex this year as there are three different vaccines aimed as specific age groups, and the practice will take delivery of these vaccines through September and October.

 

If you are normally entitled to a free flu vaccination you will relieve a personal invite letter giving the dates you can attend our clinics. Please wait until the end of October before contacting us if you have not received a letter

 

This year we are collecting donations for the British Heart Foundation at our flu clinics.

 

Capel Alterations

 

Alterations to the Capel surgery waiting area and receptionist room started on 24th September. The main changes are now complete though there is still decorating to complete. Thank you to all patients for your understanding over this period. The refurbishment of the clinical rooms and the alterations to the reception and waiting area represent a considerable investment by the GP partners, who are committed to ensuring the Capel premises provides a welcoming, safe and clean environment for patients and staff.

 

Patient Feedback

 

Thank you to all patients who have provided feedback to the practice. The doctors and I met in September to review patient feedback. It is encouraging to hear that the new phone system with queue progress information is well received and that our clinicians are highly regarded. It is also really encouraging that 95% of responses in September said that patients were likely or very likely to recommend the practice to friends and family.

 

However, one area patients would like improved is continuity with our doctors. We have therefore decided to increase the number of pre-bookable appointments available both on-line and to book via our reception team. This has been made possible because our revised appointment system enables patients to have access to a GP, if needed, irrespective of the time of day they contact the practice (except in rare situations when demand is exceptional). This has reduced on-the-day demand which means we can make more appointments available for pre-booking.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

15th November (Thurs)

12th December (Wed)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update September 2018 

Flu Clinics

Patients who are eligible for a free flu vaccination this year will receive personal letters inviting them to one or more flu clinics we have organised.

 

The vaccination programme is complex this year as there are three different vaccines aimed at specific age groups. Also, the practice will take delivery of these vaccines through September, October and early November.

 

Some patients will therefore not receive an invite letter until late October, but the advice from Public Health England is that vaccination in November will still offer protection in time for when influenza activity starts to increase which is usually early December.

 

It is therefore important that when you receive your letter you make every effort to attend on the clinic date(s) specified. Patients who believe they are eligible but have not received a letter, should wait until 31st October before contacting the practice.

 

Capel Alterations

 

Alterations to the Capel surgery waiting area and receptionist room will be undertaken during the week commencing 24th September. This work will extend and update the waiting area, and improve the environment in which our reception team work.

 

To enable the work to take place and to minimise health and safety risk to staff and patients, we will operate a restricted service at Capel from Friday 21st September to Friday 28th September. During this time we will have the same number of doctor, nurse and phlebotomy appointments available, but these will be offered mainly at our East Bergholt site, though we will try to cater for patients who have difficulty travelling. Thank you for your understanding over this period.

 

Training Days

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

10th October (Wed)

15th November (Thurs)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update July 2018

Summer Heatwaves

 

We have experienced some excellent weather so far this year, and hopefully it will continue. However, a hot summer can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic diseases. Advice on how to reduce the risk to either for yourself or somebody you know can be obtained from NHS Choices.

 

On very hot days Public Health advice is as follows: Stay out of the sun. Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day may help. Open them when it is cooler at night. Keep drinking fluids. If there’s anybody you know, for example an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do. If you if you are worried about what to do, either for yourself or somebody you know who you think might be at risk, you can also speak to your pharmacy, phone 111 or ring the practice.

 

Appointment System

 

We hope you have noticed the changes we have made to our appointment system over the last couple of years. We now have fewer patients queuing at the practice at 8am for an appointment (some days there is no queue at all) and the number of calls we receive at 8am has decreased. The main reason for this is our commitment that whatever time of the day you contact the practice you will be able to speak to a doctor if you need to and will be seen in person the same day if you need to be (unless demand is exceptionally high). We are fortunate to have six permanent doctors and two nurse practitioners. This means that we do not need to employ locum doctors very often. Our clinical pharmacist also works 3 days a week, which frees up our doctors to spend more time with patients. We hope you are benefitting from the changes. We are always keen to receive feedback when our system is working well or if you feel we can improve it further.

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

13th September (Thurs)

10th October (Wed)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update June 2018

 

Patient Feedback

The practice is always eager to receive feedback from patients. We are a busy practice. Our clinicians have hundreds of appointments every week, and we process hundreds of test results, letters from hospitals and other healthcare organisations, and referrals in addition to monitoring patients who are on medication, and/or have long-term health conditions, to ensure they are receiving the best treatment. Inevitably, with such a high volume of work, issues will occasionally arise. When they do we want to hear about them and try to resolve them as soon as possible.

 

However, over the past six months in particular we have received many compliments about our doctors and other staff, and the way we operate. This is really encouraging for our staff who work very hard in a challenging environment. We really want to hear from you when things go well, in addition to when issues arise.

 

There are many ways you can provide feedback including our PPG comment cards and Friends and Family comments cards available in the waiting rooms, the NHS Choices website, the Healthwatch Suffolk website, or by a letter or note addressed to the Practice Manager. You can also leave a comment via our website.

 

We meet with our Patient Participation Group every month and discuss patient feedback. When we can make positive changes to the way we operate, we do.

 

We monitor social media and are fully aware of comments posted on various Facebook pages. It isn’t appropriate for the practice to respond via Facebook, but we would invite patients to share their comments, both positive and negative, directly with the practice.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 

28th June (Thurs)      

13th September (Thurs)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update March 2018

Requesting Repeat Prescriptions

When a repeat prescription for medication is generated by one of our doctors, it will normally be authorised for up to 6 months of medication. This means that when the white repeat slip is received by the practice, our admin staff will print out a prescription for the requested medication ready for a doctor to review and sign. It is then sent either electronically or by paper to patient’s nominated pharmacy, or held by the practice for them to collect. It may take up to 3 working days to process a repeat request. The nominated pharmacy will then need time to dispense the medication.

 When the authorised date has passed, the prescription will need to be ‘re-authorised’ by a doctor before it can be issued again. A review date is stated on the white repeat slip and this is the date by which all mediation must be reauthorised by a doctor. Depending on the medication, reauthorisation may entail a review of patient records, a telephone call with a doctor, or a face to face consultation. Please ensure you submit repeat requests in plenty of time if you are nearing your review date. You can order repeats online, drop a white repeat slip into the practice or ask your pharmacy to complete the white slip for you. However, if you ask your pharmacy to complete the white slip for you they still need to send it to the practice for the prescription to be issued and signed by a doctor, then sent back to the pharmacy to be dispensed. We regret that we are unable to accept requests for repeat medication over the phone. This is to ensure appropriate and safe prescribing.

Use of Antibiotics

You may have seen the recent TV adverts about limiting the use of Antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infection. They work by killing bacteria or preventing them from reproducing and spreading. But they don’t work for everything. When it comes to antibiotics, take your doctor’s advice. Antibiotics don't work for viral infections such as colds and flu, and most coughs and sore throats. Many mild bacterial infections also get better on their own without using antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them encourages dangerous bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you next need them most. This puts you and your family at serious risk.

Training Days

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

 25th April (Wed)

24th May (Thurs)

28th June (Thurs)

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will be no clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update February 2018

 

 

Capel Building Refurbishment

Over the past few months the Practice has been planning to refurbish the Capel Building. We have applied for financial support from NHS England and this has now been approved, so we are now finalising plans. Essentially, we will be replacing the current front doors with automated doors, and completely refurbishing the two doctors’ rooms and the nurse treatment room. We will also take the opportunity to redecorate. Separately, we are also looking at options for improving the waiting area.

 

We anticipate work will take place through March and as soon as we have exact dates we will inform patents via notices in the waiting room and on our website. Although we will aim to keep disruption to a minimum, we will need to close up to two of our clinical rooms at any one time for a short period. During this time we will therefore give priority appointments to patients who are unable to travel to East Bergholt and would appreciate all patients being as flexible and understanding as possible whilst the work is taking place.

 

We aim to complete the work by mid-April when we will have a building which is easier to access physically, safer, easier to clean and offers a much improved environment for our staff to work in and our patients to visit.

 

Tips To Help The Practice Operate Efficiently

 

In order to ensure we help you in the most efficient way, please help us by following the guidelines below:

  • Tell the receptionist the nature of your problem. They can ensure you see the right clinician (GP, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, HCA) and you may not need to come into the practice if it can be dealt with over the telephone. If you need to see a doctor, they will be aware of your problem before you see them which helps them prepare for your consultation. Of course, if your problem is personal and you would rather not disclose it, then that is fine.
  • When you see a doctor, provide as much information you can about the problem. Details which may not seem important may be relevant and assist to doctor in diagnosing and treating your problem.
  • If you have more than one problem to discuss, please ask for a double appointment so the doctor has sufficient time and other patients are not delayed.
  • If you need to see a nurse for wound care or an injection, or a phlebotomist, please ensure you wear suitable clothing and remove outer clothing prior to entering the clinic room. This will help our staff to keep to time.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

7th March (Wed)

25th April (Wed)

24th May (Thurs)

 

On these afternoons the Capel St Mary building will be open to enable access to the pharmacy but the Practice reception will be closed. East Bergholt reception will be open. Please note that there will not be any clinicians at either building after 1pm as they will be attending training off-site. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update December 2017

 

 

Happy New Year!

On behalf of all practice staff, I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas break and wish you a very happy 2018!

 

With the New Year we must expect cold and icy weather. Please be careful on icy paths as a simple fall may mean a trip to A&E. Please also make full use of your pharmacy. Your local pharmacist can offer advice on a range of minor problems and often provide effective over-the-counter medication. They will tell you if they believe you should be seen by a GP.

 

Please also look out for your neighbours. The elderly can be particularly vulnerable at this time of year. As well as slips in icy conditions, they may be cold or suffering from coughs and colds. Please keep an eye on them.

 

Telephone System

 

We have made a number of upgrades to our phone system which now informs patients of their position in the queue. The queue is busiest at 8am when we can have over 30 calls waiting. We have up to 5 receptionists answering calls at peak times so your call will be answered as soon as possible. If you are calling for a nurse appointment, to book an annual check or for test results, please call later in the morning or afternoon.

 

Sue Ryder

 

We have been working with Sue Ryder to offer support and advice to patients with dementia or who may wish to find out more about it. We will be setting up monthly information clinics, commencing Monday 8th January at East Bergholt Surgery, where a Sue Ryder representative will be available to provide confidential advice on dementia to patients, their family and friends. The practice is very keen to both identify and support patients with dementia so if you have concerns about yourself, or a family member or friend, please contact the practice.

 

Flu, Pneumococcal and Shingles Vaccinations

 

We still have plenty of flu vaccinations available. All eligible patients should have received a letter at the end of September. Patients were also informed if they are eligible for a shingles vaccination. If you wish to make an appointment for a vaccination, or are uncertain whether you are eligible, our reception team can advise you. Also note that carers who are patients at the practice are generally eligible for a free flu vaccination. Carers may not have received an invitation letter so should check with the practice.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that in 2018 the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

8th February (Thurs)

7th March (Wed)

25th April (Wed)

 

On these afternoons the doors will be closed so please ensure any prescriptions are picked up well beforehand. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update November 2017

 

Annual Flu Clinics

 

This year we held four flu clinics and generally this was a successful approach. We were helped by members of the Patient Participation Group and had as many clinicians as possible available to vaccinate patients. Thank you to all patients who attended on one of the four days. These clinics are the most efficient way of vaccinating a large number of patients and the new arrangements enable us to keep the queues to a minimum. 

At the time of writing we have vaccinated 2389 adults and 261 children against flu, 141 adults against pneumonia and 233 adults against shingles. We are also in the process of visiting all housebound patients to ensure they are vaccinated. This year is forecast to be a bad year for flu so if you have yet to be vaccinated, and have received a letter confirming you are eligible, please contact the surgery to arrange a vaccination with one of our nurses or health care assistant.

 

Over the four clinics we also collected for Inspire, a local charity supporting disadvantages children. We raised an incredible £1044. On behalf of Inspire, thank you for your generosity. More information on Inspire can be found at https://inspiresuffolk.org.uk.

                                                                           

Syria Collections

 

Dr Ayache is retiring at the end of December and has worked with charities since the conflict began to help Syrian refugees. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to take in donations of clothing and bedding. However, Dr Ayache would like to extend his sincere gratitude to all patients who have made a donation over the last few years. Your generosity has made a real difference.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

13th December 2017 (Wed)

8th February 2018 (Thurs)

 

On these afternoons the doors will be closed so please ensure any prescriptions are picked up well beforehand. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update October 2017

 

 

Annual Flu Clinics

 

NHS England has warned of a severe winter flu outbreak in the UK this year after Australia has experienced its worst outbreak ever. This year we are administering a quadrivalent influenza vaccine to all eligible patients over 18. This is the most effective flu vaccine available.

 

We aim to vaccinate as many patients as soon as possible. We have already held flu clinics on 26th September and 5th Oct and are holding two addition clinics as follows:

 

East Bergholt Medical Centre:

Thursday 26th October, 3.00pm to 6.00pm

 

Capel St Mary Surgery:

Tuesday 31st October, 3.00pm to 6.00pm

 

These clinics will run on the same basis as previously: all eligible patients will have received a letter inviting them to attend. Patients may attend any clinic, irrespective of where they live, and no appointment is needed. Please make every effort to attend to ensure you are protected against flu.

 

Patient Satisfaction

 

Unfortunately patient satisfaction with the practice, as measured by the national patient survey, is poor compared to many other practices in Suffolk. I have discussed this with the doctors and staff working at the practice and we believe the practice offers a much better service than is currently being acknowledged. Indeed, many patients thank clinicians and admin staff for the service they receive. We need to understand problems experienced by patients but we also need to know what is working well. If you have a good experience when needing help from the practice then please leave a comment on one of the ‘Friends and Family Test’ cards in the reception area, fill in a Patient participation Group (PPG) comment card, or post a comment on NHS Choices. If you experience a problem then we also need to know. Often, problems result from genuine misunderstandings and on many occasions are due to issues beyond the control of the practice.

 

Training Days

 

Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

16th November 2017 (Thurs)

13th December (Wed)

 

On these afternoons the doors will be closed so please ensure any prescriptions are picked up well beforehand. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.

 

Pete Keeble

Practice Manager


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update August 2017

Dementia

Dementia is a condition that can have a devastating impact on patients, their family and friends. However, the earlier it is identified, the more likely it is that the patient will retain a good quality of life and their dignity.

The practice has one of the lowest levels of dementia diagnosis across Suffolk. Although we would like to think this really is that case, we suspect the truth is that many patients suffering from dementia have not been formally diagnosed and are therefore are not receiving the support and care they need. If you suspect a friend or family member may be suffering from dementia, please persuade them to make an appointment with a GP. A quick assessment at the practice may suggest dementia, in which case they will be referred to the Hospital for a comprehensive assessment, or their symptoms may be attributable to another cause.

For more information on dementia, visit www.dementiauk.org or www.alzheimers.org.uk

Dr Fayez Ayache

After over 30 years as a GP at the practice Dr Ayache, our senior GP Partner, has decided to retire. He has been a steadying influence on the practice and been crucial in steering us through difficult times over the last few years. Dr Ayache has earned the respect of not just patients and staff, but the health community in general across Suffolk and further afield. As an ENT specialist GP he has worked in the community at Hadleigh as well as at Ipswich Hospital. However, his biggest challenge has been supporting those in desperate need as a result of conflict in his country of birth, Syria. He has been frequently interviewed by the media and has been a key supporter of a charity set up to help Syrian refugees. He will continue this work when he leaves the practice at the end of December. Dr Ayache has endeavoured to give all his patients the best care possible and would like to thank them all for their kindness and support over the years.

Annual Flu Clinics

We are starting to prepare for our annual flu clinics. This year we will be administering a quadrivalent influenza vaccine to patients over 18. Previously, the  majority  of  seasonal  influenza  vaccines  were  trivalent  meaning  that  they  protect  against  three  of the four main flu virus strains. If the strain not covered turns out to be predominant then the vaccine is less effective. The new quadrivalent vaccine protects against all four strains and so will be effective irrespective of which strains are predominant in any one year. The vaccine is administered exactly the same as in previous years so patients will not experience any difference. The practice sources the quadrivalent vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur, one of the largest and most respected vaccine manufacturers in the world.

Our aim is to vaccinate as many patients as possible and start the vaccination programme as soon as we take delivery of the vaccines. This year we will be holding additional flu clinics at the end of October, though we urge all eligible patients to attend our main flu clinics on the following dates.

East Bergholt Medical Centre:

Tuesday 26th September, 2.00pm to 7.00pm (Patients aged 18 year and over)

Capel St Mary Surgery:

Thursday 5th October, 2.00pm to 7.00pm (Children and Adults)

Additional flu clinics will be held on the following dates:

East Bergholt Medical Centre:

Thursday 26th October, 3.00pm to 6.00pm (Children and Adults)

Capel St Mary Surgery:

Tuesday 31st October, 3.00pm to 6.00pm (Children and Adults) 

The clinics will run on the same basis as previously: all eligible patients will receive a letter by mid-September inviting them to attend on one of the above days. Patients may attend any clinic, irrespective of where they live, and no appointment is needed.

Training Days

 Just a reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training:

7th September 2017 (Thurs)

4th October 2017 (Wed)

16th November 2017 (Thurs)

 On these afternoons the doors will be closed so please ensure any prescriptions are picked up well beforehand. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day.


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update July 2017

Patient Confidentiality

The practice takes patient confidentiality very seriously but our staff are often faced with situations where they are asked to compromise this confidentiality. I thought it would be useful remind patients of a few guidelines.

Unless it is clearly in the patient’s best interest to do otherwise, we can only discuss patient information with someone other than the patient themselves if we have written consent from the patient. Even the fact that a patient has an appointment at the practice is confidential, as they may not wish family or friends to know. We therefore cannot confirm that a patient has an appointment, discuss their medication or any other aspect of their care without their permission. It is acceptable for a patient to give verbal consent on the phone, and then pass the phone to a friend or relative to discuss their problem. It is also acceptable for someone to book an appointment for a patient, or cancel it, as this does not require us to divulge any information.

 We may leave a general message on a landline answer phone to contact us, but will not be specific about the reason. Where we have a mobile number of a patient we will assume they have consented for us to send text messages confirming appointments or conveying test results or other information, unless they have informed us otherwise. Please ensure we have an up to date mobile number.

 Two specific problem situations are often encountered. First, elderly or disabled patients may have difficulty in communicating or lack mobility and need someone to act on their behalf. A letter of consent enabling practice staff to discuss issues on their behalf really helps. The letter could specify, for example, that just appointments and medication should be discussed, rather than specific details about conditions.

 The other situation is parents discussing their children’s records. This is not a straightforward area. When parents are separated or divorced they may still have parental responsibility and so be entitled to fully discuss their child’s health. For children under 16, parents do not have an automatic right to access their child’s record and discuss their medical issues. Here, “Gillick competency” applies.

Lord Scarman, in his judgment of the Gillick case in the House of Lords (Gillick v West Norfolk, 1985) commented generally on parents’ versus children’s rights as follows: "parental right yields to the child’s right to make his own decisions when he reaches a sufficient understanding and intelligence to be capable of making up his own mind on the matter requiring decision."

This means that we may decline to share children’s medical information with their parents if it is judged by a practice healthcare professional that it is not in their best interest to do so. Teenagers should also confirm that we have their own mobile number, rather than one of their parents, recorded for them.


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update June 2017

Phone System Upgrade

We will be further upgrading our telephone system over the summer. Patients will no longer experience a busy tone when all lines are engaged but will be informed of their position in a queue. This information will be updated as you progress through the queue. At peak times we have up to 7 receptionist answering calls, so even if there are a number of patients already in the queue, your waiting time should not be too long.

Whatever time you ring during day you will be able to speak to a doctor if you need to, unless demand is exceptionally high. If all our face-to-face appointments have already been booked, a doctor will phone you back to discuss your problem and if you need to be seen in person they will arrange for you to be seen that same day.

Patient Information Screens

We have purchased new computers to run the patient information screens at East Bergholt and Capel which should now be more reliable. They convey useful information provided by the NHS and also details of how we operate the practice and how best to access the services we offer.

Medical Receptionists

Our medical receptionist can help with a wide range of issues. Increasingly, we are training them to ensure they are equipped to help patients and signpost to a variety of support services. If you have a medical problem, it helps if you disclose it to them so they can ensure you are seen by the right practice clinician (GP, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant). Pharmacists and osteopaths can help for many conditions, and there are many support services available which offer expert advice to help patients with issues such as bereavement, dementia etc. Our reception team can provide information on these services.  

National Diabetes Audit

The practice is participating in the National Diabetes Audit. This is an NHS initiative which aims to determine how the Clinical Commissioning Group and practices across Suffolk can improve the effectiveness of treatment for patients with diabetes. This involves sharing patient information with NHS England, though strict confidentiality and security rules will apply. Please inform the practice if you do not want your information to be shared for this purpose.


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update April 2017

GP+ Service

Suffolk GP Federation provides out-of-hours services on behalf of the majority of practices in Suffolk. It operates from a number of sites, the nearest to the practice being Stowmarket (Stow Health), Ipswich (Riverside) and Felixstowe (Felixstowe General Hospital). Typically, services are offered from 18:30 to 21:00 during the week and through the day on Saturday and Sunday. 15 minute GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments are available but can only be booked by the practice or other healthcare organisations. At the time of booking, patients will need to provide their consent to share their medical notes with the clinician they see. This service is proving to be very popular as it relieves pressure on the practice on busy days and also provides patients with alternative options for addressing a medical problem. You may be offered an appointment with GP+ or you can ask the receptionist for current availability.

 Nurse Practitioners

 I’m delighted to announce that we have an additional Nurse Practitioner joining the practice. June will be joining us at the end of April. She is an experienced Nurse Practitioner who also specialises in the treatment of diabetes. Our two Nurse Practitioners, June and Sarah, are able to address a wide range of medical conditions. On contacting the practice our reception team can advise patients whether it is appropriate for them to be seen a Nurse Practitioners or if they need to see a GP. 

Repeat Prescriptions

 Please note that it may take the practice up to 72 hours to process a repeat prescription. When issued they can be sent immediately to the patient’s nominated pharmacy but it may take up to 72 hours for the pharmacy to have your medication ready for collection, depending on workload and the availability of the items required. In the majority of cases your prescription will be processed and ready for collection much sooner, but please allow ample time by ensuring the practice receives repeat prescription slips a week in advance of when the items are required.

Wheelchair

The Practice has wheelchairs available at both Capel and East Bergholt to assist patients with mobility problems getting in and out of the practice. Unfortunately, one of the chairs at East Bergholt has broken and is not repairable. If you have a wheelchair you no longer need, and it is not on loan from the NHS, the practice could make very good use of it.

 


Constable Country Medical Practice – Practice Update March 2017 

Demand Over Public Holidays

Demand over Christmas and New Year was very high and w



 
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