NHS COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME UPDATE - 14/04/21
We know that everyone is eager to find out when they will get their Covid vaccination and that this is an anxious time. The NHS is working very hard to invite people who are eligible to have their vaccination, as quickly as possible. If you are aged over 45 you can now book your vaccination via the National Booking Service, online, or by calling 119.
Please support us by ensuring your contact details are up to date, so we can contact you quickly when it is time to have your vaccination. We are contacting eligible people by phone, letter or text message – if you have already booked an appointment at a large vaccination centre, please tell us so we can update our records.
As soon as you are invited – please confirm your appointment date and time. You must attend all booked appointments to ensure that precious vaccines are not wasted and we can invite everyone as quickly as possible.
** If you already have an appointment over the coming weeks, whether for your first or second dose, this remains in place and it’s really important that you attend it as planned
You can get your COVID vaccination if:
- You are aged 45 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you have a learning disability
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
**Oxford Astrazeneca update**
On 7 April 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new advice, concluding a possible link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots. It concluded that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but advised careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and advise that:
- the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
- It is preferable for adults aged under 30 years without underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, to be offered an alternative COVID-19 vaccine, if available. People may make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
Keep up-to-date with what's happening at the Practice by visiting our Facebook page Redgate and Somerset Medical Centre
NATIONAL AWARD FINALISTS
Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centre were the only GP practice in the UK to reach the finals of the Student Nursing Times Awards 2020 in the category of 'Student Placement of the Year'. Despite not winning the coveted award it was a wonderful achievement for the entire practice team and great recognition for all the hard work and effort put into training and supporting our nurses of the future.
MY DIABETES, MY WAY SOMERSET
My Way Digital Health provide diabetes online structured education courses that have been commissioned by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group These are free for patients to access.
To sign up go to www.somerset.mydiabetes.com/
FLU VACCINATIONS FOR OVER 50'S
You may have heard on Breakfast TV this morning that everyone over the age of 50 will be entitled to receive a flu vaccination this year.
As a practice we are busy right now inviting our most vulnerable 2000+ patients identified as being at risk of flu for their annual flu vaccination.
The Government have stated that later in the year (November/December?) the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64 who do not have a pre-existing health condition subject to availability of the vaccine.
At the present time GP practices do not know when the additional vaccines will be made available to enable them to vaccine these additional patients.
We will therefore be contacting patients who fall into this cohort in due course when vaccines supplies are made available.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
Keep up-to-date with what's happening at the Practice by visiting our Facebook page 'Redgate and Somerset Medical Centre'
FLU VACCINATION CLINICS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This year we have to factor in social distancing into our flu vaccination schedule and so we are introducing new systems to keep everyone safe. There will not be any drop-in flu clinics this year but lots of other safe options, and all patients MUST pre-book an appointment slot in advance.
To check whether you are eligible to receive a flu vaccination and how to book please click on the link below.
Flu Clinics 2020
WE ARE 'OPEN'
A reminder to patients that we are fully open and are gradually starting to reintroduce services, but here are a few things we'd like you to bear in mind:
• Please only attend the Practice if you have a pre-booked appointment. We are able to do almost everything else remotely/electronically. The aim of this is to reduce the amount of patients in the waiting room at any one time. As winter approaches we will not be able to keep all the windows and doors open, and we don't want to create an atmosphere in which germs can circulate.
• Please attend for your appointment ON TIME - not early, as we don't want you to have to wait around and come into contact with too many other people. If the waiting room looks empty, it certainly doesn't mean we aren't busy!
• Our doctors will see you IF THEY NEED TO. But we are operating a "triage first" model. This means all patients will be reviewed over the phone or by video consultation first. During the call a full history will be taken and discussion of your symptoms and possible treatment options. If the doctor feels they need to examine you, they will arrange for you to come in. The face-to-face appointment will focus on the physical examination. We don't want to keep people on site for longer than necessary in order to minimise the risk of exposure between people. This is for your safety and the safety of our staff.
• Medication reviews, asthma/diabetes/COPD reviews are starting back up but again these may look different. Anything that can be done over the phone will be, and for the things that can't you will be asked to come in.
• When you attend for appointments our clinical staff will be wearing full PPE. We also ask that all patients wear a mask or face covering when on-site. If you have a medical reason for not wearing a mask please let us know when booking your appointment.
• We are strongly encouraging patients with concerning symptoms to contact us as we don't want to risk missing anything.
• We also want patients to attend for their screening appointments, e.g. cervical screening at the surgery and other programmes in the wider NHS such as breast and bowel screening. Covid is a virus that for many will only lead to mild symptoms; Cancer is a life-changer so please don't ignore these invitations.
• We are in the process of contacting patients on the waiting list to notify them that we have been given the go-ahead to resume minor operations. Operating lists will therefore recommence in September.
• Hospitals are gradually increasing their routine activity and patients who have been referred but are awaiting appointments will normally be contacted by the hospitals themselves. Our secretaries are doing a fantastic job of keeping channels of communication open but they are very busy, so if you do want an update on a referral, please contact the hospital directly in the first instance. If your symptoms have changed or worsened at all, please arrange an appointment with the GP who referred you to discuss this. If you no longer need the referral, please let us know as soon as possible so we can cancel it for you.
You have all been great at supporting us during this really difficult time, and we really appreciate it. Our team have worked tirelessly over the last 4 months to keep things going. Please continue to help us to help you, and stay safe.
'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' NHS
COVID SELF-ISOLATION ADVICE (11/06/20)
Please see attached a copy of the latest Self-isolation Advice leaflet which includes of when to self-isolate and what to do.
FACE COVERINGS (08/06/20)
Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops.
COVID-19 ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Parents - have you seen this helpful traffic light poster from Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on what do to when your child is unwell or injured? Your GP is still here for you, and you can contact us in the usual way by calling them, but please do not visit without an appointment. See the poster here:
NEW CORONAVIRUS HELPLINE
A single phone number is now available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support from their councils.
The number, 0300 790 6275, is now live and will make it easier for people access any local authority help they may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.
It links together the district and county council contact centres and will be operating seven days a week, 8am to 6pm, making it the one number you need to remember for Coronavirus-related enquiries. The district and county councils usual phone numbers will be running as normal alongside the new number for non-Coronavirus related issues.
The new number won’t cover medical advice, for which people will need to continue to use the 111 NHS online service and only ring 111 if they cannot get help online.
Anyone who can’t find help within their own local networks and volunteers, can use the new number to get help and advice around:
- Personal care and support including food and delivery of prescriptions
- Support for the homeless
- Emotional support if you’re feeling worried or anxious
- Transport to medical appointments
- Waste collection and disposal
- Financial support
Callers will be asked to describe the support they require and will be connected with others for resolution.
The 0300 790 6275 number is being staffed by the five councils in Somerset and will be available seven days per week 8am – 6pm.
Meanwhile, the five councils in Somerset are getting in touch with people on their data base that may be vulnerable to see if they need assistance with anything like supplies of food, help with transport and other support.
If people are interested in volunteering for example helping people out with shopping or picking up prescriptions they can go to https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/ to register.
ADVICE FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS
Asthma UK has some very useful advice for asthma sufferers during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information click here.
FAMILY MATTERS - SUPPORT AVAILABLE
Ups and downs of family life can be magnified during a time of crisis like the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and there are support services there for anyone, parent or child, who is struggling, as well as those who simply want more information. Click here or go to our Family Matters page for details of resources and organisations that can provide support to you and your family.
CORONAVIRUS - what you need to know
(29 March 2020)
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms which are either:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
What do I do if I have symptoms?
Do not visit the Surgery, Pharmacy or Hospital. In the first instance use the
NHS111 Coronavirus advice service online - https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19. Only
telephone 111 if you cannot get help online.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus you will need to stay at home for 10 days.
If you live with someone who has symptoms, you will need to stay at home for 14
days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms.
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or
has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14
days. If you do have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as
much as possible. Read the advice about staying at home by following the link -
In the event that your symptoms are deteriorating quickly with severe shortness of
breath or any other symptoms which normally require a 999 call you must continue
to use the emergency service – it is essential you mention to the 999 team that you
think you might also have corona virus.
Many of our patients and clinical staff will contract the virus. Some will, have a mild
case of flu like symptoms, some will be very ill with high temperatures and incessant
cough and sadly some will be severely unwell requiring medical intervention.
As GPs we advise that you regularly wash your hands with soap and water (please
note special, expensive soaps are not needed), keep your household surfaces clean,
avoid overcrowded environments and seek medical advice early on if you have
Viruses do not respond to antibiotics and hence no acute treatment to get rid of the
virus is available. The main symptoms of high temperature and sometimes a
headache are best treated with paracetamol within the recommended dosage on the
There is a huge amount of information available online. Some of this is useful but
some information is both incorrect and causing panic and fear. As clinicians we are
committed to minimising any fear that this virus causes. With this in mind we will
produce updates for you as things move forward.
What can I do if I don’t have symptoms to minimise the risk?
We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus
(COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. This
group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of
severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, in the coming days the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice about the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex
health problems such as:
- people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/#Shielding
- people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis).
When will I receive my At Risk Letter?
As advertised in the media, patients who are acknowledged to be in designated At
Higher Risk groups will be receiving a letter indicating their need to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
We are having a considerable amount of calls asking when a letter will be received.
These letters will not be sent from the Practice but centrally and therefore we
currently cannot tell you when you will receive your letter.
What is Social Distancing?
This is a changing situation and it is best to look on the Gov website for info but
general rules are:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential Service
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable
- We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
- are over 70
- have an underlying health condition
- are pregnant
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
Is the Practice Still Open?
Yes the Practice is still open. We are running on reduced staffing due to staff
isolation and distancing, however, we have now moved to telephone triage
appointments first rather than you coming into the surgery in the first instance. The
reason for us not seeing you straightaway isn’t because we don’t want to provide you
with clinical care but to ensure we limit the spread of the virus; we all use the
coordinated process of managing all corona virus suspected patients in the same
way across the country; ensure we protect our clinical team as much as possible so
that we remain able to work and provide care.
Unfortunately our reception team has had to ask people to leave the premises every day and advise people to call back with their queries. When they have done this they have at times been subjected to verbal abuse and unacceptable behaviour from people who think the safety measures we are taking do not apply to them. This puts our staff, as well as any other patients already in the waiting room, at risk.
We can reassure you that we are still accessible to you: we are open and are staffed to deal with your concerns and worries and are grateful to the majority of patients who heed this advice without needing messages written on posters.
If you feel that your problem is urgent and you need to be seen, please call the surgery as you normally would.
Please be aware that when clinicians return your telephone call this will probably be
from a hidden number and therefore you should answer the call. Our clinicians are
experiencing a lot of patients not being available or answering a telephone call when
these are returned.
We will try to contact you on you during a morning or afternoon session and can’t offer precise times. Please be patient we are all trying to do our best.
Please do not be surprised, moving forward, if one of our GPs asks you to undertake
a video consultation with them. This will be via a secure link to your smartphone.
Can I still telephone the Practice?
As you can imagine we are dealing with an inordinate amount of telephone calls
which means there may well be a wait for your call to be answered.
We understand that these are difficult and worrying times. We have been saddened
and dismayed by some verbal abuse our Reception Teams have experienced on the phone and in person this week from a small number of patients. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
We are genuinely sorry if you are inconvenience by having to wait a bit longer on the
phone than you usually would or if you have to queue at a pharmacy for a few minutes to collect your medication.
At this time, none of us know how long this disruption is likely to continue for so we
ask that all of our patients are kind to our team. It is a very worrying and stressful
time for them also, some of our team suffer from ill health, some of our team have
young families, they are choosing to work and not self-isolate in order to provide an
essential service and they deserve your respect. Please be patient.
What are you classing as non-urgent routine consultations?
The Practice has made a decision not to undertake any non-urgent work as the
clinicians try to deal with patients affected by the outbreak and those patients
requiring urgent assistance that is not virus related. This includes:
- Routine blood tests
- Routine Health Checks
- Ring pessaries
- Minor Surgery
- Travel vaccinations
- Insurance Reports
- DVLA/HGV Medical Examinations
- Non-urgent paperwork
Can I still order my medications from the surgeries?
Yes you can. We would much prefer if you did this online as it does make it easier to
plan our workload. Please only use the medication line (after 2 pm) to order your repeat medication if you cannot order online.
To set up online ordering go to our website Home page scroll down the page and click on ‘Order Repeat Medication. This will take you to Patient Access where you can Register for an online account if don't already have one.
Once you have set up your account you will need to provide proof of I.D before we can active your account. To do this simply take a photograph or your I.D (passport, driving licence etc) and email it to our practice email address:
Your login details will then be provided to you.
Can I have extra medications as I am self-isolating or just in case I
Please do not ask for medications that you have not taken for many years or
extended periods of medication outside of the current 28 days that we provide on a
repeat prescription basis.
Please do not repeatedly ring to try to talk to a different doctor just in case you may
get a different answer. All our doctors are in agreement with regard to how
medication is provided and the decision will be the same. This simply takes an
appointment away from another patient who may require urgent assistance.
Stockpiling, just in case, will be detrimental to the provision of all medications at a
time when we need to ensure patients receive their medications as they need them.
Should I stop taking my anti-inflammtory medications?
We are aware that concerns have been raised in France about the use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Some of these such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin
are available over the counter. Others such as Naproxen, Diclofenac, Indometacin,
Mefenamic Acid, Meloxicam, Ketoprofen and Calecoxib etc require a prescription.
There appears to be no evidence that NSAIDs increase the chance of acquiring
coronavirus but concerns have been raised that taking them whilst you have a
coronavirus infection may increase the complications or slow the recovery.
The Government has asked the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence
and part of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency to review the evidence.
In the interim, patients who have confirmed coronavirus or believe they have
coronavirus should use Paracetamol in preference to an NSAID.
There are shortages in the supermarkets so can I order my
Paracetamol from the Practice?
The demand for Paracetamol on prescription has also increased since the outbreak
of Coronavirus. Paracetamol is available over the counter. If you have not been
prescribed Paracetamol by the Practice for pain or other reason recently then your
clinical need still needs to be reviewed and a decision made on this basis.
I’ve seen on social media that there is an Asthma Rescue Pack
available. Can I have one?
We are aware of social media posts circulating that asthmatics (and even those that
aren’t), will be issued with Rescue Packs of Amoxicillin and steroids if you call the
Practice. This suggestion is incorrect and the decision to use rescue packs (or shelf meds) is only made after careful evaluation for people with severe (brittle) asthma or severe COPD who are under follow up by a Specialist Respiratory Team.
Oral steroids are powerful systemic drugs that can have an immunosuppressant
effect (thus potentially increasing the severity of an infection and the risk of you
passing the infection on to other people) and thus the decision to use them would
rarely be delegated to a patient without careful evaluation.
Please do not contact us asking for rescue packs unless this is something that has
previously been agreed with your medical team and careful instruction how to use
and when has been provided. That would normally still involve discussion with the
medical team where possible before starting.
As you can see, Asthma UK (do not recommend use of rescue packs as a blanket
policy for people with Asthma during the pandemic.
Can I pick up my Prescriptions from Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centres?
To minimise the risk of transmission of the virus ALL prescriptions are being sent to pharmacies electronically. If you haven’t already informed the practice of your nominated pharmacy, to which you want prescriptions to be sent, you will be asked to do so by the practice. If no nominated pharmacy is provided the practice will automatically select either Lloyds Redgate or Jhoots Somerset Bridge pharmacy as your nominated collection point unless you notify us otherwise.
Can you provide me with a sick note for my employer?
We can understand that patients may require sick notes but when dealing with sick
patients and reduced staffing levels this will not be a priority. Patients can self-certify
under current regulations for seven days, beyond this we understand that patients
may well need a sick note from a GP though this may well change in the near future.
Please contact your employer to discuss this in the first instance to see if they truly
need a sick note as we are getting a lot of calls for short sick notes beyond the initial
7 days and this is blocking up phone lines.
We are not able to provide sick notes for people who are self-isolating or isolating as part of a family group so please do not call the practice as this is causing delays in dealing with urgent enquiries. For further information please see the ACAS guidance
If you require a sick note for a non-Covid 19 related illness the practice will post the certificate to you.
Can I come in and pick up my correspondence from the Doctor?
We would prefer it if you didn’t and therefore have taken the decision to post out
correspondence to patients during this time.
Can you provide me with a letter for my insurers to cancel my travel
Unfortunately no. Insurers and travel companies should be basing their decisions to
offer refunds on advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Public
Health England, not letters from GPs. It is not a good use of GPs' time to be writing
letters for patients who are not ill but have plans to travel - and GPs will always base
their decisions on official advice.
Patients will undoubtedly have good and sensible reasons for not wanting to travel to certain places because of the virus, but this is not the same as being unable to travel due to existing illness, and it should not become the GP's responsibility to give patients advice about where not to travel.
How do I manage my anxiety and worry about contracting Coronavirus?
Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing. This Support Guide contains lots of practical advice that you might find helpful.
If you are worried and need to speak to someone please give the surgery a call.
FOR MORE INFORMATION READ OUR SPECIAL EDITION 'CORONAVIRUS' NEWSLETTER
SUPPORT WITH THE MENOPAUSE
Pop along for a chat with our Nurse Practitioner, Alison Williams at one of our evening Drop-In sessions. No booking required.
CAROLS FROM OUR SINGING GROUP
From all the staff and our amazing Singing Group we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.
The surgery will close at 6 pm on Christmas Eve and re-open on Friday 27th December at 8 am. If you have a urgent medical problem during this time please call NHS 111.
Our Singing Group will be back in action at Stockmoor Lodge Care Home at 11 am on Tuesday 7th January 2020. Do come along and join us.
HOW LONG WILL MY INFECTION LAST?
At this time of year many people suffer with sore throats, coughs and simple colds. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and colds are caused by viruses. Pharmacists can advise you on the best over-the-counter medicine to help relieve your symptoms.
A person with a cold can start spreading it from a few days before their symptoms begin until the symptoms have finished.
The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:
- washing your hands with warm water and soap
- not sharing towels or household items (like cups) with someone who has a cold
- not touching your eyes or nose in case you have come into contact with the virus – it can infect the body this way
- staying fit and healthy
The flu vaccine helps prevent flu but not colds. The chart below details how long the symptoms of viral infections usually last. If symptoms continue for more than 3 weeks, worsen, or you are concerned you should always consult your GP.
SMS TEXT MESSAGE REMINDERS
We are pleased to announce that we now offer a free SMS text messaging service to patients. If you are aged 18 or over and have already provided your mobile telephone number to the practice you will now automatically receive important information by text message, including helpful reminders of the date and time of your next booked appointment.
If you are not sure whether you are registered for this free SMS text messaging service, then please speak to reception and ensure they have your correct mobile telephone details.
If you would prefer to OPT OUT of this service then please reply to the text received with the word 'STOP'.
TEDDY BEAR CLINIC - NASAL FLU VACCINATION
Don't forget to bring along your favourite Teddy Bear !
All children aged 2 or 3 on 31/08/2019 (ie date of birth between 1/9/15 and 31/08/2017) are eligible to receive a free nasal flu vaccine at the Surgery this year. To book an appointment in one of our dedicated Teddy Bear Clinic's please phone the surgery on 01278 454560 or ask at Reception.
Older children aged four to ten will receive their vaccination at School and catch up clinics will be arranged by the School for anyone that’s missed it.
Any child that is deemed as at risk (Asthma on steroid inhaler, kidney/heart/sig lung disease, cancer etc.) will be given their Flu vaccine here at the Surgery.
FLU VACCINATION CLINICS - DONT' DELAY BOOK YOURS TODAY !
Anyone over the aged of 65, carers, currently pregnant , have a weakened immune system and anyone with a long term health condition such as heart disease, respiratory disease or diabetes quality to receive a free vaccination.
CALL THE PRACTICE ON 01278 454560 TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
NEW SERVICE: WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SUPPORT
Need help to lose weight? We can help you with dietary advice, meal planning tips, help with portion sizes, managing a food diary and a FREE Weigh-In.
Book an appointment with Kirsty or Katie today.
GARDEN/TEA PARTY - WEDNESDAY 28TH AUGUST 2019, 2-4 PM AT REDGATE MEDICAL CENTRE
To celebrate the wonderful work our Gardening Group volunteers have achieved at Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centre, our Patient Participation Group (PPG) would like to invite you to a Garden-Tea Party. All proceeds from this year's event will go to support our chosen charity St Margaret's Somerset Hospice. We hope you can join us on Wednesday 28th August 2019, 2-4 pm. If you would like to donate cake(s), plants, fresh produce or an item for our Tea Party themed Hamper, please speak to a member of our reception team.
Health Walks are designed to attract people of all ages who want to improve their health, meet new people as well as explore their local environment. Walking groups are led by trained Volunteer Walk Leaders who have reached the standard of delivery set by the county Somerset Health Walks initiative. Redgate and Somerset Bridge Medical Centres are affiliated with the initiative and host regular walks on Wednesdays. The link below provides details of all the local walks taking place in the coming month.
Health Walks in July
WHEN SHOULD I WORRY?
Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents. If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control. This booklet is for parents (and older children) and deals with common infections in children who are normally healthy. It is not meant for children who have ongoing health problems such as asthma, heart, or kidney problems.
You should not rely on the advice in this leaflet for children who are less than 3 months old. Babies younger than this can respond differently to infections"
Download/print this booklet:
BBC DEMENTIA CHOIR
For those of you who didn't catch actress Vicky McClure's recent programme highlighting the impact singing can have on the brain of dementia sufferers, please see the link below. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-48124591
Our Singing Group meets every Tuesday morning at 11 am Stockmoor Lodge Care Home, Nokoto Drive. Regardless of age or health condition, we welcome everyone to come and sing along with us.
NEW SERVICE: BABY MASSAGE
"Enjoy quiet quality time bonding with your baby using massage, song and gentle playful movements to help ease wind and colic, encourage relaxation and sleep, sooth muscles, support weight gain and build positive emotional development"
Starting on 26th March 2019 we will be offering free baby massage sessions to parents and babies registered at the practice. Baby massage will be provided in blocks of 6 sessions at Redgate Medical Centre every Tuesday between 1 - 2 pm To book a place please speak to our Reception Team.
WE ARE RECRUITING
We currently have vacancies for a Salaried GP/Partner and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. To find out more about these two exciting opportunities, please visit our dedicated
Staff Vacancies page.
PLANTING BULBS IN THE COMMUNITY
Our volunteer gardeners joined forces last week with Sydenham Improvement Group to help repair the seating and plant bulbs outside Bridgwater College.
Our volunteer gardeners meet at Redgate Medical Centre every Tuesday at 12 noon and Thursday at 12 noon at Somerset Bridge. If you can spare an hour please pop along and give them a helping hand. We are really interested to receive your ideas on the design of the new garden at Somerset Bridge and what types of plants and shrubs you would like to see planted. You can leave your suggestions at Reception.
APPOINTMENT REMINDER TEXT MESSAGES
We have recently been experiencing difficulties with our Appointment Reminder text messaging service and have therefore taken the decision to suspend it until the issues can be resolved with our clinical system provider. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Foot massage can manipulate muscles and other soft tissues to help improve circulation, relieve pain and induce overall relaxation.
Free weekly sessions with a qualified Reflexologist will be held at Redgate Medical Centre on Tuesday mornings from January 2018.
To book a place, please leave your contact details at Reception.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY SINGING GROUP
Research suggests that singing can be good for both your physical health and mental well-being
There’s also research that suggests group singing has benefits if you have a long-term lung condition such as asthma, COPD or emphysema.
It can help reduce your feelings of being short of breath by strengthening the muscles you use when you breath and help you to feel more in control of your breathing. Singing can increase the strength of your voice, improve your posture, increase your lung capacity and boost your body’s response to infection.
Do you enjoy singing? Want to improve your breathing? Want to meet other people?
Sing along to folk songs, hits from the 60’s, Christmas carols
Come along, Join in! Have fun!”
We meet every Tuesday, 10.30-12 noon, Stockmoor Lodge Care Home, Nokoto Drive, Bridgwater
PATIENT TRANSPORT - HAVE YOUR SAY
NHS organisations across the South West have decided to work together to develop a consistent approach on the use of NHS-funded patient transport (PTS)* . Policies are being reviewed to try to ensure equality of access and that limited resources are available to support those who truly need them.
To help us do this we need your views. Would you please click on the link below and complete the electronic survey. It should only take 5 – 10 minutes.
CARERS' VOICE SOMERSET
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
This year's World Mental Health Day takes place on Tuesday 10th October 2017
Key facts on young people’s mental health:
- 1 in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental health condition – that’s 3 pupils in every classroom
- 70% of young people with experience of mental health problems do not have proper interventions at a sufficiently early age
- It’s estimated that half of all mental health problems will emerge before the age of 14
Find shelf help in your local library
http://reading-well.org.uk Reading Well for young people recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences li/ke bullying and exams.
IN CHARLEY'S MEMORY - MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
The Practice has recently teamed up with the In Charley's Memory charity to host regular counselling services and Drop-In Sessions at the practice for anyone aged 11-25 years old. To find out more details go to http://www.incharleysmemory.org.uk/
Why should I get Vaccinated.pdf
Children aged 2 or 3 years on 31st August 2017 will be eligible to receive a nasal flu vaccination. We will be holding dedicated nasal flu vaccination clinics towards the end of October. Please ask at Reception for details.
EVENING AND WEEKEND GP SERVICES
You can now access appointments in the evening and at the weekend if you are registered at a practice in the Bridgwater or surrounding area. For information on how to book these appointments please see the attached information. Improved Access Frequently Asked Questions
C-CARD SCHEME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Somerset Bridge and Redgate Medical Centres are now condom issue points. For details of the C-Card Scheme please click on the link below
SINGING FOR BETTER BREATHING
There’s increasing evidence that singing regularly as part of a group is good for your health and general well being.
There’s also research that suggests group singing has benefits if you have a long-term lung condition such as asthma, COPD or emphysema.
It can help reduce your feelings of being short of breath by strengthening the muscles you use when you breath and help you to feel more in control of your breathing. Singing can increase the strength of your voice, improve your posture, increase your lung capacity and boost your body’s response to infection.
Would you be interested in joining a singing group at the Practice?
If this is something of interest to you, please leave your contact details at Reception.
HEARING AID BATTERIES
Somerset Bridge Medical Centre is now an official stockist of hearing aid batteries. Please enquire at Reception
ONLINE COUNSELLING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Free, safe and anonymous online counselling and support for young people aged 10-16 years. Click on link for details https://kooth.com/
COMMUNITY GARDENING GROUP
In partnership with Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) we have recently established a Community Gardening Group at Redgate Medical Centre. A group of volunteer patients and friends from both practices meet every Tuesday at the practice at 12.15 pm. Work is already well underway transforming the garden outside the main entrance at Redgate. If you are interested in getting involved in the group, please leave your details at Reception or just come along and join in. All gardening equipment is provided and we even provide liquid refreshment afterwards ! Even if you are not able to garden due to mobility problems we would still like to hear from you.
If you have any plants, cuttings, bulbs or potting compost that you are able to donate to the group please contact reception. We would be most grateful for anything you can spare.
Meningitis ACWY Vaccination Programme
The national Meningitis vaccination programme is being delivered to teenagers and first-time university students to protect them against developing meningitis or septicaemia. Older teenagers and university students are at high risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria. The highest risk of meningitis is in the first year of university, particularly the first few months. In the next few weeks we will be contacting all registered teenagers born between 1st September 1998 and 31st August 1999 to offer them vaccination before they leave for University or College. Please contact the surgery and book an appointment with the practice nurse to receive your vaccination. Even if you have already received vaccination against meningitis C during school years 8 or 9, you still need to be vaccinated against meningitis ACWY.
Click link below for Patient Information leaflet
New: Online Patient Access
We have recently improved our patient online services to enable patients to book appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and view their summary care data within their medical record. To register to receive online services you will need to complete an application form available at reception or visit the Patient Access website www.patient.emisaccess.co.uk. For further information about Patient Access please read our Patient Information Leaflet
PLEASE NOTE - THE PATIENT ACCESS SERVICE REPLACES OUR PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED SERVICE FOR ONLINE ORDERING OF REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS AND APPOINTMENT BOOKING. YOU WILL THEREFORE NEED TO RE-REGISTER TO CONTINUE TO ACCESS THESE SERVICES.
Care Quality Commission Inspection Report
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.
The CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and encourage them to improve.
They monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what is found, including performance ratings to help people choose care.
Our Practice underwent a CQC inspection in January this year and has been rated 'GOOD' in all areas. The formal report will be available to view on the CQC's website shortly.
Join our Walking Group today
Back in May 2015 we started a walking group at the practice. We now have 16 patients (plus friends, family) and a number of practice staff who come along on our walks which are held over a lunchtime on Wednesdays (every other week). People of all ages (16 to 89 years !!) have joined our walks, which we can adapt to suit individual needs and abilities.
To find out more information, please contact our Reception team.
Our fortnightly walks leave either Redgate or Somerset Bridge Medical Centre at 12.30 on Wednesdays.
Bridgwater Carers Support Group
Our sister practice, Redgate Medical Centre, is proud to announce that it will be the new host venue for the Bridgwater Carers Support Group. The Group who are supported by Compass Carers meet on the 4th Thursday in the month from 10 am - 12 noon, so why not pop along for a cup of coffee and chat with other carers.
THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TEST
The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.
It asks people if they would recommend the services they have used and offers a range of responses. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience. This kind of feedback is vital in transforming NHS services and supporting patient choice.
Launched in April 2013, the FFT question has been asked in all NHS inpatient and A&E departments across England and, since October 2013, all providers of NHS funded maternity services. In its first year, more than 2 million individual responses were given.
The feedback gathered through the FFT is being used in NHS organisations across the country to stimulate local improvement and empower staff to carry out the sorts of changes that make a real difference to patients and their care.
While the results will not be statistically comparable against other organisations because of the various data collection methods, FFT will continue to provide a broad measure of patient experience that can be used alongside other data to inform service improvement and patient choice.
Publishing results of the Friends and Family Test
The results of the FFT are published at monthly intervals on both NHS England and NHS Choices websites
NEW PATIENT GROUP MEMBERS NEEDED
We are currently looking to expand the membership of our Patient Group. We would be particularly interested in recruiting representation from patients aged 18 - 40 and especially those who are parents of young children or teenagers. More information is available in the Patient Group area of this website . If you would be interested in finding out more about this group please contact the surgery.
BIRTHDAY ANNUAL REVIEW
Patients who have conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure will have a single review for all their long term medical problems each year in the month of their birthday. This will reduce the number of visits patients have to make to have their long term conditions monitored which we hope will be much more convenient. We would encourage you to contact the practice around the time of your birthday to book a Birthday Review appointment if this applies to you.
Transferring from the old system to a birthday review system is going to be challenging and may result in some patients being seen earlier or later than they initially expected. The doctors would like to thank all their patients for their support whilst we are implementing these changes