Summer 2009 - Issue 3 by sdfsb346f


Summer 2009 - Issue 3

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									                                  Summer 2009 - Issue 3
       Dr Michael Grande, Dr Simon Poole, Dr Rose Freeman, Dr Emma Baldwin, Dr Joanne Pritchard,
                                           Dr Simon Robinson
Firs House Surgery, Station Road, Histon CB24 9NP                42 Telegraph Street, Cottenham CB24 8QU
Tel: 01223 234286                                                                         Tel: 01954 251180
Reception - 8.00 – 1.00 and 2.00 – 6.00                             Reception - 8.00 - 12.00 and 2.00 – 6.00
Normal Surgery Hours - Histon & Cottenham - Monday to Friday - Morning 8.30 – 10.40 - Afternoon 3.30 – 5.30

                                                           home and contact the surgery or NHS Direct to
  SWINE FLU                                                seek advice. This may result in assessment and
                       The PPG has asked me to             possibly treatment with antiviral drugs. Al-
                       write about swine flu, af-          though at present the illness is less severe
                       ter I reported to the group         than at first feared, we are still concerned
                       some of the planning that           about groups of patients who are very young,
                       the practice has been en-           old or who suffer from a chronic illness such as
                       gaging in to ensure that            diabetes, asthma etc or who have problems
  we are prepared for a pandemic. It is very im-           with immunity. There is some optimism that a
  portant to understand that as I write this arti-         vaccine will become available.
  cle at the beginning of July we are seeing
                                                           We are seeing a steady increase in workload
  events changing on a daily basis. It is there-           from enquiries about swine flu. As the autumn
  fore possible only to provide general advice at
                                                           and winter months approach we may need to
  this time because any specific advice runs the           change the way we provide our service to
  risk of becoming out of date.
                                                           meet patients’ needs. We are in discussion
  It is still not clear how a possible swine flu           with the PCT and also with practices in Milton,
  pandemic might evolve or what the capacity is            Waterbeach and the High Street in Cotten-
  for such a virus to change in virulence (sever-          ham, to make sure that we can pool resources
  ity) or infectiousness (how easily it spreads).          if necessary.
  The possibility of a flu virus transferring from         All households have received a leaflet from
  an animal or bird source to become infectious            the Government about minimising the spread
  to humans has been considered for some time.             of swine flu. There are also useful websites
  Over the last few years the threat has in-               such as the Health Protection Agency (HPA),
  creased and plans have been made on a na-       It is well worth reading this
  tional and local level to respond to such vi-            and looking at the updates from the HPA.
  ruses if they started to affect and spread in                                                Simon Poole
  people. The national pandemic plan has advice
  for Primary Care Trusts, hospitals and GPs.              FAILURE TO ATTEND APPOINTMENTS
  The Royal College of General Practitioners and
  the British Medical Association produced some            The number of appointments
  very helpful joint guidance, which has allowed           being missed has been slowly
  us to prepare a plan which can operate at                increasing. We did a check for
  various levels depending on the severity of a            April which gave the following
  pandemic.                                                rather shocking results:
  In the early stage of the pandemic it was nec-           Number of appointments missed: 251
  essary to take swabs from patients to prove              This is over 53 HOURS in just one month.
  the presence of swine flu, and to treat all pa-
  tients and close contacts to attempt to con-             This is a terrible waste of resources and also
  tain and prevent spread. Now the virus is                means that everyone has to wait longer for an
  known to be much more widespread this is                 appointment.
  neither practical nor appropriate. Therefore             Therefore PLEASE ring to cancel your ap-
  the current advice is that patients who have             pointment if you no longer need it – we can
  significant flu-like symptoms should remain at           always fill it if given enough notice.

  Summer 2009                                                             Issue 3
WHAT A PHARMACIST DOES                                       tion, dosage or side effects. It’s simply a
                                                             way of making sure you are taking your
                Chirag Patel has been acting as
                                                             medication as intended and maximising the
                locum at the Co-Op Pharmacy
                                                             effectiveness of any therapy.
                opposite Firs House. He writes
               about his training and the im-             Pharmacists can help you decide whether or
              portant role a pharmacy fulfils in          not it is necessary for you to see a GP. We are
              the wider health team:                      available to see at short notice without an ap-
                                                          pointment, and you can be assured that any
In order to qualify as a pharmacist in Great
                                                          advice given or issues raised will be dealt with
Britain, one must successfully complete a four-
                                                          in complete confidence.
year Master of Pharmacy degree. That is fol-
lowed by one year pre-registration training,                                                      Chirag Patel
where the trainee has to demonstrate that he
or she meets certain performance standards                HAVE YOU ANY BRIGHT IDEAS?
and then pass a final registration examination.           The Patient Participation
Pharmacies offer a wide range of services.                Group exists to convey
There are two main categories, the first being            patient opinion to the
essential or core services. These by definition           Doctors and other pro-
are ones that every pharmacy must offer. Ex-              fessional staff at the Firs
amples of essential services include:                     House. In the last issue
                                                          we published the names
 • dispensing- this is the backbone of                    of the PPG members and
   all pharmacies. It involves the                        invited patients to contact
   supply of medicines ordered on NHS                     them with any comments
   prescriptions, together with                           about how the Practice is
   offering information and advice, to enable             run. At the May PPG meeting we asked if any
   safe and effective use by patients. Proper             members had been contacted and the answer
   records must be kept of all medicines dis-             was no one. We doubt if this means that we
   pensed.                                                have no room for improvement! And so we try
 • safe disposal of unwanted or out of date               again. PPG members are your channel for good
   medicine                                               ideas and for comments on anything which
                                                          could be improved. Drop a note with sugges-
 • advice about and treatment of minor ail-               tions to any one of us via Firs House Surgery.
   ments- advice on minor ailments is avail-              We are also interested in what kind of articles
   able from any pharmacy. It’s best if you               you would like in this Practice News.
   visit the pharmacy where you regularly get
   your prescription medication. This is be-              PPG members: Cottenham - Sheila and Derek
   cause your full drug history will be avail-            Fulton, Danielle Isbitsky, Susan Johnstone,
   able and they can make the best recom-                 Olive Patman, Diane Pledger; Histon - Gill El-
   mendation based on other medication you                born, Walter Reeve; Impington - Samantha
   are taking.                                            Broad, Denis Payne, Eric Willsher; plus Dr
                                                          Simon Poole, Sam Nightingale and myself.
 • signposting - community pharmacies are a
                                                                        Ronald Speirs, Chairperson of the PPG.
   great place to go when you need sugges-
   tions about further support, advice or
   treatment                                              HEALTH IN OLD AGE.
                                                                        In October across the whole
The second category of services is advanced
                                                                          county there will be events
services. In Cottenham, Histon and Impington
                                                                          “Celebrating Age”. The impetus
these include:
                                                                          for “Celebrating Age” is to
 • providing emergency contraception- may be                           dispel the myth that increasing age
   free for certain age groups                                   means dependency and uselessness.
 • support and advice for those patients in               Our Patient Participation Group is organising
   care homes (Histon & Impington pharmacies              an event on Friday 23rd October at the Village
   offer patients dossett boxes (boxes labelled           College in Cottenham from 4 to 5 pm. It will
   with date/time for each dose) and medi-                take place immediately after the Seniors Club
   cine administration charts).                           so that its members can stay on after their
                                                          monthly meeting and anyone else over 60
 • Medicine Use Reviews- offered by Histon
                                                          (plus any carers) is welcome to join us. Dr
   now, Cottenham from August. It involves a
                                                          Simon Poole will give a talk on “Hints for
   discussion in a private consultation room              Physical and Mental Health in Older Age”;
   about any concerns you have about medica-
Summer 2009                                                                 Issue 3
Julie Campbell, our community matron, will                 lems; about 20% for depression; and about 10%
tell us about Facilities and Aids for Older Peo-           because of a serious or chronic illness.
ple; and there will be an exhibition of relevant
                                                           The number suffering from stress at work has
                                                           been quite small (under 5%), but of course
Put this date in your diary now and come and               some such are probably included under more
hear if there are ideas or facilities you may              general stress. But we are beginning to see
not already know about. It will be a short                 more whose situation is anxious-making be-
meeting but with lots of input and discussion.             cause new work is not coming in, and they are
                                                           daily afraid of redundancy. So far we have not
YOUR HEALTH, YOUR WAY.                                     seen many upon whom the blow of unemploy-
A new guide to long                                        ment has fallen. We think that this is because
term conditions                                            Histon/Cottenham has many who are in com-
and self-care has been launched. It’s on the               paratively secure jobs, but redundancies may
NHS Choices website                  come and they are devastating. It is a huge
and is there to help people living with condi-             loss to lose a job which gives a lot of meaning
tions such as asthma, stroke or diabetes. They             and purpose to our lives. To have our income
can now access information they need to help               reduced to the meagre job-seeker’s allowance
them understand and exercise choice in rela-               requires big adjustments; and if our home is
tion to self-care services. The site includes:             also at risk a lot of our personal security is
                                                           taken away and our past provision for our fam-
 • a short quiz to see if patients can benefit             ily is sabotaged. In other words, unemploy-
   from additional support to self-care;                   ment carries with it some of the painful losses
                                                           which usually occur when we lose someone we
 • videos of other patients’ stories;
                                                           love; after all, many of us love our homes and
 • advice on living with long-term conditions              get satisfaction from our jobs.
   and details of local support groups;
                                                           If you fear redundancy or have been made re-
 • a social networking facility.                           dundant, you might find counselling to be
                                                           helpful. Sadly we have no magic solutions, but
The website describes five areas where people
                                                           it can help to talk with a sympathetic listener
can expect to receive support for self-care in
                                                           who is outside the family. Men should not be
partnership with professionals. These are in-
                                                           ashamed of seeking help, for we make the
formation, confidence/skills courses, equip-
                                                           sessions as friendly as possible. Sometimes too
ment, support groups and advice on healthier
                                                           we can help with techniques for stress reduc-
                                                           tion. And there is a new service: the NHS is
    Taken from the Spring 09 News of the National          funding the Richmond Fellowship, a national
             Association for Patient Participation.        mental health organisation, to provide work-
                                                           ers who will help folk to retain their jobs if
ANY CHANGES?                                               they are off sick (for example, with depres-
Are you moving house? Changing your phone                  sion), or to find new forms of employment.
number? Or even changing your name?                        Sometimes sudden unemployment can create
If so, please let us know as soon as possible so           crises in paying bills or clearing credit cards.
that we can keep our records up to date, and               Don’t forget that the Citizens’ Advice Bureau
keep in touch with you!                                    at 72 Newmarket Road in Cambridge has a
                                                           debt counselling service. If you are in crisis,
COUNSELLING HELP IN THE RECESSION.                         drop in and see a general advisor; if there is
                                                           less urgency, phone 0844 8487979 between 2
As Practice Counsellors we have been asked to              and 4 pm and make an appointment.
comment about how the recession affects our
work. But first some statistics may be of inter-           There is another debt counselling service in
est. We both work part-time for about 6 hours              which 5 members of St Andrews Church, His-
each per week. About 8 patients are referred               ton, have been trained to give advice. It is
to us by the doctors every month; of these                 called the Cambridge Money Advice Centre
women outnumber men by about 3 to 1. We                    (MAC) and it is based at Barnwell Baptist
see new referrals as quickly as possible; our              Church. The phone number is 01223 727455,
average waiting time is 3 to 4 weeks. For re-              and details can be found on their website
cord purposes we try to classify referrals ac-             which is . You can
cording to the main reason for seeing us; we               have an advisor from a church other than His-
reckon that 25% come because of anxi-                      ton if you prefer anonymity.
ety/stress; 25% because of relationship prob-                              Rosemary Parkinson, Ronald Speirs

Summer 2009                                                                Issue 3
TAPES OF PRACTICE NEWS FOR THOSE                         You only need to give two pieces of informa-
WITH POOR SIGHT                                          tion: your gender and the month and day of
                                                         your birth. From these it will know who you
Eric Willsher, a member of the PPG, has been             are, tell you which waiting room to wait in
exploring how we might get this News on to
                                                         and what the waiting time is.
tape for those with poor sight. We cannot
know who would like this unless you let us               Receptionists will be on hand to show people
know. Therefore please contact Eric by send-             how to use it the first time but they will also
ing a note to him c/o Firs House Surgery if you          be available to sign you in on arrival if you are
(or anyone you know) would like to receive the           uncomfortable with the technology or just
Practice News on tape and then we will ask               want to talk to someone!
Camread to produce the tapes for us.
                                                         FIRS HOUSE WEBSITE
CHLAMYDIA SCREENING FOR UNDER 25S                                             The Firs House and
Many of you may have heard in the press of                                    Telegraph Street Surgeries
the rise in Chlamydia infection, which is a                                   are pleased to announce
sexually transmitted disease. It is estimated                                 our new website:
than 1 in 10 people have this infection and                         
both men and women can be affected.                      On the website there is lots of information on
The main concern with Chlamydia is that it               who’s who at the surgery, opening times, the
often has no symptoms and therefore you                  services we offer, health advice, useful web
could have it without realising. This can cause          links and information about our Patient Par-
problems leading to infertility in later life.           ticipation Group. This newsletter, and past
                                                         issues, can also be found on the site.
If you are under 25 years of age and have had
more than one sexual partner or you have a               The website is new and therefore still devel-
partner who has had more than one sexual                 oping. We hope in the future to make it more
partner then you are at risk of having con-              interactive - so watch this space for updates.
tracted Chlamydia. Don’t panic, it is easy to
treat. If this is you then you can obtain a free         NEWS FROM THE SURGERY
Chlamydia testing kit if you are under 25 years          As we approach summer there
of age, just ask for a kit at reception or see           will be a few changes at Firs
one of the nurses at the surgery.                        House and Telegraph Street.
DO YOU HAVE REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS?                        New carpets are being fitted
                                                         at Firs House in reception, and
         Patients who are able to are asked to           later this will extend to the
          drop repeat prescriptions into the             stairs to the first floor. You will also see our
          surgery and put them in the repeat             new automated arrivals system in action (see
           prescription box near reception if            left). If you cycle to Firs House there are loops
            the surgery is open or drop them             on the wall to secure your bicycle. At Tele-
through the letterbox when we are closed.                graph Street patients seeing the nurse will no-
Patients who are unable to come into the sur-            tice new cupboards in the room. And all pa-
gery can post their prescriptions to us. If a            tients can now access our new website.
phone call is required please phone after 2pm.           If you are travelling abroad you need to book
Please do not phone the surgery in the morn-             up for the travel clinic several weeks prior to
ing unless it is urgent. Mornings are our busiest        travel to ensure your vaccines are effective.
time and we prefer to leave our phone lines              And if you are a student nervously awaiting
free for patients making appointments.                   your a level results make an appointment with
In the future we are hoping to offer an online           a nurse to ensure that your Diphtheria, Teta-
service for repeat medications.                          nus, Polio and MMR booster are up to date be-
                                                         fore you head off to University.
AUTOMATED ARRIVALS SYSTEM                                In the summer many of us look to start a
Patients at Histon are now able to use our               healthier lifestyle. If one of your aims is to
automated arrivals system in the downstairs              stop smoking we can offer advice and support.
waiting room rather than wait to tell a recep-           Book a double appointment with HCA Trudy
tionist they have arrived. We hope this will cut         Baynes or one of the other practice nurses.
down the queues in reception. The process is             All that remains is to wish you a safe and
very quick. You don’t have to know how to use            healthy summer.
a computer because you touch the screen
when prompted – no keyboard and no mouse!                                                 Sam Nightingale

Summer 2009                                                                Issue 3

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