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Summer 2009 - Issue 3
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we may need to this time because any specific advice runs the change the way we provide our service to risk of becoming out of date.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- www.hpa.org.uk. 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 www.firshouse.com 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 www.firshouse.com 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 literature. 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 www.nhs.uk/yourhealth 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- life-styles. 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 www.mac-cambridge.org.uk . 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 www.firshouse.com 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 www.firshouse.com 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 www.firshouse.com Issue 3
"Summer 2009 - Issue 3"