Document visibility using online services/NHS app

Information about a software issue that prevented documents from being visible to patients.  

We understand that some of our patients may have been unable to view certain documents (e.g. letters from the hospital) when using online services due to a software problem. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are pleased to inform you that this issue has been resolved; any new documents added to your electronic GP health records will be visible and it may take up to a month for older, affected documents to become visible.  

Your GP team will have been able to access the letters, so your care will not have been affected during this time. 

Thanks,

EMIS

Book with us

We have been very busy on the phones recently. To help you find the right person to talk to or see, our receptionists will ask you a few questions and then suggest the best person to speak to whether it be a nurse, physiotherapist, pharmacist or a doctor.

A new way of communicating with the practice is now live too. We use a tool called eConsult for any non-urgent queries which can be responded to within 48 hours. You can use the tool to ask questions, submit information or seek appointments through a high quality, convenient, safe and reliable online platform available on the practice website. Whilst at present, many patients are still making appointments by telephoning the practice, we have been having adding to this capacity by having the ability for patients to complete the online consultation templates on our practice website.

Please be patient with our receptionists, as the workload has increased a huge amount in the last couple of years and the time that our staff have has remained the same. We hope you understand.

Please do not attend the surgery without an appointment. Our receptionists at the front desk do not book appointments. We have a dedicated line for this by ringing 01782 590040.

Remember, if it is an emergency, call 999 or 112.

Covid Vaccine – 2nd dose

New national advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers was released on the 30 December outlining when patients should receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

This means that some patients who were booked an appointment to receive their second dose in January will need to be postponed so that the NHS can give more people the first dose of the vaccine. Patients who have not yet received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will now receive their vaccine within 12 weeks.

This means the NHS will be to get the maximum benefit for the most people in the shortest possible time and will help save lives.
Patients still need to receive their second vaccine, and it is important that they attend their second appointment once scheduled.
The new medical advice is that the second dose of the vaccine remains effective when given up to 12 weeks after the first dose and should be given towards the end of this 12 week period.

While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have significant protection at 22 days after you received the first dose. The new guidance will also help ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible.

Please be reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting you from Covid-19 once the course is complete.

You do not need to call us. We will call you to reschedule your second vaccine appointment.

It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.

We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you for your second vaccine dose at the right time.

For more information on the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
• Have a publication scheme in place
• Allow public access to information held by public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded organisational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland, however it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

The Surgery publication scheme
A publication scheme requires an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. The scheme lists information under seven broad classes, which are:
• who we are and what we do
• what we spend and how we spend it
• what our priorities are and how we are doing it
• how we make decisions
• our policies and procedures
• lists and registers
• the services we offer
You can request our publication scheme leaflet at the surgery.
Who can request information?
Under the Act, any individual, anywhere in the world, is able to make a request to a practice for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing, by the practice, whether the practice holds information of the description specified in the request and if that is the case, have the information communicated to him. An individual can request information, regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.
How should requests be made?
Requests must:
• be made in writing (this can be electronically e.g. email/fax)
• state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence
• describe the information requested.
What cannot be requested?
Personal data about staff and patients covered under Data Protection Act.
For more information see these websites:
http://legsilation goc.ukhttps://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request
http://ICO: Home

Child Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding is the responsibility of all everybody and is highly regarded at the Surgery. We make every effort to recognise issues and address them as they occur in the practice. By raising safeguarding children issues within the practice, all staff will be aware of how they may access advice, understand their role in protection, and understand the importance of effective Inter-agency communication.
It is very important that all Practice staff understand the need for early identification, assessment and intervention when they have concerns about a child. Case discussion and reflective practice is encouraged. Child protection issues in general practice require a robust system of note-keeping and recording, message handling and communication of any concerns.
Key Factors to be aware of in safeguarding children
• The welfare of the child is paramount
• Be prepared to consult with colleagues
• Be prepared to take advice from local experts
• Keep comprehensive, clear, contemporaneous records
• Be aware of GMC guidance about sharing confidential information

Risk Factors and Identification – Child Sexual Exploitation
A child in need is defined as a child whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development without the provision of services (section 17, Children’s Act 1989). This includes disabled children. The Children’s Acts 1984 and 2004 define a child as someone who has not reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached their 16th birthday and may be living independently, working, or be members of the armed forces does not remove their childhood status under the Acts.
Local authority social services departments working with other local authority departments and health services have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need. If you are considering making a referral to Social Services as a child in need, it is essential to discuss the referral with the child’s parents or carers and to obtain consent for the sharing of information. Social Services will then follow local procedures to undertake an assessment of the child and their family.

Child Protection Plan
Children judged to be at continuing risk have a child protection plan in place, this list is maintained by children’s social care (CSC). CSC, police and health professionals have 24 hour access to this. A child on the register has a “key worker” to whom reference can be made.
Recognising Child Abuse
(for full details please ref to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013)
There are 4 main categories of child abuse:
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Neglect/failure to thrive
These are not however exclusive, and a number of abuse types can often coexist.
Physical abuse may include:
Injuries in children under 1 years of age or non-mobile children should be treated with a high degree of care
• Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, or other forms of physical harm
• Where a parent or carer deliberately causes ill-health of a child
• Single traumatic events or repeated incidents
• FGM
Sexual abuse may include:
• Forcing or enticing a child under 18 to take part in sexual activities where the child is unaware of what is happening
• May include both physical contact acts and non—contact acts
Emotional abuse may include:
• Persistent ill-treatment which has an effect on emotional development
• Conveyance of a message of being un-loved, worthlessness or inadequacy
• May instill a feeling of danger, being afraid
• May involve child exploitation or corruption
• Living in families where domestic violence is taking place
Neglect may include:
• Failure to meet the child’s physical or psychological needs
• Failure to provide adequate food or shelter
• Failure to protect from physical harm
• Neglect of a child’s emotional needs
Common presentations and situations in which child abuse may be suspected include:
• Disclosure by a child or young person
• Physical signs and symptoms giving rise to suspicion of any category of abuse
• The history is inconsistent or changes
• A delay in seeking medical help
• Extreme or worrying behaviour of a child, taking account of the developmental age of the child
• Accumulation of minor incidents giving rise to a level of concern, including frequent A&E attendances
Some other situations which need careful consideration are:
• Disclosure by an adult of abusive activities
• Girls under 16 presenting with pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, especially those with learning difficulties
• Very young girls requesting contraception, especially emergency contraception
• Situations where parental mental health problems may impact on children
• Parental/carer alcohol, drug or substance misuse which may impact on children
• Parents with learning difficulties
• Violence or domestic abuse in the family (please see separate document in safeguarding folder on domestic violence)
• Acrimonious separation of parents with alleged allegation

Infection Control Statement

We aim to keep our surgery clean and tidy and offer a safe environment to our patients and staff. We are proud of our modern, purpose built Practice and endeavour to keep it clean and well maintained at all times.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness or infection control within Dunrobin Street Medical Centre, please report these to our Reception staff.
Our staff follow our Infection Control Policy to ensure the care we deliver and the equipment we use is safe.
We take additional measures to ensure we maintain the highest standards:
• Encourage staff and patients to raise any issues or report any incidents relating to cleanliness and infection control. We can discuss these and identify improvements we can make to avoid any future problems.
• Carry out an annual infection control audit to make sure our infection control procedures are working.
• Provide annual staff updates and training on cleanliness and infection control
• Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are adequate and meet national guidance.
• Maintain the premises and equipment to a high standard within the available financial resources and ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to reduce or remove all infection risk.
• Use washable or disposable materials for items such as couch rolls, modesty curtains, floor coverings, towels etc., and ensure that these are laundered, cleaned or changed frequently to minimise risk of infection.
• Make Alcohol Hand Rub Gel available throughout the practice.
Infection control annual statement
1. Purpose of the statement
In line with the Department of Health, The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on Prevention and Control of Infection and its Related Guidance (2015), the practice annual statement will be generated each year. It will summarise:
• Any infection transmission incidents and any action taken (these will have been reported in accordance with our Significant Events Report procedures).
• Details of any infection control audits undertaken and actions taken.
• Details of any infection control risk assessments undertaken.
• Details of any staff training.
• Any review and update of policies, procedures and guidelines.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/449049/Code_of_practice_280715_acc.pdf
2. Lead for the prevention and Control of Infection
• Practice infection control lead – Denise Chenoweth (Practice Nurse) responsible for annual and monthly of infection control audit.
• Training by Denise Chenoweth: Blue stream Academy update Dec 2019
3. Significant events
• In 2019 there was 1 significant event that occurred at the practice relating to infection control vaccine refrigerator breakdown. New vaccine refrigerator was bought and all the stock of vaccines were disposed off. No outbreak of an infection such as any multiple cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, norovirus, or clostridium difficile.
4. Audits and risk assessments
1. Risk assessments and audits related to infection control are carried out monthly and an aggregation on an annual basis.
2. Risk assessments audits carried out last year: Sharps, workplace fans and covid -19, icy and winter conditions – car park, remote working, risk assessments of BAME staff workers, Health and mental wellbeing of staff, first aid risk assessment, lone-working risk assessment, Hep B – staff who refuse hep B, TB, risk assessment for vulnerable staff.
5.The following actions carried out after the last infection annual audit:
• All sharp boxes on the wall brackets.
• Fire retardant bins all the GPs rooms
• Liquid soap holders on the walls
• Paving outside the surgery changed  instead of artificial grass.

The following things are future changes on the agenda to be updated in Dunrobin Street Medical Centre:

• Acquiring of wipeable chairs for the waiting room.

6.Staff training
• All clinical and non-clinical staff (including the cleaner) undertakes infection control training on a 3 yearly basis. Our current education provider is Blue stream academy.
7.Policies, procedures and guidelines
• All infection control policies are reviewed and updated annually last update Dec 2019 as appropriate. This is on-going and amendments will be made as current advice changes.
8. Sign off
• Denise Chenoweth Practice Nurse

Your Covid Recovery – new website to support people

Evidence shows that a significant proportion of post COVID-19 patients are likely to have significant ongoing health problems, notably breathing difficulties, tiredness and cough, reduced muscle function, reduced ability to undertake physical activity and psychological symptoms such as PTSD and reduced mood status. Click on the link: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/

Changes to appointment system during on-going Coronavirus situation

Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus, we are taking measures in line with guidance shared by NHS England and Public Health authorities to minimise risks associated with the virus.

In order to protect our patients and staff and we are asking our patients support with this.

We are currently operating a telephone consultation and video consultation appointment system. If following a phone/video consultation it is deemed that the patient needs to be seen face-to-face, they will be asked to come to the surgery.

We are taking patients temperatures at the front door and if normal they will be seen by a GP. If a patients temperature is high, they will be seen in an isolation room.

Patients are also being asked to stay in their cars until their allocated appointment time instead of sitting in the waiting room to help minimise the risk.

We also ask that all patients post their repeat prescription requests in the outside box and arrange for pick up from a nominated pharmacy, not reception.

Thank you for your on-going support during this time.

Suicide Prevention

Can you help prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent?

A new campaign called #TalkSuicide is bringing individuals, organisations and businesses together to help prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. #TalkSuicide aims to:
• Make it easier for people to talk about suicide.
• Increase awareness about the myths, facts and stats around suicide.
• Give local people access to simple online training, to gain the skills to talk with someone who is suicidal

Find out more about the campaign at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/talksuicide.

Help line for vulnerable residents

Vulnerable residents reminded of support helpline as COVID-19 cases rise
With rising numbers of coronavirus cases, and the Stoke-on-Trent entering ‘high alert’ level on Saturday, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is reminding vulnerable residents that support is available to help them should they need it.

People who are in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can contact a dedicated #StokeonTrentTogether helpline (01782 234234) to access a range of services.

Help available includes access to food – including for those families who are in need over the half term holiday- and assistance for those who are self-isolating providing essential day-to day support such as prescription collections.