RPC Charity Marathon 2022
#CervicalScreeningAwarenessWeek: Becki's Story
Patient Announcement: Staff Sickness
We wanted to make patients aware that we currently have a high number of staff absences across our clinical and administrative teams, which means your call may be waiting longer than usual to be answered or appointments may be cancelled.
We’re really sorry if this does affect you. Cancelling appointments is our last resort and wherever possible we do try to provide cover for these appointments but this is not always possible.
If you do need to contact the surgery, please consider other forms of contact such as FamilyHealth+ App or the webforms on our website: https://www.rpcchesterfield.co.uk/online-forms
If you need an appointment to discuss a new or worsening problem, DoctorLink is now live, you can take a symptom assessment and if required book appointments directly into our clinical system. To register, click here https://www.rpcchesterfield.co.uk/doctorlink
We’d be really grateful for your support in this matter.
Thank you in advance,
Royal Primary Care
DoctorLink is LIVE!
We are really excited to let you know that Doctorlink is now up and running at our 8 Chesterfield sites.
DoctorLink provides a symptom assessment tool that has been written by Doctors, to take you through a series of questions and to direct you to the most appropriate service for your problem, whether that’s emergency care, self-care, or an appointment with one of our clinical team. Through DoctorLink you’ll then be able to directly book an appointment if required within the recommended timeframe without having to call the surgery.
The symptom assessment tool is accessible 24/7 365 days of the year which means you can book appointments at any time regardless of our opening hours. This new collaboration allows us to offer you an “always open” service and we’re really confident that this new tool will greatly improve access to our surgeries.
Sign up to DoctorLink today using the corresponding link to the surgery that you usually attend:
East (Inkersall, Rectory Road & The Grange bookings)
West (Ashgate, Holme Hall & Whittington bookings)
South (Clay Cross, Grassmoor bookings)
DoctorLink is available on both desktop and mobile platforms.
The web version can be found here: https://app.doctorlink.com/signin
App Store: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/doctorlink/id1276504759
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.doctorlink.app&hl=en_GB
Carers Week 2022: Making caring Visible, Valued and Supported
Mask Guidance Update
In line with the latest UK Health Security Agency guidance, mask wearing in our surgeries is now a personal preference and is no longer compulsory.
This applies to both patients and staff, so you may now start to see our teams friendly faces in full once again, however some of our staff may still wear a mask especially when conducting procedures in close proximity.
The guidance recommends that patients who are immunosuppressed or have respiratory symptoms to continue to wear masks in surgeries.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patients your continued support over the last two and a half years.
Thank you, Royal Primary Care.
Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee
On the Platinum Jubilee, Team RPC would like to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen for 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
Jubilee Weekend Prescription Reminder
The Jubilee weekend is fast approaching meaning that most primary care services and pharmacies will be closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June with some exceptions.
Here's your reminder to make sure that if you are due for any medications around this time, that you put your prescription in early to ensure you can collect your medication ahead of the Jubilee weekend closures.
The Medicines Order Line is accepting prescription requests up to 14 days early rather than the usual 7 days and will be open for an additional hour until 5PM from Monday 30th May – Wednesday 1st June. Please note that prescription requests take 2 working days for the practice to process which means that we cannot guarantee that prescriptions placed after Monday 30th May will be processed in time for you to collect before Thursday 2nd June, therefore it is really important that you order your prescription in plenty of time.
On the last bank holiday weekend, the 111 service saw a huge number of calls from people who struggled with the reduced pharmacy service which put a lot of pressure on the 111 health advisors. This can be avoided by planning ahead. Thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding!
Mental Health Awareness Week: Meet our Mental Health Team
As part of our multi-disciplinary team, we have 4 Specialist Mental Health Practitioners who can assess patients suffering from a range of mental health problems from loneliness and mood issues through anxiety and sleep problems to severe mental illness. They are able to prescribe medication if needed and signpost patients to the most appropriate service for them and build therapeutic relationships that underpin quality mental health care and support.
Our Mental Health Practitioners work closely with our social prescribers, psychological therapy services (IAPT), local community mental health teams (CMHTs) and Crisis Services to ensure each patient's needs are met in the least restrictive manner.
Appointments with our Mental Health Practitioners are 20 minutes and can be conducted over the telephone or face to face, depending on what you feel most comfortable with! #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Mental Health Awareness Week: Social Prescribers
Did you know that as a patient of Royal Primary Care you have access to our social prescribing link workers?
Our social prescribing link workers can provide support and/or discuss other options available for:
• Social Isolation/Loneliness
• Emotional wellbeing
• Healthy lifestyle choices including; stop smoking, physical activity/exercise, weight management, diabetes control, reducing alcohol
• Long term health conditions
• Loss of confidence/purpose
• Poor health linked to housing or housing conditions
• Accessing work, training and volunteering
If you feel like you’d benefit from any of these services, get in touch with one our reception team who can get the process started for you. #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
International Nurses Day 2022
On #InternationalNursesDay we want to say a huge THANK YOU to our amazing Nurses and Nursing Team.
International Nurses Day takes place on the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, the foundational philosopher of modern nursing whose name is synonymous with caring and advocacy.
We have a team of over 40 Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Nursing Associates, Assistant Practitioners and Phlebotomists who all play a huge part in:
- Supporting our patients to manage their long term conditions
- Taking a vital role in the cervical screening campaign
- Conducting investigations on behalf of our clinical team to assist with diagnosis of acute and long term conditions
- Keeping our children and young people safe through the administration of the vaccination programme
And much, much more.
Thank you Nurses and Nursing Team!
Mental Health Awareness Week: Parkrun Practice Initiative
As part of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we thought it would be a good time to remind our patients that we are part of the Parkrun Practice initiative.
Parkrun is a great way of meeting new people, getting involved with your local community and increasing your fitness. Research has shown that participation in parkrun has wide ranging health and wellbeing benefits, including increased levels of activity, improved physical and mental health, increased levels of happiness, increased confidence and self-esteem, the building of friendships and social connections and much more.
Our Advanced Nurse Practitioner Mel Baker Hunt says "I regularly take part or volunteer at Poolsbrook parkrun. It always has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, with people of all abilities taking part, from those running to get a personal best, or those attempting to walk it under an hour. It would be lovely to see some of our staff and patients taking part or getting involved with marshalling.”
Why not come along one Saturday morning and give it a try? Your local parkruns is Poolsbrook and you can register here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/
Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
This week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and this years theme is loneliness. Feeling lonely is something that all of us can experience at any point in our lives, which can have negative impacts on our health and wellbeing.
There are lots of simple actions that you can do to help others who may be feeling lonely this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, including:
● Giving a friend or family member a call 📞
● Inviting someone for a walk 👟
● Reaching out to a friend for a cuppa ☕
You might find that reaching out to someone else could help you to feel less lonely too. Find out how you can help lift someone out of loneliness: www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/lifes-challenges/loneliness/ #EveryMindMatters
Fraudulent Text Messages
Telephony System Update
We wanted to update our patients with some changes that we’ve made to our telephone system. Over the last couple of months we’ve been working to upgrade our telephony system as some practices were on systems unable to cope with the increased call demand.
What does this mean for you? Our dedicated call handlers will continue to work to answer the telephones for 8 of our Royal Primary Care sites; The Grange, Rectory Road, Inkersall, Clay Cross, Grassmoor, Ashgate, Holme Hall and Whittington. Rest assured all of our staff are highly trained and well equipped to handle your call.
Why have we done this? The system allows us to have live call data across all of our sites to show how many calls are incoming and waiting meaning we can adjust staffing levels to help with demand where necessary. It also increases our call handling capacity as there will be more staff available across the sites to answer your call, this will be especially useful if any of our sites are experiencing staffing shortages.
Do you need to make any changes? Whilst you can still call your usual surgery number, eventually we will be moving to just one telephone number for our 8 Chesterfield sites which will be 01246 748000.
Please note that for the time being our Brooklyn surgery will remain on a different telephone system and is not affected by any of the above changes
Medicines Order Line Update
Product Recall: Abbott's Infant Formula (Elecare & Alimentum Similac)
The Food Standards agency has produced a product recall for Abbott’s Elecare Similac and Alimentum Similac formulas due to a potential presence of Salmonella.
If you have been prescribed or purchased either of these products, please dispose of them and do not use. To find out more information about affected batches, please use the following link: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/alert/fsa-prin-11-2022
If you have additional questions, please contact Abbott on 01795 580303.
Anti-viral treatment for COVID-19
Integration Announcement - Brooklyn Medical Practice
Exciting news – we’re welcoming a new practice to the Royal Primary Care family. This spring, Brooklyn Medical Practice will be joining Royal Primary Care to create Royal Primary Care Derbyshire.
We were approached by Brooklyn Medical Practice about a mutual and beneficial collaboration and we are excited to be welcoming them on board. Brooklyn Medical Practice is a GP practice based in Heanor, Derbyshire who provide primary care services to around 7400 patients and are rated ‘GOOD’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Patients and staff won’t see any visible difference (staff, surgeries and opening hours will remain exactly the same). This new collaboration simply offers a range of opportunities and improvements for the future. Brooklyn Medical Practice is part of the Nottingham University Vocational Training Scheme, which provides training for our future GPs, they also provide teaching sessions for medical students from the Nottingham Hospitals and University and bring with them a wealth of experience to the Royal Primary Care family.
Rest assured, it will remain ‘business as usual’ for patients and we will be posting regular updates and information on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as on our websites.
GP Patient Survey - Your feedback matters!
Every year around 2 million adult patients are invited to take part in the GP Patient Survey. If you are one of those patients that has received a text message, we really encourage you to participate. The GP Patient Survey is designed to give patients the opportunity to feed back about their experiences of their GP practice. The survey asks about your experiences of your local GP practice and other local NHS services, and includes questions about your general health. The survey includes questions about a range of issues, such as how easy or hard it is to make an appointment at your practice, satisfaction with opening hours, the quality of care received from your GP and practice nurses, amongst other things.
The answers we get help the NHS to improve local health services for people like you and your family. GP practices have had to make some changes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is more important than ever that we hear about your experiences of your local NHS service – even if you haven’t visited your practice in a long time, or if you have taken part in a survey before.
World Cancer Day
Today is World Cancer Day. Cancer is something that has affected all of us in one form or another. Sadly, across Derby & Derbyshire around 1800 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.
There are 3 national screening programmes in the UK:
- Bowel cancer screening, for people aged 60-74.
- Breast cancer screening for women, some transgender men and some non-binary people aged 50-70
- Cervical screening for women, some transgender men and some non-binary people aged 25-64
Whilst some cancers are unpreventable, statistics show that between 30-50% of all cancer cases are preventable which is why it is so important for you take to part in the national screening programmes when you become eligible.
The best prevention is early intervention. If you’re due for your smear test, you’ve got a letter sat on the sideboard to book your mammogram or you’ve had your testing kit sent through as part of the Bowel cancer screening programme, we urge you to take part. It really could save your life.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week - What happens after your Smear test
For today’s #CervicalCancerPreventionWeek post, we’re focusing on what happens after you’ve had your cervical screening.
So you’ve had your smear, what’s next?
Your results will be sent to your home address via letter, so it’s really important that you ensure we your correct home address on your records. It can take from 2 to 6 weeks to receive your results but usually the nurse conducting your appointment will let you know when to expect your results.
Your results letter will explain what your sample was tested for and what your results mean.
Your results will come back as one of three possibilities:
1. Inadequate result
The sample was unable to be tested or the results were inconclusive. This does not mean there’s anything wrong, but you will be asked to repeat the sample in 3 months’ time.
2. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is not found in your sample
Most people will not have HPV (an HPV negative result). This means your risk of getting cervical cancer is very low. You do not need any further tests to check for abnormal cervical cells, even if you have had these in the past.
You'll be invited for screening again in 3 or 5 years.
3. HPV is found in your sample
Your results letter will explain what will happen next if HPV is found in your sample (an HPV positive result). You may need another cervical screening test in 1 year or a different test to look at your cervix (a colposcopy)
There are 2 different kinds of HPV positive result:
• HPV found (HPV positive) but no abnormal cells. You'll be invited for screening in 1 year and again in 2 years if you still have HPV. If you still have HPV after 3 years, you may need to have a colposcopy.
• HPV found (HPV positive) and abnormal cells. You'll be asked to have a colposcopy.
Sometimes abnormal cells often go away on their own, but there is a risk that they could eventually turn into cervical cancer if not treated which is why a colposcopy is required for further investigation.
A colposcopy is a simple procedure to look at your cervix and to look into greater detail at any abnormal cells. It's similar to having cervical screening, but it's done in hospital. A colposcopy can confirm whether cells in your cervix are abnormal and determine whether you need treatment to remove them. Any changes to your cells will not get worse while you're waiting for your appointment, so if you have been referred for a colposcopy, try not to worry.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week - What to expect at your Smear test appointment
Going for your smear test can be a daunting experience even if you’ve had them done before, but especially if it’s your first ever smear.
In 2019, Social media personality Zoe Sugg worked alongside Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to raise awareness around the importance of having your smear test done. Zoe filmed her smear test appointment and took her audience along with her to document what happens in your smear test appointment and what you can expect from your appointment. Today we’re sharing her video in hopes that it may encourage you or somebody you know to book in for your smear test.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and we are supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in raising awareness of the importance of cervical screening and encouraging women and people with a cervix not to ignore their invitation.
Here at Royal Primary Care cervical screening attendance is currently at 80% meaning 20% of eligible patients did not take up their invite. Last year in England 68.9% of people aged 25-49 had an adequate screeing test recording in the previous 3.5 years and 75% of people aged 50-64 had an adequate screening test recorded in the previous 5.5 years. If this is you or somebody you know, now is your time to book an appointment – it could save your life.
We know that cervical screening isn’t always easy, and with COVID it can be even harder especially if you are due for your first smear test, that’s why this week we’ll be sharing some useful content about everything smear related and even giving you the opportunity to ask our nursing team any questions you might have around smears and results.
You can book an appointment via our online services if you are registered, via the FamilyHealth+ app or by popping in to your local surgery.
Temporary Reduction of Services
We would like to alert our patients to a temporary reduction of services due to a high number of staff absences. Whilst we will remain open for all patients, our focus will primarily be on those who are acutely unwell as we run on “urgent-only” appointments. The changes to our services will be in place for at least the remainder of January.
Along with all other services, general practice has seen a significant reduction in workforce due to staff isolation from the Omicron variant. At Royal Primary Care we currently have 30% of our GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners absent from work and 20% of our Nursing Team absent from work impacting on the catch up of Annual Reviews.
We are asking patients to continue to only make contact if you are acutely unwell or have concerns about possible infections or symptoms that may suggest cancer, for example new unexplained bleeding, breast lumps or mole changes. Non-urgent help can often be sought from your local pharmacy or by using NHS 111 services, available online and over the phone. If you already have an appointment booked in with us at the surgery please assume this is still going ahead unless you are contacted by us to state otherwise.
We would also like to ask that you please remember to #BeKind to our staff who are all working incredibly hard, with some staff working extra hours to cover absence.
Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we continue to prioritise our poorliest patients during this challenging period.
Booster Vaccination Clinics
Opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period
We will be open 08:00 – 16:00 on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. From 16:00 on these days we will transfer our telephone lines to our local out of hours GP service operated by DHU 111. We will operate normal opening hours 29 - 30 December, 08:00-18:30.
Over the last couple of years we have seen a greater demand for appointments in the days prior to bank holidays and lower demand on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, particularly in the afternoons. Therefore we will be providing more capacity and appointments at the beginning of the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year.
Our top tips for a healthy and happy Christmas:
- Please order any repeat prescriptions you require in time to ensure you have adequate provision over the Christmas and New Year period
- Be prepared for common health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. Speak to your pharmacist if you're not sure what you need.
- Use NHS 111 if you need medical help but it’s not an emergency. NHS 111 offers an online service at nhs.uk or you can call them by dialling 111
- Get your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations if eligible
Exciting news – something new is coming to RPC!
- Request a routine consultation with a clinician
- Request repeat medications
- Request the continuation of a sick note
- Submit blood pressure readings
- Complete a oral contraceptive pill check or asthma annual review
- Request a secure link to send a photo directly to your medical record
24th Sep 2019 RPC: The Current State of Primary Care
Are you aware of the pressures faced in primary care? Do you want to understand why sometimes it's difficult to get an appointment? We've put together a video that we hope will start to explain!