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Ivy Grove News 15.4 December 2017 Patient Newsletter

Here you will find an online edition of our popular patient newsletter, Ivy Grove News. Click the images below, or scroll down to read the newsletter. You may wish to download a PDF This is a PDF download of this edition, or you can view or download older versions of the patient newsletter from our newsletter page.


Official NHS guidance: Please Get the Right Help!

Hopefully you will have seen some of the information that we have been distributing about seeking appropriate NHS care. At our flu clinic recently, we handed out thousands of our ‘Get the right help for your condition’ leaflets and our waiting room display shows a matching information video (link opens in a new window).

It will be apparent to many of our patients that there is a wait for an appointment at the practice. You may or may not know, but this is a national problem affecting thousands of practices all around the country. Years of chronic underfunding, increasing workload and demand and burdensome over-regulation have decimated the General Practice service, as doctors retire early, quit medicine altogether or emigrate. Despite national schemes to improve recruitment, these doctors are not being replaced by fresh new GPs joining the service.

After years of promoting open and unrestricted access to reducing numbers of GPs, and thereby worsening the problem, the government and NHS leaders have finally recognised that there is a crisis, and are now eventually coming round to offering solutions. A significant part of these changes involve a brand new emphasis on patient education. This is official NHS guidance, to empower patients to see the right person at the right time for their condition and to encourage self-care and self-help wherever possible.

At Ivy Grove Surgery, we have always encouraged and supported patient education, through our longstanding newsletter, our comprehensive website with symptom checker and help pages, and our extensive range of patient information leaflets, all developed and written in-house by the clinicians here.

We understand the very natural reaction for most problems is to pick up the phone and book an appointment with the GP, however, every inappropriate consultation with us may be causing a person with genuine need to suffer. We are not putting you off from seeing us when appropriate, but we must support you to seek the right help. We do this to maintain safe care, not only for you but for other patients too.


For example, if you think you are having a heart attack or a stroke, booking an appointment with the doctor instead of ringing for a 999 ambulance would introduce unnecessary delays into your care, and increase the risk of harm to you. On the other hand, if you booked with us for a simple cold and sniffles, that would easily get better with self-care, you will have used up an appointment that may have been more appropriately taken by someone with say, pneumonia, who really does need our help.

You can self-care or self-refer for literally hundreds of conditions, all without seeing a GP first. In the coming months, we will be making changes to our systems to ensure that we continue to provide the best care for our patients, and this will now include encouraging self-care or advising you to see other more appropriate professionals where required.

Those interested in looking into the official guidance should search for GP Forward View, 10 High Impact Actions and Active Signposting.

Make the Most of Your GP part 15

Ringing for results

If you are waiting for results of any recent tests, please telephone the surgery after 2.00pm.

Please bear in mind that reception staff are not medically qualified and are not allowed to give out specific information regarding test results, and they will only be able to inform you whether the doctor has seen the result, if it has been filed as ‘normal’ or ‘no action’, or if the doctor wishes to see you further to discuss your condition.

For confidentiality reasons, staff are not allowed to give results to anyone other than the patient.

Carers Clinics

We run a Carers Clinic at Ivy Grove Surgery on the second Wednesday of each month.

This service is there to support carers with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing as well as obtain practical advice and information that may assist with your caring role.

The service is available to all who care for anyone over the age of 18 years. No referral form is required; if you think you would benefit from support just contact one of our receptionists to make an appointment.

This service is provided in conjunction with the Derbyshire Carers Association. For further information, please visit derbyshirecarers.co.uk (link opens in a new window).

Men urged to avoid ‘Silent Killer’

Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme
David Miller, AAA Screening Manager

Men are being urged to attend one of the newest NHS screening programmes. The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme is aimed solely at men who are aged 65 years and over. Men who are in their 65th year will automatically be invited to a screening clinic near to them, but those who are aged 66 and over can self-refer onto the Programme.

All that is involved is a free one-off, painless ten minute ultrasound scan of the abdomen with the results given at the end of the scan.

The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart down through your chest and abdomen.

In some people, as they get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak. It can then start to expand and form an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Large aneurysms can be serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches it becomes weaker and can burst (rupture) which can lead to death.

The condition is most common in men aged 65 and over, with around 1 in 70 men who are screened having an AAA.

Research has demonstrated that offering men ultrasound screening in their 65th year could reduce the rate of premature death from ruptured AAAs by up to half.

The programme is based at the Royal Derby Hospital but all clinics are community-based and we hold clinics at 31 locations throughout the whole of Derbyshire, mainly at GP practices, including Ivy Grove Surgery and other health centres.

Last year we invited 5,900 men in their 65th year of which on average 87% attended.

Men who are born prior to the 1st April 1947 and wishing to be screened can contact us 01332 789859 or email us at dhft.AAAScreening@nhs.net

This programme is commissioned by NHS England and is delivered by Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Clinical Director: Mr John Quarmby; Programme Manager: David Miller

Christmas Holidays

We will be closed on Monday December 25th (Christmas Day), Tuesday December 26th (Boxing Day) and Monday January 1st (New Year’s Day).

Throughout the two week festive period, the number of appointments available to book routinely will be reduced as we expect more patients will require same day appointments.

If you need medical attention or advice when we are closed, please ring NHS 111 on 111, or see our website at ivy.gs.

Check our website for latest news and updates or to order your prescription online (ivy.gs/online).

Follow our guide on How to Get the Right Help

You should be hearing more about our push towards getting the right help for your condition, whether that means an appointment with us, asking you to self-care, advising you to self-refer to another professional or informing you to attend hospital. So how do you go about getting the right help for your condition? Well, you have several choices.

The best way to make sure you get the right help is to look on our website. The address of our website is ivy.gs.

On the front page of our website, you will find prominent orange links to our symptom checker and also our help page.

Using our symptom checker is really easy. Just enter your postcode to unlock the page, read the important information, then scroll down to your symptom. Next to the symptom is a link, click on it and you will get contact details, or information on what you can do, including links to patient information leaflets.

Our help page is easy to navigate. Simply work through each question section until you find out who you need to see.

For your convenience, to save you manually having to scroll through looking for what you need, both the symptom checker and help pages have a search function.


To help you reach our website pages easily, they all have simple web addresses, for example:

Even if you don’t have internet access, you can still get the right help you need by picking up our information leaflet from the reception desk.

News Snippets

Doctor Foster is not a real GP!

So you may have seen BBC’s popular drama Doctor Foster, where the glamorous protagonist goes about trying to get her out of control life back on track, mostly without doing much actual work in her own surgery.

Of course, GPs are only human, and like others, they do go through divorces, have difficult relationships with their children, and get drunk, but, in general, GPs don’t go about having sexual relationships with patients, conduct consultations in car parks or pressurise colleagues into breaching medical confidentiality, otherwise they might find themselves in front of the GMC. Needless to say, the show does not truly reflect the GP profession in general.

Surgery redecorated

You will have noticed that the surgery has been redecorated. We will continue our efforts in making the surgery a pleasant place for staff and patients.

GP funding still reducing

Despite news headlines of politicians proclaiming ‘record funding for the NHS’, a recent BMA report, analysing the NHS’ own figures, shows that the government has fallen short of funding targets for General Practice by £3.7 billion, with the proportion of NHS funds spent on GP services falling from 9.6% a decade ago, down to 7.9% now.

The research shows that funding is well short of the widely announced 11% target spend.

Practices are already having to cope with decades of under investment, and consequently are struggling to meet demand and to maintain high quality services. If you are worried about this, please write to your MP (link opens in a new window).

BMA thwarts NHS England plans to cut GP referrals to hospital

This year, NHS England requested that CCGs work with practices to implement GP Peer Review for Referrals. This mandatory but unproven scheme was intended to cut the number of GP referrals to hospitals in a bid to save money.

Despite intense workload pressures, GPs try to manage most problems within practice, but when they are unable to, they must refer for specialist advice and treatment. The decision to refer is part of a complex process of management, which includes regard for the patient as a whole, and NHS England’s suggestion that all referrals be reviewed is an attack on the education, competence, and professionalism of GPs, whilst also placing greater barriers between GPs and local specialist colleagues. Furthermore, there is only very limited evidence that such time-consuming schemes are of any benefit.

Due to overwhelming concern expressed by GPs, the BMA GPs committee issued a statement making it clear that practices are not contractually obliged to do this and called on NHS England to think again about its plans.

Following discussions, NHS England has confirmed that it has listened to doctors’ concerns and therefore changed its position. It has made it clear that it is not expecting clinical peer review to apply to all practices or referrals nor will these plans be mandatory for all CCGs.

Home Visits Reminder

Home visiting is an old-fashioned form of healthcare that provides a poorer quality of service overall when compared to surgery appointments. We offer better lighting, equipment and higher levels of hygiene in the surgery and would therefore encourage everybody to attend the surgery.

We can only visit the most vulnerable patients at home. This means those who are terminally ill, those who are bedbound, and those who cannot be moved.

Please note that being housebound does not prevent the use of transport, and any patient attending hospital appointments should always come to surgery.

Birthday Month Review

With immediate effect, we are implementing the first stage in our process of ensuring that patients with long term conditions only have to visit the surgery once a year, to have all their conditions reviewed at the same time. Not only will this be more convenient, but it will have the added bonus of freeing up some valuable appointment time for others.

Patients will now receive a single annual review date which will be the date of their birthday in the next year. Please book your long term condition review at some point during your birthday month – these are routine reviews, so you might need to wait for your appointment – as long as we do see you around then, the exact date of the review will not matter too much.

A Blast from the Past – a look at previous newsletters

We look at some old issues of our longstanding newsletter – now 16 years old!

In our December 2011 issue, we covered the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that were being set up all round the country and the potential impact of the changes. In the same issue, the Citizens Advice Bureau wrote about Social Policy in their then regular article.

July 2012 saw some fundamental appointment system changes with increased capacity as well as the introduction of a new telephone appointment slot. This has been one of our most successful improvements in the appointments system, with patients appreciating the convenience and ease of being able to speak to their doctor for advice or information without having to come on or wait for a face-to-face appointment.

December 2013 saw us develop our new home visiting policy, which came about because the numbers of inappropriate home visits that we were doing on a daily basis were having a negative impact upon our other services. The system has worked well, and allowed the surgery to focus on education, training and improving services. We do however still need to remind patients that the home visiting service is only for the most vulnerable patients in genuine clinical need.

April 2016 issue saw us mention our over 65s Open Day held at the surgery, where we invited many different agencies and companies to introduce themselves to our patients. This was an enjoyable event and leads us nicely to our new coffee morning sessions.

Church Farm Coffee Morning – December 14th 2017

Micheala, our care co-ordinator gives details of a social event at the surgery

The first Church Farm Coffee Morning will be held on Thursday 14th December between 10-12pm in Room 24 (Health Promotion Room) at Church Farm in Ripley.

Patients and carers are welcome to attend these drop-in sessions where tea, coffee and biscuits will be served.

Moving forward we are hoping to host the Coffee Morning on the second Thursday of each month and we are planning to arrange representatives from different services e.g. Amber Valley Community Voluntary Services, Derbyshire Carers association, Fire Service, Sight Support to name but a few.

We hope that this will become a "hub" for patients to come and find out information about the local area and the services and organisations that are available for them.

We are really excited and feel that this could be a brilliant opportunity to bring people together. Please do drop in if you can – we look forward to seeing you there.

A very Merry Christmas to all our Patients

We wish all our patients the very best for the festive season and all good wishes and health for the New Year. We hope that 2018 brings better news for General Practice. Keep well and enjoy yourselves!

Secondhand Smoke Poster

Information poster on the government's Start Active exercise campaign. See image marked 'page 5' at top of page or download as a PDF This is a PDF download.

Sepsis Poster

Information poster on the government's Start Active exercise campaign. See image marked 'page 6' at top of page or download as a PDF This is a PDF download.

Where to get help for your condition leaflet

Information leaflet on where to get help for your condition. See images marked 'page 8' to 'page 10' at top of page or download as a PDF This is a PDF download.

State of General Practice leaflet

Information leaflet on the crisis in General Practice. See images marked 'page 11' and 'page 12' at top of page, download as a PDF This is a PDF download or visit the webpage.

Picture of UK General Practice leaflet

Information leaflet on the national picture of General Practice in the UK. See images marked 'page 13 and 'page 14 at top of page, download as a PDF This is a PDF download or visit the webpage.

How can I tell if my child is poorly leaflet

Information leaflet for parents and carers on how to tell if their child is poorly and what to do about it. See images marked 'page 15 and 'page 16 at top of page, download as a PDF This is a PDF download or visit the webpage.

The included leaflets are © Dr M Wong 2016-17 and may not be reproduced without permission.