Help us to help you

Help us to help you.

We are aware how busy the practice is at the moment and that it is very difficult to get through on the phone.

Today we had two receptionists covering the Mapperley surgery for most of the day. They were on the phone for 9 hours of our 10.5 hour working day. They did not stop answering the phones, as well as trying to keep on top of prescriptions, scanning and queries from patients coming up to the desk. The average time for the phone to be answered was three minutes, this is incredible considering the pressure they are under.

We unsurprisingly have staff shortages at the moment. Three of our doctors are self-isolating because either they or a family member are unwell. It has been very challenging for them to access a COVID test, and there have been delays in receiving the results of these. So if you are struggling to get an appointment, we can only apologise. It is not our receptionists’ fault.

Following a Practice meeting last week, we are now increasing our “same day” urgent appointments to try and meet the huge demand at the moment. We hope that this will help you to get an appointment more easily.

In the mean time, please can you help us to help you by doing the following:

  1. Only call in the mornings for urgent issues. If you need to book a routine appointment, or enquire about a referral or a test result, please phone in the afternoon.
  2. Consider whether anyone else can help. Could you see a pharmacist for a minor injury or illness? If you have a musculo-skeletal problem, a Physiotherapist may be the best person to assess you. You do not need a GP referral for this. If you wish to refer yourself for counselling or other talking therapies for stress, anxiety and depression, you do not need a GP referral for this.
  3. If your problem is routine, we can usually get an appointment with a doctor within a week or two. If you wish to see a particular doctor, this might be more like a 3-4 week wait. However, should things become more urgent, please phone as early as possible after 8am when we will try and get an appointment with the triaging doctor.
  4. Use both sites if you can – it is often quicker to get an appointment at Victoria then Mapperley.
  5. We cannot perform or chase COVID swabs within the practice. Please call 119
  6. Please do not take your frustrations out on our amazing receptionists, who continue to answer calls all day, even when somebody upsets them. They have nowhere to hide.

Flu clinics

Our flu clinics are now bookable from 1st October.
You are eligible for a flu vaccine if you are over 65, if you or your child have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, if you are pregnant, if you live with someone on the NHS shielded list. For full details please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
We will enable some of these appointments to be booked online, otherwise please phone reception after 3pm to book in to these clinics. We are very busy at the moment and this will take some pressure off our receptionists who are constantly answering calls in the mornings.
Please only attend at your appointment time to avoid footfall through the practice, you will be sent away if you arrive early.
We will arrange a one way system through the surgery. Please help us by getting your upper arm out ready and perhaps avoiding the car park at Mapperley which will be very busy on these days.

Flu Update

You may have heard in the press that the flu vaccine will be offered to anyone over 50. NHS England have confirmed that people in the 50-64-year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.  If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier.

Self-isolation rules still apply!

Just to remind everyone that although the lockdown is lifting and some things are edging back towards normality, self-isolation rules if you have symptoms still apply (10 days if you have symptoms, 14 days if you have a household contact with symptoms).

Also make sure you book a test as soon as soon as possible if you have symptoms as this can only be done within the first five days of being unwell.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Face coverings

We would like to encourage all patients to wear a face covering if attending the practice. We feel that this is the correct decision to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. This could be a face mask or scarf. Please let us know if you have communication difficulties which mean you would struggle to wear a face covering. If you have young children who would struggle to wear a face covering, or have breathing problems which mean you may struggle again please let us know as we can look at the best time to bring you down to surgery if necessary.

Pride month

Thanks to our Registrar Dr Sadaf Baig for putting together this fab post for resources and information in #pridemonth

“I remember in camp, often times they would separate teams, boys vs girls. I felt uncomfortable when I was forced into the girls’ side. I never said I was a girl. Sure, that label was given to me, but I didn’t feel that right away. I remember getting ready for swimming later in the day and I wore trunks over my one-piece because that is how I felt comfortable. I was forced to take the trunks off in the locker room…because it went against their rules… I felt ashamed in my body with no one to affirm how I was feeling.” – Aaliyah Charania

We know that some of you may have encountered situations like the one above, amongst other difficult experiences. In order to celebrate and create awareness around Pride Month, we have put together some resources with useful information and support for our LGBTQ+ patients. If you have a preferred pronoun, please let us know so that we can add a special note onto your medical record.

If you are a person that has breasts and/or a cervix (and our records have you down as male because you have transitioned or otherwise) please contact us so that we may add an alert to invite you for national breast and cervical screening programmes at the appropriate times. This is because if our system records you as a ‘Male’, you may be missed on automatic screening.

Similarly, if you are a person with a prostate that does not identify as male (and our records have you down as female because you have transitioned or otherwise), please contact us so that we may add an alert so that staff can bear this in mind when considering your symptoms. We can also ensure you have abdominal aortic screening.
If you have any other suggestions or resources, please comment on this post.

https://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/https://lgbt.foundation/https://www.mindout.org.uk/resources/https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/whats-my-areahttps://nationallgbtpartnership.org/publications/lgbt-mental-health-resources/https://www.theproudtrust.org/https://www.facebook.com/LGBTQ/?ref=br_rs

Images from @lgbtq