Updates (last edited September 22nd 2021)
FLU VACCINATIONS AT FROME VALLEY MEDICAL CENTRE
Please note that if you are attending the surgery for any reason, including the flu clinic, you still need to wear a face covering. Please walk if at all possible as the car park can become congested.
Please see poster below for information about why GPs may need to work differently:
Why GPs may need to work differently
FLU VACCINATION CLINIC 11TH SEPTEMBER
Unfortunately due to a national delivery issue, our flu vaccine will be arriving up to 2 weeks later than planned. Therefore, we will not be able to run the vaccination clinic scheduled for Saturday 11th September. This will now be held at the surgery on Saturday 16th October. If you had an appointment booked on 11th September, you should now attend on 16th October at the same time as previously scheduled.
*Routine Blood Tests*
Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments
All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.
We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment the reception team at the surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.
Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change:
- Keep checking our website for regular updates – we will be sharing the latest patient information here as soon as we receive it.
- Check your phone for messages from us – we will also be using our patient text service to keep people informed.
- Please don’t call or contact us with questions about routine blood tests – we are experiencing exceptional levels of demand at the moment, and your cooperation will help us to reach those without smartphone or internet access with this critical information.
- Do get in touch online if your condition worsens or changes so that we can prioritise your blood test if necessary following clinical review
The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep all our patients regularly updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause, and apologise for the inconvenience.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the wider resources available locally to support you, including the emotional support line for those experiencing anxiety or distress. You can find more here: https://bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/localresources/
*Flu Vaccination & COVID Booster Update*
We now have appointments for patients over the age of 65 (born before 1st April 1957) and eligible patients under the age of 65 available to book either online or by ringing the surgery AFTER 11am.
If booking online, please ensure you book into the correct slot type for your age. Different types of flu vaccine are used for different age groups, so we will not be able to vaccinate you if you are booked in inappropriately. All patients eligible for a free flu vaccination will be invited by letter or txt when the appropriate appointment is available to book.
We will soon be starting the COVID booster vaccination program which will run as before in strict priority order, as instructed to us by the JCVI. We will contact eligible patients as soon as we have more information.
We are still experiencing exceptional demand, both for GP and nurse appointments - many thanks for you patience during these unprecedented times.
COVID-19 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Please see attached poster for more information COVID-19 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
*Pressure in surgery*
Please see following link for information on how you can support managing pressures in general practice:
Local health and care leaders call on public support to manage pressures as patient numbers surge - Healthier Together (bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk)
*Facemasks still required*
Please be aware if you are attending the surgery for any reason please continue to wear a face covering and socially distance. Despite restrictions lifting from July 19th, England's Chief Nurse has reminded the public that "everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules."
*Appointments available to book online*
You can now use the NHS app or Patient Access to book blood or smear test appointments at the surgery. Please only book if you know you are due a test and only book in for either of these reasons. If you book for ANY other reason we will not be able to see you and your journey will be wasted. Many thanks for your understanding.
Managing Hay fever
Please see the attached information about hay fever. We are having a large number of calls about this and would urge all patients to seek advice from the chemist first.
Dissent from secondary use of GP patient identifiable data
For more information about this, please see:
General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) - NHS Digital
*In line with other Practices, we are now only accepting phone calls between 8:00 - 11:00 for on the day appointments.*
For any other queries, please ring after 11:00. Our phone lines are exceedingly busy at the moment. For general COVID-19 queries please see the government website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
PARKING for COVID Vaccinaion clinics at Frome Valley Medical Centre
Due to limited space, the car park at the surgery is only for patients who have difficulty walking. Please park at Crossbow House, School Road, Frampton Cotterell BS36 2DB and walk from there to the surgery.
Psychological impact of Coronavirus
At Frome Valley Medical Centre we recognise the impact of all areas of our work on the health of our planet, as well as on our patients. We are pleased to announce we have signed up to the Green Impact For Health Toolkit, which will help us move our practice into being more environmentally friendly, reducing our carbon emissions and plastic waste, helping us to care better for both people and the planet at the same time. For more information about why this is important please read this: Why Greener Practice? — Greener Practice
Please follow this link for more information if you are awaiting a routine planned operation or procedure: https://bnssgccg.nhs.uk/health-services/waiting-your-hospital-care/
Please follow this link to help monitor the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine: DSRU AZ COVID Study
GermDefence - Advice to help protect your home from COVID-19
During the next week you will receive a txt with the link below to follow for advice to make you less likely to catch the virus or for the illness to be likely to be less severe if you do become ill.
Please go to the Researches tab in Appointments for details of trials you can assist in.
*Important Information - Changes to our Appointment System*
With effect from 1 November 2020 Frome Valley Medical Centre will be operating an on-the day appointment system.
You now need to telephone the surgery on the day you require an appointment. There is no need to phone ahead to book routine appointments in advance. Our trained team of care navigators will guide you through a series of questions to ensure you are given access to the best person or service to support you.
We believe this system will be much more efficient and will allow you access to your GP on the day that you need to be seen. It will help reduce long waiting periods of time to see a GP and prevent appointments being booked just in case symptoms do not improve. In turn, this helps us reduce missed appointments from patients who fail to attend and ensure that all our appointments are used by patients who need them.
Don’t forget the many other resources available to you that may be better suited for your problem than a consultation with a GP:
- Over the counter medication
- Advice from local pharmacist
- Resources available on-line from the NHS website
- Phoning 111 and asking advice from that service
- Minor Injury Clinic
- Phoning 999 in any potential life threatening emergency
Please get advice from your local pharmacy for conditions including:
- Mouth/throat pain
- Skin problems
For queries that are not urgent or do not need to be directed to a GP you may want to use eConsultations – available on this website.
To aid patients needing a consultation, we politely ask all patients phoning with a general enquiry to do so after 11:00 a.m.
We believe this new system will be welcomed by the majority of our patients. However, in order to continually review and adapt this will be launched as a trial three month trial period. We would welcome all feedback, good or bad, regarding how you have found the system to work for you. Please email email@example.com or alternatively the Frome Valley Patient Participation Group on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see Signposting Letter to Patients to help answer your questions.
Please see Care Navigators Role for information about how you will be navigated to the most appropriate care.
Please see Clinician Consulting Days to find out which days your GP/ANP is at the surgery.
Please see our Patient Information Leaflet for more information.
Are you interested in monitoring your blood pressure at home - please see updates below? Please see the main page for econsultation updates
WHAT TO EXPECT AT/FROM THE SURGERY
Our receptionist will ask information so that they can help you best. They may direct you to a different service, and are trained around when this is appropriate. To protect patients and staff initial contact for all doctors appointments will be by phone. Please be aware that this may display as Private Number or Caller ID Withheld. Please make sure your phone is available for us to call. You may still be asked to attend after the call but please do not come unless asked to do so.
In order to protect other patients and staff at the surgery, we are asking that all patients and visitors to the surgery wear a face covering. We ask for the patient and only one essential carer or family member to attend the surgery wherever possible. If the carer or the single family member accompanies the patient into the surgery or the pharmacy premises, then we ask that both of you wear face coverings. The exception to this would be if wearing a face covering might cause significant distress to the patient, or if they are a child under the age of 8 years.
CHECKING YOUR OWN BLOOD PRESSURE
Our waiting room blood pressure machine has been out of action due to Covid19. Many patients are monitoring their blood pressure at home. This is safe and easy to do, in fact gives the most accurate readings as they are done in your usual environment. We would strongly encourage this and if you are asked for your blood pressure to be done you can submit the results to us online via econsults, or by replying to the text message we may have sent you
Here is a great guide on how to check your BP at home:
Here is a form you can use to fill in your BPs to record and calculate your average BP result
Blood pressure monitoring sheet
Some elements of your medical record are available to other services via Connecting Care.
Click on the link below for further information:
Did you know that every patient has a named GP?
Frome Valley Medical Centre is required to allocate all of our patients a Named GP for medical record purposes.
Patients can be rest assured that they are still welcome to book with any GP for a consultation.
If you would like to know who your named GP is, please feel free to ask a member of our Reception team.