Please also see our COVID-19 information page
Our privacy materials have been updated with important information about sharing information during COVID-19
Please see our Dispensary: Behind the Scenes video.
So, what improvements have we made that make Saxmundham Health stand out from the crowd and provide you with a better service?
We are extremely fortunate that Suzanne has joined us as a senior Mental Health Nurse. Suzanne used to be the Team Leader for all the Suffolk GP Mental Health workers. We are proud to be the only Practice in the County that offers five days a week of mental health worker support (ten sessions). This appointment cements our unique service and emphasises just how important we feel mental health is. Local GP Surgeries only have half a day a week so we feel very fortunate to be leading the way. We have two Mental Health Nurses, Suzanne and Sarah who cover the whole week between them.
Suzie is a very experienced Consultant Nurse who has recently joined us in a new demanding role which we are still developing. Suzie has 25 years of experience in out of hours, emergency care, primary care and ambulance services. She has managed large units in big hospitals, including Trauma and Orthopaedics in Ipswich, and Emergency Care in Addenbrookes. Suzie has Master of Science qualification in Advanced Practice, and will lead on our staff education and training as well as doing clinical work. We are also starting to develop our research in Practice which will be exciting, and only right for a General Practice at the cutting edge.
Prior to COVID I believe we were the only Practice offering five days a week of on-site Physiotherapy. Patients need urgent Physiotherapy assessments to ease pain and get back to normal activities. This cannot happen with long waits which can also make conditions more difficult to treat.
We have had some great successes with SHIFT (Saxmundham Health Intermittent Fasting Team) and, now Boris has pronounced on obesity, we will be bolder about taking this initiative forward. Please see this explanatory video called SHIFT which is about intermittent fasting.
Aside from this, we are also making a youtube video featuring three patients – two with pre-diabetes who have both lost over a stone (one nearly two stone) and one severe Type 2 has even now come off insulin. We want to celebrate their successes and use them to influence and encourage other patients. Tracey Riches our Diabetes Nurse Specialist has agreed to take part as she can make a powerful contribution from her experience with our diabetic patients - particularly as she has also lost over a stone herself!
We are also going to make a short video to explain to you, our patients, just why we are not back to normal yet and how we are obliged to follow the national guidance. This can be sent seamlessly while talking to you on the phone and will help us explain the current situation more fully.
We might even produce other short films to show you behind the scenes. It might be helpful for patients to witness the Dispensary checking processes and therefore understand why it takes time to deliver this service safely. We are always looking for ideas so please pitch in if you have got one or approach our PPG (Patient Participation Group).
Julia our Pharmacist has been with us for a year now and makes a massive difference in her patient contacts about medications. She came with a lot of Community Pharmacy experience which she still continues on a part-time basis alongside her commitment to us. We are now trying to recruit a second part-time Pharmacist to be able to offer a five full days a week service.
As the care of patients with chronic diseases increases we find the demand for blood testing also rises. Hospital patients are supposed to go to the hospital for their tests or Landseer Road in Ipswich but this is not always possible. We have just employed another Phlebotomist Sue who comes with many years experience from working at Woodbridge and she will doubtless make a swift impact.
Young people often find it most difficult to access mental health support. For this reason we have developed posters about common mental health problems that affect young people like anxiety/depression with QR codes. The codes link to interviews with young people about their problem and what the treatment was like. We place these posters inside toilet doors so the QR codes can be accessed in private and then the films can also be viewed at a time of their choosing.
Earlier on this year we had planned a new way of working called ‘Doctor Direct’ which involved telephone assessment by a clinician prior to an appointment. This was due to be launched on May 1st but, with COVID, we seamlessly moved into telephone assessments anyway. We are now pushing against an open door but still feel the leaflet is worth a read and attach it here.
We are always looking at how we do things and thinking about improvements to enhance the care of our patients. We are about to embark on a research project to improve care in Residential/Nursing Homes. The project involves Care Home staff using software we have had designed to assimilate a number of physiological measurements into a national score. These are things like pulse, respiratory rate, blood pressure etc and these are combined together to give a score. The Government has introduced weekly video ward rounds of Care Homes and we wanted to maximise the benefit of these. Clearly video can never be the same as face to face appointments but, if the consultation starts with systematically collected physical measurements, then we feel this should help identify early those patients who are becoming unwell. This is particularly important in patients with dementia as they may not be able to report if they feel unwell. Early identification should lead to prompter treatment and better outcomes - we will report our findings on the website.
Early on in the COVID outbreak it all became very scary after seeing what happened in Northern Italy and New Orleans. When the Government started building massive new hospitals it was clear we were facing a potentially massive crisis. There was speculation about 500,000 deaths which would have been particularly traumatic locally with our high percentage of elderly patients. The potential of full hospitals and looking after large numbers of dying patients at home was seriously worrying so we developed a strategy to help us cope should the predictions prove true. Fortunately they did not…..Our work was published in the Royal College Of General Practitioners Magazine.
Here at Saxmundham Surgery we are continuously striving to implement new projects which will have a beneficial effect on our patients and their health. Below are further details of some of our most recent projects.
We are currently planning our flu campaign. We are awaiting further guidance regarding eligibility. Clinic dates and further details will be published in due course.
If you are requesting a repeat prescription these can be sent to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your name, date of birth, address and details of all the medication that you are requesting.
Please read our September Newsletter
As you are all aware the current COVID-19 poses one of the greatest challenges that society has faced in recent times, and we have all had to make changes to our daily lives to ensure that we work together to protect the most vulnerable members of society. At the Practice we have had to make a number of responsive changes following recent developments to ensure the maximum safety of our patients, and to protect our staff as much as possible to ensure that the NHS can keep working in an effective manner and can continue to provide the best level of care possible.
As such, during the current period of emergency measures many routine services will be subject to short notice change and many administrative tasks will be streamlined to ensure that we focus more of our time and resources on the delivery of care to those that need it the most.
As part of this streamlining of administration tasks, the Practice will be changing its complaints procedures, during this period of crisis. As of 24th March 2020, we will now be reviewing complaints on a weekly basis at our Practice Clinical Meeting, to ensure that any high priority complaints that fall within the following categories can be swiftly discussed and any resulting changes to our Practice can be immediately implemented:
Should your complaint not fall into these categories, then it will be dealt with when we have capacity to do so, and unfortunately at this time, the timeframe for this is uncertain. We appreciate your understanding whilst our Practice is dealing with unprecedented demand.
My Care Record
My Care Record enables health and care professionals directly involved in your care to access information about you.
Providing you with:
Your GP, hospital, community health, mental health and social care teams may all hold important information about your care. We know that when information is made available between services in a more joined-up way, we can better meet your health and wellbeing needs.
We now have a common agreement that health and care organisations within our region will follow. We are calling this My Care Record. Where it is in place, professionals can access relevant information from other organisations that will help to deliver better care to you. For example, a doctor treating you in hospital or a nurse working in the community could view the information they need from your GP record.
Access to your records is made possible by several different types of secure technology. Information about you will only be accessed by health or care professionals who are directly involved in your care. Health and care professionals may access your records from different services to improve the care you receive as a whole.
In some areas, information from care records may also be used to help to plan and design how we deliver better services for you and the local population as a whole. In these cases, your name or any other recognisable information about you are not used so no-one working with the information would be able to identify you.
My Care Record is a key part of wider work to provide more joined-up care, connecting people, services and systems. As more care providers develop the technologies to view records across services, the benefits will increase.
Our organisation is part of the My Care Record approach which is supporting the work of health and care organisations across the East of England as they respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, we are working to make sure doctors, nurses and co-ordination staff at places you may receive advice or treatment can see important information from your patient record. This could include NHS treatment centres such as the London NHS Nightingale Hospital. This will make it easier and faster for them to deliver effective care.
More information, including answers to frequently asked questions and a list of the organisations that are taking part can be found at the My Care Record website.
All of our telephone calls are recorded as part of our telephone call recording policy. Access and playback of recordings is carefully controlled and governed by data protection legislation. Only suitably training staff with the appropriate authority can access calls.
Access to calls may be for a number of reasons. The three main reasons are checking accuracy, answering complaints, and for staff training to improve service and skills.
To ensure the safety of our patients whilst out of the area Saxmundham Health will no longer provide medication for periods of travel longer than 28 days. This is important because medical conditions should have ongoing clinical oversight which cannot be provided whilst patients are absent. Our new rule is in line with guidelines issued by the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and is NHS policy . If you are planning to be away please give our Dispensary as much notice as possible that you will need up to 28 days’ medication from the first day of your planned trip. Thank you for your understanding.
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