We hope everyone is recovering from the multitude of viruses that have been floating around since mid-December. We changed our Urgent Care Clinics in early January to make sure we have enough appointments to see who ever needed to be seen for urgent assessment. The main change was opening up more appointments on Mondays and not using our Triage service on Mondays. We are still using Triage by GPs or Nurse Practitioners on the other days of the week. Do give us any feedback about the present system.
We are planning to update our website very soon and give more Links to other websites that will help with self-management of milder illnesses.
Two useful websites are:
http://patient.info/ -Information about a lot of different symptoms & conditions
http://www.wisherefordshire.org/ -a site for information about a variety of different support groups – for social, financial and health issues for the whole population
The first full week in February has had a lot in the media about the ongoing challenges within the NHS and Social services.
How GP services in Herefordshire adapt to these challenges is being discussed by all the Practices within the County. The aim is to maintain the high standard of care we try to give to the population of Herefordshire, whilst ensuring each Practice can still deliver a quality service to their own patient group in their local area. We hope to have a system that is agreed by this autumn that will meet the rules set out by the Department of Health / NHS England for changes that will need to be implemented by 2020. Public consultation will be part of this discussion and agreement so look out for opportunities to ensure your views are heard in Herefordshire.
The systems we are considering will reflect similar systems already in place; for example the excellent Palliative care service which involves St Michael’s Hospice Team, their Hospice at Home team, the excellent MacMillan Nurses, our local District nurses and Community Hospital team. They all support both the patients, their family, carers and the surgery team to help patients with life limiting conditions so that they can be managed as well as possible in their own community.
We hope that in the next 3-5 years we will ensure services like this will still be available to our patients.
We have had some meetings with the Hope Centre recently and hope to improve our joint care of the younger generation as well, and to make more use of our joint Patient Participation Group to get feedback from, and information back to everyone who makes use of our services.
Dr Steven Scott