Information about surgeries in Blandford Forum
• Whitecliff Surgery
Address: White Cliff Mill St, Blandford Forum DT11 7BH
Phone: 01258 452501
• Eagle House Surgery:
Address: White Cliff Mill St, Blandford Forum DT11 7DQ
Phone: 01258 453171
Healthy living for everyone.
For help and advice, including weight loss plans, giving up smoking, alcohol abuse, coping with cancer, video workouts and a wealth of other useful information:
The Blandford Primary Care Network (PCN) and what it means to us
The latest NHS Plans published in January 2019 set out the ambition for every practice to be part of a local primary care network. Eagle House and White Cliff Group Practices are merging on 1stOctober 2019 and is set to become the Blandford Primary Care Network (PCN).
What is a PCN?
Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown, and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues, and may need to use their local health services more often. To meet these increasing needs, GP practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in primary care networks.
Primary care networks will be based on GP registered lists, typically serving 30,000 to 50,000 patients - small enough to provide the personal care (valued by both patients and GPs), but large enough to improve collaboration between practices, and local health and social care services. Potentially this will improve access to services and save money. The merged Eagle House and White Cliff Group Practices fit this model perfectly and will be the driving force behind the new Blandford Primary Care Network (PCN).
Why the Blandford PCN is important.
The Blandford PCN will be forging greater links between our local health and wellbeing services, whilst keeping the newly merged GP Practice (The Blandford Group Practice) at the very heart of the Blandford community.
It will be building on the core of current primary care services and enabling a better provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and integrated health and social care. It is being described as a change from reactively providing appointments, to providing proactive care – clearly a ‘win-win situation’ for both staff and patients alike.
The Digital GP Practice
Before contacting your GP; have you tried the NHS website: www.nhs.uk?
Patients can use this site to check their symptoms and get instant advice.
E-Consult – Accessed via the Practice Websites
Patients can submit consultations 24 / 7. To do this they have to answer a series of questions and a GP, or the most appropriate member of the team, will review and respond by email or phone within 48 working hours. It is estimated that this service has saved 291 GP appointments in 5 months.
Online Services at Eagle House and Whitecliff Group practices allow you to access a range of services via your computer, mobile or tablet. You need to be registered and obtain a password from the Practice reception team to use the service.
Once signed up, you will be able to:
• book or cancel appointments online
• renew or order repeat prescriptions online
• view some of your patient information on line
Keeping in touch with our patients
Please make sure your practice has your up-to-date contact details, including mobile phone and email address. This will enable us to send appointment reminders, clinic invitations and important information to you by text and email.
Both practices have websites designed to quickly find key information, including practice opening hours and how to register. There are also useful pages covering a wide range of health issues, along with links to other relevant medical organisations.
There has been a lot of news coverage about interruption to some drug supplies as a result of Brexit.
The Secretary of State for Health, last August, wrote ‘the Government has plans in place to ensure a continued supply of medicines to patients from the moment we leave the EU’ and states that ‘patients will not need to and should not seek to store additional medicines at home’. It goes on to state that ‘there is no need for surgeries to issue longer prescriptions’ and that any over-ordering will be ‘investigated’.
Therefore, the surgeries are not in a position to issue any additional supplies of medication to patients on the grounds of Brexit.
Essential healthcare advice for your holiday this year
- EHIC Card (European Health Insurance Card) - essential for access to medical services within the EU, EEA or Switzerland. Due to the current uncertainty of Brexit, check the NHS website (www.nhs.uk), before you travel, as the EHIC may not be valid after Brexit.
- Travel insurance documents - make sure you buy adequate holiday medical insurance, including specific cover for any pre-existing illnesses, including for repatriation - especially important if Brexit happens whilst you are on holiday in the EU.
- Carrying your prescription medication – some drugs that are legal in the UK, are illegal in other countries. You need your prescription/doctor’s letter to prove you can legally have these drugs in your possession, e.g. in China, you need a doctor’s letter for any prescription drugs.
- Make sure you have enough medicines for your trip and carry them in their original container, in hand luggage.
- Pack any medical aids you need, e.g. blood glucose monitor, and remember to get a doctor’s note explaining the items you need to control your condition.
- Vaccination documents (if needed) – check well in advance which vaccination(s) you need – see ‘Travel vaccinations’ on the website NHS Fit For Travel. The closest travel clinic is the Wimborne Travel Clinic.
- Malaria treatment - check NHS Fit For Travel for the latest malaria advice.
- Finally, whilst on holiday, only contact medical services in the country you are visiting for medical help, and not the Blandford surgeries as they cannot offer immediate help. Happy holiday!
Did you know, both Eagle House and Whitecliff Surgeries have a Patient Participation Group (PPG)?
The Blandford PPGs are:
• made up of patients and people associated with the practices
• working with the GP practices, either by meeting in person or as part of a ‘virtual group’ of members communicating with their practices online.
• empowered to challenge the Practices about any issue brought forward for the benefit of the patients, the Practices and the wider community
• not intended to be a complaint system for the Practices, or a forum to air personal issues, complaints or medical treatments
The PPGs in Blandford provide patients with a voice and enable them to be proactive in influencing the way our local health services are delivered. For example:
• Make suggestions for improvements to services and the surgery environment, including information boards.
• Sit on staff interview panels for recruitment of staff.
• Help to run health promotion events, e.g. In the Corn Exchange
• Support the practices with the running of ‘flu clinics.
• Participate in health events and communicate issues with the wider community e.g. via town or village websites and producing articles for the Forum Focus (‘News from the Surgeries’).
• Attend PPG networking events to keep abreast of NHS changes, especially in Dorset, and networking with other PPG groups to share ideas and good practice.
• Providing a way for the local GPS to understand their patients’ needs.
To contact your PPG or find out more
Whitecliff Practice - http://www.whitecliffpractice.co.uk/ppg.aspx
Eagle House Practice - http://www.eaglehouseblandford.nhs.uk/ppg.aspx
Or ask a member of your practice team.
How can we keep the effects of aging at bay?
Sleep well- at least seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. Ask for advice if you think you may have a sleep disorder.
Watch what you eat- a plateful of colourful foods and a serving of lean protein with each meal.
Stay active - older adults should walk at least 30 minutes each day. If walking is boring or difficult, other fun exercise options include line dancing and sports, or try a bike or treadmill. Keep your mind active by participating in hobbies you enjoy - anything from reading, to working puzzles to woodworking.
Drop the bad habits - alcohol and cigarettes have a major impact on health. Smoking can lead to lung and throat cancer. Stopping alcohol helps your liver remain healthy and you may lose weight and sleep better.
Avoid accidents - 33% of seniors experience falling injuries. Even if you’re fully mobile, issues such as fainting from low blood pressure and misjudging a step can lead to injury. You can’t avoid all accidents, but you can make your home a safer by removing clutter and other trip hazards.
Stay social - by maintaining an active social life, you will stave off depression, increase your self-awareness and prolong your independence.
If you would like to find out more about taking more exercise, finding out about local social opportunities, losing weight or reducing your alcohol consumption and smoking less, please contact your GP Surgery reception team who will be able to help you.
How soon can I get my prescription?
Ever been left wondering when your prescription will be ready to collect?
From Whitecliff Group Practice Dispensary
Please allow 2 full working days. If you request a prescription Monday morning, it will be ready to collect from the Surgery dispensary Wednesday after 3pm.
The dispensary offers an online ordering and a text messaging service that tells you when your prescription is ready for collection. Speak to the dispensary team to set this up for you.
Please remember the surgery doesn’t process prescription requests over weekends as it is closed.
From Eagle House Surgery
Please allow 3 working days so a request dropped off Friday morning would be ready to collect/sent to Boots by Tuesday, after 2pm.
From the Pharmacy (Boots or other pharmacies)
Ordering a prescription from Boots, please allow at least 3 full working days, e.g. if you request a prescription on a Monday morning, it will be ready to collect from “Boots” on Thursday, after 2pm.
If Boots or another pharmacy organises your monthly repeat medication (FRPS), they will give you a collection date – usually when you collect your latest medication (e.g. if your monthly prescription is ready to collect on 2nd August, your next collection date will be 30th August.)
Unless Boots is requested to change that date, your prescription will not be ready before. Please note your next collection date.
Boots also offers a text messaging service to tell you when a prescription is ready for collection.
Make a note of your medication review date with your GP surgery (see top of prescription) as you may be refused further prescriptions until it is completed.
The link between hearing loss and dementia
The bad news: Hearing loss can significantly increase the risk of developing dementia, recent medical research has shown (December 2017).
The good news: The research also shows that getting help with hearing loss, e.g. hearing aids, can help to prevent or delay dementia.
What can you do to look after your Ear Health?
• Listen to music safely – If loud music has made your ears ring or feel a bit dull, e.g. after listening on your smartphone, you could be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss or permanent tinnitus.
• Noise at work - If you have a noisy job your employer must take steps to protect your hearing, including ear protection
• Protect children’s hearing - Children’s ears are more sensitive to high-pitched sounds than adults.
• Ear wax build up - Earwax protects ears from dirt and germs. In older people wax becomes drier. For advice, check out the NHS Choices website or speak to a pharmacist about self-management, such as ear drops that can dissolve wax. Never use cotton-wool buds, etc. as this pushes earwax deeper and cause an ear infection.
So, if you have difficulty hearing, e.g. have to turn the TV volume up or have to ask people to repeat themselves, it makes sense to seek help, without delay. You can check your hearing with a simple test online at https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/hearing-health/check-your-hearing/
THE BLANDFORD GROUP PRACTICE
PATIENT GROUP (PPG)
Inaugural General Meeting (IGM)
Wednesday 9th October at 7.00pm
Blandford St Mary Primary School
We need you!
Can you help!
Come and join the new Patient Group (PPG) for the newly merged Eagle House and Whitecliff GP Practices (soon to be the Blandford Group Practice).
Have your say, and share your ideas, about:
• improving services
• representing patient views
• helping to organise health promotion events
• finding out what’s happening at the surgery and communicating with the wider patient population
You don’t need any medical training, just an interest in helping the GP practice and the services it provides – like a critical friend – and be a patient at Eagle House or Whitecliff GP Practices.
How to Apply
• Just write a few sentences to say why you want to join the Patient Group to
or in writing for her attention at Whitecliff Surgery reception
• By 27th September 2019
• Then come along to the IGM on Wednesday 9th October when the new members will be elected onto the Patient Group. The Group will be set up with 14 members, including a Chairman and Vice-Chairman.