Carers are visible, valued and supported – Carers Week 2022
Carers Week is taking place from 6 -12 June 2022. This year’s theme is ‘Visible, Valued and Supported’.
Across West Yorkshire it is estimated there are 400,000 unpaid carers however, only 50,000 are registered with their GP. Within primary care you are in a key position to be able to recognise and identify unpaid carers. Many carers don’t recognise they are a carer and need support to begin the conversation. It is important to register unpaid carers on their medical records and to signpost to local caring organisations for further support. Across Calderdale this will be – Making Space (https://makingspace.co.uk/services/carers)
During carers week the West Yorkshire Health Care Partnership (WY HCP) are raising awareness of ‘Message in a Bottle’. An initiative created by the Lions Charity to share vital medical information, stored in a standard location – the fridge. We are working with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and local carer organisations to better prepare unpaid carers to think of their contingency plan and what could happen to the person they care for if they become unwell. Bottles and contingency plans can be collected from local carers organisations. Find out more by visiting the Message in a Bottle webpage.
There are other resources for young carers and working age carers on the carers area of the WY HCP website. Webinars for all staff are being held in June dedicated to supporting working carers from ethnic minorities. Find out more and register via eventbrite.
Appointment Update 2021/22
We always attempt to offer as many appointments as reasonably available, however, this is always compromised when patients do fail to attend their appointment.
We have put up a poster our statistics for wasted Appointment time within the waiting room, but should you not have already seen this, just last month (Feb 22) , we had 157 patients who did not attend for their appointment or missed their booked telephone assessments.
This equates to 26.1 hours of wasted clinical time.
This of course impacts upon access as most patients then request a further appointment.
Please be reassured that we will continue to investigate innovative ways to reduce waste so that access can be improved.
Whilst there is a national shortage of clinical staff, employing more is often not a solution, trying to highlight missed appointments and encouraging patients to cancel unwanted appointments helps the surgery offer these wasted appointments to someone else.
We appreciate your co-operation in cancelling any unwanted appointments.
Appointment patient did not attend (based on an average 10 min minimum appt slot, some appointments are longer with the Nursing team).
Lost Clinical time in Hrs
COVID-19 Vaccine latest information and advice
COVID-19 Vaccination programme
Our practice is currently supporting the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. This means that at certain times, part of our premises will be used for vaccine clinics / some of our team will be involved in running vaccine clinics. This means that if you are asked to attend a face-to-face appointment, this may be at a different location to the one you normally attend or you may see someone different to usual. The NHS is vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most. A vaccination programme of this size and scale will still take some time to roll out in full. Please be assured that everyone who needs the vaccine will be offered it. The NHS will be in touch with you when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
Our staff are working extremely hard to provide services and care and we would like to thank our patients for your continued support.
Letter to our patients
We know there has been a lot of discussion in the news this week about GPs providing face- to-face appointments. We wanted to explain some of the reasons why we have been offering a reduced number of face-to-face appointments. We also wanted to reassure patients that NHS Digital have confirmed that in July over 50% of the 22.8 million appointments carried out were conducted face to face.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained open to patients. We have offered appointments using new ways of working and new technology. We have worked hard to make sure we remained available to speak to, and to offer appointments to anyone who needed them. While we appreciate that patients sometimes prefer to see a GP face to face, there are reasons why we have offered additional online or telephone consultations, and government guidance has played a big part in this. It has remained the case that if we have needed to see a patient face to face, or felt it was important for their care, we have asked those patients to come in to see us.
Offering new ways of working has helped some patients to access appointments they wouldn’t normally have been able to attend due to their commitments, such as their work or caring responsibilities. It remains the case that bringing patients into the surgery while coronavirus is with us presents some significant challenges. We want to explain more about these challenges.
We always pay close attention to the cleaning of our premises. However, the level of cleaning required between patients during the pandemic means that if all our patients were to come into the surgery, we would not be able to offer the same number of appointments because of the increased cleaning time that would be needed. Additionally, changing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) between each patient adds additional time to the end of each appointment. The difficulty in obtaining PPE has also meant that we have needed to be more cautious about the way we use scarce resources.
Another challenge we face is how to make sure that social distancing is as good as it possibly can be, and that we maintain a ‘COVID-secure’ environment. Some of the things we need to take into account when considering this are: the number of people in the waiting room, the number of people who cross in the corridors, and the toilet facilities that are available.
As caring employers, we need to ensure that we keep our staff safe as well. Our staff are people too, and some may have ethnicity or health issues that make them more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
Finally, and we think most importantly, we need to consider you, our patients. We have many elderly and vulnerable patients with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 than most. We also know that there are young and healthy people who have been seriously affected by COVID, so it isn’t just the elderly or infirm we need to protect.
Increasing the number of patients in the surgery means that we increase the risk for everyone – particularly if some of those people have symptoms of COVID-19 and are unwell enough to need to be seen.
As doctors and staff working in GP practices, we really want to do the best we can for our patients. We do the jobs we do because we care about the people we look after.
We would all love to see a return to ‘normal’ life and the easy face-to-face care we have always provided, but at the moment offering fewer face-to-face appointments keeps patients safe and provides the maximum number of appointments we can. As always, we are available to talk to patients, and we want to hear from those who need us. While we understand patients’ frustrations with the current situation, we hope that you will continue to help and support us, as you have always supported the NHS, so that we can go on providing you with care and support in the coming weeks and months.
The Partners, GP's and All Admin Staff.
Face Mask exemption Letters: No GP medical letter needed
Face masks or coverings are now mandatory in most public areas.
We understand that some patients will be anxious about wearing a mask especially those with certain medical conditions.
GP’s are not required or in a position to provide exemption letters for patients who believe they should be exempt from wearing a face covering.
The current guidance suggests there is no requirement for the public to provide medical evidence for exemption from wearing face masks therefore a self- declaration should be sufficient.
Please go to the GOV.UK link below for more information on the use of face coverings.
For specific requirements in reference to public transport, shops or other areas where masks are required please contact those specific companies for further information