News and Updates
Campaign to End Abuse in GP Surgeries
Every day General Practice staff across the UK receive verbal, and sometimes physical abuse from the very people they are trying to help. This abuse must stop. It is not ok for our staff to be subjected to aggressive and abusive language when they are doing their job. The words that patients use stay with our staff long after they have finished their shift. Some become hardened to it, some think it’s part of the job. Others go home and cry, some might leave because they just can’t face another day of rude and aggressive language.
The video below is from the national campaign to raise awareness of this issue.
Lindfield Medical Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff or one of the doctors or nursing team is treated in a rude, abusive or violent way.
The Practice supports the government's 'Zero Tolerance' campaign for Health Service Staff. This states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. To successfully provide our services a mutual respect between all the staff and patients has to be in place. All our staff aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. They would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, all at the same time.
Our staff understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. However, rude or aggressive behaviour, be it intimidating, violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.
In order for the practice to maintain good relations with their patients the practice would like to ask all its patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:
- Using insulting language, bad language or swearing at practice staff
- Any physical violence towards any member of the Primary Health Care Team or other patients, such as pushing or shoving
- Verbal abuse towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff
- Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within this practice
- Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
- Causing damage/stealing from the Practice's premises, staff or patients
- Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently
- We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times.
Patients should be mindful that our staff are following the rules, regulations and guidance as dictated by NHS England and the Management of the Practice. It is not in their power to change or alter these. If you feel that you need to make a complaint then please find the link below to our complaints procedure.
Removal from the practice list
A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. If any of the behaviours listed above are reported by a member of staff, a review will be held internally and a decision made if the patient should receive a warning letter. If and when trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of the Practice, that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.
Removing other members of the household
In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.
What is a PCN?
PCN stands for Primary Care Network. PCNs are groups of GP practices working closely together - along with other healthcare staff and organisations - providing integrated services to the local population.
PCNs are based on general practice registered lists, typically serving natural communities of around 30,000 to 50,000 patients. They should be small enough to provide the personal care valued by both patients and healthcare professionals, but large enough to have impact and economies of scale through better collaboration between general practices and others in the local health and social care system, including community pharmacies.
Here is a short animation which explains what a PCN is:
At Lindfield we have formed a PCN with Cuckfield Surgery and Ouse Valley Practice covering a population of just over 30,000 patients.
We have several additional roles staff working in our practices, most of whom rotate around the three practices. We hope you will welcome them and we look forward to them improving patient care for our population. These are the staff you may be offered an appointment with at Lindfield.
Jacky Bannerman – Senior Clinical Pharmacist
Pooja Sains – Clinical Pharmacist
Julie Miller – Social Prescriber/Link worker
Camilla Southern – First Contact Practitioner for musculo-skeletal problems
Letters to Newly listed shielding patients
New update from 15th February 2021
Why have I received this letter?
NHS England had used a risk assessment tool called QCOVID to calculate peoples risk of getting COVID. This is a complex tool that looks at a variety of different factors to assess peoples’ risk. Because you have received this letter, you are one of the patients identified by the tool as being at high risk if you were to get COVID. You can see all the information your GP received here.
What in my medical records has caused me to be added to this list?
Unfortunately, your GP surgery has no current way of replicating the analysis that has been done by NHS Digital and so we are unable to tell you why you have been added to this list. This situation may change over time, but we have no way of knowing when.
What should I do now? Should I go to work? Should I go out?
You should follow the advice detailed here. This will mean that you need to take extra measures above and beyond those which you probably have been taking. The guidance covers:
- Social activities
- Educational settings
- Accessing care and support
- Registering for additional support
You may be eligible for additional support and should be able to receive statutory sick pay for time off from work.
What about vaccination?
If you are under 65 you should be prioritised for vaccination ahead of others in cohort 6 which is people who are at risk because of a variety of medical conditions. If you are over 65 you will have already been in group 5, so this won’t affect the priority with which you’re given the vaccine.
What if I think they’ve added me incorrectly?
At the moment, the best way to review this is through discussion with your GP. Please bear in mind that GPs are incredibly busy at the moment vaccinating patients as well as trying to provide as normal a service to patients as possible. Because of this it may not be possible to immediately deal with enquiries about this and you may be asked to submit your details in an online form.
Do I have to follow this guidance?
Patients at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection are strongly encouraged to follow shielding guidance. However, this is advice, and not the law. Patients can choose whether or not they want to follow it.
Why on earth am I only now being identified as high risk?
This tool has only just been approved for use in assessing patients risk of COVID 19. Until now we haven’t had sufficient scientific evidence to run population-based tools that can accurately assess peoples risk of developing COVID.
Beware of Covid-19 Vaccination Scams
Be on your guard against fake COVID-19 text and email messages claiming to be confirming your vaccination appointment.
They look very similar to the genuine texts being sent to patients to arrange their appointments at the GP led vaccination services.
The COVID-19 vaccination is ONLY available from the NHS and it is FREE – you will never be asked to pay for it or give your bank details.
If we text you to arrange your vaccination appointment, it will be from LindfieldGP, Dr. Readers and Partners. The link in it will contain 'NHS' within it and will take you to a NHS booking system which will reference our vaccination centre at Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 3DN. Scam text messages and emails usually don’t include his information.
We are not emailing patients at this time. We will either send a text or phone you personally.
If you receive a text or email that you believe to be fraudulent please delete it. Please be assured that if you don’t respond because you are worried and it is a genuine text or email, you will remain on the vaccination list and be contacted again.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.
Blood pressure monitoring during COVID
We are currently experiencing unprecedented demands for GP and nurses appointments. In order to carry out effective blood pressure monitoring with the necessary infection control measures in place, we are unable to always offer nurse appointments to allow this.
As a result, we are recommending patients currently on medication for high blood pressure to consider purchasing their own blood pressure monitors. These are available from pharmacies and other retail outlets or online from around £20 upwards. We would recommend purchasing an upper arm blood pressure monitor as evidence shows these provide more reliable readings than the wrist monitors.
Blood pressure readings taken at home can be submitted to the surgery for a clinician to review. This ensures effective monitoring of your condition and clinicians can check that you are on the correct doses of medication.
More information can be found on the British Heart Foundation website.
General Practice is Open
...but because of the Coronavirus pandemic the way patients are seen in primary care has changed.
If you feel unwell or have any worrying symptoms, such as potential signs of cancer, you should seek medical assistance. GP practices are open and here to help but because of the need to minimise the amount of face to face contact to keep you safe, most appointments in the first instance are carried out over the phone or via video. In an emergency, for example if you think you might be having a heart attack or stroke, call 999.
If a face to face appointment is needed you will still be seen in person by a GP. Telephone appointments are not suitable for everyone– if you need a physical examination or blood test, for example. You and your GP can reach a decision on what is best for you.
If you have Coronavirus symptoms you should stay at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started and call NHS 111 if your symptoms worsen. You should arrange to take a test by visiting www.nhs.uk or by calling 119 but do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
We have a new website
You may have noticed that we now have a new website. Our old platform did not have the tools available for us to actively manage the structure and content of the website and we were very concious of how out-of-date it looked.
There was a few hours last week when some people noticed that the website was down, but that was just the old platform been turned off and the new one been activated, this can take a few hours for everything to propogate through.
We have now taken delivery of our new content management system, which provides us much more flexibility to create the type of content on our website that we think you will find useful. Stay tuned for more updates over the coming days and weeks.
Note: You will find that some of our page listings in search engines such as Google do not appear to work, but rather go to a temporary page. This is an unfortunate consequence of moving to a new content management platform and in time the search engines will replace these links with the new ones from the new website.