Newsletter Autumn Winter 2018
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Flu season 2018
Who is entitled to a flu vaccine?
- All patients aged 65 and over are entitled to a flu vaccine (fluad). Includes those becoming aged 65 years by 31 March 2019.
- All patients under 65 who have long term conditions are entitled to flu (quadrivalent).
- Children and babies with a long term conditions aged six months to 17 years old, are eligible for nasal spray (age 2 – 17) or injectable flu (age 6 mths – 2 years).
- All patients living in long-stay residential care homes.
- Carers – those in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
- Pregnant women, irrespective of their stage of pregnancy.
- Children – all two and three year old children (born between 01/09/2014 – 31/08/2016) with a nasal spray.
The Bell Surgery flu clinics are running on Saturday 22 September and Saturday 13 October - please call us on 01491 843250 to book your appointment.
Saturday 22 September is a clinic for those aged 65 and over - for the new fluad vaccine - see details below
New influenza vaccine offers improved protection for older adults
People aged 65 years and over can now be offered greater protection from influenza infection for the 2018/19 season, thanks to the UK regulator approving the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV), FLUAD®.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) - the scientific expert committee which advises the UK Government on immunisation programmes - has stated that aTIV published studies indicated “higher vaccine immunogenicity and effectiveness for the adjuvanted vaccine in comparison with non-adjuvanted vaccines”.
The adjuvant in FLUAD has been shown to help the body’s own immune system in recognising the inactivated virus particles contained in the vaccine, which in turn, leads to a higher immune response.
GP and immunisation expert, Dr George Kassianos, said: “The burden of influenza in adults aged 65 years and over continues to be a significant and major problem, causing many thousands of hospitalisations and substantial excess mortality every winter.
“The gradual age-related decline of the body’s immune system, that is immunosenesence, means that older patients have a weaker response to existing conventional non-adjuvanted vaccines. The evidence shows that this new adjuvanted influenza vaccine boosts the immune response in adults aged 65 years and over, and thereby offers greater protection for this specific age group when compared to existing conventional non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines.”
70 Years of the NHS
Thank you to all our patients who joined us in celebrating 70 years of the NHS on Thursday 5th July.
To celebrate 70 years of the NHS The Bell Surgery staff invited patients to eat cake! All cake was kindly baked or donated by Surgery staff. Recommended as part of a balanced diet of course!
Patient Access Online
Patient Access upgraded at the end of May 2018 and we are aware that many patients have been affected by the upgrade and experienced difficulties accessing online services. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing. The upgrade was performed nationally and was out of our control. Please visit https://www.patientaccess.com/ and follow the 'Register online' button in the top right hand corner of the screen if you are new to patient access or enter your user ID or email and your password to gain access to your online account. Should you experience any problems then scroll down the screen and select 'support' for help.
If you need your ID resetting to generate a new password please do contact the Surgery - we can help you with this.
Improving access: we have appointments available early morning, evenings and weekends
Patients who are registered at this practice can book an appointment to see a GP or nurse on weekday evenings (after 6.30pm) or at the weekends (on Saturday and Sunday). Appointments will either take place at this practice or at another GP Practice nearby. Talk to one of the reception team to find out more or book an appointment.
By March 2019 everyone in England will benefit from access to general practice appointments in the evenings and weekends at a time that is most convenient to them. This is part of a national drive to help improve access to general practice and get the best possible outcomes for patients. Further information is available at www.england.nhs.uk/gpaccess
We welcome feedback and would love to hear any positive comments you have about our team at the Surgery and areas we can improve on.
Review us on NHS Choices Review or Google Review or just come and talk to us!
Part-time GP job sharing
To maintain continuity of care for our patients the GPs who work part-time at the Surgery will be job sharing.
This means that if you need an appointment on a day when your usual GP is not working, where possible we will book you an appointment with the GP they are job sharing with. Both GPs will get to know you as a patient.
The job shares are: Dr Knight & Dr Cunningham and Dr Doling & Dr Waterman.
Doctor changes at The Bell
We welcome our new registrars Dr Zubair Idris, who will be training at The Bell Surgery for a year from August 2018 to July 2019 and Dr Kevin Jones who will be training with us for six months from August 2018 to January 2019.
News Item dated 1 August 2018
The parking enforcement scheme terminated on Thursday 16th November 2017.
We politely request that patients only use the Surgery car park if you have an appointment at the surgery. We are very limited with spaces and they are reserved for our disabled, elderly, frail and acutely unwell patients.
Do not park at Townlands Hospital or Chiltern Court if attending an appointment at the Surgery as you will receive a Parking Charge Notice and we will not be able to help you with an appeal as their car parks are entirely separate and for hospital/Chiltern Court patients only.
Bell Surgery Talks - a great initiative and very well received
The Maurice Tate room at Townlands Memorial Hospital was packed twice in PPG awareness week in June for the inaugural Bell Surgery Talks organised by the Patients Participation Group.
'Life Planning: Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney', a potentially complex subject, was elucidated by solicitors from Blandy & Blandy, to an appreciative audience. Many came for the opportunity to ask questions, either during the talk, or afterwards in brief private discussions. One participant said, 'The talk was informative and interesting; it really stimulated us into action'.
The next evening was also very popular with the talk 'Rheumatology and Arthritis', delivered by Dr Antoni Chan, Consultant Rheumatologist and Physican from the Royal Berkshire Hospital and his colleague Dr Jo Kitchen. This department sees, diagnoses and treats over 200 different types of rheumatic conditions.
One of the 35 attendees, Rebecca O'Leary, commented: 'the key message here was early intervention’. Dr Chan and his team emphasised that new treatments are available and the faster people report their symptoms, the better the chance of controlling the condition'.
Dr Chan said, 'This is the launch of the series of educational talks and I am glad that the Rheumatology team started it off with a real buzz. There is so much we can do together for our hospital and NHS – the RBH is committed to support the services in Townlands'.
The series of talks continues in the autumn with 'Diabetes' on 20th November and 'Cardiology' on 5th December, both delivered by RBH consultants. And 2018 dates are being firmed up for Audiology, Dermatology, Gastroenterology and Ophthalmology. In addition, there are future talks planned in the Life Planning series with an Autumn talk on funerals.
The message from the PPG organisers is to enrol early, via the Bell Surgery, as places are limited and several people had to be wait-listed for these first talks.
Those Aged 70 years
Plus anyone in their 70s who was born after 1 September 1942 and has not yet had the vaccine.
Those Aged 78 years
Plus anyone aged 79 years old who has missed out on the vaccine. These patients remain eligible for immunisation until their 80th birthday
If you are eligible for the vaccination please contact the surgery to book an appointment with a Practice Nurse.
CQC visited the surgery in June 2016 and have rated the Bell Surgery as 'Good' in all areas. Thank you to all those patients who spoke to the inspectors on the day.
We are continuously looking for ways to improve our service and therefore we often review the way we offer appointments to you. Following feedback from our patients we have made some small adjustments to the way appointments are now booked. If you have any feedback or suggestions for further improvements please let us know.
Email addresses and mobiles please
If we have your email address/mobile number, we can send you specific reminders about clinics or services or even invitations such as your flu vaccination.
Next time you visit us, please take a moment to let us know your email address and mobile number – pick up a slip from the reception desk and pop the slip back in the green box, or follow the link to online services and make the changes online.
Don’t forget to let us know if you move house too!
Did you know you can call into the surgery for a free blood pressure check - without an appointment
We have a Healthcare Monitor in the waiting area which will take your blood pressure, height and weight. The monitor will issue you with two printouts: one for you to take away and the other to hand in to us so that we may update your medical records. Simply request a token from reception.
Why not join our Online Patient Group?
We have a thriving Patient Panel Group (PPG) and we have now set up an Online Patient Group. If you are a Bell Surgery patient and would like to have your say and contribute to how services are provided in your local area then please contact Louise West on 01491 843256 for further details.