PPG Newsletter 2013

Patient Participation Group Newsletter

Issue 1 – Summer 2013

The group was formed in October 2012 to assist the Practice in the improvement of services to patients.

The Practice asked for patient Volunteers to participate in this. The group consists of eight members who meet monthly with the Doctors and appropriate Practice staff depending on the issues for discussion.

The Patient Participation Group, (PPG) is:
A “positive looking group, seeking ideas and comments from Patients to improve services which the Practice provides to Patients.”

The PPG is not:
“A forum to deal with complaints or individual grievances.”
The Practice has a complaints procedure for this purpose.

Any useful suggestions you may have for improvements can be left in the suggestion boxes in the Surgery or at the Chemist or ask to speak to the Practice Manager, Nick Brown.

There has been some discussion at the PPG meetings regarding the prescribing of drugs and the fact that, in some instances, when patients ask for a repeat prescription, they order ALL the drugs on their prescription list even though they might not need them all. This can lead to a waste of drugs as they go past their ‘use by’ date. Doctor Roberts says that just because you do not order a drug every time you ask for a prescription, it will not be removed from your repeat prescription list. Only if something has not been ordered for a year will its use be reviewed.It is taken into account that some drugs, such as those used to treat hay fever, may only be needed in the summer months. They will not be removed from your repeat prescription list just because you do not need them in the winter months.

The Department of Health has set out new guidelines for G.P.’s on various matters.

There is to be an expansion of the vaccination programme this summer. Following the recent outbreak of measles in the Cardiff area, we should all be aware of the need to ensure that vaccination is kept up to date for our children. The MMR vaccination scare of some years ago was unfounded, but it means that some children at the time were not vaccinated. If your child comes into this category, please check with the surgery and arrange for vaccination. There is to be a campaign to catch up with one million 10 to 16 year olds who may not have been vaccinated.

Because of the potential seriousness of influenza in babies and small children, a nasal vaccine is to be offered for 2 year olds from the autumn.

A new vaccination programme is being initiated to protect people aged 70 to 79 years against shingles. This will also come into effect in September.

Again, from the autumn, there will be a jab for 12 and 13 year olds against Meningitis C. This will replace the booster previously given at 4 months. From July of this year, there will be a new vaccination scheme for children under 4 months to protect them against the Rotavirus.

Don’t forget that the usual ‘flu vaccinations will be on offer in the autumn,
There is also the ‘one off’ vaccination to give protection against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Some people may think that some of these injections are not necessary, but don’t forget that diphtheria is no longer the killer it was due to the vaccination programme of former years. Also, smallpox has been eradicated worldwide because of vaccination.

Do you know what are the most commonly prescribed drugs in our Practice?
It may surprise you to know that drugs for stomach problems, acid reflux, gastritis, ulcers etc. are prescribed to more than 10% of the patients in the Practice. If you come in this group, the type of drug you take, and its dosage, may be reviewed at your next prescription review to ensure that you are receiving the best treatment for YOU.

Diabetic patients may see a change in the type of testing strips they use but this will be discussed with individual patients as the need arises. Patients who use needles for their insulin may find that they have been changed to a different type of needle. That is because a new, more efficient needle has been produced. You can be assured that changes will only be made in your interest as research is continually taking place to improve matters for the patient.

If you have attended the Surgery within the past few months you may have noticed some changes. People are being asked to wait behind a barrier so the person being attended to at the counter is given some privacy. New screens have been fitted which will make communication between the Reception staff and yourself easier.

Two new Consulting rooms have been designed and are now in use. There is a ’Suggestion Box’ fitted to the wall by the toilets If you have any suggestions, please write them down and leave in the box for discussion by the group.

The box for prescription ordering has now been fitted to the wall to the left hand of the Reception windows.

For some time there has been some discussion regarding ordering repeat prescriptions over the telephone. This is being brought into practice from 22nd July. When you telephone the surgery you will be asked to press button ‘3’ on your telephone if you want to order a repeat prescription. This service is only available from 1100-1300 Monday to Friday and patients must allow 48 hours for collection.

The Surgery web site is now installed. The address is:
www.stthomasroadsurgery.co.uk

The Practice also has an e-mail address for general enquiries. It can be accessed via the web site. The e mail address is:
[email protected]
This is for non urgent matters only.

Did you know that there are two telephone numbers for general use to the surgery? The first number 0844 477 3482 has to be paid for on whatever phone supplier you use. However, many phone companies now offer free local calls as part of your package. If this is the case we would suggest you try 01977 801363 when you telephone the surgery.