PPG Newsletter 2015

Welcome to our new newsletter. There are several items that we would like to bring to your attention.
Firstly, the Practice Manager, Mr. Nick Brown is retiring from his post at the Practice at the end of June 2015, a position he has held since March 2007. During this time with the Practice, Nick has seen many changes in the N.H.S.

However, Nick will not be taking things easy as he has many hobbies and interests to keep him busy. He will continue to work with the Charity the ‘Saviour Trust’ which provides housing for disadvantaged people. Currently, the Charity houses and supports 96 people who would otherwise be homeless. Nick also anticipates spending more time with his grandchildren and doing some fishing. He is also hoping for good weather this summer to allow him to establish a new garden. The Patient Participation Group believes that Nick has earned his retirement and wish him and his family well for the future.

This Spring also saw Betty retire from her post as receptionist—a position she has held for 17 years. We wish Betty well in her retirement.
After Nick leaves, at the end of June, Ella Brownridge takes over as Practice Manager. Ella says
‘I started working at the Surgery in September 1993 at the tender age of 18 as a G.P. Fundholding assistant. At that time the Doctors were Drs. Islam, Gordon and Roberts. After G.P. Fundholding was abolished in 1998 I was appointed to the position of Assistant Practice Manager. Over these years I have gained a vast array of knowledge and experience and been witness to the many changes in the way that G.P. Surgeries had to work.

‘I know in my new position that I will be supported by a loyal and hardworking team. My objective is to ensure that the Practice is delivering the most appropriate care to our patients and to develop the Practice into an integral part of the local community as the demands and challenges faced by GP,s only continues to increase’

Thank you Ella for that article. We wish you well in your new position
Do you have a certificate giving you exemption from prescription charges due to a medical condition? There are several conditions that this covers including diabetes and an underactive thyroid to name just two. Beware…if you are under 60 years of age, your exemption certificate is now only valid for 5 years. Mr Chapman, the Pharmacist told of cases where people had not realised this and had continued to claim their free medication. They were astonished to receive a £100 fine and they had also to pay for all the prescriptions they had received since their certificate expired. In some cases, this ran into hundreds of pounds. PLEASE, don’t let this happen to you.
For many years, we have been aware of the ‘Don’t drink and drive’ campaign. From 2nd March 2015 there will be a new law on driving after taking certain drugs (including some medicines) in England and Wales.

The law states that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified blood levels in the body, whether your driving is impaired or not. This will make it easier for the police to tackle drug drivers.
The new law sets very low levels for eight drugs commonly associated with illegal drug use, such as cannabis and cocaine, to tackle illegal drug use and driving.
The law also includes eight drugs commonly associated with medicinal use, that are sometimes abused, that have been set at higher limits based on the road safety risk and to reflect their use as medicines. These are morphine, diazepam, clonazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam and methadone used to treat drug addiction.
The majority of patients that are fit to drive and are taking medicines as directed are unlikely to be above the specified limit and therefore would not be committing a new offence.

Even if you are above the specified limit but your driving is not impaired and you are taking your medicine in accordance with the advice of the healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet, you will also be within the law.
If you are in any doubt concerning the drugs you are taking, ask either your Doctor or the Pharmacist.
REMEMBER, it will remain an offence to drive while your ability is impaired and, if in doubt, you should not drive. (This information is taken from the leaflet published by the Department for Transport). For more information go to www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law
As you may be aware, each Doctor, as well as being your G.P. has certain conditions in which they specialise. Dr. Roberts performs minor surgery such as the removal of skin tags etc., Dr Alba gives pain killing injections for arthritis related conditions and fit coils and I.U devices. All Doctors can give contraceptive advice. If you require any of these treatments ask a receptionist to give you an appointment with the relevant Doctor.

We are all aware of how expensive things are, these days….but, did you know that if you go to A&E and just check in at the desk, it costs the Practice £50 BEFORE you even see anyone! If you receive treatment that then costs £80! Dr. Roberts has provided us with these facts about A&E attendance. These figures cover the patients from our Surgery in a typical month, attending the Accident and Emergency departments at Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury. In one month around 160—180 patients attend A&E. Analysis shows:

  1. around 40—50 patients are admitted to hospital, i.e. around 25% of the total
  2. around 80—90 patients receive some treatment, (about 50%)
  3. around 20 – 30 patients receive no treatment or required any tests.
  4. around 2—3 patients walked out before being seen.

When the doctors looked in more detail it would appear that around one third of the Patients who attended A&E could have been managed by primary care. Obviously, if less people attend A&E with minor complaints then the staff will have more time to look after the more seriously ill patients.
If you have a less serious condition, please ring the surgery for advice, or, if out of hours, ring 111 before you set off for A&E.
Thank you.
Dr. David Roberts
Thank you to all who have contributed in any way to this publication.
Christine Gill. Secretary to the Patient Participation Group