All posts by Katy Evans

Urgent Treatment Centres and Emergency Departments in Bromley are currently experiencing significant demand

Please note that Urgent Treatment Centres and Emergency Departments in Bromley are currently experiencing significant demand. If you have an urgent but non life-threatening medical need, please use the NHS 111 website first https://111.nhs.uk/  rather than going straight to A&E. If you require it, NHS 111 can book you in to be seen safely in A&E, Urgent Treatment Centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies, emergency dental services and walk-in clinics. Contacting NHS 111 first will also help the NHS to keep you safe, by maintaining social distancing. They will ensure that you receive the right care in the right place, in a more timely and safe way. You should dial 999 if you have a life-threatening illness or injury.

For further advice on when to visit urgent care centres or emergency departments please click the links below:

When to visit an urgent treatment centre

When to visit an emergency department

A brief update (9 September 2021) and system actions in response to the situation:

  • The situation at the PRUH is slightly improving with better admissions and discharges but there is still a significant level of demand.
  • BGPA have added primary care access hub appointments throughout the week, which are available to General Practice. Capacity has also been opened up to 111, which will be monitored.

The Emergency Department can now refer to Bromley Well frailty navigator to access night sitting, take home and settle, and handy man services. This will help the cohort of patients not requiring POC but need assistance to make their discharge safer and avoid re-admission.

NHS BLOOD TEST TUBE NATIONAL SHORTGAGE

We do apologise for the delay you have experienced in having your blood test.

NHS England has been advised of a global shortage of some equipment used commonly for taking blood tests in the NHS.

On the 26th August we received a letter from NHS England advising us that all blood tests must be halted until 17 September 2021, except for clinically urgent testing.

Given the international nature of the shortage, an exact date for when routine testing will be rescheduled cannot yet be provided but the NHS will be working to re-book appointments for postponed tests when supplies become more easily available.

Patients are advised that where their condition or symptoms change or get worse, they should contact the NHS team caring for them.

Upcoming Flu Clinics

We have been informed by the supplier of our flu vaccines that delivery is going to be delayed due to transit issues.  This appears to be a national issue.  We will be organising clinics as soon as we have a confirmed delivery date for the vaccines, so please regularly check this website for updates.  We are sure you will understand that this is completely out of our control.  Please be assured we will be doing everything possible to facilitate flu clinics as soon as we have firm delivery dates.  Thank you so much for your patience.

Covid Vaccine Pass – click here for more information

From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine. Vaccine status will be available through the NHS COVID Pass service from:

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores
  • the NHS website
  • 119 – by requesting a paper letter

You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.

If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose (or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine) more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.

When you’re planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.

General Practice Data for Planning and Research – please click here for more information and how to opt out if you wish to do so

National changes have recently been announced about how NHS Digital collects data from GP surgeries to help the NHS plan services and research potential new treatments and improve patient outcome.

Please follow this link for more information, including links for patients wishing to opt out: https://selondonccg.nhs.uk/news/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/

NHS Digital GPDPR Briefing 2021

Please do not use eConsult for medication requests – click for more information

Please do not use eConsult for medication requests. Prescription requests should be made via the NHS App, Patient Access or by letter to the surgery.

Register for the nhs app: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/

Register for patient access: https://www.patientaccess.com/

Patients who do not wish to register for these services can either write in or post it to the surgery or request through the pharmacy.

General practices are open but working differently – click here for more information

General practices are open but working differently

Over recent months since the lifting of the national lockdown and reduction in Coronavirus cases, Bromley general practices and the CCG have received numerous enquiries and some complaints from our patients that their registered GP practice is ‘not open’, ‘not offering doctor appointments’ or ‘not seeing patients face to face’.

 

Please note that all 43 GP practices in Bromley are open, and have remained open throughout the pandemic. Practices are open from 8am until 6.30pm Monday to Friday as a minimum

 

All practices are offering face to face appointments to patients that have been assessed by a doctor or nurse (or other clinically trained person within the practice) and have been deemed to require physical examination. This assessment is sometimes called ‘triage’. For many patients, assessment has found that they can be treated through a telephone, email or video consultation without the need to travel into the surgery.  Many patients have reported being satisfied with this approach because they do not need to balance work, childcare or other commitments with travelling and have found completing  the online consulting forms (available through GP practice websites as e-consult) to be an easier way to get help in their own time.

 

Doctors and other clinicians are able to give advice, issue prescriptions or make onward referrals for tests or specialist appointments without physically examining patients, based on patient symptoms and history. Where it would not be safe or in the patients best interests to do this, a face to face appointment will be booked. This is usually at the GP practice itself, but may be at a nearby clinic or other health centre. For patients that do not have computer or internet access, telephone appointments or face to face appointments are available. Face coverings are mandatory for attending GP practices, unless exemptions apply. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

 

We are asking our patients to bear with us and our GP practices at this challenging time. Practices have had to make significant changes over a very short period of time to change how they use technology, how they use their surgery premises and who and how staff are working within the practice. For many GP practices, there have been staff taken sick or shielding which has caused pressure. It is likely that triaging patients for physical examination first and electronic consulting will remain in place for some time. Also, different staffing beyond just doctors and nurses are working in practices now, including pharmacists, paramedics, and people who can help you with social and non-medical wellbeing (called social prescribers). These may be more appropriate to help to meet your needs more quickly and effectively.

 

If you do have a medical problem, either physical health or mental health, please do not hesitate to contact your GP practice. We are here to support you. Do not put off asking for help.

 

We would also encourage all patients to continue to attend for their normal screening tests, such as smear tests – our team have been offering these for some time now and it is important for your health that these tests continue to be carried out.

Dr Michael Collins – retirement

We would like to wish Dr Collins a fond farewell and a very happy retirement from 31st July. We send our very best wishes to him for a well deserved rest and a happy and fulfilled future. As from 7th August, we are excited to announce the arrival of our new salaried GP, Dr Tiantian Lu. Some of you may already be familiar with Dr Lu who has previously worked at Southborough Lane. We are so happy that she has decided to join us permanently and we have no doubt she will be a fantastic addition to the team.

With effect from 7th August, all patients currently registered under Dr Collins will now be transferred to Dr Lu, although please be aware that patients are able to book appointments with any GP working at this practice.