Incoming Call Volumes - How Can You Help Us? (11th April 2021)
We have been receiving an unprecedented number of incoming telephone calls which our reception team have been working incredibly hard to answer as quickly as possible. We are currently training additional resource to help with the additional demand as we are receiving lots of COVID-19 vaccine queries amongst other matters. There are various ways in which you can help us before picking up the phone:
COVID-19 Vaccine Enquiries - please read our Practice updates, the BaNES, Swindon, Wiltshire (BSW) CCG's website and Q&A Document
Doctorlink - please consider using Doctorlink to check your symptoms. We will be notified if an appointment is necessary and will be in touch within the required timeframe to book.
Repeat Prescriptions - we do not take repeat prescription requests over the phone. Please use the NHS App wherever possible as you can order 24-7 at a time convenient for you and then simply collect your medication from your nominated pharmacy. This method of ordering is the most efficient and saves us a great deal of time. Please allow us 48 working hours to process your request and your pharmacy time to then prepare your medication. If you have no internet access and cannot use the NHS App, please contact your pharmacy or drop off a hard copy request in our foyer. You can also post your request to us with a SAE.
Self-Care and Pharmacy - please see Self-Care help and Pharmacy help
Telephone Appointments - if you have a telephone appointment we are unable to guarantee a time when we will call. Please keep your phone handy and be aware the number will shown as No Caller ID or Number Withheld.
Website - our website contains lots of useful information. Please let us know if you feel anything could be added to help.
Power Loss (15th March 2021)
We are experiencing some power loss which we have been told will be resolved this afternoon. Please bear with us and thank you for your patience.
Tuesday 16th March - no clinical system from 4:30pm (11th March 2021)
On Wednesday 17th March we look forward to welcoming patients who are joining us from Grosvenor Surgery. This means we will be without access to our clinical system from 4:30pm on Tuesday 16th March. All of our routine surgeries have been scheduled around this. We will therefore only be dealing with medical emergencies from mid afternoon on Tuesday 16th March.
Exploitation awareness for parents (8th March 2021)
- Have you heard of child exploitation?
- Do you know about County Lines
- Do you know what Online Grooming and Exploitation is?
Maybe you would like to know more about all the above or some of the above. The prevention officer from TOPAZ exploitation team, Avon and Somerset Police is bringing you 60 minutes virtual awareness/guidance sessions. This is a perfect opportunity to increase your awareness. To book a place, please follow Eventbrite links below.
Tuesday 16th March 2021 – 07:00pm (290 spaces available)
Friday 19th March 2021 – 07:00pm (290 spaces available)
Help to Stop Smoking on National No Smoking Day (3rd March 2021)
Virgin wellbeing service are running a free virtual workshop on 10th March between 15:00and 16:00 for anybody to attend. Contact them on 0300 247 0050.
Lung Cancer Awareness (22nd January 2021)
- Lung cancer is England's biggest cause of cancer death, killing about 28100 people a year
- 600 of these have never smoked
- 4 in 10 cases of cancer could be be prevented through lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy balanced diet and cutting down on alcohol
- In 2018 1/3 of all cancers in England were diagnosed via an emergency presentation often being at an advanced stage resulting in poorer survival
- If you are worried please do contact us, we will see you face to face if necessary and so will the hospital
Opening Doors - a conversation about the COVID vaccination, particularly for BAME Communities (22nd January 2021)
This will be held on Thursday 4th March via Zoom from 18:00-19:30 with experts answering any questions you may have. Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
National HIV testing week (29th January 2021)
National HIV Testing Week will kick off on Monday 1 February, and there’s no better time to get tested and know your status. It’s important for everyone to stay home and stay safe. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get tested for HIV this #HIVTestWeek. Order your FREE postal test kit before the end of February.
To find out about all things HIV testing, visit https://bit.ly/35AVEIu
GP Patient Survey (22nd December 2020)
You may soon be invited to take part in the annual national survey about your experiences of local NHS services. It covers matters such as access to care and satisfaction with treatment. If you receive a questionnaire, please help us by filling it in as soon as possible. It is really important that we hear your views, even if you have received a questionnaire like this before. Your response will help us to improve along with other local NHS services to better meet your needs. Visit www.gp-patient.co.uk
Dry January (16th December 2020)
The Dry January campaign is run nationally by Alcohol Change UK.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that in June, more than 8.4 million people in England were drinking at higher-risk levels, up from 4.8 million in February 2020. This means that even more people stand to benefit from Dry January, which evidence shows works to change behaviour long-term.
People who sign up to the official campaign will receive motivational emails and have access to support through an online community of others taking part, so please do encourage anyone who is interested to sign up online or through the Dry January ‘Try Dry’ app.
Christmas/New Year opening (14th December 2020)
We are open as usual except for the bank holidays (Friday25th, Monday 28th December and Friday 1st January). Please see the documents attached for Pharmacy, Dental and Optical care plus the sexual health clinic opening times.
Optician opening times over Christmas 2002-2021, Pharmacy opening times over Christmas 2020-2021, Dental practice opening over Christmas 2020-2021
and Christmas 2020 Sexual health opening hours
Southside, the Domestic Violence support team, will be closed from 23rd December to 4th January. If you need help during this time contact the national helpline on 08080 2000247.
COVID-19 Testing Centres Opening Christmas and New Year (14th December 2020)
All regional coronavirus testing facilities will be open to the public on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (substitute), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The opening times for the three different types of test centre can be seen below:
Regional Test Site
Christmas Eve: 8am – 5pm
Christmas Day: 9am – 3pm
Boxing Day (Monday 28 December): 9am – 3pm
New Year’s Eve: 8am – 5pm
New Year’s Day: 9am – 3pm
Local Test Site
Christmas Eve: 8am – 8pm
Christmas Day: 9am – 3pm
Boxing Day (Monday 28 December): 9am – 3pm
New Year’s Eve: 8am – 8pm
New Year’s Day: 9am – 3pm
Mobile Test Unit
Christmas Eve: 10am – 4pm
Christmas Day: 10am – 3pm
Boxing Day (Monday 28 December): 10am – 3pm
New Year’s Eve: 10am – 4pm
New Year’s Day: 10am – 4pm
Flublok - Flu Vaccine for 50-64 Years (30th November 2020)
This flu vaccine has been authorised for temporary use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to cover the huge demand for flu vaccines, during the pandemic, following national guidance. The vaccine has been licensed and used in the US since 2013. Please see the Patient Information Leaflet for additional information.
Flu Jabs 50-64 Years Update (25th November 2020)
We have ordered and received confirmation that stock is being delivered by the end of next week. Today we are setting up clinics for the afternoons of 9th and 16th December. If you are eligible for this vaccine we will invite you to book. It would be really helpful if you are able to book online, once you have received your invite, as this will save a high number of incoming calls to our reception team. The NHS App can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. We have received lovely reviews from patients attending our previous flu clinics about the steps we have taken to keep everyone as safe as possible and hope this reassures anyone looking to book. Thank you for your support during these difficult times.
Flu Jabs 50-64 Years (20th November 2020)
You may have seen in the news this morning that people aged 50-64 can be vaccinated from 1st December. As all practices, we have just been informed of this and need to order central stock. We will be setting up clinics in December and inviting patients as soon as we know when stock is available. Please wait until we can tell you more before contacting us.
Self-Care Week and Alcohol Awareness Week (11th November 2020)
Next week starting 16th November is both self-care and alcohol awareness week. To help you with self-care we have added some information to our self care page here . The theme for this years alcohol awareness week is alcohol and mental health and there are resources here . Practicing self care seems to be more important than ever in this coronavirus era and during lockdown 2.0. Self Care Week therefore is a perfect time to promote and champion greater self care even if its simply to remind people to protect their mental wellbeing during such testing times, or to stay connected to friends and family. Driving home the message the NHS is open as usual is also important. Identifying when to seek intervention is a vital part of self care practice and delaying care is detrimental to individuals, families and the NHS.
Returning from a Trip to Denmark - you now need to isolate for 14 days (9th November 2020)
Due to the possibility of a variant mink COVID virus in Denmark if you have been there and are returning after 9th November 2020 please self isolate for 14 days. If you need help from the Practice please ring and arrange a telephone consultation, do not attend but cancel any face to face appointment you have booked and if you go to hospital for any emergency reason you must tell them.
Mental Health Provision in BaNES Survey (9th November 2020)
Please consider completing this mental health survey from the CCG about the mental health services in BANES to help the CCG focus on where to spend it monies going forward. Thank you.
Help avoid the threat of lockdown in BaNES (22nd October 2020)
Please see here for information not to ignore the rules on "hands-face-space" and social gatherings
Mumps at Bath Spa University (19th October 2020)
We are aware of a case of mumps at Bath Spa University (BSU). The student is improving and their household is isolating.
Any student we know to be eligible for the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination will be invited to make an appointment by a text sent directly to them. Please only book if you have had this text.
Cancer Symptoms Video - Help Us To Help You (12th October 2020)
Please see here for the latest TV advert covering symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, including blood in your poo, unexplained weight loss, a lump, persistent bloating and pain that does not go away. Please ring us or book online an initial telephone consultation with a GP if you have any concerns.
Ready for Winter (12th October 2020)
WeatherReady is a public campaign run in collaboration with Cabinet Office and providing expert advice to encourage people to prepare for severe weather throughout the year.
Further information and resources are on the Met Office website.Please also see the NHS website for information how to stay well in winter
Child Flu and the Virgin Care School Programme (1st October 2020)
If your child has attained 4 years of age by 31st August 2020 their vaccine will be given by Virgin Care - please click here for information.
If Under 18 and in an 'at risk' group, we will invite them to have the vaccine at the surgery.
Is your smear test overdue? (29th September 2020)
We strive to invite and remind patients when their smear test is due. Please be assured we have strict infection control procedures and social distancing measures in place for your safety and urge you not to put off booking this simple, quick and very important test which saves lives. Please see Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust for further information
Be Cautious of Cancer - do not delay getting in touch (29th September 2020)
We mentioned this in an April news item and cannot stress enough please do not delay getting in touch if you have any concerns. Quick assessment means faster reassurance if all is well. If there is a problem, an earlier diagnosis means a better chance of a full recovery. Please click here for symptoms to be aware of.
Visiting the practice during COVID 19 and the NHS COVID-19 App (24th September 2020, added to 7th October 2020)
Please do not attend unless specifically asked to do so by a member of the clinical team. All GP appointments and some nurse appointments are now by telephone first. If in doubt check when you book the appointment. We are working hard to keep all of you, and our staff, safe by limiting the numbers in the building at any time. Face to face appointment numbers are reduced by about one third currently to allow for cleaning between patients. Please be patient if it is taking us longer to see you currently.
If you have visited us since March you will have noted we take your temperature and ask about COVID symptoms and signs before you come into the building, we would now like to ask you to use the NHS COVID-19 App (downloadable from the App Store or orlo.uk/9w4UdGoogle Play ) and scan the QR code when you enter the building. The QR code is unique to us. More information is available at orlo.uk/2opSzorlo.uk/2vMLh. If you do not have a phone to do this we will ask for your name and contact details. We are doing this to keep you and us safe. Thank you for your support.
Flu Clinics (10th September 2020, updated 26th October 2020)
Over 65 - the stock of flu jabs this year has been taken up much more quickly than we anticipated for those of you over 65 years of age. We currently are fully booked BUT are expecting guidance in September/October about how to access national stock in November/December. We would like to offer you this service but cannot guarantee this until we receive and review such guidance. Please talk to your pharmacist who may be able to offer the injection. You will not need to pay where you are eligible.
Under 65 - we still have spaces and you will have had an invite from us. Please do contact us to book at the earliest opportunity.
Children - we are booking the age 2-3 years old (on 31st August 2020) and under 18s at risk.
WHEN THE GOVERNMENT RELEASES STOCK
50-64 Years - whilst we’ve received information from NHS England that all 50-64 year olds may be eligible for a free flu vaccination as part of plans to protect more people against seasonal flu, these free vaccinations will be subject to delivery later in the year. This allows us to focus on those who are in an at risk group, such as pregnant women and people with long term health conditions. They will be given priority and offered the vaccine first; if you are in this category you will be contacted.
PLEASE NOTE If you are aged 50-64 and not in one of the at risk categories you will be made aware in the coming months if you will be able to attend for vaccination. If the programme is extended this is likely to be November or December.
Please see this document for 'key messages' document from NHSandI about this years flu vaccination campaign.
NHS immunisation team may contact you if you have not had a flu jab, this maybe by letter/email/SMS text. It is not a hoax, please decline if you do not want a jab.
Dr Claire Quiggin (8th September 2020)
Dr Quiggin joined us on 8th September and will be working on Tuesdays. She will also be working at Bath Spa University seeing our student population.
Dr Natalie Freeman (20th August 2020)
Dr Freeman will be leaving the practice on 17th September and we wish her all the very best in her new position as a GP Partner. She will be greatly missed by the staff and her patients. In due course we contact patients where Dr Freeman is their Usual (Named Accountable) GP to advise who their new Usual GP will be.
Self isolating timelines (30th July 2020, updated 16th December 2020)
The latest guidelines from the government is now to self isolate if you have any COVID symptoms for 10 days, longer if you continue to have any symptoms or signs. This has changed from the original 7 days.
You should self-isolate if you develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.
Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
Call volume to the Practice (27th July 2020, 6th January 2021)
Please note currently, because of booking COVID vaccinations, we are experiencing a higher than normal demand on our telephone system. We have arranged for more staff to answer the telephones but you may still experience a delay in getting through for which we apologise. Your call will be answered as soon as possible. If it is not for a COVID vaccination please give the appointments team as much information about your illness as possible to help them give priority to those patients who are very unwell and need to see a nurse or doctor soon. If you arrange a telephone appointment please keep your phone with you. Please note we cannot give you a precise time, the call will come from a withheld number and we may not be able to ring you back. Thank you.
Jhoots pharmacy in Brock Street (27th July 2020)
Jhoots in Brock Street is closing this week (31 July 2020) and all services will be transferring to the Newbridge branch. Please let us know if you wish to change your nominated pharmacy for medication collection.
Changes to doctors (27th July 2020)
As of 1st of October 2020 Dr Jeremy Gilbert is reducing his working days from five per week to three. Dr Claire Quiggan will be joining us in September working five sessions across Fairfield Park and Bath Spa University.
Flu campaign 50-64 year olds 2020-2021 (27th July 2020)
You may have heard on the news about the flu campaign this year including 50-64 year olds. Please note currently we are unable to book this group in for a flu vaccine, however we will be sending invites in due course. This is because we are awaiting further information about how to access the vaccines for this cohort. Our original order had to be submitted in February 2020 for the eligible groups that we currently vaccinate.
Telephone Appointments (7th July 2020, 4th November 2020)
Our number of telephone appointments has increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot give you an exact time and are finding many patients are not answering when we call as planned and this is wasting valuable clinical time which could be spent on other patients. If you have a telephone appointment please keep your phone handy and be available to take the call. Please be aware the number will show as witheld or no caller ID. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Smears (30th June 2020)
If you are due a cervical smear, please do not put off booking this. We have strict infection control procedures in place to ensure the saftey of our patients and staff
From 8th June we are asking all patients attendingthe surgery to wear a face coveirng. See link to gov.uk website for details how to make one.
Do you look after someone?
We are very keen to identify those of you who are carers, including young carers, so that we can offer you various support. If you look after someone please email or telephone to let us know (see Contact Details). You can also sign up with the Carers Centre for support.
Hot weather advice
Keep a close eye on older people, young children and those with diseases such as heart and lung conditions – their bodies can struggle to cope in the heat and they are at greatest risk. If you are caring for others, make sure you follow the COVID-19 social distancing guidance - keep 2 metres apart from people outside your household and make sure you wash your hands regularly.
This summer many of us will be spending more time at home – close curtains on windows that receive the sun, open windows when its cooler outside than in (when it’s safe to do so) and turn off any unnecessary electrical items. Remember its sometimes cooler sitting in a park under a tree than it is in a home that’s too hot. This year you will need to make sure you use cool public spaces considerately and keep your distance from others. Please consider others who may have a greater need for public cool spaces than you.
Check weather forecasts, including UV forecasts, and when travelling always carry water as this may be less readily available than usual.
The Practice is open from 08:00-18:00 Monday-Friday during Covid-19. We are currently holding staff briefings on Mondays and Wednesdays to ensure our practice team are aware of all updates to keep you and them safe and fully informed. On these days we may be later opening please bear with us. If your matter is not urgent please ring after 8:15am or use online services/the NHS App. Thank you for your patience.
Coronavirus - New Symptoms (18th May 2020)
All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.
Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
The Chief Medical Officers have been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19 and, after thorough consideration, are now confident enough to recommend this new measure.
The individual’s households should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for 7 days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell.
Coronavirus - Help and Support
Please see our separate COVID-19 pages for general information, accessibility, information about children, community support, help and support for our patients, how you can help us, medication advice and wellbeing & mental health support. Please let us know if there is anything else we can add to our website to help our patients during these difficult times. We are here to help you as always.
During this exceptionally hot weather the government has issued lots of guidance see here. Keep cool by wearing light and loose clothing, wear sunscreen and a hat, keep out of the midday sun and drink plenty of fluids.
Jo Schol Fundraiser
In May, we lost one of life’s true shining lights. Jo Schol was the very heart and soul of our working and non-working lives. All those who knew Jo will instantly smile as they can still hear her infectious laughter and remember her beaming, warm personality. Jo was truly able to see the positives in everyone and everything and was adored by all those who knew her. As the face of Fairfield Park Health Centre, Jo would effortlessly manage reception welcoming and helping everyone like it was the most natural thing in the world. She was universally loved by staff and patients alike and it is unthinkable that she is no longer with us.
The last person on earth to have their journey cut short should have been Jo. A year ago she was unexpectedly diagnosed with advanced cancer and despite braving extensive and often unpleasant treatment, finally and gracefully gave up her fight surrounded by her loving young family
Jo deserves a send-off that truly represents the beautiful person she was. We are appealing to you to ask for your help in supporting her family to prepare a funeral and a life beyond that does exactly that.
Please click here to access the Fundraiser. Thank you for anything you can contribute. This can include a message if you like and be without adding your name or details.
Be Cautious of Cancer
Please click here for symptoms to be aware of. We cannot stress enough not to delay getting in touch if you have any concerns. Quick assessment means faster reassurance if all is well. If there is a problem, an earlier diagnosis means a better chance of a full recovery.
Please see our Contact page for details of how to leave comments and suggestions via our website along with feedback on the NHS website and to the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Use our online symptom checker to determine who you might be best to see. This is called Doctorlink and has been developed by GPs across the country. To do this you need to visit this website here, or use the App (downloadable from the App Store or Google Play for all smart phones).
If the advice is to use a service that is not within the practice e.g. community pharmacy or dentist use the the MiDOS search tool 'Enter your location here ..' on our home page to find one local and open.
This document may answer some questions you have about using Doctorlink. As of 11 September 2020 you can use the same password for this as the NHS App.
The MiDOS tool which is the part on the website which says 'Enter your location to find NHS services near you:' is a comprehensive local directory of services and kept up to date. It may save you coming to the surgery. If this does not work please wait a couple of minutes and try again pressing F5 to refresh the screen. The Coronavirus means many changes are required on a daily basis to pharmacies opening hours.
Try the NHS App
If you’re a patient at our practice you can use the NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more.
If you already use SystmOnline you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.
For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp or download from the App Store or Google Play
Walk In And Wait Clinics wef 16th March
With effect from 16th March 2020 we suspended our Walk In And Wait Clinics. Please do not come to the surgery and call us on 01225 331616 (Option 1) to book a telephone call. An urgent care clinician will contact you to deal with the problem over the telephone and bring you up to the surgery if required. There will be a wait at the surgery to get through at peak times and we would ask for your patience at this unprecedented time whilst we work to keep our patients and staff safe.
Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
Please click here for further information on Primary Care Networks
First Contact Physio Pilot - pilot finished but appointments still available at the Practice (updated 12th August 2020)
We started a First Contact Physio pilot in July 2019. This ran for 12 months, finishing in late July 2020 and we are one of only three practices in BaNES to offer this exciting service without the need to see your GP. Currently we are looking how we can continue this very useful service for you. If you are a registered patient and have one of the following conditions please book online to see our Physio team or ask reception for an appointment. These are currently telephone based due to coronavirus:
- Back pain
- Balance issues in the elderly
- Joint problems/pain
- Ligament problems
- Muscle injuries
- Neck pain
- Soft tissue injuries e.g. sprains, strains and twists
- Spinal pain and pain referred into arms or legs from the spine
- Sports Injuries
- Pain affecting walking
- Tendon problems (Achilles, carpal tunnel, plantar, fasciitis, tennis elbow, RSI)
We are here to help and aim to be as polite and helpful as possible even at difficult times. Any form of abusive or aggressive behaviour towards our staff, or any or our patients, will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Patients who are abusive may be asked to leave and could be removed from our patient list.
Evening and Weekend Appointments at other BaNES Surgeries (Improved Access)
Would you like to see a GP or Nurse during the evening or on weekend? Appointments are available to improve access for patients registered with a GP Practice within BaNES. Please ask reception about this additional appointment availability which is currently bookable by telephone or in person. As well as GP appointments this service includes Nurse appointments for smear tests, blood tests (provided already arranged by your GP) and routine dressings. This Improving Access service is provided by BEMS. Due to coronavirus these are currently not being provided.