During this time busy time of year, you can help yourself – and the NHS – by using the most appropriate healthcare option.
- Think Pharmacist – Many pharmacies have late night and weekend opening. A pharmacist can offer you a great deal of help and advice on the best over-the-counter medication for your condition. See a list of pharmacies and opening times HERE
- Call 111 or try it on online – NHS 111 is a free telephone service which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Trained advisors can offer urgent help and advice. You can also access the NHS 111 Online service anytime HERE and by answering some questions your symptoms will be assessed and you’ll be given the recommended action to take
- Extra GP appointments – The Suffolk GP+ service operates in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Wickham Market, Stowmarket, Leiston and Bury St Edmunds and enables you to book appointments in the evenings and on Saturdays. You can book an appointment with a GP or nurse practitioner in advance through your GP practice or NHS 111. The service will be operating in some locations on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- Urgent GP appointments – When you urgently need a GP appointment, call 111 to access the out of hours GP service.
We are improving the way we communicate with our patients using “MJog Patient Messaging Service”
We use MJog, a fully automated text and email messaging service designed to reduce no shows and uptake of clinics such as ‘flu vaccinations by allowing a fast and easy stream of communication between the Surgery and our patients.
Please ensure we have your mobile numbers, download the App and you will benefit from the following:
- Free to use – it is free to download with no message costs.
- Simple to use – MJog Messenger is self explanatory with clear details including links and buttons to complete app interactions – familiar and recognisable styling.
- More informative messages, compared to SMS, with styled text and images allowing for clear and branded Practice communications.
- Convenient communications – the app provides a straightforward view of documents including pdfs and letters the practice sends via the app which is delivered to one device (accessible across multiple).
- Easy access – it’s a simple process to cancel appointments in ‘one click’, provide feedback to FFT, or complete patient surveys.
- Informative, relevant and efficient communications received – letter, pictures, links etc. all contained in one message.
- Provides quick access to Google Maps, Facebook and other apps so patients can stay in touch with your Practice.
- Building greater online engagement with our patients.
Please be aware we will be closed the following days over the Festive period:
Saturday 30th December (FOREST ONLY)
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Day
Last orders for all repeats prescriptions will be Tuesday 19th December.
We would like to wish all our patients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
We are a Self Care Aware Practice
What is self care?
Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some exercise, managing common conditions (like headaches, colds and flu) or living with a long-term health problem, such as asthma or diabetes.
As a Self Care Aware practice we are here to help you feel able to look after your own health when it is right for you. So, when you come in for a consultation, the doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants in this practice will talk to you about what you can do to help maintain and improve your health.
Find out more about self care
If you need more information on how you can self care at home, click on the links:
Did you know?
- The NHS belongs to all of us – help us to keep it working smoothly by turning up for appointments
- Every time you see a GP it costs the NHS £43, on average, for a 12-minute consultation
- A visit to Accident and Emergency costs £112
Self care for healthy living
Staying healthy is important for everyone, even if you are living with a long-term condition. This means eating healthily, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.
This practice runs weight management courses, smoking cessation clinics and alcohol awareness sessions that can help you live a healthy lifestyle. Speak to the practice team for more information.
If you are not sure what changes you can make to help improve your health, NHS Choices offers a LifeCheck. Just answer a few simple questions and LifeCheck can give you advice on what changes may help you. Click here for a LifeCheck.
Find out more about self care for healthy living
NHS Choices provides lots of useful information on how you can improve your health and wellbeing. Click on the links to find out more.
I want to lose weight
I want to drink less alcohol
Self care for common conditions
Did you know that one in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough?
For most people, they are not serious health problem – you just want to know how to relieve it and you want a treatment that acts fast. You also want to know how long you’re going to suffer or what you should do if your symptoms change.
The good news is that self care can help you manage most of these problems. It may mean you don’t have to spend time waiting to see your GP but can get on and start tackling your symptoms. Self care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP’s time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.
Find out more about self care for common conditions
The Self Care Forum has produced Factsheets to help you take care of the most common ailments. These provide useful facts about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP and where to find out more information. Research shows people using these Factsheets felt more able to manage their common condition.
Click on the link for the Factsheet you need:
For information on other common conditions, visit the NHS Choices or Patient UK websites. If you are not sure about your symptoms, click here for the NHS Choices symptom checker where you can get advice on what to do next.
If you need more advice or you are unsure what the right thing for you to do is, ask your pharmacist for advice or call the surgery to speak to a doctor or make an appointment to discuss your problem further.
Self care for long-term conditions
Did you know that if you are living with a long-term condition, you will spend, on average, six hours a year with a healthcare professional and the remaining 8,754 hours managing your health for yourself?
Living with a long-term condition brings challenges and it’s important to have the confidence, support and information to manage your health. Self care can help you make the most of living with your condition, rather than avoiding or missing out on things because of it. Self care puts you in control.
Research shows that people with long-term conditions who take more control of their health feel more able to cope with their health problem, have better pain management, fewer flare ups and more energy.
We are committed to helping you live your life with a long-term condition. That’s why we run services where you can get advice on the following conditions: [to be amended to reflect local practice services]
- Chronic conditions
We will also work in partnership with you to create the right care plan for your needs. It’s important to think about what you want from a care plan – it can help if you know what you want to discuss with your GP. NHS Choices suggests some questions you could ask:
- Where can I find out about self help courses for people who have long-term conditions?
- I want to find out more about my condition. What are the best places to do this?
- Is there any new equipment that might help me manage day-to-day. If so, how do I get it?
- How do I meet other people who have the same condition as me? Is there a local or national support group?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to help my health, such as giving up smoking, avoiding certain foods, or doing more of a certain type of exercise?
- What are the results of my tests and what do they mean for me?
- What happens next?
- What can I do?
- What can the doctor do? Tips for living with a long-term condition
NHS Choices has created some practical tips on living with a long-term condition. To download a leaflet that explains these in more detail, click here:
- Accept you have a persistent health condition…and then begin to move on
- Get involved – building a support team
- Pacing – pacing your daily activities
- Learn to prioritise and plan your days
- Setting goals/action plans
- Being patient with yourself
- Learn relaxation skills
- Keep a diary and track your progress
- Have a plan for set-backs
- Team work – work with your practice team
- Keeping it up
Find out more about self care for long-term conditions
There is a range of free courses aimed at helping people who are living with a long-term condition to manage their condition better on a daily basis:
- the Expert Patients Programme – click here for information
- DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) and DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) for people with diabetes
- Breathe Easy for people with asthma – click here for information
These courses usually run over several sessions and will provide advice and tools to put you in control of your condition. Ask your GP or the receptionist for details of courses in this area or visit NHS Choices. Click here for more information.
The following websites provide good information that can help you understand more about the common condition or long-term health problem that affects you:
If you are contacting the Surgery for tests results including swabs and blood, please call us after 2pm allowing up to five working days to receive the results.
Please be aware that we have recently upgraded our telephone system.
Please note that when contacting the Practice the options to select have now changed.
Listen to all of the options before selecting to ensure you select the correct option for your needs.
Flu clinics this year will be walk in on four Saturday mornings at both Forest Surgery and Swan Surgery.
The dates are as follows:
Saturday 16th September 8.30-11.00
Saturday 23rd September 8.30-11.00
Saturday 7th October 8.30-11.00
Saturday 21st October 8.30-11.00
There will be availability during the week for pre-booked appointments also, please contact the Surgery to make an appointment.
Child flu clinics are also available by appointment during the October half term as well as the walk in clinics.
Mundford Flu clinics will be on Thursday 21st September and Thursday 19th October. Please contact Forest Surgery on 01842 810206 to make an appointment for this clinic.
Please be aware that from September 1st 2017 the surgery will be open every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
These are appointments are pre-bookable and the prescription office will remain closed as usual.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
Please ask at reception for available dates.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Forest Surgery Staff
Due to an increase in the number of wasted appointments through patients failing to attend appointments without informing the surgery.
If you cannot attend your appointments for any reason please let us know as soon as possible, giving at least 24 hours notice.
We can then offer the appointment to someone else.
Due to the number of patients failing to attend appointments, it may be that you are not able to see the Doctor on the day that you wish to.
In an attempt to try and resolve this, the practice has developed the following policy:
- If you fail to attend two or more appointments without informing us, we will write to you asking if there are any specific problems preventing you from letting us know.
- If you repeatedly fail to attend for appointments, you may be removed from the practice list and have to find an alternative GP practice.
Thank you for your co-operation.
The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service. It gives you the chance to change how your GP sends your prescription to the place you choose to get your medicines or appliances from. Swan Surgery goes live with Electronic Prescribing 24th May 2017 and Forest Surgery on 23rd May!
What does this mean for you?
If you collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP you will not have to visit your GP practice to pick up your paper prescription. Instead, your GP will send it electronically to the place you choose, saving you time.
You will have more choice about where to get your medicines from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop.
Is this service right for you?
Yes, if you have a stable condition and you:
√ don’t want to go to your GP practice every time to collect your repeat prescription.
√ collect your medicines from the same place most of the time or use a prescription collection service now.
It may not be if you:
X don’t get prescriptions very often.
X pick up your medicines from different places.
How can you use EPS?
You need to choose a place for your GP practice to electronically send your prescription to. This is called nomination. You can choose:
- a pharmacy.
- a dispensing appliance contractor (if you use one).
Ask any pharmacy that offers EPS to add your nomination.
Any questions please speak to the medicines management team or your chosen Pharmacy.
Download our ‘A new way to get your medicines and appliances’