People living in east and west Suffolk are being urged to have their say about local mental health services as part of a unique engagement opportunity. The Ipswich & East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs want to transform the way mental health provision is delivered across the county. In order to do that, they first need to find out how effective the people who deliver and receive the current services think they are. Commissioners want to hear from people who currently use or have previously used mental health services, those who care for them and the staff who deliver those services. All three groups are being asked to input their feedback via three surveys that went live on Monday 2 July. To respond to one of the surveys please use one of the links below:
- People who use, or have previously used mental health services should respond HERE
- Carers of people who use, or have previously used mental health services should respond HERE
Professionals who work in mental health services or support people with mental health needs should respond HERE
We may use your contact mobile number to contact you via text message service for appointment reminders and cancellations, health campaigns, surveys and surgery updates.
If you do not wish to receive these messages please inform a member of reception and we shall opt you out of this service.
From 25th May 2018 a new data privacy law will be introduced in the UK. As a result, we’ve produced some new privacy notices which detail how the NHS uses and protects your information.
- The practice handles medical records according to the laws on data protection and confidentiality.
- We share medical records with health professionals who are involved in providing you with care and treatment. This is on a need to know basis and event by event.
- Some of your data is automatically copied to the Shared Care Summary Record/ECS.
- We may/do share some of your data with local out of hours/urgent or emergency services.
- Data about you is used to manage national screening campaigns such as flu, cervical cytology and diabetes prevention.
- Data about you, usually de-identified, is used to manage the NHS and make payments.
- We share information when the law requires us to do so, for instance when we are inspected or reporting certain illnesses or safeguarding vulnerable patients.
- Your data is used to check the quality of care provided by the NHS.
- We may also share medical records for medical research.
- The Swan and Forest Surgery complies with NHS Retention Periods. If you are unhappy with the data we retain or who we share it with, please contact the surgery. If you are still dissatisfied then you can contact the Information Commissioners Office helpline Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate).
The Practice shares your diabetes related data with the Diabetic Eye Screening Programme operated by Health Intelligence (commissioned by NHS England). This supports your invitation for eye screening (where you are eligible and referred by the Practice) and ongoing care by the screening programme. This data may be shared with any Hospital Eye Services you are under the care of to support further treatment and with other healthcare professionals involved in your care, for example your Diabetologist.
For further information, take a look at Health Intelligence’s Privacy Notice on the diabetic eye screening website: www.eadesp.co.uk
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases. As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
Enhanced Data Sharing (via our SystmOne system)
The practice uses a ‘cloud-based’ clinical computer system called SystmOne to store your medical information.
The system is also used by other GP practices, Child Health Services, Community Services, Hospitals, Out of Hours, Palliative Care services and many more. This means your information can be shared with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history including medication and allergies. To find how your medical information is shared with other organisations that use this system, and how you can control this, please read our leaflet – Summary Records – EDSM Final (3)
To opt-out of enhanced data sharing please contact the Surgery.
You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything.
Please consider the above methods carefully and separately and contact the surgery if you wish to opt-out.
You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances.
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.