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Demand for appointments

We are aware that at the moment it is tough to get to see a doctor at the practice.

We want to share some of the reasons for this and assure you all that we are working harder than we ever have.

We see how frustrating it must be waiting on the phone to try and get an appointment and then to be told there are none. Our receptionists do an amazing job to try and fit everyone in and direct you to alternative services.

Please do not feel we are ‘fobbing you off’ if we try to advise you to get an alternative appointment with ;

111,   The pharmacy,   Recovery at Home,  or attend an urgent care Centre

We are genuinely trying to help.

Our GPs at the surgery continue to work flat out seeing as many people as we possibly can – whilst still remaining safe. The demand for appointments currently outstrips our maximum capability by about 3 to1.

You may wonder what the GPs do with our time when we are not seeing patients, well, we deal with hundreds of phone calls, thousands of prescriptions, see the elderly and dying in their own homes and work with 2 local care homes to ensure the very frailest of us get the care we need.

We would love to be able to offer everyone who rings up an appointment- but in reality, that would mean that all our GPs would literally have to work 7 days a week 24 hours a day- and I suspect that still would not be enough. It would also be very unsafe – rushing, being stressed and overworked leads to mistakes being made.

You may wonder why we simply do not employ more GPs, well we would love to, but there simply aren’t any out there to employ. In all of the UK at the moment there are less GPs now seeing more patients than there were in 2015.

We are sorry if the service you want from Grangewood Surgery is something we are not able to offer. The whole of the NHS is under tremendous pressure, and we feel that on a daily basis.  We would ask that you remain kind and considerate when you contact us. Our reception staff are feeling a bit battered and demoralised.

You may want to write to your MP bridget.phillipson.mp@parliament.uk and tell them about the experience you have. The changes that need to be made to the NHS need to come from much higher up and within the government rather from our small team.

We would like to apologise for any frustration the system is causing. It is our intention to offer the very best service to our patients that we are capable of, and it causes us all distress to see that we simply are unable to meet the demand that is out there.

On behalf  of  The Partners: Dr J Mackay,   Dr C Gray,   Dr S Stanton,  Dr P Newman,  Dr F Watters

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31 Dec 2021:   WALK-IN BOOSTER CLINICS

Monday 3rd January 2022          8am – 8pm     Houghton Primary Care Centre

Tuesday 4th January 2022          8am – 6pm     Washington Primary Care Centre

Wednesday 5th January 2022     8am – 6 pm     Houghton Primary Care Centre

Friday 7th January 2022               8am – 6pm     Washington Primary Care Centre

Saturday 8th January 2022          8am – 6pm     Washington Primary Care Centre

Saturday 8th January 2022          8am – 6pm     Houghton Primary Care Centre

Sunday 9th January 2022              8am – 6pm     Houghton Primary Care Centre

 

16 Dec 2021:  Booster jabs:  Available if you are 18yrs and older and your second Covid vaccine was 91 days ago (you can’t have it though if you’ve had Covid in the last 28 days).

Available if you are aged 16 – 17 and are in at “at risk” category (you can’t have it though if you’ve had Covid in the last 28 days)

Over the next 2 weeks there are numerous clinics running throughout Sunderland at the Primary Care Centres (Bunnyhill, Grindon, Houghton, Washington, Millfield/Pallion, Riverview). You can make an appointment (you will receive a text from the practice if we have your mobile number – or you can walk-in without an appointment if you prefer).

These clinics are also providing 1st and 2nd Covid jabs (you can’t have one if you’ve had Covid in the last 28 days).

Over the next 4 weeks there is a massive effort throughout the country to deliver the booster campaign. In order to help with the delivery of this the practice has been requested to send staff to the Covid clinics – therefore we have significantly reduced staffing levels (especially nurses and Receptionists) and we would ask for your patience and understanding when contacting the practice.

 

10 Dec 2021:  From week commencing Monday 13th December 2021 the surgery will regularly be closed over lunch time on the following days/times:

Thursdays   12:30pm – 1:30pm

Fridays         12:00pm – 1.30pm

 

9 Nov 2021:  Patients have reported that they have received Covid passport emails purporting to be from Patient Access.  The following guidance is from Patient Access for your information:

We advise users of Patient Access to check the name and email address of the sender, all emails from Patient Access will come via an email address that ends in @patientaccess.com. We advise users never to click on any log in links that you receive via email but to visit the site via the address bar of your browser instead so that you know you are on the genuine Patient Access log in page. You can find more information and guidance on our information security page here: https://www.patientaccess.com/security

We strongly advise users to set up their Memorable Word security feature, as well as using biometrics (fingerprint ID) if they use the app.  

Email addresses used to register for Patient Access account are secure. We do not share any data and no data is ever saved or stored on any device you use to access Patient Access.

 

July 2021 Covid Information in healthcare settings:-

Despite the rules regarding social distancing and mask wearing changing nationally, the practice is keeping its safety measures in place to protect patients and staff.  Please continue to:

Wear facemasks/face coverings when entering healthcare premises eg, GP practices, hospitals etc.

Attend all GP and hospital appointments alone where possible.

Regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitiser

Maintain social distancing

Please get the Covid vaccination ASAP

If you suspect you have Covid 19 please stay at home, arrange for a PCR test by calling 119 or visit http://www.nhs.uk

 

 Covid Vaccination Status for International Travel Purposes

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 any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from:

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores

It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service.

If you cannot access this online service, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 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.

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

 

Important Coronavirus Update

For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. If you have a new persistent cough, a high temperature, or loss of sense of taste or smell, please stay at home for 10 days. If your symptoms are serious or get worse visit the NHS 111 online service. Under no circumstances should you come to the surgery.

How To Seek Healthcare Advice from a GP

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP surgery will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-face contact where possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Face to face appointments are available but only at the request of a GP or nurse after you have discussed your conditions over the telephone or via our online service.

Telephone and online consultations can be a more convenient, safer and flexible way to receive healthcare:

  • Call the surgery to book a telephone appointment.   (The admin staff will need to triage the call by asking the reason for the appointment in order to be able to offer advice or book you for a telephone consultation with the appropriate person). Please note that telephone access has increased significantly and we can assure you our staff are constantly trying to answer calls as quickly and as efficently as possible.
  • Visit the surgery website (eConsult) and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day
  • Visit NHS 111 online to seek advice
  • Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, and check your symptoms

Please do not attend the practice unless you have spoken to a GP or nurse and have been allocated an appointment.

If you are asked to attend the practice for a face to face appointment, a face covering MUST be worn when entering the surgery.   These do not need to be medical grade masks but this is essential for patient and staff safety.

We also kindly ask for all patients to maintain social distancing whilst within the surgery where possible.

Thank you for your co-operation during this difficult time.

Additional resources

Video explaining how to contact your GP remotely:

 

Our Practice is highly patient focused and we have a multidisciplinary approach to patients’ health care. We aim to deliver the best for our patients by combining the skills of the practice team with other health and social care workers in the community.

We provide modern health care facilities and focus on continually improving the health of our patients and residents of the community.

This website is aimed at providing you the important information about our practice, our services and our staff in addition to some other useful information and tools available for you to use. Please have a look around and send us any comments or suggestions if you like. We can use your comments and ideas to improve our online services and develop the content of this site accordingly.

A ‘healthy lifestyle’ is what we recommend:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep alcohol intake within recommended limits

 

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