1st November 2017 - Referral for Rapid Specialist Opinion
From 1st November, the referral process for some specialties is changing. If your GP thinks you may need to see a specialist - to ensure that you are seen by the right healthcare professional, in the right place, at the right time, South Tees CCG has introduced a process called Rapid Specialist Opinion (RSO).
A Consultant or GP who has specialist experience in a particular condition for example cardiology or dermatology will review your referral and make a specialist recommendation on what needs to happen next.
The aim is to:
- Enable patients to be seen in the right place, first time.
- Reduce the number of unnecessary hospital referrals;
- Ensure clinicians can focus on those patients with the greatest need;
- Improve waiting times for patients who need a hospital or specialist appointment;
- Supporting patients to receive treatment locally at their GP practice, where appropriate;
Referrals for the following are included in this new process:
- Cardiology (heart related)
- Dermatology (skin)
- Ear, nose and throat services (ENT)
- Ophthalmology (eyes)
- Gynaecology (women’s health)
- Neurology (brain and nervous system)
- General Surgery (operations)
- Urology ("waterworks")
- Rheumatology (muscles and joints)
- Orthopaedics (bones)
This process does not include 2 Week Wait referrals for suspected cancer or very urgent referrals.
How will this affect me?
The process of getting the specialist opinion takes just a few days after the referral has been sent from your GP surgery.
If you DO need to go to hospital or see a specialist, you will be sent a hospital appointment at the location of your choice.
If you DON’T need to go to hospital or see a specialist, the RSO specialists will liaise with the surgery to agree a plan on how to manage your healthcare locally, without the need to go elsewhere for treatment. We will contact you to get the specialist advice put into action.
If you haven’t heard from anyone after two weeks or your condition changes significantly, please contact the surgery
Further information is also available on the CCG website at www.southteesccg.nhs.uk or contact STCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01642 263030.
Please click here for the South Tees CCG leaflet and here for FAQs
1st July 2017 - Closure of Prescription Ordering by Telephone as of August 2017
From August 2017 we will no longer be accepting any repeat medication requests over the telephone.
After a number of years of accepting repeat medication requests over the telephone, we regret that we can no longer do this. The problems encountered have been raised by staff and patients and the Practice has decided that it will no longer accept telephone requests for repeat medication from 1st August 2017
Why Are We Changing?
First and foremost, for safety. Our new systems will be safer for patients. We are getting increasing numbers of discrepancies between what the patient says they have ordered and what has been requested by the medical receptionist.
Mistakes are likely due to confusion with drug name pronunciation and it is shown that 4 out of every 100 telephone calls contain an error in the information received during a telephone request.
Some requests for medication over the phone are not clear and it can take a receptionist considerable time and effort to clarify what is required, making our phone lines engaged for long periods of time
Some names of medications are very similar so there is always a chance of error when speaking over the phone. Written requests avoid potential confusion and medication errors.
In addition to improving patient safety it will reduce the number of telephone calls to the practice which will improve telephone access for those in need of emergency help, advice or making an appointment.
The Practice is getting busier and busier with more people on repeat medication for asking for them over the phone. The decision was made to stop the taking of prescriptions over the telephone all together to minimize the risk of a potential error causing a significant event.
So as of 1 August 2017, we will not be taking any requests over the telephone
We understand that this might not be popular with some patients but we hope that you will understand that safety is of paramount importance and support us in this safety improvement
We understand this may cause patients inconvenience and some concerns when this service is no longer available, but there are many ways that prescriptions can now be ordered that do not rely on telephoning the surgery, as outlined:
Perhaps the easiest and safest way to order your repeat medication is through on-line access. This service provides you with a list of medication currently on repeat and can send your request direct to our clinical system. If you would like to register for on line ordering, please speak to the reception team, you will then be able to order your medication at any time of day or night!
Through your chemist: Most pharmacies offer the service where patients can order their next supply of repeat medication in the pharmacy when they collect their current supply, saving them an unnecessary trip to the GP surgery. The pharmacy team will confirm which items you will require, and order the repeat prescription from the surgery on your behalf, collect it and have the medicine ready and waiting to collect.
In person on paper, preferably by using the tear-off counterfoil slip on the right side of the prescription indicating clearly the items you require (there is a post box for prescription requests by the door as you enter the surgery
By post, enclose an SAE if you want your prescription sent back to you, or nominate a pharmacy, if you would like your prescription to go electronically
At least 48 hours’ notice (two full working days) is needed to have your prescription ready for collection. Many patients use this service so please help us by ordering as early as possible.
Urgent & late requests put considerable strain on the Practice staff and the service we provide our patients.
Once again, we would like to thank you for your support whilst we implement this safety improvement
News - March 2017
The Eston Surgery Benzodiazepine and Z-Drug policy adoption
The Eston surgery is working to help people reduce the number of unnecessary drugs they may be taking and to improve their quality of life.
We are offering a withdrawal service for those who are currently taking long term prescription tranquillisers, such as Diazepam, Temazepam, Zopiclone, Zolpidem and Cholordiazepoxide - known as Benzodiazepines (Benzos) and Z-drugs.
Known as Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs, the benefits for the majority of patients are only in the short term, and the drugs are actually only licensed for 2 weeks of use. The benefits rapidly reduce and side effects and dependency can affect the quality of patients’ lives.
These drugs are often taken without any realisation of the potential harm they can do and were prescribed in good faith, at a time when little else was available.
Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs are cheap, so this is not a cost cutting exercise. The Eston surgery is helping people stop taking them unsuitably, gain a better quality of life and identify and treat the real underlying problems.
We will be actively reviewing and reducing Benzodiazepine prescribing in our patients from 1st April 2017 . It will involve a prescribing strategy and education programme for patients; we will look at recommended dose reductions from each of the drugs and also invites patients to discuss withdrawal here at the surgery.
Patients who are unable or unwilling to reduce drug dosage via a managed withdrawal scheme (or who use more than one drug of abuse, or who are dependent on alcohol) will be referred to the substance misuse service.
It is never too late to come off this medication and there are significant health benefits to reducing the amount taken
There will be notices displayed in the surgery explaining that Benzodiazepines are not prescribed and if any new patients register who have previously been prescribed a Benzodiazepine this will not be continued and the patient will be started on a reduction regime.
Patients will be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate for reduction. Patients with certain conditions, who are palliative or under advice from secondary care will not be involved. Patients will be advised if they need to continue taking the drug, and if not provided with the support to reduce and eventually stop taking them.
We recognise that people have been using these drugs for some time and it may not always be easy, however we will provide tailored individual support through a controlled and managed withdrawal.
To stop taking drugs like these suddenly is not advisable, which is why we are inviting patients to come in and have a chat about how we can help them.
It is never too late to come off them and there are significant health benefits to reducing the amount you take.
Please click the link to view the detailed inspection report CQC inspection report (date of inspection06.10.2015)
23/07/2015 - See how we performed locally and nationally here
Evening Gazette - the best gp-surgeries in teesside according to patients
If you would like to be a part of our virtual participation group, or have any comments or thoughts to help us improve our service, please drop me an email on email@example.com or via our normal email STCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC uses a system of intelligent monitoring of indicators to direct their resources to where they are most needed. Their analysts have developed this monitoring to give their inspectors a clear picture of the areas of care that need to be followed up.
Together with local information from partners and the public, this monitoring helps them to decide when, where and what to inspect. You can open the full report for the Eston Surgery here Intelligent monitoring 11.2014 Eston Surgery.pdf
For full details the Care Quality Commission hold about the Eston Surgery including the recent inspection on 6th October 2015, please follow the link Care Quality Commission
On- line users Dec 2015
SystmOnline is now available to patients as an app for iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices running the iOS operating system. The app is listed on the App Store and is free to download. To download the app, search for "SystmOnline" in the app store. Patients can use their existing SystmOnline login details to access the online services offered via the app.
Important News - Changes to your health record Dec 2013
The NHS is currently making some important changes to how it will store and use health records over the next few years.
In January 2014, every household in England will receive a leaflet entitled 'Better Information means better care'. This leaflet is designed to support us with raising public awareness and describes how information in your medical records is used for purposes beyond the direct care of the patient, including the care.data programme, research and risk stratification.
Care.data patient leaflet (better information means better care)
Care.data patient FAQs
Further information can be accessed at http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/records/healthrecords/Pages/care-data.aspx
You will then have a minimum of four weeks to read the leaflet and if you wish to do so, register your objection at here at the surgery, before the first extract begins.
We will continue to raise awareness proactively with our patients about the ways in which patient information is used and shared beyond direct care.
Extractions of GP data for care.data will begin in spring 2014. As a GP practice, we cannot opt out of extractions for care.data. Using its powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has directed the HSCIC to make this collection. These Directions give the HSCIC the power to require the information and we are legally obliged to comply with that requirement.
News - May 2012
The surgery is working with NHS Tees and other practices in the locality to ensure that patients access the right treatment by going to the right place first time. The campaign includes posters, leaflets and information about where to go within the NHS to get the right treatment
By going to the right place first time you can get the right treatment from your NHS.
It is estimated that almost half of all A+E attendances could have been treated by their GP, a local pharmacist or treated themselves with basic self-care, first aid and advice.
Many people automatically go to A+E as soon as they feel ill or have an accident. The leaflets highlight a range of options to help people get the treatment they need
More infomation about the "right place, first time" campaign can be found in the further information section on the right of the page.
News - March 2012
From 1st April 2012 we will be offering two additional telephone consultations to each GP clinic. Telephone Consults can be used for follow-up appointments, medication reviews, for advice about changes to your medication or for any problem/advice that does not require an examination. You can pre-book these telephone consultations in advance or book them on the day. We will also be offering these telephone appointments on our on-line booking service. The doctor will phone you back at the specified time of the appointment, so you can choose a day and time convenient to you. Please ensure if you book a telephone consultation on-line, you include your telephone number in the section of free text
Important changes to our on-line booking system
From 1st April you will be able to book your nursing appointments on-line in addition to your GP appointments. We have altered our appointment structure to simplify it, allowing you to book (for example) 1 single 10 minute nursing appointment for a blood test appointment, a blood pressure testing or regular injection. Alternatively you can book 2 x 10 minute appointments (20 minutes) for a childhood vaccinations, cervical smear, a hypertension checkor an initial smoking cessation or weight management appointment.
Click on the appointment tab at the top of the page for full details or alternatively log in to our on-line booking system
click here to read March newsletter March_12_Newsletter.doc
Each month we aim to produce a newsletter to keep our patients informed about practice matters, topical health and seasonal health related issues, if you would like to contribute to this, please contact Claire Hutchinson, Practice Manager. email@example.com
Older news, newsletters, reports and articles are located in the further information section on the right hand side of this page
Nothing new to report this month
News - January 2012
Public Involvment report - Closure of Jubilee Road Branch
These are some of the comments received when we asked patients on their view about closing Jubilee Road site. We still welcome your comments and suggestions.
“ I think Low Grange is great, clean and modern – I can’t believe I used to think Jubilee Road branch was posher than Bolckow Road”
“Nice, clean and modern – should have done it with Grangetown”
“Better place for staff too”
“ About time – Eston was a dump!”
“The staff work really hard and deserve a nice environment to work in”
“Will be even better when I can call and get my shopping from next door”
Reminder – Closure of Jubilee Road branch on 26th January. After this date, any
unc ollected prescriptions can be picked up from Low Grange or you can arrange for a local pharmacy to collect them on your behalf
Please click here for the full newsletter January 2012 - newsletter
News - December 2011
Important news: Jubilee Road branch to close at the end of January 2012
Due to the current condition of the premises at Jubilee Road, in particular poor services for our disabled patients, The Practice has taken the difficult decision of closing the branch.
Among other things, this will allow us to offer more appointments at Low Grange as the clinicians will no longer require travel time, our prescription service will be much smoother (see the newsletter for information on repeat dispensing) and the modern premises will help encourage a new GP to join our team.
As I am sure many of you are aware, the area around Low Grange is undergoing some major changes with the imminent opening of a superstore behind the Health Village. The Practice is therefore excited to be placed right in the middle of such a progressive and modern area of Greater Eston.
Please click here for the full newsletter: Newsletter 12.2011
News - 20 September 2011
Announcing the Retirement of Dr Robson
After three decades serving the local community, Dr Robson has announced his retirement at the end of October this year. Considering his long tenure as a GP looking after generations of patients in Eston, Grangetown and Normanby, we are sure that everyone will agree that he is long overdue this free time.
To mark his retirement, the Practice is putting together a book of messages from patients and colleagues to present to Dr Robson when he leaves. Please feel free to write your own message and leave it at either of the branches and we will include it in this book.
News - 5 August 2011
The Eston Surgery
Public Involvement Report on the Closure of Grangetown branch and relocation of main branch to Low Grange Health Village
"I think it's great" "Should have done it when Low Grange opened"
"More convenient because everything will be together"
"Nice, clean and modern" "Welcome to the 21st century"
These are just some examples of the feedback we have received since the closure of the Grangetown branch on Bolckow Road and our relocation of the main branch of the surgery to Low Grange. We still welcome any comments you may have about the changes. You can view the full report here:
News - 27 June 2011
The End of an Era as the Grangetown Branch of The Eston Surgery Closes
The Practice was started at the beginning of the NHS in 1948 by Dr McGrath who worked closely with another doctor in the Grangetown area. Dr McGrath moved into two terraced houses approximately 45 years ago and lived above the Surgery with his family until his untimely death in the early 1970’s. Dr Robson has been the Senior Partner in the Practice since taking over the Practice after Dr. McGrath’s death in association with a local Practice for the first couple of years.
The Eston Surgery was opened approximately 20 years ago as a “Branch Surgery” for the main Surgery which was then on Bolckow Road. With the demolition of Grangetown North, and the migration of population, there were more patients attending Eston than Grangetown. The Eston Surgery was then classed as the main site with Grangetown as a branch.
Many of the practice population still prefer to be seen at the Grangetown branch simply because of the convenience of parking outside and using the local pharmacy.
In recent years, the surgery has explored the possibility of merging, as a way of providing safe and accessible healthcare, but the surgery remains a small and friendly one, practicing family medicine in old buildings.
The Surgery’s Grangetown premises are now severely out-dated and in need of major renovation and modernisation. These premises unfortunately will not meet the essential standards that the CQC (Care Quality Commission) will expect from GP practices next year.
To ensure that patients can access care in premises which are fit for purpose, the practice has agreed with NHS Redcar and Cleveland that the Grangetown branch will close on Friday 1st July and on Monday 4th July will re-open in Low Grange. The distance between the branch at 75-77 Bolckow Road and Low Grange Health Village is 1.4 miles.
The main site for The Eston Surgery will then become Low Grange, however the practice will continue to work from the Eston branch and have an open list to register new patients at either site. Patients can choose to book for appointments at either site depending on convenience.
Low Grange Health Village is a purpose built venue for the provision of health care. It offers safe and accessible surroundings which will promote wellbeing for both patients and staff. There is ample free car parking, a pharmacy on site and bus services passing regularly.
Our main branch at Low Grange will be open Monday to 8am to 6pm, with extended access and the Jubilee Road branch will be open 9.30am – 4pm, to ensure we meet the needs of the Eston community. Future clinics will be varied to include early morning, lunchtime and evening appointments, which will be more convenient for patients.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the proposal please email the practice manager: firstname.lastname@example.org