Surgeries in Heacham and Snettisham

Posted by Mike Press, Chairman of Heacham PPG

Heacham Group Practice – Patients’ Participation Group (PPG)- What Is It?

The group exists for the benefit of patients as a way for patient views to be discussed and considered by the Practice.

As Chairman I liaise with the Practice Manager helping the Practice to deliver an excellent service. Patients make comments and suggestions to me which I discuss with the Practice. It is important patients firstly take any concerns up with the Practice, at the time the problem occurs. Most are resolved to the satisfaction of the patient. Sometimes some are not and that is where I may be able to help. In some cases I have to use the contacts at the QEH or NHS Norfolk.

Services available through the Practice are being expanded and include Warfarin checks, D.Dimer-for possible DVT, the personal blood pressure checking machine in reception areas, private travel vaccinations, non-prescription medicines, private Osteopath, NHS hearing aid batteries. There is a visiting service for Diabetic patients and Retinal Screening checks. For brittle bones a local DEXA screening service is available, obviating the need for travel to Norwich or Peterborough. The NHS changes we have heard about for the last year or so are gradually coming into place, with more services to be offered through local Practices.

You can register at reception for internet secure access to the Practice online system to reorder medication, view future and past appointments. It is planned to have online appointments in the near future.

During 2011 the PPG held a number of meetings with specialist speakers that included, a QEH Foundation Trust Governor detailing the Forward Plans, What are Summary Care Health Records, Hearing Support Services.

At these meetings there is always a doctor and the practice manager present to answer comments and concerns. The question of appointments is one frequently raised and every patient telephoning will have a medical opinion that day from either the Day Duty Doctor or Nurse Practitioner. Advice will range from taking some personal action to having an urgent trip to the surgery or may need the Community Health services.

However, the number of missed appointments (when the patient does not advise the Practice) continues.

From January to December 2011- missed were: A total of 1325 appointments!
451 appointments for doctors.
568 for nurses.
306 for Health Care Assistants.

The Practice has TENS and blood pressure machines available for short term loan. Provided by the Amenity Fund, the Trustees ask that these are returned promptly for other patients. The fund, charity #1090530, is managed by six Trustees who have used it to provide other items including intelligent ECG machines, defibrillators, bladder scanners and liquid nitrogen gas for the cryo clinic.

The teleinfo screens and web site were also funded.  The PPG has a page and link to it via the web. The trustees welcome any suggestions as to how the fund (within the Trust Deed) might be used.

We are all aware of the cost to the NHS-in excess of £110 billion pa or £300 million per day. This is why national efforts are being made to be more effective in the supply of treatments and services. One way we can all help is ensuring only needed items are reordered on repeat prescriptions. The amount of prescription items returned to pharmacies is staggering and they have to be destroyed!

The PPG dates for 2012 are March 19, July 23 and October 22.

We meet in the classroom, Heacham surgery, at 730pm Announcements are made in the village magazines and posters in the surgeries. All patients are welcome.

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