The article written by Practice Manager Judith Wood below “New Ways of Working” has been on the Elmham Surgery website (www.elmhamsurgery.com) since early December. It outlines changes that have had to be made to working practices as a result of three Doctors leaving. Extensive advertising by the surgery to date has only enabled one Doctor to be recruited to replace the three leaving. The shortage of GPs is a nationwide problem but is particularly acute in Norfolk. This was brought to the attention of Junior Health Minister, local M.P. George Freeman, at a meeting organised on December 11th by Swanton Morley and Elmham Surgeries Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) (see also below)
NEW WAYS OF WORKING
From the 4th January 2016 we will be making changes to the way we offer appointments, home visits and telephone consultations. Drs Jennings, Hadinnapola and Coghill will be leaving at the end of December 2015 – I am sure you will join us in wishing them well in the future. During December and January we will be joined by a new GP and seven new nurses. The nurses will now take the lead in most first consultations. The Nurse Practitioners are advanced level nurses who
are able to prescribe and refer you for investigations or to the hospital. We are also recruiting a Pharmacist, a Physiotherapist and a Mental Health Nurse: the pharmacist will be able to answer questions about medication; the physiotherapist can see muscle aches and joint pains or injuries and the mental health nurse can help anxiety and depression. We may need to ask you more detailed questions at reception – please don’t be concerned, our Staff are not prying, they are trying to make sure you see the best person for your needs promptly and that may not be a doctor. Please be guided by the receptionists, they are receiving additional training and they will be acting on the instructions of the Partners on how we are implementing the changes. Thank you for your help and support whilst we make these changes.
Judith Wood, Practice Manager
In a more recent article in the Dereham Times (Dec 31st 2015), Judith Wood was quoted with respect to the article above “The GP’s will focus on caring for patients with complex needs, palliative care of patients at the end of their life and complex mental health patients. We are doing all we can to provide a sustainable primary care service, despite facing very difficult circumstances in Dereham and the local area.” Adjacent to this article there is also a detailed recognition by George Freeman M.P. of the extreme difficulties facing a number of local surgeries. These had been brought to his attention at the PPG meeting on Dec. 11th referred to above. He has clearly taken on board the need to insist on more “joined up policy making” involving Breckland District Council (Planning), Norfolk County Council (Education and Social Services), and NHS England (GP Practices and Mental Health). These are all very serious issues that are directly relevant to residents not only health wise but also in respect of the new “Local Plan Preferred Directions” that will shortly be ready for consideration by Parish Councils. Clearly planning permission for houses should not be granted until GP services, school places and social care services are available locally in order to satisfy sustainability criteria.
Your PPGs would welcome comments on the above issues by e.mail or letter.
Chair Elmham Surgery PPG
Chair Swanton Morley Surgery PPG