FRIDAY 1st FEBRUARY 2019

We are pleased to announce that both our Surgeries (Abersychan & Garndiffaith) are open today. Garndiffaith will close at 12:30pm. Please keep in mind that we have 2 GP’s who cannot get in because of where they live and we also have 3 members of staff off. We will answer the phones as quickly as possible but we will be down at least 1 Receptionist at Abersychan.  If you are unable to attend an appointment today, could you be so kind as to call in, to free up that appointment for someone who is trying hard to get one.

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My Health Online (MHOL)

MY HEALTH ONLINE (MHOL)

My Health Online (MHOL) is a new online service brought to you from NHS Wales. MHOL Offers patients the convenience to book appointments using the internet.

Abersychan Group practice also gives the patients the option to Cancel appointments and also order repeat prescriptions.

To protect patient confidentiality, you must provide documents so we can make sure you are who you say you are. This is a requirement from NHS Wales and not the practice.

When you next visit the practice, please pick up the appropriate forms (one for each member of the family), which should be completed and returned to the practice along with identification (preferably Photo ID incl driving licence or passport).

You will be given an activation code, which must be used within 48hrs to activate your account. If you are having issues, you should contact Reception in the first instance. Depending on the problem(s), you may be given another number to contact an IT Engineer within the NHS who will be able to help you out.

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GWENT OUT OF HOURS CONTACT NUMBER

WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, THE CONTACT NUMBER FOR GWENT OUT OF HOURS IS NOW:

01633 744 285

NHS WALES DIRECT REMAINS THE SAME:

0845 46 47

PLEASE ADD THIS NEW NUMBER TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE CONTACT LIST / TELEPHONE DIRECTORY etc.

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REPEAT PRESCRIBING

Due to Patient Safety issues, we employ a Prescribing Clerk. This person is the only person in the practice who will be dealing with all aspects of repeat prescriptions apart from our GPs. No other member of staff has the security clearance to deal with such requests.

We strongly advise that you give our prescribing clerk 48hrs notice to enable her to re-issue the prescription via our GP’s. You must ensure that your request is done via the white page of your previous prescription, simply by ticking the boxes of the required items. Failing that, you must put the request in writing. If need be, you can send your request via the post (or posted through our door, or left in the box in Reception) using a Stamped Adressed Evnvelope (SAE) to ensure that we can post the prescription back to you. This will then be sent to our prescribing clerk whose responsibility it is to deal with the request. Under no circumstances can we accept a request over the phone.

If using a chemist to order your prescription, we advise that you give them 5 days notice to ensure the order is ready to collect.

We politely remind patients that it is their own responsibility to ensure they order repeat medication in time before they run out. We ask that you do not take your frustrations out on our staff because of something that you have forgotten.

Prescriptions will be ready for collection after 2pm on the due day (48hrs later).

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YELLOW FEVER VACCINES

With immediate effect, this surgery is no longer a designated Yellow Fever (YF) vaccination centre. This means that although we can still administer travel vaccinations, we are no longer allowed to administer the YF vaccine. Our Practice Nurses can still advise on Travel vaccines but it is now the travellers responsibility to receive the YF vaccine from another vaccine centre.

As the YF vaccine centres can often change, we suggest that you go online to find one in your area. A few contact details are as follows:

Boots (Queen Street Cardiff), 029 2023 1291

MASTA (work with Boots as above) 0330 100 4150

Nomad Clinic (Wharton St, Cardiff) 01341 555 061

Costs of the vaccine(s) will need to be discussed with the individual Centres.

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Garndiffaith Branch Site “Same Day” Appointments

Following complaints from a number of Garndiffaith based patients, the way to book an appointment at Garndiffaith is as follows:

If you require a Same Day appointment (both morning and afternoon) at our Garndiffaith site, you will need to call (or visit) our Main Abersychan site from 8am where these shall be released on a “First Come, First Served” basis. You can call the Abersychan Surgery on 01495 772 239.

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Repeat Prescriptions

Please be aware that under the General Medical Services (GMS) Agreement 2004, we have 48 hours (two days) in which to prepare a repeat medication request. This means that for example, if you request a prescription in a Tuesday, it WILL NOT be ready until the Thursday. The  48 hours (two days) are working days and DO NOT include weekends and/or Bank Holidays.

It is the patient’s responsibility to ensure that the request is handed in on time. There is no need to request the medication more than a week in advance, as the request WILL NOT be actioned. If you are going on holiday etc, this needs to be clearly marked on the request.

One of the biggest delays in handling requests is that some patients believe that because they have been prescribed a medication once, they can then ask for more of the same medication as and when they feel they need or want it. THIS IS WRONG! Whether or not you are able to have repeat medication is discussed with your GP and it is clearly marked on your WHITE (Right had side) of your prescription. It has boxes on it, which enables you to tick the boxes, as and when you require to have those repeated (hence the name a Repeat Prescription). This white part also carries important information to you.the patient i.e when your medication review is due etc. If a medication you have had IS NOT on the white part, then it has not been marked up as a repeat medication by your GP. PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR CHEMIST KEEP THIS WHITE PART UNLESS YOU ARE HAPPY FOR THEM TO HAVE IT AND YOU HAVE CHECKED IT FOR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION.

We DO NOT accept repeat medication requests over the phone. We MUST either have the white tear off part of your last prescription or have the request in writing. If posting to us, you MUST sent us a stamped addressed envelope (SAE) if you want it posted back to you (please give 5 days notice by post) or it must CLEARLY be marked up as to which Chemist you want it to go to. If no SAE is revieved, you prescription will be sat at Reception, waiting for you to collect.

This Practice deals with around 350 Repeat Prescription requests on a DAILY basis, so can we politely ask you NOT to put pressure on our Reception Staff to get your signed “Here and Now”. If you need it by a certain date or time, then please ensure you put the request in on time.

Many thanks for your anticipated help and understanding.

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Practice Closures

From time to time, the Practice may have to close. This will depend on whether it is for Staff Training, which is normally for 1 hour over lunch or if a GP Network Meeting is being held.

Staff Training is approved by the Health Board. We must provide the Health Board with details of the training and who is taking part, so it is not simply just a case of closing the doors to catch up with work. The Health Board also insist that although the door may be closed, we must still accept incoming phone calls, so you still have the ability to contact the surgery.

GP Network Meeting are organised by the Health Board. This will always include ALL GP Surgeries within Torfaen, when they all meet up to go through various training topics. Gwent Out Of Hours will normally take all URGENT calls for that afternoon. If your request is NOT Urgent may we suggest that if it cannot wait until the next working day but you need Health Advice, you should contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Once again, we shall always try our best to advertise when these practice closures will take place.

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Equipment Fund

In the past patients have asked if they can donate money to the practice. Any such donations are collected in our practice equipment fund. This fund is used directly to buy equipment that is used by our team in the management of patient care. A recent example was a donation for an oxygen meter so that both surgeries now have at least one oxygen meter that can be used in the assessment of patients with breathing difficulties. If you wish to donate to this fund please contact our Practice Manager.

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Practice Boundary

Southern Boundary Area

Since 2010 we no longer accept new patients living South of the Top Tesco Roundabout, heading towards the  A472 ( Pontypool – Crumlin Road ) or South / East of the A4042 ( Usk Road ) as the road heads North East from the McDonald’s roundabout towards Mamhilad. This includes patients living in New Inn, Lower New Inn, Griffithstown & Sebastopol.

Our current patients who live in these areas WILL NOT be affected until they leave their current address (even if that move is still within our old boundary area).

If a baby is born into a family who are our current patients (and living at the same address), we will still be happy to register them. However, if there is a new patient being added to that address, or even a Temporary Visitor living at that address, we will no longer be able to accept them on to our Practice List. These patients should look for a GP Surgery within that area, whose list is open to taking on such patients.

Northern Boundary Area

For at least 4 years now, we have had the same changes in place for patients who live North of Cwmavon.

Why?

Following discussions with Anuerin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) and recommendations by the Medical Protection Society (MPS), we have been looking at ways in which we can maintain the level of service we provide to our Practice population. One of the initial recommendations was to review the size of our Practice boundary. Each Practice boundary is set by the individual GP Practice, following discussions with their respective Local Health Boards (in our case, ABUHB), whose role it is to ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, is covered for access to NHS Primary Care.

As you are probably all aware, there are times when a patient, for appropriate medical reasons, may require a home visit by a GP. At these times, the GP(s) needs to take time away from seeing patients in the surgery, to travel to the home of the patient(s), which can in our case, and depending on traffic etc, can take 10-15mins traveling time from house to house.

One of the MPS recommendations was to reconsider our current boundary size, as it is one of the largest in the Torfaen area. This was discussed at a subsequent Practice Meeting. We then applied for permission from ABUHB who have given us approval to make the following changes, which now date back to 2010.

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