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News

All news

Widdrington Surgery is a dispensing practice with attached Pharmacy and Dentist in the Northumberland village of Widdrington.

 

Our surgery would like to reassure patients that we continue to offer a full choice of GP appointment types to our patients.

We offer face to face, telephone or 24/7 online access via our website – depending on your clinical need.

Your care may be provided by another health care professional in the surgery, again depending on your health care need.

We are working hard to support the NHS recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

Our vision

to work together seamlessly to provide excellent care to meet individual patient needs, and strive to deliver a high quality service.

 

Important message:

We apologise for the delay in answering calls at this moment in time, we are experiencing a higher than normal volume of calls.  During this time our current wait times can be longer than 30 minutes. We are in negotiations for a new telephone system to improve the service.

For routine matters you can submit a request using the e-Consult button, these requests will be responded to within 2 working days.  This service is available from:

Monday 8:00am to Friday 6:00pm.

 

Support Your Surgery

Your GP surgery needs your support so it can be there to support you:

Support Your Surgery

 

National Blood Bottle Shortage

We have been notified that there is a National shortage of the blood test bottles used locally. These are sourced and supplied to us by NHS England.

We have received instructions from NHSE that we must only undertake urgent blood tests until at least 17th September. This affects both GP surgeries and hospitals. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about this as a practice. The supply situation is not one we have any control over.

To reassure you, Widdrington Surgery’s main concern as always will be safety first. We will do everything we can to make sure that essential tests are carried out.

“What does urgent mean?”
It means things like blood tests that are needed for urgent cancer referrals, blood tests that are needed for safe prescribing of certain medications or tests which might help us avoiding having to admit patients to hospital. We will have to consider each clinical situation individually.

“What if I have a blood test booked?”
We will have to look at our appointment book next week to see which patients should be delayed and which should not. Please wait to hear from us. If you don’t hear anything, please attend your appointment as arranged.

“What if I have a chronic disease like diabetes?”
We will most likely have to delay any “routine” monitoring blood tests. The clinical team, led by GPs will assess whether it is safe to defer a test for individual patients for a while until the supply chain is back to normal. However, if your chronic disease needs a blood test for safety reasons, we will do our best to get that sorted for you, assuming the local area does not run out of bottles completely.

Please bear in mind that we have NO CONTROL over the supply situation. We, like you, are in the hands of NHSE. We are following their guidance, which will no doubt be updated as the situation changes.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Providing a Safe Place to Work and Visit

Please NEVER come to our surgery if you have respiratory or covid symptoms without discussing with one of the team over the telephone first.

Following the Government’s announcement regarding the easing of restrictions from Monday 19th July, Widdrington Surgery will still request all patients and visitors to the practice wear face coverings at all times within our site.

We further request that patients respectfully retain social distancing measures as before, using their good judgement, although the reminder signs will remain in place.

Whilst we acknowledge the steps taken to re-establish previous practices, we also recognise that the pandemic is still very much with us, particularly in our region, and the health, safety and well-being of our team and patients is, and will continue to be, of paramount importance.

We therefore kindly request that these measures are adhered to, face masks are worn and that a respectful space is given to each other.

We are currently operating on smaller numbers of our usual team in nearly every department, not taking into account annual leave or isolation which will reduce the team further.

We very much appreciate your continued support.

 

COVID-19 vaccination status

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
  • the NHS website (from 17 May 2021)

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

If you cannot access these online services, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you 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.

 

Partnership News

We are proposing to merge Felton & Widdrington practices to form a single organisation. We aim to create provide services to our patients that are sustainable into the future. To find out more about the proposal and to view frequently asked questions please visit www.widdringtonsurgery.nhs.uk/news/contract-merger

COVID-19

The current Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for us all and we wanted to reiterate that our utmost priority has been in making sure that our patients and staff are safe. It is essential that we continue to follow government guidelines.

Whilst we have continued to be open, we realise that there has been a real change in the way you now access your care and treatment.  We have been working hard to maintain access to appointments and we wanted to thank all of our patients for their patience and understanding during this time, we really appreciate your continued support and positive comments.

We will update you all as soon as we can.

We know that this year has been a particularly tough one for everyone as we all learn to live with Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and it is great news that there are now three approved vaccines, two of which are being used to vaccinate our most vulnerable patients.

We are working through the nationally set priority lists to invite our patients for their vaccine in order. We have now vaccinated our care home residents and the majority of our over 75yrs patients.

Thank you for allowing us to contact you to make your appointments, please be assured that as soon as we are made aware of the next delivery we are contacting you directly to book these appointments.

There is a lot of planning happening at the moment and we will contact you when it’s the right time to come forward, so please don’t seek a vaccine before then.

It is really important to continue to follow all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Following extensive trials, the first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the UK and is now available to priority groups.

Vaccinations are being delivered according to priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The vaccinations may not take place at your GP practice, but rather a local vaccination service (led by GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists) who are responsible for delivering the vaccine to people in your community.

When it is the right time for you to receive your vaccination, you will receive an invitation to come forward. This may be via the phone, or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but we are asking people not to contact us to get an appointment as you will not be able to get one until you are contacted.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for patients

 

COVID 19 Information for Our Patients (October 2020)

How to contact your GP and get the help and care you need

As a result of Covid-19, the way patients are accessing our GP practice has had to change. Whilst we appreciate that this can be frustrating and unsettling at times, we need to make sure that all our staff and patients are kept safe. The information we are providing to help you contact us and continue to access health and care services, is to ensure you are kept as up to date as possible on any changes in the way you may do so.

What to do if you need to contact us

If your needs are non-urgent, we are asking all adult patients to please contact us via the e-consult service on our website in the first instance. You can contact your GP practice and get a reply within two working days. You can also request medication, sick notes and bloods results through this service.

For health care needs regarding children, urgent problems or for those patients who are unable access our online services, we ask that you telephone the practice and we will answer your call as soon as possible. We will ask for a brief summary of the problem which will help us direct you to the most appropriate member of the GP practice team.

Please note that your consultation may not need to be with a GP. It may be that the care/advice you need can be given by another member of the practice team.

Where possible and appropriate, consultations will be conducted either online or via telephone. If a face-to-face appointment is required and you need to visit the practice, please wear a face covering (unless exempt) when you arrive.

Face-to-face appointments

Your temperature will be taken on arrival and you will also need to sanitise your hands. Please be aware that you will need to be granted access by a member of the practice team.

We would appreciate your co-operation in ensuring you do observe social distancing while in the surgery. We have clear signage to guide you. You are asked to wear a face covering if you need to attend the surgery in person.

If you have any coronavirus symptoms including a high temperature, new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste please DO NOT come to the surgery. You must stay at home along with anyone you live with and anyone in your support bubble. Only leave home to get a test. Self-isolate until you get your result.

We are here for urgent medical needs

Please don’t delay in contacting us if you have an urgent medical need. We are here for you and your family.

You can also get urgent medical advice online from 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111. For life-threatening emergencies please call 999 or go straight to A&E.

When to self-isolate

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Please do not come to the surgery. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, you also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken.

If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms. If you live with others, all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken.

High risk groups

If you are in a high risk group, you can still go out provided you are well but you should:

  • Maintain two metres distance from people outside your support bubble
  • Avoid crowded spaces
  • Wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed spaces
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wash your hands carefully and more frequently than normal
  • Use sanitiser outside your home (where available) especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces.

Some useful links to information about shielding, face coverings, self-isolation, testing and staying safe outside your home

Covid – Ventilation

New short film released by the government shows how Coronavirus lingers in enclosed spaces and how to keep your home ventilated:

https://vimeo.com/479780008/cb6c43b496

 

Widdrington Surgery was established 1938 by Dr Danny O’Driscoll.

Dr Finnbarr O’Driscoll took over from his father and was the village doctor for more than 30 years.

The surgery is a four doctor practice including a husband and wife team – Dr Waite who joined in 2001 and Dr Lees who joined in 2005 when Dr O’Driscoll retired.

Widdrington has been accredited as a GP training practice and will have attached to it one or more qualified doctors training to specialise in General Practice.

We are a Dispensing Practice with an attached Pharmacy. This means that all our patients are able to pick up their medication from the surgery if they wish.

The surgery benefits from a dentist – Jason Old, and an Optician – Paul Boyle of C4 Sightcare, who both have weekly surgeries.

Our additional services include Audiology, Counselling, Smoking Cessation, Podiatry, Diabetic Dieticians, Retinal Eye Screening, NHS Health Trainers and Phlebotomy.

 

Our Zero Tolerance Policy is shown below:

Zero Tolerance Policy

 

Our Practice boundary is shown in the map below:

Practice Boundary

doctorXfirst

To improve the availability of a doctor to you we have introduced a new system called “Doctor First”.

Our aim is to create a more efficient appointment system with immediate access to a clinician, thereby ensuring that you receive the most appropriate care straight away.

The main change to our system will be that our patients will have all of their doctor (urgent or routine) booked through a doctor after speaking to them on the telephone. Appointments to see one of our practice nurses are booked through reception as before.

 

Doctor Appointments

When requesting an appointment, the receptionist will confirm your contact details as before. We will ask you to confirm your telephone number, you will then be put on a list for the doctor to call you back (usually the same morning/afternoon). Our receptionists will ask patients for basic details of the nature of the problem. This is asked so that calls can be prioritised appropriately based on clinical need. You can of course decline to give this information.

 

Some of the advantages to the new system are:-

The doctor may be able to deal with your problem while you are on the telephone (e.g. advice, prescriptions, referrals etc) saving you a journey.

If a face to face appointment is still needed, then the doctor will ensure that you are given the most appropriate appointment to suit your individual needs. This will mean that you are seen by the most suitable clinician within a suitable time span (on the same day in most cases).

It may be suggested by the doctor while on the phone, that you need further investigations/tests before coming into see the doctor. Again this saves an unnecessary journey to the surgery.

With this system, we are ensuring that you will be speaking to the person most qualified to assess your problem, rather than a receptionist.

Please click on the following link for more information:

Adobe-PDF-Document-icon

Information leaflet

 

Chaperones:

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. Sometimes you may wish to be accompanied by a family member or friend. At other times you may wish to have a formal chaperone present ie a female member of our clinical team, though at busy times the chaperone may be a member of our support team. Wherever possible please make this request at the time of booking your appointment, so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Whilst we will always do our best to provide a chaperone if requested, this may necessitate us re-scheduling your appointment for a time when a chaperone can be present. Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present, for certain consultations, in accordance with our chaperone policy.

 

Get the most out of your Dr First consultation:

  • Write down the key questions you wish to ask.
  • If you are already receiving medication write down the medicines and pills.
  • Make a note of when you started to feel unwell, your symptoms and any other contributing factors such as a recent holiday or injury.
  • Make sure you share all information with your GP. Sometimes it is the small details that help inform the doctor about your possible condition.
  • Be as open and honest as you can and don’t be embarrassed. GPs are trained to deal with the intimate and uncomfortable and will understand your embarrassment so should support you.
  • During the consultation, do not be afraid to ask the GP to repeat what she or he has told you and repeat back your understanding of what has been said to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Make sure you fully understand what the next steps are.

If the GP wants to see you for a face to face appointment:

  • Ask a friend or family member to come with you if it would help you.
  • Ask your GP to write down anything you don’t understand and make a note of the consultation after the appointment.
  • Make sure you fully understand what the next steps are before you leave the room.

 

What can I do if the receptionist asks me questions that I find difficult to answer in the waiting room?

If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you can ask the receptionist to find somewhere more private to talk to them, or tell the receptionist that you would rather give your details to the doctor or nurse who sees you.

 

GP Appointments

GP appointments are available until 8pm on weekdays and weekends. Ask reception for information on how to access these appointments.

 

X-Ray Referrals

If the doctor has requested an X-Ray for you it is important that you attend one of the Open Access sessions as listed in the attached leaflet.  Alternatively, you can ring the Radiology Appointments team to arrange an appointment on one of the numbers in the attached leaflet.

X-Ray Referral Info Sheet for Patient

Repeat Prescriptions

Do you order prescriptions or make appointments via our website? To improve the services we offer you, we updated our computer system.  You will need to obtain log in details to order prescriptions and make appointments online. Please speak to reception who will be able to help.  Thank you.

Contacting Out-of-Hours

 

Emergencies

What to do when your GP practice is closed:

–          If it’s a life-threatening emergency call 999

–          If you need medical help but it’s not an emergency call 111

 

During normal practice opening hours, the practice remains your first point of contact for all routine requests although excellent advice from clinicians is available from NHS 111

 

NHS 111 is the number to call when you need medical help fast but it’s not a life-threatening emergency.  Calls to NHS 111 are FREE from landlines and mobiles and NHS 111 is available 24/7, every day of the year

 

When to call 111

You should call 111 when:

  • You think you need to go to A&E or to another NHS urgent care service
  • Your GP surgery is closed and you need healthcare advice
  • You don’t know who to call for medical help.

 

When to call 999

Call 999 for life threatening emergencies such as:

  • Major accident or trauma
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Severe bleeding
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe chest pain