POTENTIAL BOGUS TELEPHONE CALLS We have reason to believe fraudsters are targeting patients throughout Northern Ireland. Some claim that they are working on behalf of your Practice and may try to sell you products, ask for your bank details, offer home visits, ask questions about medical conditions and may advise you to stop/start medication. Please note we do not use any external companies to contact our patients. If you receive any such call and are concerned please do not provide any information and contact the surgery on 21771411 / 21771173 who will be able to verify any advice you have been offered.
Please be reassured reported incidents throughout Northern Ireland are being analysed by the Health Board and Northern Ireland Trading Standards who can find no pattern or common thread linking these incidents and no evidence to suggest that the patient information came from the GP computer system. At this stage it would appear that there are multiple unconnected scams and that the patient information has been obtained from a combination of social engineering techniques and by eliciting specific information from patients via questions asked by the caller.
Dr Grant Sponsored Walk:Dr Grant would like to thank everyone who sponsored him recently for his walk on Rathlin Island, for the RISE foundation on Saturday 18th April, the sum raised was £476.00. The RISE foundation is a charity that has been set up by the singer Frances Black to support families who have been affected by addiction.
Meningococcal C Vaccine (Men C)In accordance with current DHSS guidelines all young people (aged 18-24) who are due to commence 1st year university education in September 2014 should have a Men C vaccination. These are available at the practice and it is recommended that you should receive this no later than two weeks before commencing university. Please contact reception to make an appointment with our treatment room nurse.
Retirement: We are sad to announce that Mrs Joan Miskelly has now retired after almost twenty years as our Health Visitor. Joan joined the health visiting team in 1992 and since then she has been a valued member of our team. She will be greatly missed within the practice and by the wider community. We wish Joan all the very best in her retirement.
Every year as the flu season approaches we find an increase in requests for antibiotics. From 12th September 2013 and in accordance with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust guidelines, we are no longer able to issue prescriptions for antibiotics for complaints such as: Colds, Flu symptoms, Chest infections etc, unless the patient attends either our Nurse/Nurse Practitioner or a GP. In circumstances where a patient feels they are experiencing a kidney or urine infection a urine sample needs to be left in for testing in our treatment room before an antibiotic can be issued.
Private Letters & Insurance forms:
There has been a recent increase of patients requesting letters for university, employers, jury service etc and private insurance forms etc, whilst we will do these they are classified as non NHS work and therefore there will be a charge of £10 to £15. Other more detailed forms etc will be chargeable according to BMA guidelines. Please also note that there is also a charge for passport/driving licence photographs of £5.50.
Fond Farewells: Dr Shaunagh McDonnell off to pastures new: Dr McDonnell finished working with us just before Christmas. She worked with the practice since 2007 and always had excellent relationships, both with patients and colleagues alike. Dr McDonnell has really enjoyed working in General Practice, especially here in the Glens where she was brought up.
Dr McDonnell is taking a break from General Practice to enable career development. She does plan to return to General Practice and certainly we would love to see her back here in the Glens some day. Either way we believe Dr McDonnell is a superb doctor of outstanding character and will do well no matter what road she takes in life. All the GPs and staff of the Medical Centre thank her and wish her the very best for the future.
Text Service: The practice is shortly introducing a text messaging service to our patients. This will enable us to contact patients for the purpose of health promotion and, in some cases, appointment reminders. If you wish to avail of this service please call at reception and complete a consent form.
Changes to Emis Access: From Monday 9th July 2012, "Emis Access" will be changing to "Patient Access" your login details for making appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions will remain the same.
Disabled Access: The practice has now installed disabled access doors at the patient's entrance, these are manual and push button doors, the button to enter is located directly opposite the green railing at patient's entrance, in the porch directly opposite entrance door and to exit the practice, the button is located on the left hand side of the door frame .
NURSE PRACTITIONER: Mrs Tara McCambridge has recently obtained her qualifications in Nurse Prescribing from University of Ulster. As Nurse Practitioner this enables her to prescribe independently for certain minor ailments, which include throat, ear & chest infections, she can also prescribe for long term conditions such as asthma, copd diabetes etc.
ARE YOU AGED 50+ AND DO YOU SMOKE – IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
If you are aged 50 or over and if you smoke you are at risk of having Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). The Department of Health have indicated that all patients in this category should have a medical assessment carried out to assess severity of risk. Undetected PVD can lead to stroke and/or Gangerene of the limbs particularly the legs. If diagnosed early complications like this can be prevented. We strongly urge you to contact the surgery to arrange for an appointment with the nurse. If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact us.
Emergency Services in the Glens area
It has come to our attention recently of an event where an emergency ambulance spent considerable time trying to find a particular address. This difficulty arose because there was no house number displayed for the ambulance crew to see nor was anyone waiting outside to alert the ambulance driver. This is a very common problem and sadly puts lives at risk. Please learn from this and ensure your house is clearly identifiable especially if you live on a lane off the main road, it is advised that the house-numbers on the lane should also be clearly marked at the end of lane.