**IMPORTANT PATIENT NOTICES**
17th March 2022:
Demand for appointments
We are aware that at the moment it is tough to get to see a doctor at the practice.
I want to share some of the reasons for this and assure you all that we are working harder than we ever have.
I see how frustrating it must be waiting on the phone to try and get an appointment and then to be told there are none. Our receptionists do an amazing job to try and fit everyone in and direct you to alternative services.
Please do not feel we are ‘fobbing you off’ if we try to advise you to get an alternative appointment with;
Recovery at Home
Or attend an urgent care Centre
We are genuinely trying to help.
Our GPs at the surgery continue to work flat out seeing as many people as we possibly can – whilst still remaining safe. The demand for appointments currently outstrips our maximum capability by about 3 to1.
You may wonder what the GPs do with our time when we are not seeing patients, well, we deal with hundreds of phone call, thousands of prescriptions, see the elderly and dying in their own homes and work with 3 local care homes to ensure the very frailest of us get the care we need.
We have just employed an experienced new GP- Dr Stephanie Stanton. She joins us from a practice in Newcastle. This new addition to our team will enable us to open up more appointments- but there will still be many of you who are frustrated when you can’t see who you want to see.
We would love to be able to offer everyone who rings up an appointment- but in reality, that would mean that all our GP’s would literally have to work 7 days a week 24 hours a day- and I suspect that still would not be enough. It would also be very unsafe; rushing, being stressed and overworked leads to mistakes being made.
You may wonder why we simply do not employ more GP’s, well we would love to, but there simply aren’t any out there to employ. In all of the UK at the moment there are less GP’s now seeing more patients than there were in 2015.
I am sorry the service you want from Herrington medical Centre is something we are not able to offer. The whole of the NHS is under tremendous pressure, and we feel that on a daily basis. I would ask that you remain kind and considerate when you contact us. Our reception staff are feeling a bit battered and demoralised.
You may want to write to your MP email@example.com and tell her about the experience you have. The changes that need to be made to the NHS need to come from much higher up and within the government rather from our small team.
I would like to apologise for any frustration the system is causing. It is our intention to offer the very best service to our patients that we are capable of, and it causes us all distress to see that we simply are unable to meet the demand that is out there.
Dr J Halpin
From the 1st of April 2022 we are changing the way we invite patients in for their yearly health checks.
All patients will now be invited for their checks to take place on their birth month.
For example, if your birthday is 16 June and you have a mobile number or email address in your records you will receive a text or email message a couple of weeks before to make an appointment with the nurse.
If you suffer from more than one chronic disease i.e., diabetes, hypertension, asthma etc, you will have all the checks carried out at the same appointments. Although this will entail a longer appointment it will reduce the number of times you need to come to the practice throughout the year.
Whilst this invite system is being set up, it may mean some of your yearly checks may be delayed. We ask all patients if you have any issues regarding your health to please contact the surgery and not to wait for the invite.
Please make sure we have your up-to-date mobile number and email address and inform the practice if this changes in the future.
The Social Prescribing Link Worker Team work on behalf of all GP Practices in Sunderland to provide non‐medical support and interventions. We can support with:
- Housing worries
- Money worries
- Being more physically active
- Connecting with others
- Mental & physical wellbeing
- Managing long term conditions
- Weight management
- Preventing future ill health
- Finding local support groups specific to a health condition or
All referrals go from the website to a secure email which is manned daily.
Menopause Support – You are not alone, 30% of women will be going through the same as you! A menopause focus group in Sunderland have created a webpage to help you start accessing support and advice Menopause support group in Sunderland or wellbeinginfo.org/self-help/health/menopause
GP Data for Planning and Research
NHS Digital has been directed to collect, process, analyse and disseminate general practice data to support the purposes set out in the GP Data for Planning and Research Direction 2021.
NHS Digital has developed a planned replacement for the GP Extraction Service (GPES), to collect data for planning and research from general practices in England. This new approach is the culmination of engagement with the British Medical Association (BMA ), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) for the past three years.
This collection is called GP Data for Planning and Research and its purpose is to support the data needs of the health and social care system including policy development, public health, planning and commissioning of services and research. This new collection is designed to reduce the number of requests for a ccess to data received by general practice.
Once fully established, NHS Digital will undertake a managed transition from the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) to the new GP data service. NHS Digital will also work with other organisations to enable transition from existing data flows to the new service.
More information about this data collection and the general practice obligation to provide data for this purpose is contained in the Provision Notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices. The Data Provision Notice includes appendices whic h explain data minimisation, additional protections, pseudonymisation and the data set specification.
More information on the legal basis for collecting, analysing and disseminating this data can also be found in the NHS Digital GP Data transparency pages.
EMIS is supporting the GP Data for Planning and Research collection including ensuring identifiable patient data items are de-identified (pseudonymised at source) before they leave the GP practice.
If you decide you wish to opt-put you can complete the form, and either post or e-mail it into us. We will then ensure your preference is coded onto your medical record. Opt out form
Urgent Eye Problems:
Emergency Eye Department at Sunderland Eye Infirmary: Patients with urgent eye problems which need to be assessed the same day can now self-refer to the Emergency Eye Department. Please ring 0191 569 9952 before attending in person
We know this last year has been hard for everyone.
We know everyone has a lot of health concerns.
We wanted to explain why it sometimes is tough to get an appointment or get a question answered as quickly as you may want.
During the pandemic we have worked flat out all the way through. Our doors have been closed to people coming in without appointments, but this does not mean we have not been working. Since March 2020 we have always been open for face-to-face appointments in a way that has been safe for everyone. We have continued to see anyone who needs seeing and we have been dealing with thousands of telephone calls every week. Our staff have been out in the community seeing patients every day, dealing with the very sick and dying in care homes, helping run the Rehabilitation Unit in Houghton and staffing the Out of Hours clinics at Sunderland Hospital.
Since Christmas we have also been in the vaccine clinic at Houghton, which runs from 8am-8pm each day. Many of you will have received your vaccinations from us there, and others will be getting your vaccines there until well into the autumn.
Now that Covid restrictions are easing, our front doors can open again.
We have never been so busy.
Each day our hardworking reception staff answer the phones to hundreds of calls, and these calls get dealt with, assessed and passed on to the doctors and nurses. We do our very best to safely prioritise everything that is truly urgent.
Our GPs and Nurses deal with all these requests for advice, prescriptions, face-to-face appointments, and home visits each day. We also sign hundreds or prescriptions, check results, read letters from hospitals and coordinate care with our colleagues.
We have worked throughout the pandemic and put ourselves and our families at risk so we can offer the very best care we can, and we will continue to do this tirelessly.
You may get frustrated that you are not being dealt with in a way that is convenient for you, but please be patient, please be kind and most of all please stay safe
Dr Jane Halpin, Principle GP Partner, on behalf of Herrington Medical Centre.
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
It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service.
If you cannot access this online service, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have 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.
Please see a link to the Learning Disability Matters website for families, it has a range of resources to support family resilience and health and wellbeing of children and young people with a learning disability.
Please see below for info on a new app for CYP MH which is free during Covid 19:
A team across NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to identify a number of digital tools to support children and young people who are experiencing increased mental health needs as a result of COVID-19.
The first supplier to complete the process with the team and show how they meet the requirements identified in respect of the children and young people user group is Healios, for its ThinkNinja app.
ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.
**24 Hour domestic abuse helpline is open – 0800 066 5555**
Wearside Women in Need’s advisors offer confidential, non-judgemental support and information to survivors, anyone experiencing domestic abuse, and their friends and families. We know that the Covid-19 outbreak will have serious impacts on the lives of victims and children. We fully recognise the enhanced risk and hardship that restrictions are putting upon those who are in abusive and controlling relationships. Our plea to all community members is to be vigilant and look after the people around you. If you have concerns, report to the Police – all police referrals are assessed and forwarded on to support services.
**IMPORTANT PATIENT NOTICE**
Please note we are closed Monday – Friday between the times of 12noon – 1.30pm. Only emergency telephone calls may be dealt with during this time.
During September 2017 we will begin to use a text message reminder service for appointments. Could you please ensure we have your most up-to date mobile phone number. If you do not wish to receive texts from us please let one of our receptionists know.
Our Practice is highly patient focused and we have a multidisciplinary approach to patients’ health care. We aim to deliver the best for our patients by combining the skills of the practice team with other health and social care workers in the community.
We provide modern health care facilities and focus on continually improving the health of our patients and residents of the community.
This website is aimed at providing you the important information about our practice, our services and our staff in addition to some other useful information and tools available for you to use. Please have a look around and send us any comments or suggestions if you like. We can use your comments and ideas to improve our online services and develop the content of this site accordingly.
A ‘healthy lifestyle’ is what we recommend:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg
- Exercise regularly
- Keep alcohol intake within recommended limits
FAMILY AND FRIENDS TEST
Here at Herrington Medical Centre we are continually working to provide a high quality and effective healthcare service to our patients.
As part of the improvement process we are conducting a Family & Friends Test – this consists of 2 questions. You may be given one at the time of your appointment, or you can answer the questions by completing the form at Reception, or you can complete the Contact Form available on this website with your response. We welcome your feedback and comments.
The 2 questions are:
1. We would like you to think about your recent experience of our service. How likely are you to recommend our GP Practice to family and friends if they needed similar treatment? (please tick appropriate box)
|Neither likely nor unlikely|
2. Is there anything we could have done differently today?
URGENT CARE SERVICES IN SUNDERLAND ARE CHANGING……..
Patients in Sunderland will be able to access NHS urgent care services more simply and closer to home after 1st August 2019.
From 1st August 2019, the best way to access NHS urgent care services will be to contact your GP practice or local pharmacy, or call NHS111 when they are closed.
Urgent care is for minor injuries or illnesses which need medical attention the same day, but are not serious enough for the Emergency Department.
From 1st August 2019, these will be the main urgent care services for patients in Sunderland:
- GP Practices – collectively providing extra appointments in evenings, weekends and bank holidays. These can be booked through your GP practice, at one of five locations around Sunderland, Washington and Houghton.
- Pharmacists – local pharmacists are highly trained and provide free, confidential advice on minor illnesses from sickness and diarrhoea to hay fever.
- Urgent care centres at Pallion or Bunny Hill health centres, open 10am – 10pm Monday to Friday; 8am – 10pm weekends and bank holidays, no appointment needed.
- NHS111 0 if you have an urgent need which is not life-threatening, NHS111 health advisors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get the right medical attention for your needs.
To find out more, please visit http://www.sunderlandccg.nhs.uk