Welcome to our Autumn newsletter. I hope this finds you and those dearest to you safe and well.
This has been a difficult year and I am sure we have all had to face challenges and experienced worrying times over the last few months. It has been no different at Moss Grove surgeries. Like all our NHS colleagues, we have seen our work patterns changed as we deal with the extra pressures brought by Covid-19. At all times I have been hugely grateful for the way our dedicated staff have been willing to leave their own anxieties and those of their families behind and come to work, adapt quickly to the changes and support us so that together we can all focus on the health and wellbeing of our patients.
In this newsletter I will update you on the changes the Practice has had to make due to Covid-19; outline the flu vaccination campaign that starts this September for the eligible groups; and update you on the progress of the merger, highlighting some of the additional services patients are already receiving as a result.
Changes in response to Covid-19
Triage of all appointments
Since the start of lockdown in March all GPs in England have been instructed to close the doors to their surgeries and to adopt a triage first system for all patients requiring appointments. Patients must now first provide some basic information about their condition so the best available resolution can be given. At Moss Grove surgeries this should preferably be done via our website (www.mossgrovesurgery.co.uk) or by telephone.
This information is assessed and prioritised by one of our Doctors during normal surgery hours. If appropriate, a patient may be telephoned by a Doctor so the situation can be discussed, and an action plan decided. Patients who need to be seen and assessed further are given an appointment to attend the surgery so they can see a Doctor or a Nurse face-to-face.
Until we get a further directive from NHS England to change, this process must remain in place. We recognise it is a different way to access us and we thank you for accepting it and supporting us in our efforts to find the best way through it.
Merger of Moss Grove Kinver and Moss Grove Kingswinford
On July 1st, 2020, the two Practices merged to form ‘Moss Grove Surgery’. The surgery is now a Member Practice of Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and a member of Kingswinford/Wordsley Primary Care Network.
Our reasons for merging are well known to you all but in summary they are:
- Ensuring equity and improved service provision for all our patients
- Kinver patients gaining from new services being offered by Dudley’s new model of care
- Ensuring and maintaining the provision of general practice in Kinver
- Supporting and retention of new staff members
- Effective and improved efficiencies of certain administration tasks
Changes Resulting from the Merger
From the patient perspective, there have been few. Most of the changes were about the administration of the Practice and included centralising some services to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
As already explained, the changes patients have noticed most are a consequence of Covid-19 and the implementation of Directives from NHS England to all GPs surgeries.
‘Patient Access’ (Kinver patients)
We are aware that some Kinver patients have had problems re-registering with ‘Patient Access’ following the merger. This is an entirely different company, with no links to the Practice, and it was their requirement that patients must re-register in this way. We are very sorry this has occurred but, as you will appreciate, the problems experienced by many of you were beyond our control. Please contact ‘Patient Access’ direct if you are still experiencing issues.
New Website – www.mossgrovesurgery.co.uk
Our new website has ‘rooms’ which you can enter for advice and to complete an enquiry form. All forms are received in surgery in one place and sent to the relevant person or Doctor to reply to you. Please don’t worry if you enter the wrong room to send your enquiry. They all go to the same place for action. Your query will be looked at on the day.
Flu Vaccination Clinics
This year our flu campaign is bigger than ever! We must immunise more people, as well as adhering to all safety regulations around Covid–19. As a result, our campaign is split into two phases:
In September and October, we plan to immunise
- All our staff
- Residents of all care homes
- Those patients who request flu jabs who are over 65 years of age
- Those with long-term conditions
- All pregnant ladies
From November we will be offering appointments to all patients who are aged 50-65 who have not already received one.
Please note, we cannot start immunising those who fall into this category until we have been allocated sufficient vaccines by the Government. We will contact you via text or by phone nearer the time.
Please be mindful we are immunising high risk groups now and need to contact and inform these groups first.
Week commencing 28th September we will be immunising the over 65’s at Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club.
Week commencing 5th October we will be immunising the over 65’s at Kinver Community & Sports Centre (KCSA)
Week commencing 12th October we will be immunising those under the age of 65 with a long-term condition, at Kinver Community & Sports Centre (KCSA).
For all these sessions we would ask you to adhere to these requests:
- Everyone must wear a face covering
- Wear loose clothing so our nurses can easily access your arm. Gentlemen, please wear a short sleeve shirt
- Be prepared to queue
- Be aware of social distancing and always maintain a safe distance from other attendees before, during and after your injection
Your co-operation would be greatly appreciated as we try our best to immunise you all in a safe and effective way.
Support with Mental Health issues
We have also recently added the services of Sam Hemmings, our mental health care worker. Sam takes telephone appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays from any patients who wish to discuss their mental health.
Kinver and Kingswinford Patient Participation Groups
Kinver PPG – Chair Kelvin Manners
The changes introduced by NHS England at all GP surgeries since March have meant that the Practice has sought our input even more often than usual to ensure the patient perspective is at the forefront of the decisions that are having to be made about the way the surgery operates.
Covid-19 has changed the way we operate too. With the surgery closed and social distancing making our previous meeting format impossible, we have been holding regular online briefings and discussions. This has worked well. And with no need to leave home to take part, it has meant that more PPG Members have been able to contribute.
The role of the PPG is to represent patients in discussions with the Practice about the way services are delivered to ensure, as far as is possible, your different needs are met.
To do our job well we need to be as diverse a group as possible and so we are always looking for new members. We are particularly keen to recruit volunteers such as parents of young children, carers, the less able-bodied and working couples, as well as the retired. All patients of Moss Grove Surgery, Kinver, are eligible. You simply need access to a laptop or tablet, an email address, and a willingness to spare a couple of hours every few weeks to take part in our regular ‘virtual’ meetings. If you are interested to learn more about how we operate, just email email@example.com.
Kingswinford PPG – Chair Paul Benge
The Kingswinford Patient Participation Group are a group of patients who have an interest in ensuring the best quality of care is available to the patients of the practice and have been a critical friend to the surgery for over 10 years.
The onset of Covid-19 has seen the biggest change to General Practice in a generation. This has presented new challenges for General Practice mentioned previously in the newsletter. The Patient Participation Group at Kingswinford has also had to adapt with virtual meetings replacing those formerly held in the surgery.
These new challenges together with changes in the Surgery website have given the Patient Participation Group new opportunities to give constructive feedback on how these changes have been implemented which will hopefully deliver improved services that will benefit the surgery and the patients alike. Looking forward it looks like virtual meetings will continue until further notice. The changes made to date within the practice and the new website will be our main areas of review over
the coming months. If you would like to join the Kingswinford patient participation group could you leave your details with the surgery so that they can be passed onto the chair of the group.
Practice policy on home visiting has not changed. All requests must be triaged first but, if needed, we will always visit our elderly patients who are housebound and our patients who are under the care of the McMillan teams, at home.
These have continued throughout the lockdown and patients can book them via our triage services.
Clinics for Long-Term Conditions
We are slowly beginning to start these clinics. Most patients are being successfully reviewed remotely and, as with other appointments, any patient who needs to be seen face-to-face will be given an appointment.
There are various ways patients can order prescriptions:
- Via our website
- Online via the ‘Patient Access’ website
- By posting a paper request through the letterboxes in both surgeries, and
- Via your local Pharmacist
We cannot accept telephone requests and we are unable to allow Patients into the surgeries to order prescriptions face-to-face for the reasons already explained. Any queries regarding your medications should be entered online via our website.
Staffing at Our Surgeries
We have recruited Dr Rai, Dr Ahmed, and Dr Gul to supplement our Team. In addition, we welcome Dr Cousins back from maternity leave. Dr Minton has left us to move closer to her family in the South West.
As a result of this further recruitment there are always two Doctors working in Kinver every day and three on Mondays.
We have also increased the nursing capacity at our Kinver surgery and we welcome Jo Arrowsmith and Abbie Lewis who join Jane.
First Contact Physiotherapist
James has joined our Team and all patients can make appointments to speak with them on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
As a result of the merger this service is now available to our Kinver patients too. Appointments are available to get immediate advice on any muscular skeletal problems from our first contact physiotherapists, James and Tom.