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PRACTICE ACTIVITY DATA MARCH 2021
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Practice Newsletter April 2021
Gynae reg flags
We know that some problems seem embarrassing to share. Although, as GPs, we’ve seen it all before, we do understand that you might find some things challenging to discuss. If you have any of these gynaecological symptoms, we’d like to see you to talk about them: https://www.redonline.co.uk/health-self/self/a33466580/gynaecologist-symptoms-cervical-cancer
Diet, cholesterol and fitness
Body image has been discussed frequently in the media. We’re not talking about losing weight here; we’re focusing on a healthy diet. If you’re eating a healthy diet with a calorific intake appropriate for your physical needs, the rest will take care of itself. Men are more at risk of high cholesterol than women. Minor changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your long-term risks. Increased cholesterol puts you at greater risk of heart problems and strokes. One of the ways to reduce your risk is fitness.
Have you heard of ‘parkrun’? Parkrun is a fantastic free activity organised by volunteers. While restrictions in the UK mean that parkrun for adults can’t go ahead, there’s good news ahead if you’ve considered ‘junior parkrun’. It’s a brilliant way to keep fit and get youngsters outdoors. It’s not just for youngsters, though. Although parkrun can’t go ahead in organised groups at the moment, you can always run the route. You can check out the course for your local parkruns here:
Young people, sexting and bullying
If you’re a young person suffering from bullying, you can access support and help through Bullying UK. Bullying takes many forms, both in person and online. Some young people are encouraged to sext, which then provides different resources for bullies to use. If you have a child who has access to their own mobile phone, you should talk to them about the dangers of sexting. Bullying UK has brilliant advice covering many areas. The Anti-Bullying Alliance has got some handy and practical tips on how to deal with bullying too. If you feel bullying is affecting your mental health, we can offer help and support.
https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.o.../Top tips for children and young people_0.pdf
Stress has been a significant feature of the last 12 months for most people in the UK. We’ve had to cope with things we probably never would have thought possible. If you’re not feeling as happy as you did 12 months ago, then perhaps it’s worth taking a look at the NHS quiz below. Mindfulness can help to relieve stress, and if you think tha
t relaxation is all crossed legs and yoga, you couldn’t be more wrong; relaxation takes many forms, as the following information from MIND shows. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/se...ties/depression-anxiety-self-assessment-quiz/
Ageing and shingles
Some changes to your body are common when you get older. What changes can you expect, and how can you minimise the impact? It’s not just physical changes. You may find that you need to reassess other areas of your life. You might want to give some thought to how you’d like your life to look as you get older. It’s worth thinking about how much support you might need and whether you’d need to make changes to your living arrangements before it becomes an urgent need.
Some conditions can be particularly uncomfortable if you are older, and shingles is one of them. If you’re aged between 70 and 79, you’re eligible for a shingles vaccination. If you have previously been told that you’re eligible but didn’t take up the offer, you can still have the vaccine before your 80th birthday. Shingles can be very unpleasant for several weeks, and it’s much better if you can avoid it altogether.
Diabetes is a significant cause of ill health in the UK. One in ten people over the age of 40 in the UK are now living with a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Incredibly, more than half of all cases of Type 2 Diabetes could be delayed or prevented. Minor lifestyle changes can make a significant difference to your risks. What steps can you take to reduce your risk? If your risk score shows you as being of high risk for diabetes, please make an appointment with one of our nurses.
IBS and bowels
April is IBS Awareness Month. Chances are, if you don’t suffer from IBS, you know someone who does. Sufferers often don’t talk about their symptoms due to embarrassment. Irritable bowel syndrome can be a life-long challenge to live with, restricting your diet and activities. If any of the symptoms sound familiar, such as recurring stomach pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation, it might be worth making a GP appointment to discuss it further. COVID-19 has led to fewer people seeking help for worrying symptoms. If you have bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, you should get it checked out. It may not be anything serious, but it’s better to find out quickly. While the number of people who have bowel cancer is small, appropriate support costs money. Bowel Cancer UK would like to see you get active every day in April. You can raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK and get fit simultaneously, so it’s a win-win.
Most people will have heard of arthritis, but there is a wide range of associated conditions with similar symptoms. Versus Arthritis is dedicated to supporting people who have arthritis. They have a brilliant website full of valuable resources. Arthritis varies considerably in severity and treatment, so it’s always worth talking to your GP if things have changed for you.
If you’re aged 14 or over and are on our Learning Disability Register, we’d like to see you at least once a year for a check-up, and to see how you’re getting on. If you’ve received an invitation for a health check because you or someone you care for has a learning disability, please make sure you attend so we can check your general health and make sure you’re feeling well. If you think you should be on our register but aren’t sure if you are, just give us a call and we’ll have a look for you.
Autism awareness (29th March to 4th April)
If you think of the autism spectrum as a linear scale, you might want to think again. Autism is a complex condition and, as they say, if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. Fewer girls are diagnosed with autism than boys, so why is that? This interesting piece below looks at the reasons why girls are diagnosed less often.
World Health Day (7th April 2021)
7th April is World Health Day and WHO wants us to address health inequalities across the globe. As a nation with access to excellent healthcare, free at point of need, we should encourage improved healthcare for every country.
As COVID-19 has demonstrated, where you live can have a massive impact on your life. Health inequality shouldn’t happen in the UK because we have free access to good healthcare. The difference between the least deprived and most deprived areas equates to almost ten years of life expectancy for men. That’s not the whole argument, though. Attending reviews and making healthy lifestyle choices can improve health outcomes.
Parkinson’s awareness (11th April 2021)
11th April is World Parkinson’s Day. Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s. It’s a neurological condition that gets worse over time. If you are, or you care for, someone living with Parkinson’s, tune in between 11 and 12 for a live event that covers topics that matter to you. You can join the event by visiting the parkinsons.org.uk website on the day or by watching on YouTube.
European Imms Week (26th April – 2nd May 2021)
The theme for this year’s European Immunisation Week is ‘Prevent, Protect, Immunise’. As we’ve all seen in the past months, we need herd immunity to protect those who cannot be immunised. In the UK, we’re offered free vaccinations at certain times in our lives. If you’re offered a vaccination, please have it; it can save your life and the lives of others.
If you’re over 50, or have a condition that makes you at higher risk from coronavirus, are a frontline health and social care worker, have a learning disability, or are a carer for someone at higher risk from coronavirus, you can book your appointment for vaccination now by contacting us, or visiting:
Clinical Practice Research
This practice contributes to the Clinical Research Datalink
Powys Pharmacy Opening Hours
See the attached leadflet for the pharmacy opening hours across the Powys region
Blue Badge Availability
Who is eligible for a blue badge?
Free Diabetes Pre-conception Advice
Do you have diabete? Do you want a baby?
Free pre-conception advice available for all Wales
Information on COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys
Mental Health Monitoring
Download the active Monitoring Leaflet here
Home Shouldn't be a Place of Fear
Chat to us confidentially on 07860 077333. More details here
The Mamwlad Project
The Mamwlad project, funded by the Welsh Government is delivered by Care & Repair in Powys and Age Cymru Powys. It is a service to help people over 50 in the farming community whether a farmer, farm worker or retired from farming to stay living at home safely and independently and to tackle loneliness and isolation.
Credu Connecting Carers
Looking after somone with a health condition and/or disability?
We know there’s been a lot of discussion in the news this week about GPs providing face-to face-appointments. We wanted to take this opportunity to keep all of our patients updated on how we are operating at the practice and the reasons why.
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve remained open to patients. We’ve offered appointments using new ways of working and new technology. We’ve worked hard to make sure we’ve remained available to speak to throughout and to quickly signpost patients to the most appropriate care.
- At the onset of the pandemic we changed our way of working overnight as we identified quickly that without making these necessary changes we ran the unthinkable risk of being unable to provide a safe and effective clinical service to our patients.
- We know that patients sometimes prefer to see a GP face to face, but there are reasons why we went to a triage model offering video and telephone consultations, and government guidance has played a big part in this. It has remained the case that if we’ve needed to see a patient face to face we’ve asked those patients to come in to see us following clinical triage taking place. This system will remain, Coronavirus is still with us and we must ensure that the only patients being seen face to face are doing so because it is clinically appropriate to do so.
- If you are offered a face to face appointment we will look and feel a little differently when you attend at the surgery. You will be met at the door by a team member wearing PPE who will check you in.
- Please only attend at your appointment time, we will not be able to see you earlier as we have strict infection control processes in place between patients to ensure we keep both patients and staff safe.
- Your clinician will see you wearing PPE which can include a mask, visor, apron and gloves.
- All patients are being asked to attend the surgery wearing a face covering, this is in line with Welsh Government guidance.
- Offering new ways of working has helped some patients to access appointments who wouldn’t normally be able to due to other commitments, such as their work or caring responsibilities but we are aware of the IT challenges in our beautiful rural area, we know that some patients have difficulty getting mobile phone signal/internet access or who find using technology a challenge, we will continue to strive to overcome these challenges and highlight concerns to the relevant authorities.
- The cleaning required between patients during the pandemic means that if all patients were to come into the surgery, we wouldn’t be able to offer the same number of appointments because of the amount of time that cleaning between each patient takes. However, we’ll always see patients face to face who need to be seen face to face.
- Changing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) between each patient adds additional time to the end of each appointment. Prior to Coronavirus a face to face appointment with a clinician would be 10 - 15 minutes. Now an appointment will often involve a 10 - 15 minute telephone triage call followed up if appropriate with a face to face appointment of 10 - 15 minutes and a further 10 - 15 minutes of PPE change and cleaning. This adds an additional pressure on the clinical time we have available and one of the reasons we must ensure patients who are seen face to face are only seen when clinically appropriate.
- The difficulty in obtaining PPE has also meant that we’ve needed to be more cautious than normal about the way we use scare resources. We continue to work hard daily to source the PPE we need.
- We understand that some patients are reluctant to come and see us in the surgery as they’re worried. We’re making sure that social distancing is as good as it possibly can be and that we maintain a ‘COVID-secure’ environment. Some of the things we take into account when we’re considering this are: the number of people in the waiting room, the number of people who pass each other in the corridors, and the toilet facilities that are available.
- Our staff are people too, and some may have ethnicity or health issues that make them more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. As caring employers, we need to ensure that we keep our staff safe as well. We take the necessary precautions to keep both our staff and our patients safe.
- We have many elderly and vulnerable patients with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to coronavirus than most. We also know that there are young and healthy people who have been seriously affected by COVID-19, so it isn’t just the elderly or infirm we need to protect.
- Increasing the number of patients in the surgery would mean that we’d increase the risk for everyone – particularly if some of those people had symptoms of COVID-19 and were unwell enough to need to be seen. For this reason, we will continue to triage and ensure we are only asking patients where there is a clinical need to do so to attend our surgeries.
- There’s nothing we’d like to see more than a return to ‘normal’ life and the easy face-to-face care we’ve always provided, but at the moment offering fewer face-to-face appointments keeps patients safe and provides the maximum number of appointments we can.
We are open and we are here for you but we must continue to work differently for some time for all of the reasons detailed above and to allow us to use our limited resources in the best way possible.
We’re available to talk to, and we always want to hear from, patients who need us. While we understand patients’ frustrations with the current situation, we hope you’ll continue to help and support us, as you’ve always supported the us so that we can go on providing you with care and support in the coming weeks and months.
Finally we are immensely appreciative of all of the support the practice has received from our wonderful community and the respect you continue to show on a daily basis to our team, many of whom have worked without a break over the last few months to ensure we have been able to remain open to help you throughout this difficult and challenging time for us all
PRACTICE UPDATE - FACE COVERINGS
The practice are asking all patients to please wear a face covering when entering any of our surgeries - this does not apply when you are collecting you medication but we do ask that you to adhere to social distancing by queuing two metres apart
For more details on how to make your own face masks please visit https://gov.wales/face-coverings-frequently-asked-questions