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Latest News

2 April 2020: Vulnerable and extremely vulnerable patients

We understand that some extremely vulnerable patients have not yet received the promised government letters. Please do not call the surgery as we have limited capacity to help.  If you think you fall into the extremely vulnerable category, follow the government advice here. You can register for support through the government scheme here without contacting us.Read on for more advice about vulnerable and extremely vulnerable people.

Am I vulnerable or extremely vulnerable and what is the difference?

Everyone is worried about catching coronavirus. For some it is especially important to avoid.

The government has defined two key groups who should take special care:

1. Vulnerable patients. These are patients 70 or over, or under 70 with a long-term condition (broadly speaking these are patients to whom we offer a flu vaccine each year).

Vulnerable patients should observe the same social isolation rules as everyone else but are urged to be particularly stringent about this. You should go out only when essential and work from home if possible. Your employer is expected to be supportive in helping you with this. Please work this out with your employer without involving us. Your employer is also expected to show discretion about requiring a sick note from you if you need to take time off work, even if you have symptoms. These things are important to allow us to focus on clinical care at the surgery. Providing proof of a patient's medical conditions is a non-clinical, low-priority activity for us at the moment.

2. Extremely vulnerable patients. These are patients who:

- have had transplants – like kidney or liver transplants

- are having treatments for some cancers

- have severe long-term lung disease

- were born with conditions that mean they are more likely to get infections

- are taking drugs that reduce the body’s ability to fight infections

- are pregnant with significant heart disease.

Extremely vulnerable patients should observe the same social isolation rules as everyone else and are urged to be particularly stringent about this. You should also take extra precautions, and the government is writing to all patients in this group to tell them about these. The main extra precaution is called shielding, and the key component of this is that you should remain indoors for at least the next 12 weeks. The letter will also describe additional support that is being put in place for extremely vulnerable people to help you with this.

If you read the government advice and work out that you are in the extremely vulnerable group you should practice stringent social isolation and shielding from now on. You do not need to confirm this with us.

1 April 2020: Message from Health Visitors (for Nechells)

Our Health Visitor colleagues have asked us to inform parents in Nechells that all well baby and developments clinics at The Nechells Practice are cancelled until further notice due to COVID 19. For any parental concerns, questions or requests for Healthy Start vitamins please call the health visiting team at Aston Health Centre on 0121 465 3522.   If you get the answering machine, leave your name and number and they will call you back.

For vitamins the Health Visitors will make arrangements for parents to collect the drops from  Aston Health Centre.

30 March 2020: How you can help

If you have access to personal protective equipment which our team could use at the surgery, please get in touch. Specifically we are looking for:

- eye protection such as school science goggles or DIY goggles

- FFP3 masks as may be used in industry

Thank you!

30 March 2020: we have Twitter!

Follow @RidgacreMedical for updates from the team. https://twitter.com/RidgacreMedical

29 March 2020: Coronavirus and mental health
Coronavirus presents a mental health challenge, not just a physical one. The UK government has released some great practical advice on protecting your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. Go to this link for more information.
1) Consider how to connect with others
2) Help and support others
3) Talk about your worries
4) Look after your physical wellbeing
5) Look after your sleep
6) Try to manage difficult feelings
7) Manage your media and information intake
8) Get the facts
9) Think about your new daily routine
10) Do things you enjoy
11) Set goals
12) Keep your mind active
13) Take time to relax and focus on the present
14) If you can, once a day get outside, or bring nature in
29 March 2020: Coronavirus and domestic abuse

The government acknowledges that recent measures announced to tackle coronavirus, such as the order to stay at home, can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Visit this link to view the government advice for those who feel at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

Support can also be found through Women's Aid.

29 March 2020: Your NHS needs YOU! Can you help?

If you are able, you can help with the national effort to overcome coronavirus. You can make a contribution by phone, even if you are in self-isolation. Visit this link to find out more and to register to volunteer.

27 March 2020: Thinking ahead: if I fall ill what are my preferences?

Most of us who catch coronavirus (Covid-19) will have a minor illness and recover fully without any medical treatment. For those who do not have a straightforward experience, there are some key points along the treatment pathway where decisions may be needeed. These are hard to predict fully but the key ones are whether to:

1 - go to hospital for treatment

2 - be treated with a ventilator to support you breathing

3 - be treated with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if your heart stops beating (cardiac arrest). 

If you are able to discuss these decisions with us at or nearer the time, your preferences can form part of our decision making. However, if you are too unwell to tell us your preferences, we can still take them into account if you have told us in advance.

The nationally accepted way for us to do this is by using a ReSPECT form. ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The form is filled in by us as your healthcare team. It  has a section that describes your preferences, where we know these. This form is shared with you, and we can share it amongst the teams caring for you, so you do not have to repeat the discussions unnecessarily.

More information about these issues can be found via the links below.

If you want to make you preferences known to us in respect of treatment options for coronavirus (Covid-19), download and complete the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Treatment Preference Form below, and return it to the surgery. We will then contact you to pick up the discussion and complete a ReSPECT form with you.

This can be a difficult topic to think about. We believe that it is good to hope for the best but also to prepare for the worst. If you are caused any distress by doing this, please contact us to talk about this. We also encourage you to talk it through with those who are close to you.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Treatment Preference Form

Further information:

An open letter from RMC about advance care planning in the context of coronavirus (Covid-19)

ReSPECT for patients and carers

ReSPECT for healthcare professionals (shows the structure of the ReSPECT form and the place for patient preferences) 

BBC: conversations about dying

Information about what happens in critical care

Survival following cardiac resuscitation

26 March 2020: We are on Twitter: @RidgacreMedical

We have opened an account on Twitter so that we can keep you informed about our services throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Follow us on: @RidgacreMedical

25 March 2020: Isolating and alone? This befriending service can help.

In response to the current crisis The Active Wellbeing Society is developing a range of services that support vulnerable and isolated patients including a telephone befriending service.

Patients who would benefit from this support could include older patients, carers, new mums, patients with long term health conditions or those who would simply benefit from a friendly chat.

 

Our practice Social Prescriber will be leading on the telephone befriending service for our patients and coordinating the follow up support.

 

The Active Wellbeing Society are also working with a network of organisations, including food banks, to coordinate efforts to tackle food poverty and food access as part of the City’s resilience plan and developing a series of online support and live streaming activities.  

 

Patients can self refer via the Active Wellbring Society website and also get support on Twitter by searching the hashtag: #brumtogether page: https://theaws.co.uk/coronavirus/  or they can call us on: 0121 728 7030

25 March 2020: Is it worth having a flu jab if it's no good for Coronavirus?

Yes! Flu vaccination may not protect you directly from Coronavirus, but the flu virus is still circulating in the community. If you are not vaccinated, and catch flu now, and then catch Coronavirus on top, your situation could be much more serious. 

We are still offering flu jabs for eligible patients who have not had it, even if you have declined earlier in the season. It is one of the few reasons we are continuing to bring patients up to the surgery.

Call the surgery and book as soon as you can. It takes 7-14 days for the flu jab to start protecting you, so the sooner the better.

25 March 2020: IT systems back up and running in Quinton

BT have responded well to our IT emergency, supervised expertly by our IT lead. Major long-standing faults were discovered, possibly revealed by the increased community use of local IT as more people have been staying at home. The system is now restored. We hopeit will now be stable for the challenge of the coming weeks.

This incident created significant disruption behind the scenes as receptionists, doctors, nurses and administrative staff were redeployed to other buildings to continue receiving your calls and providing care. And of course this happened at a when we are preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak. Many thanks to all those who kept the service running remarkably smoothly, and to those patients for whom our care was interrupted, for your patience. 

25 March 2020: People who are extremely vulnerable

Patients who are extremely vulnerable have been written to by the government with advice on how to stay safe. We are not able to contact all of this group but will be getting in touch with those we know to be most vulnerable in the next few days to encourage careful shielding, review your support arrangements during the shielding period, make sure your medication is organised and that you are generally ok. In the meantime you should follow the government advice online.   

25 March 2020: Have you selected your preferred pharmacy?

- We need you allocate a pharmacist so that we can send your prescriptions directly to them without your having to come to the surgery to pick them up. If you do not select one, we will allocate the nearest to your home.

- Do not bring repeat prescription requests in person. Ask your pharmacist to request it for you or request it online (see link at bottom of this page).

- Do not come to the surgery to discuss a prescription query. Speak to your pharmacist instead. If they cannot resolve it, phone us and ask for a message to be passed to our prescription team. 

- We expect supplies of medicines to flow as normal. Do not ask to have the quantity of your repeat prescription increased.

24 March 2020: Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives

New rules are in force. You must stay at home. More information and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus. Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

24 March 2020: Clinical system failure at Ridgacre House Surgery

Due to the the local Connection problem with BT Open Reach, our clinical system is currently down, we do apologise, rest assured we are doing everything to get this resolved. This incident has been marked as Priority. In the  meantime we are manning the phones and undertaking telephone consultations from Dovecote, Highfield buildings and for some staff, from home. We will update as soon as we have more information.

Isolation of vulnerable groups

The government has now written to those who are regarded as vulnerable and who need special care to avoid catching Coronavirus in the coming weeks. If you have been contacted, please take this advice seriously for your own protection.

Please note, if you are a carer or relative of a vulnerable person you  may have received a message as if you yourself are vulnerable. This is because you may have given us your contact details e.g. mobile phone number and this is on the records as the vulnerable patient's number. Please do not contact us to correct this.

Think before you phone us

We are struggling to cope with very high levels of phone calls, receiving over a thousand calls on Monday 23 March between 8:30am and 1pm alone. A significant proportion of patients are calling simply to discuss the current restrictions and ask questions about self-isolation. Please help our receptionists to cope and only call us if about things that only we can help with. Otherwise please contact NHS 111 or look online where there is a lot of advice already, or the more relevant organisation, eg your pharmacist.

Highfield House closed for patient contacts

Due to COVID-19 Highfield House will be closed until further notice. All sessions will be held at Ridgacre House Surgery. This will let us use Dovecote as a designated building for other functions.

Dovecote Surgery closed for patient contacts 

Due to COVID-19 Dovecote Surgery will be closed  until further notice. All sessions will be held at Ridgacre House Surgery. This will let us use Dovecote as a designated building for other functions.

The drop-in blood test clinic is cancelled until further notice

Petients who need a blood test will be gven a booked appointment. This will help us avoid having a crowded waiting room. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused

Ridgacre House Surgery PPG meetings cancelled

Due to the Coronavirus the Patient Participation Group meetings are cancelled until further notice.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused

Online Appointment booking is suspended

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus we have suspended the service for booking appointments online until further notice. You still have access to order medications online. For all appointments please call the surgery on 0121 422 3111 and speak to one of our receptionists. 

Do not enter our buildings without speaking to us first or if you do not have a booked appointment

This is to keep our surgeries free from Coronavirus infection, to protect other, vulnerable patients that we are seeing

If you have a temperature or new, persistent cough, visit NHS 111 Coronavirus checker

Please do not contact us to tell us if you are self-isolating. 

Please do not ask us for a sick note if you are self isolating

We do not have capacity to give these. See the document on the Homepage about this. You can obtain an isolation note from NHS 111 online

Please do not bring repeat prescription requests to the surgery

Request your medications online or take your request slip to your preferred pharmacy and ask them to make the request for you.

Nechells Practice changes

The past few months have seen major changes in our surgery. As a result of the closure of Dr Majeed’s practice, more than 1000 new patients have joined The Nechells Practice. We welcome all our new patients and feel excited by the prospect of getting to know you and offer you the best NHS General Practice service that we can.

 The speed and size of the change brings several challenges. We must review all the records and medications of our new patients, and make sure these are correct for each person. At the same time we must continue to provide our outstanding level of care to our existing patients. This all adds pressure to our appointment system at a time when we are all aware of the general pressure on the NHS. The team are all working as hard as we can on this this. We are also recruiting new team members including administrative staff, nurses and doctors, which will help us to get things running smoothly in the longer term.

 We are optimistic about the future and confident that our services will soon be running smoothly. In the meantime we are grateful for your patience and cooperation as we get our team right and our processes sorted. Pleased be reassured that we are working as hard as possible to get things running smoothly as quickly as we can.

Nechells Message In Urdu

Nechells Message in Somali

Flu Vaccs still available - and more important than ever

If you are in a vulnerable group and still have not had your flu vaccine please contact us to book this:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems
Livi video consulting is available and will be increased

Patients of Ridgacre Medical Centres can now see an NHS GP by video using LIVI. You can download the LIVI app to your mobile phone or tablet, at the App Store or Google Play. Or visit www.livi.co.uk for more information. We hope to expand this video service very soon to help us cope with the Coronavirus epidemic. In the meanwhile, you can get ready by getting the LIVI app here: https://bit.ly/31nFtcR

Thank you for helping us get ready for Coronavirus

The current situation is very unsettling for us all, patients and staff alike. You (our patients) have been amazing in giving us space and understanding as we shift our systems and services to cope with the outbreak. We can all expect more changes in the coming days and weeks. This might include us cross-covering for other surgeries where staff numbers are down, or asking you to have your care at unfamiliar surgeries if ours is affected. One thing is sure: working together is the best way for us to find our way through this difficult time. We want to be here for you when you need us most. Thank you for helping us in this in your consideration and flexiblity.

We are currently open to new patients

Please telephone and speak to Reception.

Extended Access: Times are Changing

Evening and weekend appointments are available from mid-September. Appointments must be booked in advance through your own GP practice and are available with a range of clinicians including GPs, nurses and health care assistants.

For more information please download our leaflet here

 

Extended Access Ridgacre

Extended Access Nechells

Measles is in the West Midlands. Is your child protected?

Public Health England has confirmed that there is a continuing outbreak of measles in the West Midlands.

Since the 1st November 2017, 107 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported to the West Midlands Health Protection Team:  In order to reduce the number of susceptible people we are taking action and writing to all our patients who are eligible for MMR vaccine according to the national immunisation schedule:

  • First dose given at 12 months of age
  • Second dose given at three years and four months of age

In addition we urge parents of all children under 5 years of age with incomplete MMR immunisation to contact the surgery to arrange an appointment to have their child vaccinated.

Measles is at best a nasty, unpleasant infection; at worst it can cause permanent injury and even threaten life. If your child is not fully vaccinated they are at risk in this current outbreak. Please bring them for vaccination. Vaccination is safe and offers real protection. If you are nervous of the MMR vaccine for any reason you are very welcome to come and discuss this with any of our doctors and nurses.

Online Services 

You can book phone or video appointments and order prescriptions online. Please contact reception for a username and password. Appointments are released online at 8:15am every day.

Please note that if you do not use your account on a regular basis your access will be suspended for security reasons.

Results

If you have a blood test at the surgery you can call the surgery 3 days after the test for the results. Please call reception after 3:00pm and they will be able to give you the results over the phone. Please note results are not available over the phone before 3:00pm.

 2019 CQC ratings at Ridgacre and Quinton

Both of our practices (Ridgacre House Surgery and The Nechells Practice) were inspected for the second time by CQC in March 2019. Both have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ in the reports published in May 2019.

We are delighted about this. It means that not only have we retained our ‘Outstanding’ rating in Quinton, but have reached ‘Outstanding’ for the first time in Nechells, where our last inspection gave us ‘Good with Outstanding features’.
This represents a great deal of hard work and commitment from all of our team. Many thanks also to colleagues in Our Health Partnership, and in particular to our patient participation groups, who supported us so well during the inspection process. It is great to get this positive recognition from the CQC.
Most importantly of all it means we are putting ourselves in position to offer the best possible care to our patients, something that drives everything we do.
If you have a suggestion about how we can continue to improve our service, please let us know using our contact form [LINK] or by filling in a feedback form and putting it in our suggestions box in Reception.
Suggestions:

If you have any suggestions about how to provide our services during the Coronavirus outbreak please let us know. We will not be able to respond directly but will consider every idea..

RMC are Armed Service Veteran Friendly

The practice is accredited as an armed service veteran friendly practice. If you or your relative is a veteran please let us know.

 

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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