Services available at your Practice - Helping you to get the best out of the NHS
This web-site is about helping you to understand how you can get the best out of the Practice and other resources.
Our most recent patient survey has shown that patients want to be able to
See the clinician sooner
See the clinician on time
Feel that all their concerns have been met
It has been independently confirmed that the practice already offers more appointments than the average to its patients.
So how can we meet the demand? Being prepared for the consultation greatly helps as does recognising the length of the appointment slot and helping the clinician to stay within the time limit.
You may ask how? There are some simple steps that are essential for you to understand, that will help you on your journey of discovery for your health and well-being:
What condition do you suffer with? This may sound “silly” but is the first step. If you know what you suffer with, you can tell others about it if you fall ill and you can then start to ask what it means for you and what you need to know. This is one of the key reasons why you need access to your own GP-held record.
What does that condition mean? There is a lot of information available on the internet and in other places that can help you to find out what the condition means. The quality of the information is variable – some good, some not so good. By accessing your own GP-held record, you can go to other linked websites that might help you to understand your condition better.
What help is available for you to use? In the past you simply went to your family GP every time you needed some medical treatment. Now there are a number of GPs in the practice, as well as Practice nurses, health care assistants, counsellors, midwives and health visitors. Some pharmacists are now conducting medication overviews. Opticians and specialist nurses in the community are available. NHS Direct and the Out of Hours service are also available as are a number of websites that can help you further. Understanding who does what will help you to know who to go to for further information and when.
What does the condition mean for you? The practice regularly checks
how you are doing
what impact the condition is having on you
whether treatments are working or not
It is important that you understand what the practice is trying to achieve and how it is doing this. We will show you what we need from you as a minimum eg a medication review twice a year, 6 months apart. You might decide for example that it is more convenient for you to have a medication review in April and October rather than the ones we have suggested. This information is recorded in your medical record.
Every time you have an encounter with a clinician (nurse or doctor), they will record in your health record what they think is happening for you.
What needs to happen now and in the future? This is the plan that hopefully has been negotiated between yourself and the clinician. It explains what should happen next
some things may be what the clinician wants (e.g. a chest Xray or some blood tests)
some things may be what we want you to do (eg join the Tameside Sports Trust Lifestyle Club to increase the amount of exercise you do).
If you understand what needs to happen, you might find an easier way of doing things e.g. book an appointment to see the clinician after you have had your tests done, not before it. Checking whether you really do need to see the clinician or whether there are alternative sources you can go to e.g. the pharmacist, the optician or perhaps a website that gives you better information.
What can you do to help? Register with NHS HealthSpace. Here you can record personal values relating to your health e.g. blood pressure readings or your height and weight. You can also put reminders in for any appointments you have (not just health related ones or those that are in the practice only) and it will send you an e-mail reminder up to 2 days before the appointment if you wish. You can also book an appointment at a hospital of your choice if you have been referred on to a hospital from here. Also look at NHS Choices which gives you more information about some of the choices you have in the NHS and things you may wish to consider during your journey of discovery. Explore the Map of Medicine – the knowledge management tool for the NHS which is now available for patients to view too. You can compare your own experience with what the Map suggests should happen.
NHS Direct online is a great website for understanding specifics of individual conditions and different treatments. It has a great advice section helping you to decide who to turn to if you discover an ailment and are not sure whether you need to see a doctor urgently or whether there are other things you can do instead.
How are we doing? To date the only view of the NHS that people have had have been their own individual experiences. But actually there is a great deal of information available that shows how others are doing as well. This is useful and can help to motivate you. So if for instance the practice wants your blood pressure to be less than 150/90, we can also show what proportion of our hypertensive patients last year achieved that. That will hopefully show you that this can be done. There may be some areas where we are not doing as well in. That is useful for you to know so that you can help us to do even better. More broadly you may even wish to see what challenges there are in the local area (Tameside and Glossop). That will help you to understand the bigger challenges that the community in which you live has and what the local NHS (Tameside & Glossop Primary Care Trust) is trying to do to improve the local health and well-being of its residents
How can you help us do even better and help other patients too? This is very important. In your journey of discovery about your health, you may come across odd things that do not make sense about the way the practice runs and you may have a better suggestion. Or you may come across something new that we have not considered that helps you even more. Tell us about it next time you see a clinician or preferably write it down and hand it in or send it as a comment to the Patient Participation Group (PPG) so that they can bring it up with the practice the next time we meet up. Even better, why don’t you join the PPG and become an active member. We are always on the look out for new members and new ideas.
By working together and understanding each other’s needs better, we can help you to get the best out of the practice and the wider NHS.