Top tips to get the most out of your GP appointment
Is your issue urgent? Do you need to see a specific GP?
Is it important you are seen quickly or would you rather wait for an appointment with a particular GP? If you have a long-term illness would you benefit from seeing a GP who knows your history personally? Alternatively could you see the Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse? In many cases, another member of the clinical team could deal with your concern, so consider this as an alternative to making an appointment with a GP.
Many problems? See if you can book a double appointment
If you have a number of issues that you would like to discuss with your GP, ask at reception to see whether it is possible to book a double appointment to give you more time to talk them through.
Discuss important things first and stick to the point
Make sure you tell the doctor about the important things first and try to get to the point. Do not feel you have to justify being there or leave your main concern to the end.
Take notes to help you
Before you see your GP, be clear in your own mind what you want to say. Make a note of your symptoms, worries and any questions that you would like to ask.
Take a list of your medicines - prescribed or otherwise
Bring a list of any medication you are taking, including over-the-counter and/or alternative medicines, or anything prescribed after a hospital visit. This includes tablets, liquids or creams. Your GP needs to know about everything you are taking.
Not clear on the treatment plan? Ask again
Make sure you fully understand the next steps before you leave the room. If you don’t, then don’t be afraid of asking your GP to go through the plan again.
Ask who to contact if you have any more questions
You may think of questions that you would like to ask after your appointment. Find out who you can contact to ask questions, as well as any support groups that can provide reliable information.
If you need support, take a relative, carer or friend
If you feel your situation needs it, take a relative or friend for support. They can help you understand or explain.
Unhappy? Ask to see another GP
If you’re not happy, you can ask to see another GP in the Practice. You can also change GP Practices, but you should as a first step, always discuss your concerns with a practice member of staff.
You can always ask for help or advice from the Reception Team and they will direct you to the most appropriate service. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Walking for Health
Keith Harrison, the Health and Wellbeing Officer for North Dorset GP Practices attended the Walking for Health Christmas party luncheon on Saturday 8th December at the Royal Chase Hotel in Shaftesbury along with approximately 100 people. This was arranged by the volunteers from Gillingham and Shaftesbury Walking for Health groups. They held a raffle and raised £275 for the youth clubs in Gillingham and Shaftesbury.
What an amazing job they do, running numerous walks all for free. All our welcome and they cater for all levels of fitness. No need to book, you can just turn up. Sensible shoes and waterproofs are suggested for this time of year and well behaved dogs are most welcome too.
The North Dorset Walking For Health Scheme was established in late 2017 to create opportunities for people to benefit from group walking. There is a Monday afternoon walk starting at The Barn Surgery and a Tuesday afternoon walk starting at Peacemarsh Surgery. All walks are free. For further information, please click on the following link, take a look at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/northdorsethealthwalks/ or see the attached leaflet
Could you be a volunteer Health Walk Leader?
Walking is a great way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally and lots of evidence suggests that regular walking with a group adds social benefits too. A free one-day training course for volunteer Walk Leaders will take place in Sherborne on Monday 22nd October. No prior experience is required, just lots of enthusiasm and an interest in supporting others to stay healthy. The North Dorset Walking For Health scheme has trained over 50 volunteers who now provide weekly Health Walks in Sturminster, Blandford, Shillingstone, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sherborne. These are opportunities for those who want to walk a short distance of 1-2 miles at a steady pace in a friendly group. All walks are free and local GP practices are supporting the scheme as they are keen to promote the health benefits associated with regular physical activity.
If you would like more information please contact Keith Harrison, Scheme Coordinator on 07825 691508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of all walks are on the scheme website - https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/north-dorset-walking-for-health - and there is a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/northdorsethealthwalks
Self-Management Health Coaching
The surgery now has a specialist Health Coach who is able to give more time and support for any of our patients with an on-going health condition or who is a carer:
- Coaching not Counselling
- For knowledge, confidence and skills to manage health conditions and the impact on day to day life
- 18 years +
- 45 minute appointments on a Wednesday at The Barn Surgery
For further information, please speak to Reception or your GP.
GPs can refer patients to this service or you can also self-refer by booking an appointment with Reception, phoning the Health Coach Helpline on 0303 303 0153 or by emailing email@example.com
Coffee Companions was developed and launched a year ago in Gillingham with the help of Support the Elderly. This initiative has since grown out of concern about the growing number of people experiencing social isolation and/or loneliness and the aim is for it to be useful to whole communities in creating connections and companionship in an informal way. For further information, please visit their website www.coffeecompanions.co.uk
What is GDPR ? (General Data Protection Regulation)
The GDPR is a new law that will become applicable from 25th May 2018 which supersedes the Data Protection Act. It determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe, and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data. Its intention is to strengthen data protection for individuals across the European Union. It covers anywhere in the world in which data about EU citizens is processed and will apply even after the UK leaves the EU.
We will be contacting our patients during May 2018 that we hold a mobile number for via text to gain consent for us to continue using this as a method of contact. If you wish to continue to use our text messaging service, patients just need to reply START and your preferences will be recorded. To decline just reply STOP. Patients will receive the text weekly as a reminder if they do not respond. If we do not receive a response by the end of May 2018, when our campaign finishes, patients records will automatically be recorded as declined.
Please be aware that patients can change the preferences at any time, please just let Reception know.
If you require any further information, please read our Privacy Notice or contact the surgery.
Shingles Immunisation Programme
For further information regarding Shingles and the vaccination, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/ Please click here to look at the Shingles Eligibility poster to check whether you are entitled to a shingles vaccination and if you wish to book an appointment, please contact Reception.
Is it your birthday in JULY or AUGUST - Happy Birthday from us all at the Practice, but please don't forget you need to arrange to have your annual review for any of the following conditions:
- High Blood Pressure, Atrial Fibrillation,Heart Failure, Peripheral Artery Disease, Angina or have a history of Heart Attack,Stroke or TIA.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Mental Health
- Learning Disabilities
Have you ever wondered why you sometimes can't get an appointment? Each month we check how many appointments were booked but the patient failed to turn up - we call these Did Not Attends (DNA's):
DNAs in JUNE 2019 = 132
By not turning up for appointments you waste Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants' time and prevent other patients from seeing a clinician.
Please help us to help you by cancelling appointments if not needed so we can offer them to other patients.
If you receive text message reminders for your appointments, you can now reply "CANCEL" if you are unable to make your appointment and this will automatically be cancelled for you.
KEEP IT OR CANCEL IT......... BUT PLEASE DON'T WASTE IT!
Support in Dorset
Please see the leaflet LiveWell Dorset for information regarding who LiveWell Dorset are, how they can help, the services they offer such as weight management, exercise and healthy living, and how to register.
For information on Living Well Courses, please click on the following link: Living Well Courses
Patient Contact Details
For information regarding child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Dorset, please visit their website https://www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/our-services-hospitals/mental-health/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-camhs
Patient Records Online
In addition to being able to book appointments online and order your repeat prescriptions. You can now request to view your detailed coded medical information online too. Please ask at Reception to register for an online account to sign-up for this service.
Friends and Family Test
Would you recommend us to your friends and family?
Please take a moment to fill out a form either online or at the surgery. You can also use our automated text messaging service after you attend for your appointment.
Please click here to complete an online form.
Clinical Services Review
The Clinical Services Review website has all the latest information and further details: -
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