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Latest News

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Flu Jab Appointments

Look out for your invitation by Text or Email

ALL Flu Jab appointments are available ONLINE or via your mobile using the MyGP App or by calling your usual branch

IMPORTANT: This year there are different vaccines for different age groups

Please make sure that you book the correct type of appointment slot - look carefully at the options in the App or Online

There is a vaccine for everyone aged 65 and over - BOOK - AGED 65 and OVER appointment

There is a different vaccine for everyone aged 18 - 65 who is 'at risk' - BOOK - AGED UNDER 65 appointment

Please do have your flu jab at Ball Tree to help protect you and your community this Winter.  

If you do not want to have a flu jab this year - please reply to your text invitation with the single word DECLINE or follow instructions from an email or letter.

NOTE there is a shortage of vaccines for those aged over age 65 and Ball Tree no longer has any remaining

We are awaiting advice regarding whether there will be additional stock made available.  


Research Opportunity

LIGHTMind                                                    

Would you like to try a practitioner-guided self-help course for depression that you can do at home?

We are running a research project looking at whether self-help books for depression can be helpful. You will be given one of two self-help books and six support sessions with a trained practitioner to help you make the best of the book.

 If you are eligible to take part, you will receive three £20 shopping vouchers

 Would you like to find out more?

If you think you might be experiencing depression, are at least 18 years old and living in West Sussex please contact a member of the research team by phone on 07738 757 632 or by email at spnt.lightmind.sussex@nhs.net 

 The study has been approved by the London Surrey NHS Research Ethics Committee, and will be recruiting volunteers until July 2019

 Please click on the following link for more information www.bit.ly/lightmindinfo 


GP Appointments are changing - May 2018 onwards 

GP Appointments on the day are now only available if you are urgently unwell

We will have more GP appointments available to book in advance

Please download and read our new GP Appointment Guide - May 2018. [PDF]


Travel Services not available until later 2018

We are sorry that we will not be able to offer travel services until further notice due to staff shortages.  Our nursing team will be focusing on essential services for the time being.  There are commercial travel services available in the area.


Clinical Team Changes - Autumn 2018

We wish Dr Tom von Biel well with his new ventures.  Dr von Biel will be leaving the practice at the end of September 2018.

We wish a happy retirement to Advanced Nurse Practitioner Annette Fletcher who will be leaving the practice at the end of August 2018.

We welcome Dr Sophie Wang who will be joining us for a year as a GP Registrar for 4 days per week.


2018 Newsletter

Download the Newsletter HERE [PDF] - please share the news -  update your friends and family 

Includes:

  • Changes to services - 3 days for repeat medication and a change to ear wax removal
  • New App for booking appointments - click here for more info
  • Mental Health Access Survey - click here for more info - see also below re Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation
  • Update about our merger & current pressures
  • New services 
  • New TEXT reply service - JUST ONE WORD
  • Working with our community - projects to help join up local services
  • Help us to help you - tips on getting the best from our services
  • Going Digital - please provide mobile numbers and email addresses
  • Free Mindfulness courses and drop in sessions available locally - starting again in June 2018 - scroll down a bit or click here for more information [PDF]

Ear Wax Removal - Changes to Service

Along with practices across West Sussex Ball Tree is changing services for ear wax removal

From March 1st 2018 we we will only be providing ear irrigation services in following circumstances

1) We have received a written request from the hospital ENT or Audiology departments
2) Your GP is going to refer you in to ENT or Audiology

We recommend that you self care in other circumstances - this works in the majority of cases.

You can download our simple guide to help you here [PDF]

On our guide you will find the contacts for local NHS companies where you can purchase ear irrigation services

Our policy on this may change if we are funded differently for ear wax removal services and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused in the meanwhile.


Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation... free local offerings

Relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, chronic illness and pain

When

Monday afternoons - 1.00pm to 2.30pm - Six-week courses - next course starts January 2019

Monday mornings - 10.30am to 11.30am - Drop in sessions

Where

Sompting Big Local Hub (The Parade, Cokeham Rd, BN15 0AH)

How to get involved

To book a course  please contact Liane - liane@thesustainablemind.co.uk

The Sustainable Mind | Sustainable Sussex | Sompting Big Local


Mental Health - Access Survey

We are working with Coastal West Sussex Mind on a project to help improve our access for people experiencing mental health problems.

We want to hear from you about your thoughts on how we can improve our services.  The survey is very short please do take a few minutes to help us shape our future services.


New NHS Guidance if you GP refers you to another service [PDF]

Please download this useful guide to GP referrals to other NHS Services


New Text Messaging System - Reply with KEYWORDS

If you have a mobile number on our system you will be able to reply to text reminders for appointments if you need to cancel them

In addition, you will be able to say no thank you to invitations for Flu vaccinations or Annual Reviews

The system is not for general messaging - however it will help to save you a call and so long as you reply it will mean that you have fewer unwanted invitations.

Please do make sure we have your latest mobile number - we receive HUNDREDS of bounce backs every week.

You only need to reply with JUST ONE KEYWORD - such as DEFER or DECLINE - nothing else - as this is read by a computer and not by a person.


CHANGES to Baby and Child Immunisations - From October 2017

We will be changing to an appointment based system for baby and childhood immunisations from October

We will write to you with a suggested appointment time - please call us straight away if you cannot make the time and we can rearrange this

We are making the changes as we are no longer able to manage the demand for this service as a walk in clinic

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Childhood Immunisations Information [PDF]


Allow up to 5 working days for repeat prescriptions

Due to increased demand on the surgery please allow up to 5 full working days for your prescription to be ready.
Please see our guide for when your prescription should be ready.
Please do not add to the pressures on the surgery team by calling to chase - we are working as efficiently as we are able within the resources that we have.
We are sorry that we are not able to turnaround prescriptions as fast as we would wish.

You can help us by signing up for paperless prescriptions and online services - this allows us to process your requests faster and ensures that your prescription goes directly to your preferred pharmacy.  If you do not sign up for these services, due to limitations in the computer system beyond our control, we cannot guarantee where you will need to go to collect your paper prescription.

Please help us to help you:

Register for EPS Electronic Prescription Service - Go Paperless - this means that you won't have to collect a paper prescription.  It is really quick and easy - just ask at reception or you can do this at your pharmacy.

Some medicines still need to be printed.  Ensure that if you have this sort of medicine you have arranged for your pharmacist to have your prescriptions collected from us.  Make sure that your pharmacist collects from us every day.  If they don't, then you may receive some of your medicines via EPS and still be waiting for them to collect the paper prescription for the medicine that has to be printed out.


Book your appointments by App!

We have invested in a new free App to help you book ALL available non-urgent GP and ALL available Blood Test appointments
Very quick and easy to set up and use
YOU HAVE THE SAME ACCESS as RECEPTION TEAM
You can book 24/7 and don't have to wait on the phone

In time more appointments will become available via the App including a selection Nursing Appointments for particular clinics.
In time the App will allow you to send replies to messages - to say no thank you to invitations or to update our records with your smoking status etc.
The more of you use the App - the more we will be able add new functionality - we need to have a minimum percentage of people using the app to unlock all the potential.


New Patient Survey - Winter / Spring 2018 - please contribute your thoughts and ideas

Please complete our latest full survey - it takes 2 - 3 minutes only - we read every comment and take action wherever we can.


NHS Medicines Costs - Please help the NHS

As you are likely aware due to the cuts in funding all of the NHS needs to find ways to reduce its costs.  You can help with this important task in a few ways.

1) Only ever order the medicine that you actually need – there is lots of evidence that many of us over order and have stashes of unused medicines in our cupboards

2) Take the medicine that you are prescribed as directed by your GP – there is lots of evidence that many of us start to take medicines but then forget or take it or don’t take it as instructed

3) If you have stopped taking a medicine – please let us know.  If you don’t need it, please don’t order it.

4) Many medicines can be bought directly from the pharmacist for a low cost and often less than the cost of a prescription.  Even if you don’t pay for your prescriptions it may be that it would be possible for you to buy your medicines over the counter.  For example, some paracetamol will cost you about 50 pence however a prescription for paracetamol will cost the NHS over £10 due to how the system works.  If many of us choose to purchase over the counter for these types of products then it will save millions of pounds over the whole NHS.

5) You may see that there is a change to the packaging for some of your medication.  We have a team of pharmacists working in the area to help change medications from ‘Brand Name’ to ‘Generic’.  This is the same as Kellogg’s Cornflakes compared with Supermarket Own Cornflakes – however with medications there is NO difference at all in the ingredients of the medicine.  Changes to generic medicines can help save the local NHS many hundreds of thousands of pounds.  For some medicines the change will just happen.  For other medicines we or the pharmacist will write to you to let you know.


Do you have COPD or Asthma? - Register for airAlert to find out when pollution may affect you…

airAlert is a free service for people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD, and heart conditions.  Anyone can register for the service and can receive airAlerts by text, email or voicemail (to a landline).  Alternatively by downloading the free airAlert app alerts can be sent via notifications through the app.  Visit http://www.airalert.info/Sussex/ for more information.


Research in Adur

We are pleased to be part of a new programme in partnership with all the surgeries in Adur to help all our patients to access medical research projects.  We will be working to identify groups of patients who may be suitable to take part in medical research projects.  These can be for all sorts of things, from being asked questions about your medical experiences through to being in clinical trials for new medicines.  Taking part in research can be very interesting and rewarding and sometimes can even help benefit health.  Often it means helping by giving your time to make progress for scientific research.  In the next few months we will have more to tell you about the programme.


Going on Holiday? Plan your Vaccinations well in advance - they take time to work!       

Remember that vaccinations can take a few weeks before they start to protect us.  Some can take months.

Please book a travel appointment as soon as you know that you are going to travel.


Please ALWAYS reply to our invitation letters, emails and texts... Help save the NHS!

As you know from the media, our resources have been cut.  You may not know that every time someone doesn't reply to us, the NHS requires us to contact them again, and again and sometimes again!  This is because we only contact you about important things such as vaccinations and annual reviews.  Every time someone ignores us, perhaps because they don't want to come in, we have to spend a huge amount of time and money setting up administration to contact them again.  We do not have access to modern technology to help us, so things take a lot longer and are much more difficult that you may imagine.

If we contact you, please let us know if you don’t want something.  Every time someone ignores us, it is taking away time and money that we can use to help someone else.  All it takes is a quick call.  We are also creating some new forms on our Online Services page to help you say no thank you.


Worthing Hospital - experiencing high demand - please help our colleagues!

Please do not visit A&E unless it is an actual accident or emergency

There are appointments available at Ball Tree or the MIAMI Clinic (call our Reception)

NHS 111 can advise and provide access to a GP when we are closed


Same day Urgent appointments – Minor Illness – MIAMI Clinic

If you are feeling unwell and want to see a GP on the day – then it is very important that you answer the questions that the receptionist will ask you.
The GPs will not provide access to an on the day urgent appointment without a reason.  Answering the questions will likely help you to be seen faster.

It is never acceptable to book an urgent appointment if you are late with ordering medicines or if you need a certificate.
It is your responsibility to be on time with your ordering and administration.  Urgent appointments are for people who are really unwell.


The Minor Illness And Minor Injuries (MIAMI) - NEW GP Saturday Appointments

MIAMI clinics have been running now for over a year.
They have been very successful and we are pleased to let you know that funding will be continued.
However, the funding will be half the previous level and so there are changes to how MIAMI will work.
Firstly all Ball Tree MIAMI appointments will now be at New Pond Row Surgery 35 South Street, Lancing
Secondly, appointments will only be in the afternoon and early evening.
Thirdly, the childrens’ walk in clinic has stopped.
There are now MIAMI GP appointments on Saturday mornings - these can be booked from Thursday AM onwards


Patient and Staff Safety

We aim to be respectful towards all of our patients and we expect the same respect in return.
Unfortunately, there have been an increasing number of instances where we have been made to feel very uncomfortable by the behaviours of some patients.
This includes unrealistic expectations and aggressive behaviour and language.  We now have a policy that anyone who is rude to our staff will receive a warning letter.
If that patient repeats such behaviour they will be asked to register at a different surgery.

Further to consultation with NHS England, we have unfortunately had to take the decision to install CCTV cameras at the surgery.
This is for the protection of staff and patients.  Information will be stored in strict accordance with the data protection act.
Video footage will be used as evidence to support removing patients from the surgery list where their behaviour or language is not acceptable.


Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today...

Visit: Antibiotic Guardian Website for more information...

Why it is relevant to you: without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

What we want you to do: To slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. We invite the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, to become Antibiotic Guardians.

Call to action: Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

Antibiotic Guardian supports the UK Antimicrobial Resistance strategy, European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November) and World Antibiotic Awareness Week (14-20 November 2016)


going digital - email and text invitations and communication from Ball Tree

We are moving towards the goal of a reduced paper NHS...

This will have several benefits

  • We will be able to get information to you faster via email and text
  • We can save money on postage - which is necessary given our reducing budget and increasing costs
  • We hope to have two way communication by email before too long - but only when we have the resources to keep this communication safe (e.g. we need to be sure that if someone emails us with medically important information that someone will have seen the email)

How you can help

  1. Please can you ensure that you have given us your correct mobile number and email address
  2. Tell us when you change it
  3. We will not know if you have not received an email or a text and we do not have the technology or resources to follow up.

It is your responsibility to keep the information up-to-date. You can do this easily if you register for our online services


Do you have HRT? - Hormone Replacement Therapy ...

Have you had a check in the past year?  We recommend that your medicine is checked every year.  If you have not come in for a review, please make an appointment with your GP.


£ Paying by card...

We are now able to take card payments from most major providers.  We can also accept contactless and ApplePay.


Training Days - Surgery Closures: Next closure Wednesday PM 21st March 2018 from 12PM

Reception will be closed fortnightly on Tuesday lunchtimes for training.  You can still access us via phone during this time.

On training days we take extra steps to make sure we can see as many patients as possible during the morning.  We open again first thing on the morning after
We apologise for any inconvenience caused but hope that you can understand that our continued training ensure we are able to provide you with the most up-to-date and best possible health services.


92% NHS Friends and Family Recommendation

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