Please let us know what you would find most useful to have on our website!
We want to make sure that it has all the information that you need.
Please use our online or in-surgery suggestions box.
FLU CLINICS - When and where 2020
YOU CAN NOW BOOK YOUR FLU VACCINATION AT BALL TREE SURGERY
Please call 01903 752200 to book your appointment. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BOOK ONLINE FOR THESE CLINICS.
It’s highly likely that flu and COVID-19 will be around together this winter, so it’s really important to get your flu vaccination when you are offered it. This helps protect YOU and OTHERS in the community.
This year we are running Flu clinics on Saturday 26th September (NOW FULL) and 3rd October (SPACES AVAILABLE), plus each Thursday in October and November, plus at least one early morning clinic on a Wednesday between 7am and 9am.
We are taking all necessary precautions to make the surgery as safe as possible for patients attending each site. Each site/clinic will have clearly marked routes to ensure social distancing to help keep you and our staff safe.
Age 50 - 64 and no underlying health condition?
Please note that, if you are aged between 50 and 64 and not in a clinical at risk group, the earliest you will be offered a flu vaccination is November, providing there is sufficient vaccine. No appointments will be offered for people in this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. If you are aged 50 to 64 and are in a clinical ‘at risk’ group which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier. (Statement from NHSE)
CHANGES TO APPOINTMENT BOOKING
We are sorry that the folllowing changes will affect all of our patients for the near future. We usually try to keep a mix of pre-bookable and on the day appointments available, however due to the significant impact of the current health concerns across the UK we now need to make some changes to help protect our local community.
From the beginning of March 2020 we have adapted our usual appointment system to help better manage increased demands due to COVID-19.
What has changed?
- There will be no pre-bookable GP appointments
- There will be no online booking
- All GP appointments will now be made available on the day only
Why has this changed?
- Due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 demand has increased substantially
- We need to triage all appointment requests according to the NHS National Guidelines
- We need to try to continue to protect patients and NHS healthcare workers
What will happen now?
- When you call for an appointment with a GP you will be asked a series of questions about your health including recent travel, contact with known COVID-19 carriers and any health symptoms that are associated with COVID-19
- You may be asked to have a call back from a GP before coming to attend for an appointment
- You may be asked to have a phone appointment with a GP or Advanced Nurse practitioner instead of a face to face appointment
- You may be recommended to Self-Care
- If you do need to come to the surgery, we may ask you to come at specific times and at a particular branch.
- Wherever possible we will continue to have appointments available at the surgery each day
- Nursing appointments are currently working as usual but we are reviewing on a weekly basis and there may be additional steps to book in future
NHS Guidance is updating on a daily basis please be aware that there may be further changes to our services.
Online Appointment Booking Temporarily Offline due to Coronavirus Triage
NHS Guidance recommends that all people booking into the surgery are asked about travel and symptoms. To help with this we have temporarily turned off online booking. We hope to restore this as soon as guidance suggests. We are sorry that this useful service is currently suspended.
ALL Paperless Prescriptions Coming Very Soon- Electronic Prescribing Service
Across the UK paper prescriptions are being phased out.
Please ensure that you have nominated your preferred pharmacist to benefit from the new paperless system
All you have to do is ask your local pharmacist to make them your preferred choice for receiving the digital prescriptions
You can also ask our reception team to add the name of a pharmacist when you next come in to order medication.
We are upgrading to the next phase of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) which will mean that almost all our prescriptions will be processed electronically from Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Electronic prescriptions help save the NHS money.
You will receive your prescriptions in the same way as you do now.
Read more about EPS on the NHS website.
You can still order repeat medication on paper
We would prefer it if you could order repeat medication online if this is possible for you
Nursing Appointments - Winter 2019/2020
We are very sorry but due to circumstances beyond the control of the surgery we currently have a shortage of Nursing Appointments.
We know that this will cause concerns and inconvenience and we apologise for this.
We are trying to recruit additional nurses to help with this situation however there is a national shortage of qualified practice nurses and this is proving very difficult.
This is a complex situation and we are doing what we can.
Please be patient with the reception team regarding booking appointments
Telephone - One number 01903 752200
We now have one number to access both branches
We hope that this will help provide better access to the surgery and it will allow us to manage our teams better across the two sites.
The number for our Kingfisher branch will stop working during the Winter
We will be sending out a text and email about this change in the next couple of months
Though we know that no one likes to have messages and options - this will help your call to be answered sooner.
Note that we have an ever increasing number of phone calls and a finite number of staff - please be patient. On some days we have over 800 calls to process...
Local GP Access Hubs - Evening and Weekend Appointments!
GP and Nurse appointments are now available during the evening and at the weekend at local GP access hubs
- Urgent appointments for a new illness
- Same day and next day appointments
- Access to your GP medical records with your consent
- Appointments booked via Ball Tree
- Clinical are operated by IPC which is a not for profit company owned by local GP practices
Talk to our reception team and they can advise you further!
If you are offered a GPAH appointment - please do take this - we will lose this service if it is not used.
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 07391 868694 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The study has been approved by the London Surrey NHS Research Ethics Committee, and will be recruiting volunteers until July 2019
Travel Services not available until later 2020
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.
Download the Newsletter HERE [PDF] - please share the news - update your friends and family
- 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 - throughout 2020- scroll down a bit or click here for more information [PDF]
Ear Wax Removal - Changes to Service - March 2020
Along with practices across West Sussex Ball Tree is changing services for ear wax removal
From March 1st 2020 we we will now be able to provide ear irrigation services in the following circumstances
1) We have received a written request from the hospital ENT or Audiology departments
2) Your GP considers that it is clinically appropriate
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... local offerings
Relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, chronic illness and pain
Mondays - see posters in surgery or download PDF here for more information or contact Liane via the email below
Peaceful local cottage in Sompting
How to get involved
To book a course or a 1-2-1 please contact Liane - email@example.com
Suggested donation is £5 per session - this helps to keep this service sustainable and available locally
The Sustainable Mind | Sustainable Sussex | Sompting Big Local
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.
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.
Allow up to 7 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.
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.
Due to concerns regarding Covid-19 online and App appointment booking is temporarily suspended under the direction of the NHS
Please complete our latest full survey - it takes 3 -4 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.
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 GP Access Hub Clinic (call our Reception)
NHS 111 can advise and provide access to a GP when we are closed
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
- Please can you ensure that you have given us your correct mobile number and email address
- Tell us when you change it
- 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.