summer update from stonehaven medical group
There have been a number of staff related updates to make you aware of over the last few months.
Doctors: Dr Claire Johnston is off until 2016 on maternity leave and we are pleased to announce she had a little boy a few weeks ago. Dr Caroline Bates is back with us to cover for her third spell at the surgery and we are delighted she was able to return to us again.
Dr Kirsty Ross will be starting back following her maternity leave in September 2015 and we are looking forward to welcoming her back.
Dr Mark Dewhurst has successfully completed his GP training and will be a fully qualified GP from August. Well done! Dr Dewhurst will be working with us until at least September.
Dr Gillian Macleod continues to undertake her GP training within the surgery and she will be joined by Dr Rebecca Greenslade who will return in August 2015 to start her final year of GP training. We wish them both the best as they deal with exams throughout the year.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners
As many of you will now be aware we have successfully appointed two advanced nurse practitioners – Alexis Grewar and Claire Cameron. Both have undergone additional training to enable them to deal with many patients who would have traditionally seen a GP. In particular they are adept at dealing acute illness and acute complications of long term conditions. Both are also able to prescribe medications in the same way as a GP. We are glad to be able to offer even more appointments now on a day to day basis. If you are interested in finding out more about our Advanced Nurse Practitioners then please come along to our patient educational evening on August 19 at 7pm where they will be giving a talk about their roles and will be able to answer and queries you may have.
We were sad to see Janice Emslie leave the surgery for pastures new but are pleased to report that Sarah Slessor has just started with us on a full time basis. Wendy Hay is now on maternity leave and we have a temporary replacement Tracey Fraser with us to cover. As ever with new staff members they have to undergo a significant amount of training and this may lead to some delays in handling calls and prescriptions etc. We are confident both will be up to speed very quickly but in the meantime your patience is much appreciated.
New Telephone Number
A reminder that the telephone number has changed from the July 1 to 0345 337 1160. This will make calls cheaper for most patients but allows us to retain the queuing system which has been effective in ensuring a fairer system for contacting the surgery.
It is also worth highlighting that we have six members of staff answering the phone at 8.30am every morning so don’t despair if you are number 24 – this is really number four!
As a final note relating to telephones we are also keen to encourage the use of telephone appointments which can be booked for all GPs. This can be a very effective way of discussing ongoing issues. If you are unsure if your issue can be dealt with over the phone please ask the GP that you are seeing if a follow-up appointment can be dealt with over the phone.
Patient Participation Group Update
The group continues to attract new members which is very encouraging to see. It is of great benefit to have more patients who are able and willing to engage with the practice and get involved in discussions about matters that directly affect all patients. We are keen for patients from all walks of life to be involved in the group – if you want more information please contact the surgery and ask to speak to Ms Brenda Anderson, our practice manager.
Patient Educational Evenings – the group continues to plan and hold patient education evenings on a regular basis. These are aimed at providing information and guidance to local people on health related issues that can affect them or their family. Most recently I was delighted to do a session on the management of asthma for patients which was well attended and went well (I think). Future dates and topics already planned include Advanced Nurse Practitioners – Wednesday August 19 at 7pm; Heart Failure – Sian Hale, Community Heart Failure Specialist Nurse – Wednesday September 16 at 7pm.
The group are keen to undertake fundraising events to raise money for the patients fund at the practice. Donations to the patient fund are used exclusively to buy or upgrade equipment or materials that will directly benefit patients. Examples of previous use of the patients funds included buying a second cardiac defibrillator for the practice and also buying electro-acupuncture machines for Dr Chong to use. Any donations are always gratefully received and the money put to good use.
Minor Injury Unit (MIU) at Kincardine Community Hospital
The local minor injury unit is available to patients who have sustained an acute minor injury and the nurses aim to manage as many issues as possible within the minor injury unit. It is worth pointing out that the MIU will only be able to see acute issues that have arisen within the last three days and in some cases it may still be necessary for the nurses to refer you on to Aberdeen for further assessment or treatments. In particular there are no acute X-ray facilities at Kincardine Hospital and so any injury which needs an X-ray will need to referred on to Aberdeen.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can be appointed to act on your behalf should anything ever happen which renders you incapable of making decisions for yourself. This is a relatively straight forward process and more details can be found through the Office of the Public Guardian. In particular, we would encourage those patients who have dementia or a similar illness to ensure that they consider appointing a power of attorney sooner rather than later. If you require any more information about the application process please get in touch with the surgery.
Dr Kris McLaughlin