Why are we changing from eConsult?
We are required to operate a 'Digital First' system, in line with NHS policy. Most of the Farnham GP’s have chosen to change from eConsult to PATCHS. Wide public consultation and patient representation informed a detailed NHS procurement process, looking at several different systems and ending with the shortlist from which PATCHS was chosen. Having listened to many patient comments over the past couple of years, we hope the new system will be easier and quicker for our patients. The feedback on PATCHS from other Practices is very positive, with patients finding it more user friendly and easier than the systems previously in use with less unnecessary questions.
Contacting using PATCHS instead of by telephone has a number of advantages for you including:
* You can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to access PATCHS.
* Getting help quicker from a Clinician.
* Saves you from having to use the phone to wait to speak to a receptionist – there’s never a queue online.
* Ability to submit non clinical admin requests any time day or night although we can only respond during our usual opening hours.
* Doing everything on there; prescriptions, consultations, sick notes, etc. Though you shouldn’t use it for emergencies.
* Submitting requests on behalf of someone you care for.
* By sending your request online you will also not need to have to explain your problem to our reception team on the phone.
* If the doctor or nurse decides you need an appointment, we will arrange this or provide a link for you to choose an appointment time convenient for you.
Using PATCHS also has advantages for us including:
* Seeing what your request is up front in writing helps us plan our work better.
* Freeing up the telephone for people that cannot use PATCHS e.g. those with emergency problems or if they cannot physically use the internet.
* Helping us save face-to-face and telephone appointments for patients that really need them.
The service will be accessible from our website and via the NHS app. You will be able to create an account for PATCHS via our website to access the service – keeping your requests in one place. This will save you time by not having to complete your personal and contact information each time you submit a request. You will also have the ability to complete a PATCH request for someone you care for from within your own account.
We'll reply within 3 working days at the latest, though usually much quicker. To cope with current high demand and whilst we transition to PATCHS, the opening hours for routine clinical requests will remain as Monday-Thursday 1830-2000. Non clinical admin requests can be made Monday-Friday, at any time. Please note this route cannot be used for clinical requests – but for administration requests or queries such as fit notes or general admin requests.
We ask that all URGENT requests are made by phoning the practice on 01252 730100.
If you are contacting us regarding your child, please use the Healthier Together app before contacting us via the phone – following the triage process via the app provides you the parent/guardian with signposting information, or if deemed that it necessary to contact the GP, allows you to complete a request that comes direct to us during our opening hours. If out of hours it will direct you to another available service.
Please visit the PATCHS website for further information
Link for video on Youtube about PATCHS
Please be aware that Lloyds Pharmacy located within Sainsburys Water Lane will be closing permanently on 23rd April 2023. They have also now reduced their opening hours and will be closing at the earlier time of 6pm.
Any patients who currently have Lloyds Water Lane as their nominated pharmacy will have this changed to Rowlands Pharmacy prior to 23rd April. We will notify all affected patients by text message prior to making the change, and let them know that no action is required unless they wish to nominate another pharmacy.
Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit
The minor injuries unit is for adults and children over two years of age. It is run by a team of skilled nurse practitioners who can assess, diagnose and treat patients with minor injuries.
The unit often has shorted waiting times that A&E and there is no need to make an appointment, although you can call 111 for advice and a time slot to attend.
The unit is open Monday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm, as a walk-in service. it is located in Church Lane, Haslemere GU27 2BJ.
What minor injuries can they treat?
- Wounds – cuts, bruises and grazes.
- Minor burns.
- Suspected broken bones, strains, and sprains (including an X-ray service).
- Minor eye injuries.
- Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness).
- Removal of foreign bodies from ears, eyes or nose or from under the skin (splinters).
- Bites and stings.
What are they unable to treat?
- Serious, life threatening injuries or illnesses including breathing difficulties and severe chest pain. Please dial 999.
- Old/ongoing injuries
- Allergic reactions.
- Earache, sore throat, colds, coughs, flu and chest infections.
- Tooth ache.
- Mental health problems.
- Pregnancy related problems.
- Injuries that require a neck, chest, back or facial X-ray.
- Stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Overdoses and alcohol related problems.
Going to the Minor Injury Unit
- There is no need to make an appointment. You can simply walk in during their opening hours (8am-5pm).
- During busy times, it may not be possible to offer a full consultation to people who arrive close to closing (from 4pm).
- If you would like advice about your condition and if the Minor Injuries Unit is the right place for you, please call NHS 111. They can give you a time slot to attend to reduce your waiting time.
The getUBetter MSK app is provided free of charge by Frimley Health & Care ICS for registered patients at GP Practices. It can be accessed on a Smartphone or on the Web, and guides you day-by-day through a sequence of exercises, tips, and support to help you recover from a range of new, recurrent or long term conditions:
- Lower back pain
- Back and leg pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Ankle pain
- Knee pain
- Soft Tissue Lower Limb pain
- Hip pain
You can self-refer to the app by clicking on this link
Please use an email address that is unique to you and select the condition you need help to manage. We will then send you an email with all the information you need to get started.
You can download the getUBetter MSK app to your Smartphone for easiest access, or you can use the Webapp.
If you develop another condition, select your new condition from within the app and it will be added to your account.
The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has published recent guidance on the risk of accidental exposure of children to testosterone from a topical testosterone gel used by their parents and caregivers and provide advice to avoid this.
Guidance recommends that patients who are prescribed the gel follow the following steps and take care that the testosterone product is not accidentally transferred onto the skin of someone else:
- after applying the product, wash your hands with soap and water o once the product has dried, cover the application site with clean clothing (such as a t-shirt)
- before physical contact with another person (adult or child), wash the application site with soap and water after the recommended time period following application has passed
Topical testosterone products are gels or creams applied directly to the skin. They are authorised to replace testosterone in men who do not produce sufficient natural testosterone; a condition known as hypogonadism. It acts in the same way as the testosterone that is produced in the body, which is responsible for the development of genitals and maintaining sexual characteristics (deepening of voice, hair growth, and sex drive). These products are also used outside of the licence for a range of conditions, including for peri/post-menopausal symptoms in women.
If the testosterone in the product is accidentally transferred to someone else through physical contact, it can lead to increased blood testosterone levels in the other person. It can cause facial and body hair growth, deepening of voice and changes in the menstrual cycle of women, or accelerated height, genital enlargement, and early puberty (including development of pubic hair) in children.
Dr Streeter De Diego, local GP, Paediatric Doctor & Clinical lead Frimley Healthier Together, talks through what to do if you're worried and when to seek help.
It’s understandable that parents are feeling worried with the recent headlines on group A strep. When is it a viral infection and when is it group A strep? This video from our own Dr Streeter de Diego will help you decide when you need to seek advice helping you get the right help at the right place and at the right time.
On Tuesday 20th December we successfully changed over to a new telephone system and provider.
Whilst staff have attended several training sessions, further questions may arise once they start to use the new phones. Please therefore bear with us while we all familiarise ourselves with the new system.
Thank you for your understanding.
We are currently experiencing unprecedented demand due to community respiratory illness, and this has resulted in us having to review the way we work to try and find a way to be there for our patients who need it the most. To this end we are asking patients to contact us via the telephone so we can establish how best to deal with your problem.
This has also led to us reintroducing the requirement for staff and patients to wear face coverings.
Before contacting us, please be aware of other resources available to patients which may enable you to access the advice and support you need more quickly, saving you wasted time and journeys and reducing anxiety:
Pharmacists are clinically trained healthcare professionals, they provide clinical advice and prompt treatment for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains before they get worse. You don't need to make an appointment and if symptoms suggest it's something more serious, they can advise you on the best place to seek assistance - ensuring you are getting the care you need.
Frimley-Healthier Together App
Parents and carers of children and young people can now help themselves deal with common childhood conditions by downloading the Frimley Healthier Together app - Home :: Frimley HealthierTogether (frimley-healthiertogether.nhs.uk)The app also provides clear information about what to look out for if your child is unwell and if needed it will directly inform us of your child’s symptoms.
Mental health Concerns
Please be aware that you can self-refer to Talk Plus for free help with concerns about anxiety, low-mood, depression, panic, and OCD. They also offer services for women who feel low after having a baby and for Military Veterans. Please visit the below website for further information - www.talkplus.org.uk
Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit
Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit can treat a variety of recent injuries, including minor burns, suspected broken bones, minor head or eye injuries, as well as removing foreign bodies from ears, eyes or nose, or from under the skin. The unit is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm, as a walk-in service. it is located in Church Lane, Haslemere GU27 2BJ.
Using NHS111 First this winter will help ease pressure on our accident and emergency services. Help play your part and think 111 First when you need urgent, but not life-threatening, care - www.111.nhs.uk
We thank you for your continued patience and support during these difficult times.
The Farnham Dene Medical Practice Partners
Directory of support
People all across Surrey are feeling the impact of increasing costs and pressure on household budgets. This directory of support is designed to help, by pulling together all the financial and welfare advice on offer in the county.
Surrey's ultimate ambition is that no one is left behind. That means helping those who need it most and improving quality of life for everyone.
For financial, health or general welfare information visit the following website - Surrey Health & Welfare Support
An urgent safety alert has been issued by the Office for Product and Safety Standards for baby self-feeding pillows.
Please see more information here: Urgent Safety Alert issued for baby self-feeding pillows - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
There is understandable concern in the community given the widely reported cases of severe Strep A infections in the National Media.
As you might expect, we have been inundated with urgent requests to review children with fever and sore throats – many of whom have minor cold-type symptoms.
Please can we urge you to look at the link below which highlights the symptoms of scarlet fever and Strep A and the traffic light symptoms that help guide who should be seen by a doctor:
Please consider this guidance before contacting the Practice if you have concerns about a child who is unwell. Whilst we clearly understand the anxiety in the community, if we are inundated with children with minor symptoms of illness, it compromises our ability to assess those with more severe and concerning symptoms in a timely manner.
Thank you for your consideration.
If you received your COVID vaccination overseas, you can arrange for this to be added to your medical record by going to NHS.uk. This service is available to anyone who has an NHS number and is aged 5 years or over.
This October marks 18 years since the very first Parkrun event. Parkrun is open to everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from. Whether people volunteer, walk, jog or run they are welcomed with open arms.
The Parkwalk at Parkrun campaign is encouraging more people to experience the benefits of walking at Parkrun. Walking is a great way of soaking up the atmosphere, getting the opportunity to chat to people, being active and is something whole families or friendship groups can do together. It's also a great first step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Walking can help manage or prevent health conditions, enhance your mood, boost fitness and bring you into contact with some amazing places and people.
Joe Wicks will also be joining Parkrun for "Walk with Joe" over the first two weekends in November, as part of this year's BBC Children in Need's fundraising campaign.
So why not think about walking at a Parkrun now? For more information go to parkrun.org.uk, and to sign up, register here.
Having good sexual health is an important part of staying physically and emotionally healthy. If you're sexually active, you could be negatively affected by a sexual health decision and may need to take precautions or access sexual health services.
To find the best service for your needs:
- Read: NHS sexual health website
- Visit: Healthy Surrey
- Call: 01483 675389 Monday to Friday 09.30 to 16.30 or see our hub clinics.
- Email: email@example.com
If you are requiring travel vaccinations, it is important you contact us 6-8 weeks before you are due to travel in order for us to safely plan your vaccinations. If you leave it later than this, we may need to redirect you to a private travel clinic.
A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over the counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.
This is because of government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions for treating minor conditions that usually get better on their own.
Instead, OTC medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket. Find your nearest pharmacy.
The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns. If your symptoms suggest it's more serious, they'll ensure you get the care you need.
By reducing the amount it spends on OTC medicines, the NHS can give priority to treatments for people with more serious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and mental health problems.
Blood Pressure UK are running a Know Your Numbers campaign from 5th to 11th September, with it's focus being to encourage people to measure, modify and manage their blood pressure:
- Measure your blood pressure to see if it's under control
- Modify your lifestyle if necessary
- Manage your blood pressure and your health to beat the 'silent killer'
Here are some reasons why everyone should Know Their Numbers:
- 1 in 2 strokes and heart attacks are the result of high blood pressure
- 1 in 3 adults in the UK have high blood pressure
- 1 in 2 adults with high blood pressure don't know they have it or aren't receiving treatment
- 6 million people in the UK alone have high blood pressure and don't know it
- £2.1 billion - how much high blood pressure costs the NHS every year
For more information visit https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/know-your-numbers/
If you find your blood pressure is high, please do a further 7 days of readings, twice a day at the same time, and send the readings through to us via an eConsult or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now is the time to ensure your vaccinations are up to date before you go to university. Please check your online account to view your immunisation history - you need to have received 1 x Men ACWY, 2 x MMR and 2 x HPV for girls. If you have not, please contact the surgery to book an appointment with the nurse.
Students told to get up to date with vaccinations ahead of Freshers' Week - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Be Your Best is a free service for Surrey families with children aged 0-12 who are above the healthy weight range. Families will be offered 6 x one-to-one sessions and 6 x online group sessions. These sessions include:
- Live cooking workshops
- Interactive supermarket tours
- Meal planning for the whole family
- Reducing anxiety
- Managing screen time
- How to become and active family
- Importance of sleep
For more information please visit www.bybsurrey.org or email email@example.com
We are currently contacting patients whose records indicate they have had elevated blood pressure readings in the past, asking them to submit an up to date reading. Patient' s can use home monitors, or pop to a pharmacy or Farnham Integrated Care Centre (within Farnham Centre for Health - no appointment required) to get a reading, and this can then be sent through to us via eConsult or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the reading has been received we confirm if any further follow up is required.
Invites have now gone out to patients aged 50 years and over for their Autumn booster COVID vaccine. Please book using the link sent to your mobile phone, however if you do not have a mobile number on your record please contact reception and they will book you in manually.
Please be aware that you can self-refer to Talk Plus for free help with concerns about anxiety, low-mood, depression, panic, and OCD. They also offer services for women who feel low after having a baby and for Military Veterans.
Please visit the below website for further information:
Instead of discarding used or unwanted inhalers in your household refuse/recycling, please return them to your pharmacy or bring them to reception.
The most common inhalers used in the UK are metered dose inhalers (MDI’s). MDI’s make up 3-4% of the entire NHS carbon footprint due to their propellants. All pharmacies can send MDI’s and other types of inhaler for medical waste incineration and some pharmacies take part in specialist recycling, both of which dispose of the propellants more safely.
The closest pharmacies currently participating in specialist MDI recycling are:
- Chapel Lane Pharmacy 102-104 Chapel Lane, Farnborough, Hants GU14 9BL
- Chase Pharmacy at Forest Surgery 60 Forest Road, Bordon, Hants GU35 0BP
There is more information on the website greeninhaler.org where you can also find details on other pharmacies participating in inhaler recycling.
At Farnham Dene Medical Practice we have recycling boxes in reception where you can bring back MDI’s.
A staff member will take them for recycling for you if you are unable to. However please note: as staff will be doing this in their own time, we ask that you use this scheme if this is the only way you can recycle your inhaler.
Greener Practice – Greener Practice – UK's primary care sustainability network
We have a small flu clinic running Monday 9th January 2023 in Farnham Integrated Care.
Appointments are available that day for patients who fall into any of the below groups:
- 50 years and older
- those aged 18 to 64 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- carers aged 18 and over
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care workers
- locum GP's
Please book an appointment via your online account or call our reception team.
We also have appointments in practice for children aged 2 & 3 and children who are between 6 months and 17 years of age who are in a clinical risk group or have an underlying health condition. Please book via your online account or call our reception team.
Please note we are unable to offer a vaccine to school aged children who are not in a clinical risk group or do not have an underlying health condition. If your child has missed their vaccination at school, please contact the school nursing team at Southern Health to enquire about catch up clinics. Their email address is: email@example.com or https://childrenshealthsurrey.nhs.uk/services/immunisations
Spring Booster Campaign
You will be offered a spring booster if you:
- are aged 75 and over (as of 30th June 2023)
- live in a care home for older people
- are housebound and over 75
- are immunosuppressed and aged 5 years or over
COVID-19 may affect you more seriously if you are in one of these groups. The spring booster is being offered to help reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
We will be sending SMS invites to all eligible patients with mobile telephone numbers on their record, and are working our way through those that don't. As we use text messages as the main form of contact for the COVID vaccination programme, please ensure we have your up to date mobile telephone number. You can update this by going to the Reception Enquiries page of our website, and Update Personal Information.
Children under 18 and the NHS COVID Pass
If you're aged 5 to 17 years old, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel if you're going abroad.
Children under 5 cannot get an NHS COVID Pass. They may need to show proof of a negative test when travelling.
You do not need an NHS COVID Pass to go to domestic events and venues in England.
If you're going abroad, check the foreign travel advice on GOV.UK to find out the entry requirements of the country you're visiting.
How to get an NHS COVID Pass
Age 5 to 11
You can request an NHS COVID Pass online for a child aged 5 to 11 if you are their parent or legal guardian.
Their NHS COVID Pass can be sent by email immediately if they:
- live in England or the Isle of Man
- have a mobile phone number or email address on their GP record – check with the GP surgery if you're not sure
If your child lives in Wales, or does not have a phone number or email address on their GP record you can get an NHS COVID Pass letter. This can take up to 7 working days to arrive.
Age 12 or over
You can get an NHS COVID Pass online if you're aged 12 or over. You'll be asked to create an NHS login if you do not have one already.
What is NHS login
If you do not have an NHS Login, and you're aged 12 to 15, you can request an NHS COVID Pass online to be emailed to you immediately.
Age 13 or over
You can get an NHS COVID Pass online or using the NHS App if you're 13 or over. You'll be asked to create an NHS login if you do not have one already.
If you do not have an NHS Login, and you're aged 13 to 15, you can request an NHS COVID Pass online to be emailed to you immediately.
If you need an NHS COVID Pass in other formats
You can also get an NHS COVID Pass in other formats (a letter, audio, big print or Braille) using the Get your NHS COVID Pass letter service.
These can take up to 7 working days to arrive.
An NHS COVID Pass recovery letter for travel that shows proof of a positive COVID-19 NHS PCR test in the past 180 days is now available for children aged 5 to 11. This new option is in addition to the NHS COVID Pass letter for travel which has been available since April for children who have received a full primary course of a COVID-19 vaccination.
The letters can be requested by parents or legal guardians via the NHS website or by calling 119, and the child will receive one or both letters depending on their eligibility. The letter is not available via GP practices. The letter will be posted to the address on the child’s NHS record. Further details can be found on the GOV.UK guidance pages
For more information on social prescribing, please watch the following short video:
Information about your health and care helps us improve your individual care, speed up diagnosis, plan your local services and research new treatments.
In May 2018, the strict rules about how this data can and cannot be used were strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.
You can choose whether your confidential patient information is sued for research and planning.
To find out more, please read the attached guidance or visit Overview – Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
We would like to let patients know about a new course that TalkPlus have developed to support new Fathers. Research has shown that 1 in 10 fathers experience anxiety or depression after the birth of a child, however, it is actually believed to be of a similar level to that of mothers.
The 'New Dad Group ' is an online peer support group looking at the pressures of fatherhood with the opportunity to learn tools and techniques to help manage in a supportive environment. The next group will be running from 6pm to 7pm for 5 weeks starting on 25th January (for new dad's with a child up to 18 months old).
The course will cover:
- the role of a father and the challenges that this brings
- baby development and how to be involved
- anxiety and depression after a baby with tools and techniques on how to manage
- relationship changes
This would be for anyone with a baby under the age of 18 months, who appear to be struggling with their mental health and need support.
Please self refer via www.talkplus.org.uk . and mention the dad's group on your referral.
Following on from last night's BBC Panorama episode about the UK's biggest GP chain, we wanted to reassure our patients that we do things differently from the practice portrayed in the programme.
- We have 6 partners, 4 salaried GP's and a GP retainer working across both of our sites
- Our nursing team is made up of 2 nurses, a nurse practitioner and 2 Health Care Assistants
- We also have an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner, a Clinical Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician working alongside the GP's
- Physician Associates are complementary to the existing practice team , and are trained to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, diagnose conditions, and treat a diverse range of patients including those with acute and chronic diseases. PA's are always appropriately supervised by a GP
- We are a training practice, hosting doctors from Frimley Park, giving them the level of supervision required depending on their experience
- All of these clinicians play a critical part in helping the practice keep on top of the increased patient demand being placed on them
- We do not have 1000's of letters waiting for a GP to see them, and have a dedicated workflow team continuously monitoring and coding these onto patient records
- Our reception team are trained to signpost you to the right service and organisation for your needs
- We have a duty doctor on site each day in case of an emergency
- Safety is paramount to us and is under constant review with the partners. We are a partnership, not a commercial entity, and are run by our partners for the benefit of the local community and patients
We hope this gives you confidence that the practice on the programme, in our view, is an exception and not the sort of practice we believe we are.