As I write this post it is the last day of October and rather than diving straight into our forthcoming events I am taking a bit of time to reflect on what has happened since my last bulletin, one month ago.
Our clinicians have seen over 7000 patients and whilst this is outstanding, what I find disappointing is that there were actually over 7500 appointments booked. This means that 500 patients failed to keep their appointment or inform us that they wished to cancel.
Many patients get frustrated when there is not a prebookable slot available with their chosen GP at their chosen time and it is common sense that tells us that if patients cancelled their appointment rather than just not turning up, far more prebookable appointments would be available for others.
Perhaps patients have tried to cancel but could not get through due to the problems we are having with 3 of our lines at Rosemary Street Health Centre? But surely not all 500!!
We use an MJOG service which is a textual reminder to your mobile phone giving you the option of sending “CANCEL” back into our system if the appointment is no longer required.
If you do not have a mobile phone and are having difficulty getting through to the Rosemary Street Health Centre site then the option is always there to call our Oak Tree Lane Surgery site on 01623 649991 to get the message across.
Remaining with the phone issues at Rosemary Street Health Centre I can only continue to apologise for the inconsistent quality of service we are getting. I have been continually trying to rectify these problems and have been passed from pillar to post. Finally, after a four page complaint letter to the service provider and an episode where I turned into a green fiery dragon screaming extremeties and spitting flames, I think I am actually getting somewhere.
The problem has been narrowed down to 4 of the cables going into the network box. One is faulty and we need to find out which one. My task now is to get someone to take ownership of said cables and replace them. Unfortunately once again I am being bounced around like a ping pong ball and fear the fire breathing dragon may need to rear her ugly head again before long.
Please bear with me and rest assured I really am trying to fix the problem. In the interim if you have difficulty getting through to Rosemary Street Health Centre please call our Oak Tree Lane Surgery site on 01623 649991.
I think that is enough reflection for one bulletin – let us look into the future and see what Forest Medical is doing for our patients over the winter months ahead..
As Registrars change over and Dr Tony Tong moves on to gain more experiences elsewhere, we will be welcoming Dr Franscesca Harris to our team. Dr Harris is a GP Registrar in her second year of training. This means that she is a qualified doctor wishing to become a GP and I hope you will welcome her as we will and assist her in her education and skills to become a General Practice clinician.
I am also extremely happy to anounce that we have a new Nurse starting in December. Her name is Lisa Thompson and she has been a Practice Nurse in Mansfield for many years. Lisa will be working at the Rosemary Street Health Centre Site on Mondays and Tuesdays; and Oak Tree Lane Surgery site on Wednesdays.
We would also like to recruit another Practice Nurse for Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and continue to advertise locally.
In addition to this we will soon be interviewing the applicants for our latest Reception Apprentice vacancy. We have worked well with the Vision Apprenticeship company and have been so successful that we have been asked by their marketing team if they could use us as a Case Study! Emily and Trudy will complete their NVQ and apprenticeship in January next year and we are hoping they will choose to stay with us and become permanent members of our team.
As new members come it is inevitable that “old” members leave. I say this with a tongue in cheek and know that our receptionist to whom I am referring will no doubt having a few words in my ear!
Debs Flanaghan, one of Rosemary Street Health Centre’s longest serving receptionists, has decided that it is now time for her to retire. She will sadly be missed by both staff and patients as she is not only competent, flexible and friendly, she also has the most amazing humour that brightens up our stressful days.
Debs’ sessions will be replaced by Cat Curry. Cat has previously been employed within the pharmaceutical business and while she has had no hands on experience of working within a GP Practice as yet, we are confident that she will have skills within Prescriptions that we can build on whilst training to be a Medical Receptionist.
So far 2186 of our eligible patients have been vaccinated against the influenza virus plus 139 children, keeping them all safe from flu this winter. Our Halloween themed vaccination day on Friday 30th October was a great success and 139 children showed up, many joining in the fun and getting dressed up in costumes. Our staff like to make the experience nice for the children as many are quite scared of having a potion stuck up their nose, so there were witches and ravens to be seen handing out sweeties and lightening the atmosphere with fun and laughter. This will definitely be repeated next year.
Our flu season raffle will continue to run until the end of January 2016. So once the tinsel is down and it’s back to the grind, you will still have a chance to gain a prize and brighten up those January blues.
Raffle tickets are available from reception at Oak Tree Lane Surgery and Rosemary Street Health Centre. They cost £1 per ticket and prizes include wine, chocolate, electric toothbrush, hamper, DVDs, games, cosmetics, jewelry and books. Thank you for all your donations and ticket sales. All proceeds will go towards a state of the art ECG machine which will enable an early detection of any possible heart problems in our patients.
To raise awareness of how exercise can keep your heart healthy alongside raising money to put towards the new ECG machine, Forest Medical staff and patients are doing a sponsored walk. We are asking patients, friends and family to sponsor our walk throughout our catchment area, or even to join us. This is a great opportunity for our team to bond, for patients to join us and for the public to see that exercise can be fun.
This event will commence at 10am on Saturday 6th November and Dr Smith is organising the route to ensure at least 16 miles are covered. Everyone is welcome and if walking is not your thing why not come and provide morale support along the way.
The cold is coming and demand for our services will increase tremendously. Therefore we are introducing a Saturday morning service. This means that throughout the winter Rosemary Street Health Centre will open from 09:00 – 12:00 on two Saturdays per month for prebookable GP and HCA appointments. Phone lines will not be available but you are quite welcome to come in to pick up prescriptions are see the receptionist with any queries you might have.
Throughout the cold months please remember to check on any elderly neighbours and relatives. Ensure everyone keeps warm, has adequate medication and is not feeling isolated. If poor health is an issue and your surgery is closed, the following publication will help you find the best service.
With kind regards
Practice Manager – Forest Medical (aka fire breathing dragon)