Important Notices and News
January at a glance
NHS Waiting lists
Following recent feedback we would like to make appointment booking easier for our patients. We will be trialing for the next fortnight more online appointment bookings. Appointments will be released from 07.30am on the day required. You will be able to select either telephone or face to face with the clinician of your choice, subject to availability. You will be able to use the NHS app or the Patient Access app. We hope this will considerably reduce the 08.30am rush on the telephones and aid patients with choice and convenience.
We will keep appointment slots available to book for people who are unable to book online who wish to still call at 08.30am. We will also ensure we put on some more routine prebookable appointments to help with the 08.30am demand.
We hope this will assist our patients.
As part of our commitment to the health and wellness of our community, Ifield Medical Practice has linked with Ifield Mill Pond parkrun and is now officially a parkrun practice. The parkrun practice initiative is a collaboration between the Royal College of General Practitioners and parkrun UK, designed to encourage practices across the UK to develop close links with their local parkrun.
parkruns are social physical activity events which are held every Saturday morning. People can walk, run, volunteer or come along and watch. Taking part in parkrun is the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to be active, with others, in the open air. By linking with Ifield Mill Pond, we want to inspire as many people as possible to lead healthy lifestyles, including practice staff.
Join us at parkrun and discover the joy of movement while connecting with your fantastic community.
For more information, visit the parkrun website.
Pharmacy opening times over Christmas
Over the Christmas period there will be a pharmacy open every day for self care help
On Christmas day
Gossops Green Pharmacy will be open from 2-5pm
Day Lewis, Shopping precinct, North Heath Lane, Horsham will be open 09.00-12.00
Asda Pharmacy Crawley will be open from 10am to 4pm
Boots County Mall will be open 10:30-4:30
New Years Day
Asda Pharmacy County Mall will be open 10am to 4pm
Boots County Mall will be open 10:30 - 4:30
Boots chemist at the south terminal will be open every bank holiday date from 6am to 6pm
Christmas jumper day
Dr Elf has arrived
We have been joined by our own 'elf on the shelf' this December. Dr Elf will be in and around the waiting room to give a little bit of enjoyment to our younger patients.
Did not attend data
Please always cancel any appointment not needed by calling us on 01293 510900 or emailing us at email@example.com
A missed appointment is a missed opportunity for someone else.
World AMR Awareness Week - Keep Antibiotics Working
It's World AMR Awareness Week. AMR stands for Antimicrobial Resistance. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. The World Health Organisation have classed it as one of the top 10 global public health threats.
Why is AMR such a big threat?
Drug-resistant illnesses are becoming more and more common, including drug-resistant pneumonia, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. "Superbugs" which aren't treatable with existing medications are spreading rapidly across the world. In addition, countries all across the world are experiencing shortages of antibiotics.
If our current antibiotics continue to become less effective, and more superbugs emerge, more people will suffer and die from infections. In particular, medical procedures such as surgery will become much more risky. This would include common surgeries like hip replacements or caesarean sections.
What can you do to help prevent AMR?
- Prevent the spread of infections which might need treatment
- Wash your hands
- Stay at home when you're ill
- Wear a mask in crowded spaces, or if you may have a cough or respiratory infection
- Take medicines as advised by your doctor or healthcare professional
- If you are prescribed an antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal or antiparasitic, medication make sure you take the full course of medication as advised. Stopping early, even if you feel better, could mean your illness comes back and requires more treatment.
- If you have a condition which requires long-term antimicrobial treatment, like HIV or TB, or require long-term antibiotics to prevent infection, such as urinary tract infections or prosthetic joint infections, make sure you continue your treatment to reduce drug resistance.
- Trust your doctor to know when to prescribe antibiotics. Many winter illnesses are caused by viruses, such as COVID-19, sore throats, and many other common respiratory illnesses. Antibiotics do not work for viral illnesses, and prescribing too many antibiotics can increase antibiotic resistance.
- Spread the word!
- You can Go Blue for World AMR Awareness Week and share why you're doing so with your friends, families and colleagues.
Where can you find out more?
The World Health Organisation has much more information about AMR on its website.
We are always here for our veterans
We’re proud to support our veteran community as a #VeteranFriendlyGP practice this Remembrance Day.
We know that this Remembrance Day is likely to be particularly challenging for many veterans in our community and we want you to know that we are committed to effectively identifying and supporting your health needs.
As a Veteran Friendly Accredited practice, our team:
- recognises the importance of identifying veteran patients within our community;
- understands the unique health needs that veterans may have;
- strives to provide veterans with the very best care and support;
- knows about specialist veteran healthcare services that exist
If you're a veteran patient, please do let us know that you have served so that we can make sure you receive the most appropriate and best care, if and when you ever need it.
You can learn more about the accreditation and how it supports veteran patients, here: rcgp.org.uk/veterans
#VeteranFriendlyGP #GeneralPractice #NHS
Important information for patients currently on hospital waiting lists
The NHS has been working hard to address the backlogs built up during the COVID pandemic.
To help, the NHS will be contacting patients who have been waiting a long time for hospital treatment. This is to remind people that they can ask to move to a different hospital where they may be seen quicker.
There is now a new website called the Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System, or PIDMAS. If you have been waiting for 40 weeks or more, you can use this website to ask to change hospitals.
If you are eligible, your hospital will send you an SMS text message or a letter, explaining how to ask for a different hospital.
Please do not call the surgery about this, as your GP does not have any information about individual patients.
The hospital will contact you if you are eligible. Please do not contact them either.
You can find more information on hospital websites, like this one from the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
On Wednesday 11th October the practice has to undergo a whole I.T system refresh. It is a planned essential update from NHS Sussex however it will affect our provision between 1-3pm
Our phone lines are cloud based and so it will affect these as well as us not having access to our computers for the period of 1-3pm.
We have been informed it should be less than 2 hours which we are hopeful for.
Please avoid calling us between 1-3pm tomorrow.
Thank you and our apologies.
Macmillan Coffee Mornings
Shingles is a painful disease affecting the skin and nerves. It can really affect your life and stop you doing things you enjoy.
The shingles vaccine reduces your chances of serious complications if you get the disease.
Check if you are eligible ➡️ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/shingles-vaccination/
Anxiety on returning to school
🎒 📚It's that time of the year when your little ones are heading back to the classroom, which can be an exciting and anxious time. Barnardo's have shared helpful tips on how to manage any worries they may have 👉
Receive messages from the practice
From September you will be able to receive messages from the practice as a NHS app notification rather than a SMS message. The messages we send will come into your NHS app. Download the NHS app and turn on notifications for messages
If the patient does not have the NHS app then the message will come through as a normal SMS message.
Join our PPG Focus Group
We currently have a very small Patient Participation Group and we would like to expand this to a virtual focus group for more input.
We know alot of our patients have busy working lives and cannot attend meetings but we still would appreciate a wider group of opinions on the services we provide.
If you would be interested in giving less than a hour a month in helping us receive feedback and to offer suggestions perhaps you would like to be part of our PPG Focus Group. This will involve being part of our email mailing list where you are welcome to feedback to us on our newsletter, offer suggestions for the next edition, complete a short survey on our facilities and raise any points you feel are important. It will not involve meetings but it will just involve sending us your opinion when we contact our Focus Group.
Your email will be kept private and the other focus group members will not know the other members. It is merely a way to be involved in the practice and give us your much appreciated opinion.
If you would like to join our PPG Focus Group please email our Care Coordinator Amanda Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your interest.
Veteran friendly GP Practice Accreditation
Ifield Medical Practice are proud to receive the Armed Forces Veteran Friendly GP Practice accreditation.
All staff received training on available options to our veteran patients.
Veterans’ healthcare accreditation – FAQs
What is a veteran?
A veteran is anyone who has served for at least one day in the Armed Forces, whether as a regular or reservist. It means the same as ‘ex service personnel’ or ‘ex-forces’, although not all veterans choose to associate with the term ‘veteran’. Younger veterans might refer to themselves as ‘ex-forces’.
What dedicated NHS services and support are available to veterans?
Priority NHS Treatment if the condition partially or wholly relates to the time spent in the military. Please inform your GP if you are a veteran
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service
In March 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced the new name for its veterans mental health services; Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. Op COURAGE provides specialist care and support for Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families who can self refer or ask a GP, charity or someone else to refer them
For further information on Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, including the contact details for the service in your region, visit www.nhs.uk/opcourage
Race for life 5K
About 15 of our wonderful Ifield team are doing the Cancer Race For Life 5K at Tilgate today. We have a unified team of 2 Doctors (Dr Dullo and Dr Jonathan), Clinical Pharmacist, Practice Nurses, healthcare assistants, receptionists, secretaries and HR all together for this great event. Give us a wave if you are there.
Thank you to our patients who came to the front of the practice today to show respect to Dr Oliver as his hearse passed us by.
The family and funeral directors said this was very much appreciated and a lovely tribute to a wonderful man.
Thank you to the lovely gentleman who initiated a very warm and grateful round of applause.
Junior Doctor industrial action 13-18 July
New junior doctor strike dates : 13 - 18 July
The British Medical Association has called for junior doctors in the NHS in England to take strike action from 7am on Thursday 13 July to 7am on Tuesday 18 July. Then a day later, consultants are expected to take further action on Thursday and Friday next week.
This will be the longest period of industrial action this year – both singularly for the junior doctors at 120 hours, and then combined with both strikes over the course of the next two weeks. As a result, it is expected that it may be challenging to provide the care we would all wish for our population.
As ever, our priority is to provide high quality NHS care to the local patients, families and carers we serve.
Local Hospitals are prioritising resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, maternity, neonatal care and trauma as their absolute priority, but the NHS will need public support to help us to manage patient care over the planned strike days.
Please where possible do not use the local Hospitals unless it is an emergency/acute reason or a threat to life during this period. Where possible the GP Practice will support you. Again please, if possible, only book a GP appointment for an acute reason during this period of strike action. If you can wait for a routine reason please could you possibly consider waiting until after the strike finishes. This will allow us to have appointments for acute need to stop patients having to go to UTC/A&E
Thank you so much
Happy 75th Birthday to the NHS
5 July 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS was founded on 5 July 1948 with the aim of providing free healthcare to all. Treating over a million people a day in England, the NHS touches all of our lives.
Our practice size
Ifield Medical Practice has an open list for new patients. We currently have 10,043 patients on our register.
Lloyds Pharmacy - change of ownership
Lloyds Ifield, next door to the practice, will be changing ownership to Jade's Chemist on the 30th May 2023.
We wanted to reassure our patients that this will not affect their prescriptions as we will continue to work closely with the existing team, who are staying with the new ownership.
Please continue to request your prescriptions as usual and we will make the necessary amendments if required.
Prescription Charge Increase
NHS prescription prices will increase by 30p next month, bringing the total cost of a prescription to £9.65 (a 3.21% increase).
Typically, they do rise around this time each year. However, prices were frozen last April to help with the cost of living crisis – the first time it hadn’t been increased in 12 years.
Prepayment certificates, prescription wigs and surgical bras will also see their cost rise with inflation. The Hormone Replacement Therapy prescription will also rise to £19.30 from £18.70.
There are certain groups in England who are exempt from paying, including:
- Over 60s
- Under 16s
- 16 – 18 year-olds in full-time education
- Anyone with a valid maternity exemption certificate (for pregnancy, or having a baby within the last 12 months)
- Anyone with a valid medical exemption certificate (for those with specific medical conditions, or a continued physical disability, under certain criteria)
- Anyone with a valid war pension exemption certificate, for a specific disability
- NHS inpatients
- The recipient of certain benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit (though you may have to meet certain criteria).
Junior Doctor Industrial Action
Junior doctors are currently taking industrial action, with a planned strike until 16 March at 7am.
The NHS in Sussex is working together with primary care, NHS providers, local authorities, independent sector organisations to prioritise emergency and urgent care, and minimise where possible the impact on patient care.
However, it is recognised that services will be affected, and planned appointments and clinics have had to be postponed in order to ensure patients can continue to receive emergency care and support.
NHS services are experiencing high levels of need during the period of industrial action with an impact on emergency departments in hospitals, mental health services and GP practices.
- Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk
- Emergency care will be prioritised and people are being reminded that 999 and emergency departments are still the right services if it is a life-saving emergency.
- A&Es are prioritising patients who need emergency care. You may be directed to another service if it isn't an emergency and you could be seen elsewhere.
- For anything that isn’t a life-threatening illness or injury, people are being urged to use 111 online as the first port of call for health needs. People can also call 111 for help, advice and signposting to the most appropriate service.
- Pharmacies, walk in centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres will continue to be available, and some have extra staff on shift to help.
Group Strep A - Scarlet Fever
Given the recent media information on Group Strep A / Scarlet Fever Ifield Medical Practice wished to provide you with some further information and what to look out for.
What is Scarlet Fever?
Scarlet Fever is usually a very mild illness and it is caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus, which is called Group A Strep for short. There has been an increase in the rate of Scarlet Fever and unfortunately there has been an increase in the rate of the most dangerous sort called Invasive Group A Streptococcus which has led sadly to the death of 9 children since September. This form of Group A Streptococcus is extremely rare and most children who get Scarlet Fever will be fine with antibiotics and will get over it without any problem.
Symptoms of Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is usually very mild but it is very contagious. Symptoms can include a high temperature, sore throat, vomiting and typically what is called a sandpaper rash. On pale skin it may look a little like sunburn as a pinky red rash with goosebumps. On darker skin it is less obvious to see but you could feel if the skin feels like a sandpaper rash. Combined with a sore throat this is a good indicator that it could be Scarlet Fever. Other symptoms could include swollen neck glands, red spots on the roof of the mouth and sometimes a red swollen tongue which we call strawberry tongue. Once children are getting over Scarlet Fever you might find that the skin on the tips of their fingers peels off a little which is nothing to be concerned about.
How is Scarlet Fever spread?
Scarlet Fever is spread through mucus and saliva so using our best practices learnt throughout the pandemic the best way to prevent cases and spread is by good hand hygiene. Avoid sharing of cups and use and dispose of tissues, washing hands after. If you feel that there has been any infection then avoid contact with vulnerable people; newborn babies, pregnant ladies and people who are immunocompromised.
When should you seek the help of your Doctor?
At present there are other viruses going around to cause coughs, sore throats, colds and runny noses which do not require antibiotics and your child will get better with paracetamol/calpol and plenty of fluids.
If your child has the symptoms of Scarlet Fever above then please call in and inform the Reception Team that you think your child possibly has Scarlet Fever as the Doctor will wish to prescribe antibiotics to help their symptoms and recovery.
We would say trust your parental instinct – if you feel something is not right and you are concerned call 111 or speak to your GP. We always want to know if your child is not drinking much at all or not urinating much. If you are worried about dehydration then we would like to know about it. If they are very drowsy and irritable and not picking up with calpol then we would want to know about it. If your baby is less than three months old with a temperature then we want to know about it, unless they have just had their immunisations.
The worrying signs below are where we would like you to call 999 or go to A&E (which is very rare)
If their skin becomes very cold or mottled with blue lips
If they are struggling with their speech and they cannot talk or eat or drink properly
If they are confused or very drowsy
If they have a rash which doesn’t go away when you roll a glass over it
Please get seen straight away
If your child has been diagnosed with Scarlet Fever
You will be given antibiotics for your child. This will be called Penicillin V unless they have a penicillin allergy. This usually works very well however please keep them at home for at least 24 hours after the antibiotics have started however it is still a good idea to keep them away from the vulnerable people mentioned above until they are better.
Most infections we see are still going to be viral infections which do not require antibiotics at all and your child will get over them by themselves. If you are worried then please do speak to your GP however we hope this will reassure you and provide you with the important information.
A Letter from the Partners at Ifield Medical Practice
2nd November 2022
To all of our Patients,
You may be aware that from the 1st of November 2022 NHS England has directed that all patients should have open access to their future medical records. This is to affect everyone in England that is sixteen or over. The instruction is to include any information held by the practice, such as consultation notes, and is to be ‘switched on’ from that date.
Patient safety is at the heart of what we do and it is of upmost importance to us that our usual standards around data control are continued. So far, we do not feel we have had satisfactory assurances from NHS England that this will be the case and our electronic patient record system (EMIS) have determined they will not switch this feature on. We have decided we will act in line with this position and wanted to take this opportunity to communicate this decision.
Ifield Medical Practice strongly support patient access. We currently provide individuals access to their patient notes, on request, to order medication and check their investigation results.
We are responsible for the care and support of many vulnerable children and adults for whom a data breach can carry significant risk. With the system as it stands there are concerns about what is made visible and how such data could be revealed to other people under coercion or threat. We are also concerned about the process of ensuring data protection and redaction at the point a patient moves to a new surgery. Currently, this is not guaranteed if these changes are enacted.
We take our responsibility to protect your data very seriously. Alongside other practices across the country, organisations like the British Medical Association and Domestic violence charities, our concerns have been raised with NHS England.
There is likely to be more information and guidance to come out over the next few weeks which we will keep under review. We will work towards a future roll out. We appreciate your understanding that until we have more clarity around the issues expressed in this letter we cannot determine a time frame. Once we are satisfied that safety will be maintained we are committed to implementing patient access, safely, as soon as is possible.
In the meantime, please remember you can already access parts of your record through the NHS app on your phone or tablet device. This is free to download and will already allow you to view test results (once they have been approved by your GP) book in for certain types of appointments and importantly request your repeat prescriptions much more efficiently; this is how you will be able to access your record once we have rolled it out so it is worth getting set up now. Please note you need a smart phone which connects to the internet or an internet enabled tablet device.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
The Partners of Ifield Medical Practice
Lloyds Pharmacy Ifield
We are aware of the recent reduced hours at Lloyds Pharmacy, Ifield and the effect it is having on our patients with the collection of their prescriptions. If you go to the pharmacy and your prescription is not there after 72 working hours from requesting this please do let our Reception team know to investigate this. You also have the option of changing your nominated pharmacy to another pharmacy of your choice if preferred; again please let reception know if you wish to do this.
We have been assured that they have new staff starting very soon and so hopefully this will improve the service.
Apple Tree Centre/ Hindu Temple COVID vaccination site
We have received notification that the Hindu Temple/ Apple Tree Vaccination site will be opening for covid vaccinations again any day. It was a late decision to reopen this site and so it took them some weeks to staff this. Currently the booking site will give Saxonbrook Medical Centre in Maidenbower as the closest site however if you can wait a few more days the Apple Tree/Hindu site will appear on the list as they load their clinics.