This week is Cervical Screening Awareness Week.
Covid-19 has affected cervical screening for hundres of thousands of people as appointments have had to have been cancelled or postponed.
The surgery is now offering appointemnts for all those people who have either had their screening postponed or cancelled or are now indeed due for their screening.
Recent research by Jo's Trust has found that 1 in 10 of those invited are now less likely to attend cervical screening, particularly as people are concerned about their safety and are avoiding healthcare sites. Cervical screening isn't always easy and we don't want Covid to make it even harder. We are doing our utmost to protect both our patients attending the surgery and our staff carrying out the screening. All of our staff will be wearing PPE and if you do not have your own facemask we will give you one to wear.
For those of you due an appointment we will now be in touch and we highly recommend that you attend for your screening.
Patient Testing - Covid
There are mobile testing centres run on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care for people who have coronavirus-like symptoms to test if they currently have the virus. Everyone over the age of five with symptoms may apply. The test can be booked online at the following address. If there is no access to the internet you can ring 119.Testing is by appointment only.
As mandated in our GP contract, we have recently introduced eConsult to the Health Centre which means we will no longer accept emails directly from patients.
What is eConsult
EConsult is an interactive online form which patients fill in when they wish to contact the surgery. Whether you need help with an administrative matter (eg sick notes, insurance forms and letters or requests for copies of records), have a prescription enquiry or wish to ask a GP or nurse a question, this is the quickest way to get help from us. EConsult was written by GPs for GPs and will ask you questions appropriate to your query to make sure that we have all the information we need to provide the help you need. You can also attach photos to the eConsult should you need to.
You can see an demo version of eConsult here https://demo.webgp.com
Why have the surgery introduced eConsult?
Each year all surgeries have to sign a contract with the NHS agreeing to provide primary care (GP) services to the public. Each year the contract introduces new initiatives or hoops we must jump through which we are obliged to carry out. From 1st April, it is part of our contract that we must use an approved eConsult provider to provide eConsultations.
Why will patients no longer be able to contact the surgery by email?
eConsult is a very efficient means of you communicating with us and each eConsult will be directly linked to your health record. This process also helps to capture important data about your current health for the Health Centre to process ensuring we are keeping your records as up to date as possible
Patients who send emails to the surgery will get a responder telling them that their email will not be read and requesting they resend using the eConsult facility on our website.
How long will it take the surgery to respond to an eConsult?
If an eConsult is received by the surgery we will respond by the end of the next working day although we will try to respond same day if we receive it in time to do so. Please remember that all of our GPs work part-time, whilst you may request a response from a particular GP, another GP may well respond in order for us to reply to you within 48 hours of your submission.
Please bear with us
Please be gentle with us as we introduce this new way of working. It may need a few tweaks before we get it right but studies have proved that in the long term it is of benefit to both patients and surgery staff. Thank you for your support.
For more information about eConsult, please see https://econsult.net/primary-care
Government Website for those needing help and support during Covid-19
You will be able to see a GP and or a Nurse during extended hours at Moretonhampstead Health Centre or with Chagford Health Centre or Okehampston Medical Centre. Please click on the link below to find days and dates offered by the North Dartmoor Primary Care Network.
TALKWORKS (previously known as Depression and Anxiety Service)
Is the way that you are feeling affecting your daily life? Are you struggling to cope, feeling low, anxious or overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings? Are you living with a long term health condition that is making you feel tired, frustrated and worried? You are not alone and we can help.
We are a free, confidential, NHS talking therapy service (previously the Depression and Anxiety Service), helping you to feel better and giving you the tools and techniques to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
You can self-refer direct to TALKWORKS:
Call 0300 555 3344 or complete the online form on our website
Watch our film to see how TALKWORKS can help you. https://youtu.be/Ek5j1zdzqFw
More information can be found at www.TALKWORKS.dpt.nhs.uk