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News

  • Goodbye to Dr Kok
    Dr Kok has now left our surgery for pastures new. We'd like to thank her for all her hard work over the past 4 years with us and good luick in her new role.
  • New Covid Vaccine Centre opens in Kingsbury
    Your new local Covid Vaccine centre is open at Kingsbury Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir) on Kingsbury Rd.
    Your new local Covid Vaccine centre opened on January 28th at Kingsbury Temple (Shree Swaminarayan Mandir) on Kingsbury Rd.
    Run by our local Harness GP Primary Care Network, of which Willow Tree is a member, we have been vaccinating around 1,000 people a day.
    Hope to see you there very soon - we are actively booking patients, currently in Group 4 according to the government plan.
    If you have missed an invitation please
    send us a request

    Here's a BBC News item about it:
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000rqv4
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  • e-Consult and the change to 'Digital First'
    The surgery has significantly changed the way it works - no more direct GP appointment booking.....

    From June 1st we changed the way the surgery works.

    From June 2020, we changed the way we offer appointments for our GPs.

    • All requests for GP appointments will be assessed after completing an eConsult form online – there is a link on the home page of our website.(Online booking is switched off so you will no longer be able to simply book an appointment )
    • This will ensure you get the most appropriate help from the most appropriate person: the GP will quickly review your request and may offer you a face to face appointment at the surgery, a telephone or video call, send an SMS message with advice, send a prescription to the pharmacy, maybe order tests or a referral.
    • We shall respond to requests as needed: before the end of the next working day, at the latest (6.30pm) but mostly the same day.
    • Those without internet or who prefer not to complete an eConsult will be assisted in other ways - you can still phone the surgery and a Patient Services Team member will help you.
    • Parents can use eConsult for children from 6m (under 6m will still have to be by phone contact) until 18y.
    • Young people can send their own eConsult from aged 16y (from the 'I want help for my child' selection) .

    Why are we changing?
    This is in line with a ‘Digital First’ strategy for Primary care in the NHS Long Term Plan. We have brought forward these changes due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
    We need to remain flexible and resilient as the lockdown measures ease – there will be a large backlog of work and we’ll need to prioritize. Many people will still be reluctant or unsafe to leave home to come to the surgery so we need to be able to respond appropriately to meet everyone’s needs.
    We also need a system which will allow us to cope with any further waves of Covid.

    How will it affect me?
    We hope the new system aims to provide a better, more responsive service:
    • Having information about your concerns in advance helps us deliver the best help to you quickly and may avoid an unnecessary wait for an appointment and trip to the surgery.
    • Reduce phone-call waiting times and free up capacity for those who require telephone contact.
    • Allow more time for face to face consultations.

    What about routine appointments for my Long Term Condition?
    Medical conditions such as Diabetes, COPD, Hypertension and so on require regular routine checks and we’ll continue to call you up for these in the usual way based around your birthday. We’ll also call you as usual for routine Medication reviews at regular intervals.

    Will I still be able to see a Doctor face to face?
    Yes but perhaps not so often. We shall have precautions in place to ensure it is safe to see a doctor when necessary, and we shall assess the need through eConsult, phone and video calls.
    Traditionally patients came to see the doctor for everything but times are changing and we know much of our care can be delivered more efficiently and this will benefit everyone, for instance by saving you booking an appointment, taking time off work and travelling to the surgery.

    What about nurse appointments, phlebotomy and so on?
    For the time being these will continue to be booked through Patient Access online booking, telephone and some eConsult.

    What about Admin requests?
    All of these should come through eConsult now- whether you need a certificate, letter, form filling etc. Anything really!

    I am worried about this
    It will take some getting used to – by all of us! We shall continually review the situation and adjust it depending on how everyone finds it. Your feedback will be very important, so please do let us know your thoughts and any ideas you have.

    Link to eConsult

    This short video explains what eConsult is and how it works

    When you fill in an eConsult, you may be simply asking for admin help but if medical advice or attention, but you also have available a fantastic array of self-help material; simple problems often do not need a GP.

    What if I can't use the internet? If you are unable to use the internet you can still phone us and our receptionists will ask the same questions as the eConsult to guide the doctors to your best treatment.

    The system is ideal for admin queries too and we hope all requests for certificates, letters and other queries go through this system in order to give the best and swiftest attention to your problem.

    Nurse appointments and blood tests will still be available through Patient but appointments for GPs will remain switched off.

    We've been using eConsult for well over a year and our experience tells us this will give many advantages to patients and the practice. As we move into the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, we'll need to operate as flexibly and efficiently as possible as the virus will still be around for a long time to come and the situation will remain fluid.

    The best way to integrate eConsult and Patient is to use the new NHS App (no, not the Covid one!). Once you're signed in you'll also be logged in to all NHS services. You can download this from the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android.

  • New cervical smear service
    Having trouble booking a cervcial smear to ft your busy life?
    This new service will allow you to book your essential smear test in the evening or at weekends. Please ask to be booked at reception.

  • 'Choose wisely'
    The NHS will no longer be prescribing medicines you can buy

    The NHS in NW London CCGs: Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster spent over £13 million in 2016 on products that can be bought without a prescription at community pharmacies.

    The NHS is under pressure. Our budgets are not large enough to pay for all the treatments the public would like us to provide. We would therefore like to spend less on medicines you can buy without a prescription so as to free up funds for other valuable NHS services.

    So practices across North West London - and across the country- are being asked to stop routinely prescribing medicines which are available to buy over the counter in pharmacies (and, in the case of some medicines, in supermarkets and other shops too). If a medicine you need can be bought without a prescription, your GP may ask if you are willing to buy it. If you are not willing to buy it, it will be prescribed.

    The following groups are exempt: School children, if the product needs to be given at school, Care home residents, Individuals with funded care packages where a carer is required to administer a medicine or product, Anyone officially declared homeless, People with a diagnosis of dementia, People with a diagnosed learning disability.‚Äč

    More details about these medicines

    Here is a list of commonly prescribed medicines which are available without a prescription

  • Keep up to date with BBC Health news
    The BBC Health news pages from a useful digest of current news stories
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