News

Carers Week 2020

This year, Royal Primary Care are holding a Virtual Carers Week.

We are trying to identify as many Carers as we can, particularly those people who may be looking after a member of their family or helping a friend or neighbour with day to day tasks, who don’t really regard themselves as a Carer and are undertaking this vital activity without help or support. If you are caring for someone, we really would like you to let us know, so that we can ensure our records are up-to-date and we can:

- Support you as a Carer
- Maintain your own health
- Balance caring with other aspects of your life, like work and family, looking at both your current and future needs.

You will find Carers information on our Resource Hub here

If you are a Carer, please spend a few minutes to complete the Carers ID form. One of our Carers Champions, Melissa, Sheila, Elaine, Julie or Diane will contact you to help in any way they can.

The Carers in Derbyshire link holds a very useful directory to a range of services. There is also a link to The Derbyshire Carers Association. During Virtual Carers Week, you will be able to request a phone call from any of our Carers Champions via your usual surgeries phone. We have already recognised a lot of Carers and from the feedback we have received, they are all very grateful for the help and support that they are receiving and we want to continue to do this. We keep in regular contact with the Carers we currently have registered with us to ask if there is anything we can help with or to update our records with any changes to their Caring role.

COVID-19 Medicines Order Line Update

As you may be aware the Medicines Order Line has been under significant pressure since the Covid-19 pandemic started due to a huge increase in demand for the service with calls often as high as 3000 calls a day. As well as this, the Medicines Order Line are also facing some IT challenges which has occassionally seen the service have to temporarily be taken offline.

The Medicines Order Line would like apologise for any inconvenience this is causing practices and would like to reassure you that they are still open and are maintaining a service. They are continuing to work closely with their IT provider to find solutions to improve their capacity and are hopeful for a more consistent service in the coming days.

If you have been struggling to get in touch with the Medicines Order Line, to save waiting in a phone queue, they have introduced a call back system where patients can email a request for a call back from a MOL operative.

For information on how to email a request for a call back, visit the MOL website here

In the email, you will need to list:

  1. Your GP practice
  2. Your name
  3. Your date of birth
  4. Your contact telephone number

Please note that no responses will be provided to you via email as the purpose of email is to request a call back only.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Updated 13.03.2020

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we have taken urgent measures to protect our patients, staff and the most vulnerable in the community. Please read the information below and share with friends and family to help us get the message to as many patients as possible.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature and/or
  • a new continuous cough

 you will be asked to stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days. 

DO NOT come to surgery, your local pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them that you are self-isolating unless you feel you cannot cope, your conditions gets worse or your symptoms do not get better in 7 days. For more information, visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

If you are symptomatic and have an appointment booked, please DO NOT attend and cancel it.

Booking Appointments with a GP/Nurse Practitioner

 If you wish to make an appointment you must call the surgery rather than attend. If you attend surgery to make an appointment you will be asked to return home and call the surgery.  We know this will increase the volume of our calls and have therefore boosted the number of call handlers to help. We appreciate that there may still be a wait, but please bear with us and we will get to your call as soon as we can. 

When you call for an appointment, you will be placed on to a clinicians list for them to call you by phone. If the clinician feels it is appropriate to do so, you will then be booked in for a face to face appointment. For this reason, it is essential that you ensure we have your most up-to-date contact details.

 Booking Appointments with our Nursing Team

To reduce risks to patients, we will notbe booking patients in for non-urgent nursing team appointments.

The nursing appointments that will continue in surgery are:

  • Childhood immunisations
  • Smears
  • Urgent Blood Tests
  • Removal of sutures

We are holding certain appointment types at specific sites to prevent cross-contamination.  This will mean that your appointment may not be at your usual site and whilst we appreciate this may not be convenient, in order to safely continue offering these appointments and protect the vulnerable, it is unavoidable.

Some appointments for example your annual review will be switched to telephone appointments which our reception team will advise you of.

Access to the Surgeries 

From Tuesday 17thMarch, all surgery doors will be closed except for those patients that have been asked to attend following a telephone appointment. For surgeries with a pharmacy attached, the pharmacy will be open as normal but there will be no through access to the surgery from the pharmacy.

When coming for your appointment, we would strongly advise attending alone unless you require a carer. 

Prescriptions

If you normally collect your prescriptions from the surgery, your prescriptions will now be redirected to the pharmacy closest to your home postal address. You will be contacted by one of our prescription clerks who will make you aware that this has been done for you if you have recently put your prescription in to be processed. If you wish to change where your prescriptions are going, you can request this over the phone or this can alternatively be done online if you have access to our online system.

You can still continue to put your prescription in through your usual method however from Tuesday 17thMarch all surgery doors will be closed to the general public unless you have an appointment, therefore you will need to post your prescription in through our external prescription boxes or letter boxes.

Book Online: Sit & Wait Appointments

Good news! Our Sit and Wait appointments are now available on SystmOnline meaning you can book an on-the-day appointment without having to call or come to surgery.

Not signed up for online? All we need is a valid form of ID. SystmOnline not only allows you to book appointments but you can also order your medications and view a brief summary of your medical history. Pop to your local surgery with either a passport, drivers license or utility bill to sign up.

For more information on our appointments system and how our Sit and Wait appointments work, read here

Like-minded Organisations Join Together

In autumn this year the Chesterfield Medical Partnership (CMP) will officially join together with Royal Primary Care (RPC) becoming ‘RPC Chesterfield North-West’.
CMP provides primary care services to 14,000 patients out of surgeries based in Ashgate, Holme Hall and Whittington - and is rated ‘GOOD’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

RPC – covering areas of Chesterfield South-East (Grangewood, Staveley and Inkersall) and North East Derbyshire (Clay Cross and Grassmoor) has also delivered rapid improvements, achieving the same CQC ‘GOOD’ rating earlier this year.

CMP approached RPC about a mutual and beneficial collaboration, attracted by RPC’s way of working and visible improvements. As a clinical division of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) for the last five years, RPC is outside the more traditional primary care model, complimenting the model delivered by CMP. With both organisations innovative and forward thinking, joining together ensures they remain viable and sustainable and can respond to the significant challenges primary care faces.

Patients and staff won’t see any visible difference (staff, surgeries and opening hours will remain exactly the same across CMP and RPC). This new collaboration simply offers a range of opportunities and improvements for the future. For example, as part of the Chesterfield Vocational Training Scheme, CMP brings expertise in GP training programmes - and it also hosts a long-standing and successful commercial research company. Both CMP and RPC support effective mixed clinical teams, in line with the goals set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan, which advocates the development of ‘fully integrated community-based health care’ – including the creation of multidisciplinary teams, where GPs, pharmacists, nurses, mental health and allied health professionals work across primary care and hospital sites’.

In addition, with a combined and larger clinical team in place, there is the potential for ‘the new RPC organisation’ to run its home-visiting service in a different way; along with more options available to cover surgeries and balance workload at times of high-demand and operational pressures.

Commenting on the approach Chesterfield Medical Partnership made to RPC, Kate Chilton, Practice Director said: “We are a thriving and successful practice. Nevertheless, across the country, fewer GPs are inclined to become partners in a practice - so we were interested in how Royal Primary Care operates, as a way to future-proof and secure our services for our own patients. We felt that we’d really fit with RPC because they have a clinical model similar to ours and want to progress. We are pleased to have the opportunity to ‘join forces’ as we can see the potential it offers. We will benefit from being part of a larger group at a time when the Long-Term Plan for the NHS recommends that GP practices work in networks to proactively manage the health and well-being of their populations. We feel really excited about this opportunity!

Divisional Director at Royal Primary Care, Dr Peter Scriven agrees that this is an exciting pooling of skills, knowledge and experience: “We are delighted to come together with the Chesterfield Medical Practice in a constructive way, so we can work on a common approach to improving patient and carer experience for the 44,000 local people we all look after. We are like-minded organisations. CMP brings expertise with it that will strengthen RPC - to improve the primary care offer to all of our patients. As a GP I fully understand how important continuity of care is and I want to emphasise that all our patients will continue to see the same GPs, in the same buildings which will be open at the same times as normal, I hope they’ll also appreciate the benefits of being part of a larger primary care group in these challenging times.”

The development has been subject to robust scrutiny – with workforce, working practices, finances, governance, building and facilities all going through examination. The amalgamation has been approved by local commissioners NHS Derby and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, as well as NHS England. There has also been engagement with staff, patient participation groups and other interested parties – sharing details about the agreed merger, its opportunities and any potential risks.

Chief Operating Officer for Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Tony Campbell, is the executive lead for RPC and comments: “We’ve learnt a lot from the two RPC developments we’ve led over the past five years – clearly demonstrated by the CQC ‘GOOD’ rating both of them have now achieved. There have been challenges to overcome, although we have shown that this model can succeed and does improve patient care and services. “The Trust’s Board of Directors considered the Chesterfield Medical Partnership’s approach over a number of months. We feel that bringing CMP into our Royal Primary Care division is a positive that has a number of advantages. With a larger clinical team that includes a range of professionals, RPC as a whole is well-placed to support the NHS Long-Term Plan and it’ aims to keep patients well and independent, as well as caring for them when they have an urgent clinical need. What matters most is that we work as a single entity to provide safe, high-quality and effective care to our patients.”

It will remain ‘business as usual’ for patients - who will continue to contact their GP surgery as they would do normally for appointments, repeat prescriptions or other queries. Regular updates and information will also be posted on Royal Primary Care’s Facebook , Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as on its website.

RPC: The Current State of Primary Care

Are you aware of the pressures faced in primary care? Do you want to understand why sometimes it's difficult to get an appointment? We've put together a video that we hope will start to explain!

Click here to watch