THE NEWSLETTER Datchet Health Centre
JUNE 2012 Patient Participation Group
Editor’s note
Last March, in my first newsletter, I said that comments or questions will be welcomed if left, in writing, at
Reception. Although there have been none, I have been asked if letters to the editor, intended for
publication, are acceptable. My reply is “Of course”, provided that my decision to reproduce all or part of the
letter is final. Pen names will be allowed, but correspondents must provide me with their name and address.
Bill Joy, Meetings Chair
Missed Appointments – Patients who do not arrive for booked appointments

Last year, 706 patients did not arrive (DNA) for booked appointments with doctors (which equates to 8
full weeks of doctor time) and 415 did not arrive for nurse appointments. This year’s figures are as

The practice sends text reminders the day before a booked appointment to remind patients who have
provided their mobile phone details in an attempt to minimise non-attendance. For some patients, even his
does not work; 41 of the 93 who failed to arrive or cancel their appointments were sent text reminders! The
facility for booking GP appointments two weeks ahead was withdrawn because audit showed that the further
ahead an appointment was booked, the higher the DNA rate. The practice also offers a text cancellation
service as an alternative means of cancelling appointments (07815 006 990). Please give your name,
appointment time and details of who the appointment was booked with.
The PPG continues to be concerned about the ongoing problem of patients not attending the surgery and the
impact on access to doctors and nurses for other patients. We would like to understand the reasons for
DNAs and to reduce their numbers, but have only anecdotal evidence at the moment that the primary cause
is forgetfulness. We are therefore collecting data about DNAs (no personal or clinical details) to better
understand the factors that may influence their occurrence.
The practice is reluctant to consider the imposition of penalties, but it is felt that something more must be
done than to send a reminder letter to those patients who have offended three times in less than 12 months.
DNAs are a problem for hospitals and dental practices too, but their reactions are somewhat harsher. Those
who attend out-patient clinics at hospital will be familiar with the warning that patients not attending without
having cancelled their appointments, or without sufficient cause, may be discharged from the clinic and their
GP will be informed. This also has an impact on the doctor, who may need to re-refer a patient, causing
additional administration. Some dental practices impose fines.
Statistics from RM

Bank Holiday and training Closures June to September

Please ensure that you have adequate supplies of your repeat medication to cover the Bank Holiday
weekend in August and place your orders in good time. We prefer to process requests a little early to avoid
an influx of urgent requests. Requests are processed within 2 working days of receipt and should be made in
writing or on-line via the DHC website and PatientUK for patients who are registered to use this service.

“Ageing Positively – Keeping Well and Active in the Datchet and Wraysbury Areas”
Health Education Evening – Tuesday 25th September 2012

Following our very successful health education evening held in Datchet last year on “Living with Arthritis”, the
Datchet Health Centre Patient Participation Group will be holding another health education event on
Tuesday 25th September 2012 at Wraysbury Village Hall from 7.30 – 9.30pm. Doors will open at 7.00
and although admission is free, it will be by ticket only. Tickets will be available from reception after 20
August 2012. If you would like to have them posted, please provide a stamped addressed envelope.
Our subject this time, ageing positively, will focus on keeping as well and active as possible in the future.
There will be three main speakers, including Dr Mick Watts, followed by a questions and answers session
and general discussion. Refreshments will be available at the end of the evening. We will be inviting local
groups to come along and run information stalls throughout the evening. More information about this event
will be displayed at the Health Centre and posted on the practice website (www.datchetdoctor.co.uk). A
collection will be made at the end of the evening for Age Concern, Slough and Berkshire East.

Ordering Repeat Prescriptions

We receive a lot of telephone requests for prescriptions to be processed urgently the same day. Whilst we
appreciate that ordering a prescription can be overlooked, it is difficult for us to guarantee a same day
service because of patient safety and clinical governance issues. We therefore seek your co-operation in
ensuring a continuous supply of your regular medication.
Many of our patients are on regular medication, which the doctors put onto repeat prescription lists. The
prescribing policy, issued by Berkshire East Primary Care Trust to doctors, stipulates that they should
prescribe only one month’s supply of medication at a time. This is to avoid wastage, since a patient’s
prescriptions may be changed at any point and to prevent stock-piling of medication at home, which is also
wasteful since medicines may go out of date or be withdrawn from circulation.
Telephone requests for repeat prescriptions can lead to administrative errors and are not considered best
practice. Many local surgeries do not accept telephone requests for repeat prescriptions for those reasons.
Ideally, prescriptions should not be requested by telephone except in exceptional circumstances, for
example if a patient is housebound. Routine telephone requests from the housebound should be made after
Please make your requests in good time. Repeat prescriptions can be requested by using the repeat
request slips attached to your prescription. They can be dropped off either at Datchet or Wraysbury
pharmacies or at the surgery. A letterbox is available when the practice is closed. Please allow 2 working
days for your prescription to be processed as the doctors have to check and sign all prescriptions and not all
doctors work every session. If you are overdue a blood test or clinic appointment this may delay the
processing of your prescription because it will be processed in a different way. If you are going on holiday or
we are approaching a bank holiday you can request your prescription earlier.
Repeat prescriptions can also be requested on-line via Patient Access on the practice website
. You will need to register each individual family member to use this service,
which can also be used to book some appointments. Your repeat prescription list will appear on your screen
and you simply have to tick the box alongside the items you need. Please type in where you would like to
collect your prescription (Datchet/Wraysbury/Friary pharmacies or the surgery) so that it can be sent to the
appropriate place.
If you attend a hospital outpatient clinic your consultant may change the medication that you are taking.
When the doctor receives a letter from the hospital he/she will add the new item to your repeat prescription
list, but you will need to request it when your supply from the hospital is running short.

A Calendar of Walks

Dr Dalton has been busy in his retirement and has written a small book entitled 'A Calendar of Walks'. The
book gives instructions for 12 walks (with small maps) available in the local area. Each walk is within a 30
minute drive of Datchet and is 5 - 6 miles in length. Copies of the book are on sale for £5 and all monies
raised will be donated to The Friends of Datchet Health Centre charity. Please ask at Reception or e-mail
if you would like a copy. Payment can be by cash or cheque made
payable to The Friends of Datchet Health Centre.

Parking at the Health Centre

There are two disabled parking spaces at the back of the health centre that are solely for the use of patients
who are blue badge holders; the badge should be clearly displayed in the windscreen. The spaces are
larger to facilitate the use of mobility aids and wheelchairs and are closer to the building to make access as
straightforward as possible. In recent weeks these spaces have been occupied by cars not displaying a blue
badge and patients using wheelchairs have had to use spaces further away from the building, causing them
considerable inconvenience and difficulty. We ask that everyone is considerate towards patients who have
limited mobility and that the disabled parking spaces are left clear for those entitled to use them.
Also, doctors’ reserved parking spaces at the side of the building are being used by patients. We ask those
concerned to desist because, in the event of an emergency home visit, the doctors need to have rapid and
easy access to their vehicles. We are fortunate to have good parking provision for patients – please use
spaces appropriately and with consideration for others. Bicycle racks are also available for patients who wish
to cycle to the surgery.

Partners’ Action Plan and the Patient Survey

A patient survey was conducted electronically and by hard copy in December 2011 and in March of this year
the partners produced an action plan in response to it. This contains target dates for addressing concerns.
The PPG is assisting the practice in prioritising the items in the plan. All time scales given are guidelines
only and any changes will be implemented as soon as they have been carefully planned and are safe.
Analysis of cost implications remains essential before any change is implemented.

Agree 2012/13 action plan and publish with response to survey`
Telephone access
Seek specialist advice regarding switchboard Review admin staffing levels in relation to peak demand
Appointment system
c) Re-organisation of appointment system including telephone slots d) Review access to on-line appointments Use information to establish new ways of working. Review clinical staffing levels including ways of increasing number of appointments
Follow up and test results
Review the system for obtaining results and ensure it is well understood and safe
Clinicians to be reminded to speak clearly and slowly via tannoy
Information for patients (PPG can assist with these points):
Work with PPG to get message across about how appointment system works (Including any changes resulting from this plan) Explanation of opening hours and appropriate use of extended hours appts Ensure patients are fully informed about the use of appointment system Ensure patients are fully informed about alternative healthcare providers Ensure both staff and patients are aware that rudeness will not be tolerated
Hay fever (also called Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis)
About a quarter of the UK population is affected by hay fever and it’s becoming more common
it’s an allergic reaction to pollen from grasses, weeds or trees and also possibly to moulds that are carried in the air, usually during the spring and summer hay fever is a result of your immune system overreacting to pollen (harmless to most people) because it mistakes it for a harmful invader hay fever, asthma, food allergy and eczema are related allergic conditions you are more likely to develop on of them if they run in your family. This is called ‘atopy’.
Symptoms of hay fever

itchy eyes, nose, throat and roof of the mouth (palate) in some people hay fever may trigger asthma
Treatment of hay fever

A large range of products is available to buy from supermarkets and pharmacies - your pharmacist can help
you with the options. Please read the information leaflet that comes with the medicine. You can see your GP
if you are not getting enough help with these ‘over the counter’ medicines.
Antihistamine tablets – usually reduce sneezing and a runny nose. Many are one a day tablets and non-
sedating (eg cetirizine and loratadine). Benadryl and piriton (chlorphenamine) may need to be taken several
times a day to control symptoms. Piriton makes some people drowsy and unsafe to drive.
Eye drops – allergy eye drops such as sodium cromoglycate will help with itchy or sore eyes. There are
others available from your GP.
Nasal sprays
antihistamine nasal sprays – if you only get hay fever symptoms now and again and they only affect the nose steroid nasal sprays - good at preventing symptoms, especially a blocked nose, but not so good at treating symptoms quickly once they have started. They often work best if you take it before your symptoms start and they through the hay fever season. Take it even if you have no symptoms when the pollen count is high. You can buy several of these from a pharmacy (beclomethasone and fluticasone); others are on prescription only from a GP.
Steroid tablets
- A short one-off course (under 1 week) may be rarely prescribed by your GP if hay fever is seriously
interfering with your life. However they are not to be taken continuously for hay fever as there may be long
term side effects.
Pollen count
the average number of pollen grains in one cubic metre of air over 24 hours. It is calculated daily for grass, tree and weed pollen. Pollen forecasts predict how high the pollen count will be and can be useful in helping you decide when will be the best times to start and stop treatment. The weather can affect the pollen count and it’s generally higher on sunny days and lower on rainy days.
Prevention of hay fever
keep doors and windows closed when the pollen count is high avoid areas with more pollen such as parks with grass, especially in early morning and evening wear wrap around sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes take a shower and wash your hair after going outside do not dry washing outside (pollen can get trapped in clothes and bed linen fibres) put Vaseline on the inside of your nostrils to reduce the amount of pollen that gets up your nose MC

Source: http://www.datchetdoctor.co.uk/Newsletters/PPG_Newsletter_June_2012-31.pdf

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