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5th April 2020
IMPORTANT UPDATE AS TO HOW THE PRACTICE IS MANAGING HEALTH SERVICES LOCALLY
We’re busy at the moment and learning to work in ways that we’re not used to and we don’t always like. Some patients, seeing the constant media reports of crisis and pressures have asked; ‘Can we still call you if we’re sick?’ Others, we’re seeing from reports up and down the country, are trying so hard to avoid burdening the NHS, that in isolation they’re getting more and more unwell without seeking help then being taken to hospital by ambulance – dangerously ill.
We are your local GP practice; we’re working very hard and doing things differently but are still here.
If you need our help – contact us!
The current crisis is presenting all sorts of unforeseen problems and how we’re being told to respond is changing every day. There are lots of questions we can’t answer – we’re not able to control government departments or hospitals.
During this busy time we have moved to a total triage system. This means that all requests for help must be made by e-consult through our website www.oakleyhealth.org or via the phone. Please do not come to the surgery unless you have been given a face-to-face appointment. If we need to see you face to face, this will be at Yateley Medical Centre, where we have special arrangements to keep everyone as safe as we can. Of course, the most frail and vulnerable will still be visited at home.
From 6th April 2020, we will be dealing with everything “on the day” and not offering appointments in advance (with the exception of some ongoing nursing appointments such as warfarin monitoring, regular dressing changes etc., when special arrangements will be made with the patients concerned).
By dealing with everything “on the day”, we will be able to continue to operate if more of our team become unwell or have to self-isolate. It will also allow us more flexibility to have more doctors available to help the large numbers of very unwell people we must sadly expect in the next few weeks. We are pleased to say that all of our Doctors and Nurse Practitioners now have the IT to be able to work from home, so will be able to continue to call their patients and deal with e-consults, prescription requests etc. should they need to self-isolate.
Key things to remember:
. If you think you may have Covid-19 DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS 111 Online Service to fins out what to do next www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Only call 111 if you are unable to use the online service.
Consider if it something you could deal with yourself. The NHS website www.nhs.uk and the NHS App both have good symptom checkers and sensible advice and a particularly good site for concerns about children is www.what0-18.nhs.uk
Use our e-Consult service on the front page of this website. Many concerns can be dealt with straight away but, if not, when the doctor calls, they will be more efficient, as they will have much of your information in front of them already.
Please be patient with our Receptionists. They are working very long hours answering many extra calls as quickly as they can, some of them with very complicated problems and queries and with reduced numbers of staff due to self-isolation. Please use online options if you are able, so that the phone is left for those who cannot access the internet.
Need a repeat prescription? Use the Repeat Prescriptions section of our website, Online Services or download the NHS App to request your prescription.
We are no longer able to do routine referrals to the hospital (although we can obviously continue to refer emergencies and suspected cancer). Other referrals will need to wait until after the current crisis.
If you need to be seen face to face, listen carefully to the instructions you are given and where to go. We are trying hard to make sure that any patients we see who have suspected Covid-19 are seen in our “Hot Zone” away from other patients and where staff are wearing extra protective equipment.
Finally, thank you so much for all the kind expressions of support (we heard you clapping as well!). We are doing our absolute best to help our local community through these unprecedented times. Our community is resilient and by supporting each other, we will win through.
The Doctors, Nurses and Admin Team at Oakley Health Group
Coronavirus – Covid-19 – Volunteering
Hart Voluntary Action is joining the wider effort in the district to create a co-ordinated response to supporting local residents, who will be most affected by the public health guidance around self-isolation at home.
If you would like to volunteer your time or donate goods and services, please complete the response form below, and we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you.
Hart Voluntary Action Coronavirus Volunteering Form
Statutory disclosure of confidential patient information under COPI 2002 3(4)
The Department of Health & Social Care has issued an notice to GP surgeries informing them of the use of COPI 2002 3(4) to mandate the disclosure of personal confidential data to designated organisations, for COVID-19 related purposes.
This is the statutory power enabled within The Health Service Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002.
The notice can be viewed here.
The first such statutory disclosure is for the extraction and uploading of (previously consented) patient information to UK Biobank.
That order can be viewed here.
Oakley Health Group, in common with all other healthcare organisations, must comply with such orders. Patients cannot object to the processing of their personal confidential data in this way.
GP records sharing with SCAS NHS 111
Oakley Health Group will shortly be allowing SCAS NHS 111 access to relevant and important information from our patients GP records (important medical history, operations, allergies, medication etc). NHS 111 do not have access to the entire GP record, but a useful summary of it.
Such access will only occur if:
• You (or someone looking after you) rings NHS 111
• The NHS 111 call handler escalates the call to an NHS 111 clinician (doctor, nurse, paramedic)
• You give your explicit permission for your GP record to be accessed (and you can say yes or no on each occasion)
The only exception to this rule will be if you are unable to consent (e.g. you're unconscious) and it is a genuine emergency warranting access to such information.
In contrast with other NHS data sharing schemes, no data is extracted or uploaded out of our GP system - information is viewed in real-time, as a read only data stream. There are no secondary uses of the data (such as for marketing, commercial uses etc).
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we have made the decision to enable such access as soon necessary data sharing agreements between the surgery and SCAS NHS 111 have been signed.
We have produced a factsheet about this scheme:
We have undertaken a data protection impact assessment:
We have produced a GDPR-required privacy notice:
Whilst you can say yes or no to allowing information from your GP record to be accessed on each occasion that you contact NHS 111, you also have the right to opt-out of the scheme completely (details in the fact sheet). This will, however, mean that NHS 111 can never access your information, even in an emergency, and even if you say yes. If you do opt-out, you can change your mind at any time by contacting the surgery.
In time, this way of accessing GP records - which is safe, transparent, consensual, and fully compliant with data protection law - will be extended to our GP out-of-hours service (NHUC), and the ambulance service (SECAMB).
DR MARK HINTON TO RETIRE IN APRIL 2020
Our Senior Partner, Dr Mark Hinton will be retiring on 24th April 2020. He has been working in General Practice since 1988 and will be much missed by staff and patients alike. His patients will be transferred to the care of Dr Daniel Mason or Dr Vicki Goodall.
Dr Karl Bennett will take on the role of Senior Partner, whilst Dr Gareth Robinson remains as our Managing Partner.
From Anne Strong, Chair of OHG Patient Participation Group: "As many of you may be aware, Dr Mark Hinton will be retiring on 24th April after 32 years as a very well-liked and respected family GP. Whilst of course some patients may want to bring in individual gifts, the Patient Participation Group is organising a collection to which anyone is welcome to contribute if they wish. Just ask at Reception at the Hartley Corner Surgery site. Many Thanks
The Making Connections Directory is an easy to use directory of local community services. It has been created to help Oakley Health Group patients connect with support services and community groups near to where you live. Click here
Zero Tolerance Policy
The NHS operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients, and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation, we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.
We will try to help our patients however we can, but verbal and physical abuse will not be tolerated.
OHG Facebook page
We have a Facebook page now, where we will also post news and information about Oakley Health Group.
Please do visit that page and "Like" or "Follow" it if you would like our posts to appear on your newsfeed.
Free NHS Wi-Fi now available at Oakley Health Group!
Friends and Family Test (FFT)
The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide feedback on the care and treatment you receive and to improve services.
Please click HERE to enter your feedback (anonymously).
(Site updated 07/04/2020)