Telephone and Skype consultations

Telephone and Skype appts

A GP takes up to 80 calls in the morning, these consultations last up to 5 minutes and patients have found it extremely useful. You do not need to make time to come into the surgery, the GP can send prescriptions directly to your pharmacy and send you emails and text messages with relevant information. If the GP thinks you need to come in for an appointment you will be booked in for the same day.

Please don’t be offended if reception staff ask you what the problem is when you call to book an appointment, they are here to help you get the right service for your needs.

Online Services

Online services for patients at Firstcare Practice.

People registered with our surgery can now book appointments and request repeat prescriptions at a time convenient to them, thanks to GP online services.

These services enable people to book GP appointments and request repeat prescriptions via their computer, smartphone or tablet at a time that suits them rather than calling or visiting the surgery.

This approach can save people a phone call or journey to the surgery, and allow them to do what they need to when the surgery is closed. Patients living with a long term health condition can also benefit by having a greater involvement in their healthcare as they can access test results and keep track of their treatment.

All patient information is kept securely. Click here to access your login page, which allows access to the information patients need. Smartphone and tablet users can also download the apps by clicking here  , which gives users the same choice in how they access GP online services.

This service works alongside traditional methods of accessing services, it does not replace them. By allowing people who want to make appointments and order prescriptions this way, it should become easier for others to get through on the phone to the surgery during busy periods.

If you want to register for GP online services you will need to fill out a form at the surgery and show two forms of ID one of which should have a photo (such as a UK passport or driving licence) and the other should have your address (such as a council tax bill). If you don’t have photo ID or anything with your address on it, it doesn’t mean you will not be able to use online services, our surgery staff may be able to help.

To register for GP online services, drop in and ask us, or to find out more visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk/GPonlineservices

New vitamin D guidelines for North West London.

New vitamin D guidelines for North West London. Note that for rapid correction, Fultium 20,000 iu, twice weekly for 7 weeks. Alternative for vegetarians is Invita D3, 25,000iu/1ml (drinkable ampule) – 2 ampules for 6 weeks.

Check serum adjusted calcium 4 weeks after treating with loading doses of vitamin D (rapid correction) as vitamin D repletion may unmask primary hyperparathyroidism. Routine vitamin D re-testing is not required.

Click here for guidelines  – Which Vitamin D Product When May 2015

RCGP Toolkit to help practices to offer more online services

What is Patient Online?

Patient Online gives patients the option to make appointments, order repeat prescriptions (‘transactional services’) and view their electronic medical record online, using their computer, tablet or smartphone rather than having to phone or visit their practice.

Online services complement the existing ways patients access appointments, prescriptions and their records.

Many GP practices already offer online access to records and transactional services for their patients, and the GMS and PMS contracts 2014/15 required all general practices in England to offer Patient Online by the end of March 2015. Patient online access to their medical record will be widened in 2015/16, with some flexibility in how this is implemented by practices. More information about these changes is available in the Overview and Benefits eLearning, and the BMA Key changes to the GP contract webpage.

Click for Online services: an overview of online access (PDF) which provides guidance on the important features of online access.

About the Toolkit

RCGP and NHS England have worked together to provide a range of resources and practical guidance to help GP practices make online appointments, repeat prescriptions and make records available online to all patients who want to use them.

Here is the link to the toolkit

People with diabetes are being fined up to £100 for claiming free prescriptions without a medical exemption certificate.

People with diabetes are being fined up to £100 for claiming free prescriptions without a medical exemption certificate. We need your help to stop this.  

 Everyone in England who uses insulin or takes medication to manage their diabetes is able to claim free prescriptions but they must have a valid medical exemption certificate to do so. This certificate must be renewed every five years.

 The NHS Business Services Authority, have recently introduced a far more rigorous checking system than in the past. The poor management and lack of enforcement of the certificates over a long period of time has led to the understandable misconception, from patients and professionals alike, that anyone with diabetes who uses medication or insulin is automatically exempt from prescription charges.

 This is not the case. Everybody must have a valid medical exemption certificate and renew this every five years.

 We want to make sure people with diabetes and healthcare professionals know this. On our website we have information for people with diabetes, explaining how to get the certificate and what to do if they have received a fine: www.diabetes.org.uk/claiming-free-prescriptions

 We also have information for healthcare professionals, to explain their role in making sure people have the right information and avoid being fined:

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Professionals/News–updates/People-with-diabetes-are-being-fined-for-claiming-free-prescriptions/

Prescription

New law on taking medication whilst driving

Key messages

• A new law on driving after taking certain drugs (including some medicines – see below) is coming into force in March 2015

• This law states that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified levels in the body, whether your driving is impaired or not

• If you are taking these medicines as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law

• Keep taking your medicines as prescribed

• Check the leaflet that comes with your medicines for information on how your medicines may affect your driving ability

• Do not drive after taking your medicines until you know how they affect you

• Do not drive if you feel drowsy, dizzy, unable to concentrate or make decisions, or if you have blurred or double vision

• If your driving is impaired then you are guilty of breaking the law

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

What is the issue?

A new law on driving with certain drugs above specified limits in the body is expected to come into force on 2nd March 2015.1The list of drugs includes certain medicines that are sometimes abused, such as medicines used to treat:

1 Dependent upon the approval date of the regulations by Parliament

• extreme pain (morphine, diamorphine, ketamine)

• anxiety or inability to sleep (diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam)

• drug addiction (methadone)

• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD (amphetamine)

• multiple sclerosis (nabiximols)

If you are found to be driving with any of these medicines above the limits in your body, you could be guilty of breaking the law. But if you are taking the medicines according to the advice of your prescriber or leaflet in the package, and your driving is not impaired, then you are not guilty of breaking this law.

What will happen if I’m stopped by the police?

The police may use a roadside test to see if you have taken any of the drugs. If the test detects any relevant drugs, the type and level of the drugs in your body can be confirmed by a blood test taken at the police station. The law provides you with a “medical defence”. This states that you are not guilty if:

• the medicine was prescribed, supplied, or sold to you to treat a medical or dental problem, and

• you took the medicine according to the instructions given by the prescriber or the information provided with the medicine.

But if your driving is impaired, you are guilty of breaking the law.

What should I do if I need to take any of the specified medicines?

Keep taking your medicine as prescribed. Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine for information on how your medicine may affect your driving ability. Do not drive while taking your medicine until you know how it affects you. Do not drive if you feel drowsy, dizzy, unable to concentrate or make decisions, or if you have blurred or double vision.

For further information on this new law, go to:

www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law

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