Another month has gone, and we are now firmly into the darker and colder months.
Committee members gave their support to the surgery for the two October ‘flu clinics where we basked in warm sunshine one week and froze 7 days later! Apart from bringing a few smiles to anxious little faces with our giveaway toys, those two events gave us the opportunity to meet with fellow patients and hear from them about the issues which are affecting us all in the current climate.
There continue to be many concerns about how patients are able to access health care in an ever-changing environment but also worries about the cost of living and the impact of continuing price rises, especially in fuel and food. You will see from our Facebook and our FPS website that we are supporting initiatives – looking after your physical and mental health as well as some tips which might ease those stretched household budgets – which might be helpful. Sometimes people just need information about where they can go for help and support.
We have been interested in the Core20PLUS5 initiative which is a national NHS England approach to reduce health care inequalities. This led us in FPS to think about whether there is a role for us as a patient group to ensure we are representing as wide a group of patients as possible. Engaging with patients across, for example different age groups and from diverse ethnicities, is a major challenge for us, and any suggestions, thoughts or comments would be more than welcome.
Look out for committee members at the next ‘flu clinic on 4th November. Do come and talk with us. It’s our chance to know what’s going on for us all as patients.
Yvonne MetcalfFPS Chair
As your committee, we regularly put forward your queries, concerns and feedback to the surgery management. Here are some of the top concerns you’ve raised with us, and the responses we’ve received from the surgery.
We received several concerns over the past couple of months about how to contact the surgery without being held in a queue on the phone for lengthy periods of time. The AccuRx system has an ‘admin query’ option, but we’re aware that this shuts off after 4pm. We raised this with the surgery, and they are unsure who made this decision and are looking into it, as it may be at a higher level than at the surgery – AccuRx supports many different surgeries. We will continue to see if there is a solution to this.
Patients have also raised a concern over AccuRx saying there will be contact made between 48 hours, as some do not think their medical concerns can wait this long. We were reassured by the surgery that most contacts are made on the same day, whether this is to organise an appointment at the surgery, or to signpost patients to another source of help. The ’48 hours’ is an AccuRx default which cannot be changed by the surgery.
The surgery also requested that patients ensure they submit medical queries on AccuRx using the medical form, and do not put this into the ‘admin’ request as this can be unsafe.
With regard to the queues on the phones, several patients have asked why a queuing system, telling the caller where they stand in the queue, has not been implemented. At present, the telephone contract the surgery has does not allow for this, but we have been assured it will be explored when the contract ends.
We asked the surgery to clarify how patients can raise concerns or complaints directly with the practice staff, pointing out that the website did not give a specific way of doing this. There has been a change to the Parkwood Surgery website to make this clearer to patients. Click here for more information.
Supporting at the ‘flu clinics
As our chair, Yvonne, mentioned above, the committee have been at the ‘flu clinics come frost or shine! The toys for children attending the clinic, paid for by FPS funds, have been particularly popular, and will be on offer again at the next clinic. We request that either the child is present at the clinic, or any parents or grandparents who want to pick up a little gift give FPS a small donation so we can continue endeavours like this.
Knit and Natter Group
The Knit and Natter group continues to meet on Tuesdays from 2-4pm at the Community Hall on Great Sturgess Road. If you’d like to come along to it, or know someone who would like a chat and some company, please contact Val on 01442 255449.
Check out the minutes of our meetings
The minutes from FPS’ monthly meetings, including our most recent September meeting, are available here. We hope this will improve the transparency for patients so you can see your concerns and queries are being raised.
Health Matters Webinars: accessing past sessions
We’ve had requests from patients who have missed a webinar or wanted to see parts of it again. These have been collated here and include talks on 11 different subjects, including heart health, liver health and prostate issues.
Want to stay up to date?
One easy way to keep up to date with FPS’ events is to follow us on our Facebook page. Every time we update the website, we’ll post a link there!
Unsubscribe from FPS communications
If you wish to unsubscribe from receiving communications about FPS, you will need to contact the surgery to ask for this note to be placed on your file. FPS does not hold any data on patients other than that provided directly by them, such as emails sent to the FPS mailbox.