Published Autumn 2021
ASCA spoke to Dr Alex Thornton Smith to find out more about what would happen next at the Surgery. He explained this has been one of the most challenging periods he has faced in General Practice. Patients and staff have had to adapt to new ways of working in line with the NHS Standard Operating Procedures issued to General Practice and they have had to navigate how to provide best care during the pandemic.
So, what next? NHS guidance continues to advise doctors that they should still first triage patients over the phone or via other technology and assess whether a face to face appointment is needed. So, we can expect to see this carry on for the foreseeable future, but many of us will have experienced the very efficient system the Surgery has set up, and all patients needing a face-to-face appointment are offered one. The surgery is now looking at restarting some of the wider chronic disease management initiatives that had to stop in the short term, so over the late summer early autumn people with chronic lung disease will have their regular spirometry resumed and other similar services will restart. Where patients have been successfully monitoring their own condition such as their blood pressure will be encouraged to continue doing this. Hopefully some of the visiting services that were stopped will also restart, but details are not known yet. A new Mental Health Practitioner will be starting soon (at time of writing). Also the very successful social prescribing project has now been funded to continue as a service so a new social prescriber will hopefully be appointed. Also the clinical pharmacist will continue to review long term medication with patients.
Dr Thornton Smith also explained that the practice has submitted an expression of interest in providing booster Covid Jabs, if the model of giving them with Flu jabs is deployed. At time of writing this had not been firmed up.
By the time this is published we will be in Flu Jab season, but because the situation is not clear yet we don’t know how this will be deployed but look at the practice web site for updates or read Text notifications and e mails as they come through. ASCA may also put posters up around town if we have enough notice
It was with great sadness ASCA heard that our long- standing secretary Karyn Williams finally succumbed to the long-term effects of her congenital heart defect. Karyn, who many of you will remember as she helped out at ASCA events, oxygen cylinder in tow, was secretary from 2003 until she stepped down from that role in 2018. She remained a member of the committee, all be it remotely. Karyn passed away in Southampton hospital on 10th May 2021. She leaves a widower Simon Bain, her son and 2 stepsons and many friends. Karyn kept us all on the committee in order, kept the charity paperwork up to date and served the patients of Arundel with a smile. We will miss her.
New Doctors – Dr Emma Cuzner & Dr Ruzanne Roux have both started at the practice, some people will remember Ruzanne from her previous stint at the practice a few years ago.
We sadly said goodbye to our Advanced Nurse Practitioner Celia Knight, but we are delighted to hear that Wendy Callaghan has joined the practice. Wendy is an experienced ANP who knows the wider local area well.
In the last newsletter we welcomed Gabby Harrison as Practice Manager, Gaby has been working hard to get to know us all and has had quite a steep learning curve.
In August after months of waiting for delivery the new phone system was due to go live, replacing the old and aging system. Further technical difficulties in the installation of the new phone lines, all outside of the control of the practice, created havoc for the practice team – let’s hope the various companies have sorted it out by the time this goes to print. This will allow better management of phone messages and incoming calls.