Medical Student in practice
We have an elective medical student called Patrick Brien joining us in April. He is a final year medical student. He will be working within the practice shadowing nurses/GP's and working on projects. He will also be seeing some patients under the supervision of a GP.
Practice planned move update
After much consideration and discussion within the practice, the partners of Hightown Surgery have decided that we are no longer able to proceed with the planned move to a new surgery at Longford Park. The main reason for this decision is the increasing financial risk to the partners as the costs of the new build and other project costs have escalated over time. This is no longer manageable for the partnership, especially in the current climate of worsening destabilisation of general practices in the UK.
When we applied in good faith for this project in 2015, there was still hope that national and local developments could and would make general practice sustainable for partnerships, both clinically and financially, but this has very much turned out not to be the case in Banbury as elsewhere in the UK. With escalating difficulties around recruitment, increasing clinical risk, and impaired stability in other local practices, we simply cannot afford to take on an additional financial risk of this magnitude at this time, however great the potential benefits are for primary care in Banbury or to manage the increased workload on the partners and the practice manager to deliver this project which is time taken away from the day to day running of the practice at a time when we need to prioritise patient care.
We know that this news will be disappointing to some local stakeholders and to our patients, as indeed it is to us, but we feel that the choice is between remaining open as a practice or taking an unconscionable and unjustified risk to our future as a practice, and therefore must choose the path of continuing to provide high quality care for our patients from our current premises for the foreseeable future.
FLU VACCINES NOW AVAILABLE
Have you had a flu vaccine letter or text?
Please contact our Reception team to book.
Do you order your repeat prescriptions by fax or via the Hightown website?
From October 2018 we will no longer be accepting repeat prescription requests by fax.
From January 2019 we will no longer be accepting repeat prescription requests via the Hightown website.
Please speak to our Reception Team about signing up for Patient Online Services which is a more secure system.
Stoptober – smoking cessation:
Stoptober is back, launching on 20 September 2018
Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England, is back from 1st October.
Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smokefree for good.
Click on the link below for their website.
Have you thought about your winter plan?
People are encouraged to have a personal winter plan so they are well prepared when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the season for flu, coughs and colds really kicks in.
Tehmeena Ajmal, the county's first winter director, said: "We would like everyone in Oxfordshire to have a winter plan for themselves and their family, so that they know what they can do to keep as well as possible; what they can do if they start to get unwell; and how they can look after older family members, friends or neighbours who might need some help.”
"Winter illnesses can be headed off by taking action early, so making sure you are stocked up at home with basic cold and flu medication. Or you can visit your local pharmacist for advice and the right medicines. And NHS 111 will provide advice on the most appropriate place to go for treatment if you don't feel well. "Obviously there will be times when people become seriously unwell and hospital is the right place for them to be. But by taking a few simple steps and putting together your winter plan you may help yourself avoid admission to hospital."
Personal winter plans should include:
- Having a free flu vaccination if you are in an ‘at risk’ group
- Getting help early before your condition worsens.
- Getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
- Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet
- Stocking up on winter food supplies
- Getting your boiler serviced
- Keeping your home heated to 18C
- Having a list of emergency phone numbers handy by your phone
- Keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relative
A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:
- Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
- All other children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
- People in long-stay residential care homes
At risk conditions: The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
Public Health England has also published the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet which provides advice on staying well in cold weather and covers issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating
keep warm keep well 2019
Click on the link below to the Age UK Oxfordshire leaflet "Staying Well this Winter" which is full of useful advice on how to stay well this winter.
Age UK - Staying well this winter
Flu Vaccination Programme 2018-2019
This year, three types of flu vaccine will be used in the flu programme. This will benefit patients by ensuring that they have the most suitable vaccine that gives them the best protection against flu.
The three vaccines are:
o Adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) - This is licensed for people aged 65 years and over and is the vaccine recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI) for this age group.
o Quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) - This is recommended for children aged from 6 months to 2 years and in adults from 18 years to less than 65 years of age who are at increased risk from flu because of a long term health condition.
o Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) - This is a nasal spray and is licensed for children and young people from 2 years old to less than 18 years of age. The age groups targeted in England for this vaccine in 2018/19 are two and three year olds (through their GP surgery) and school aged children in reception class through to Year 5 (through schools).
As the vaccines will be delivered throughout September, October and November the advice from NHS England is that practices prioritise the most at risk patients and so we will be phasing the vaccination programme this year as follows:
Patients aged 75 years and over
Patients under 65 years old in a clinical risk group*
Patients in a Care Home
Patients aged 65 to 74 years old in a risk group *
Children aged 2 and 3 years old
Patients aged 65 to 74 years old not in a risk group
Children aged 2 and 3 years old
(Phase 1 patients can still be seen in phase 2 or 3 and phase 2 patients can still be seen in phase 3)
You will be receiving a letter that tells you what phase you are in and when the clinics are being run for that phase. When telephoning the practice to make your appointment please make sure you tell us what phase you are in by telling us the coloured symbol printed on your letter to ensure you get booked into the correct clinic.
All eligible patients will be vaccinated by the end of November.
* At risk groups
COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Asthma (with a current steroid inhaler)
Chronic neurological disease
Chronic heart disease
Chronic kidney disease
Immunosuppression, Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
Chronic liver disease
BMI > 40
The flu vaccination winter 2018/19
Information for those aged 65 years and over.
This winter, people aged 65 and over are being offered a flu vaccine called Fluad. This is the best vaccine currently available for people in this age group because it contains an adjuvant that helps the immune system create a stronger response to the vaccine.
Fluad® is expected to provide better protection for older people and result in fewer hospitalisations and GP consultations from flu this winter. The vaccine is being delivered to GP practices and pharmacies between September and the end of November, meaning that appointments for flu vaccination will be more spread out than in previous years.
Why am I being asked to wait to have my flu vaccine?
This year Fluad® is being delivered in phases between September and November and so you may have to wait until your GP surgery or pharmacy receives their next scheduled stock of the vaccine.
Can I go elsewhere if my GP practice or pharmacy has run out?
If your GP practice has no Fluad®, you can ask a pharmacy whether they do. If your pharmacy currently has no vaccine then you should check with your GP practice. GP practices and pharmacies will be able to tell you when they expect their next delivery of Fluad®.
What is an adjuvant and why is it better?
An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to help to stimulate the immune system to create a better response to a vaccine. This vaccine has been widely used in many other countries. It has been shown to offer better and longer lasting protection in older people than flu vaccines without an adjuvant.
Wouldn’t it be better to have another flu vaccine rather than wait?
It is important that you benefit from having the most effective vaccine, so it is better to wait for Fluad® if you are aged 65 or over.
Is having Fluad® in November too late to offer protection?
Flu usually starts from December onwards so if you are vaccinated in November you should benefit from its protective effect. It is better to wait for the vaccine that is most effective for your age group.
Where can I get further information?
Your GP practice or pharmacy will be able to provide further information
[full details on our 2018/19 vaccination programme can be found under further information - old news articles]
Did you know? ...You can self refer for many services without the need to see your GP first.
- CAMHS and TalkingSpace for mental health services
- Physiotherapy appointments
- Bowel and Bladder service
- Achieve Oxfordshire healthy weight loss
- Smokefree Life.
See the patient self referral tab under the Clinics & Services section on this website for further details on how to contact these services.
Neighbourhood Access Hub
Extended hours at PML’s Neighbourhood Access Hubs
Hightown Surgery patients now have even better access to a doctor at the weekends and in the evenings. Neighbourhood Access Hubs developed by Principal Medical Limited (PML) on behalf of Oxfordshire practices in 2015, have extended their opening hours so that yet more patients can benefit from national GP Access funding (GPAF). This is great news for the 300,000+ patients registered with the 36 PML GP Federation practices in Oxfordshire.
The aims of the service remain the same; patients requesting a pre-bookable GP appointment at their own practice, may be offered an appointment at a nearby location, with a local GP or nurse who has access to their medical records.
This provides more appointments for patients during the day, the evenings and at weekends, while relieving GP practices of some of the pressure of providing treatment for minor illnesses.
What does this mean for you?
- No change in the booking process for appointments.
- You may be offered an appointment during normal or extended hours at a Hub location.
Further details are available in the appointments section on this website.
NHS National Data Opt Out
The NHS has launched the national data opt-out as part of the ‘Your Data Matters to the NHS’ campaign. This campaign informs the public that the strict rules about how health and care data can and cannot be used have been strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used. The campaign will also let the public know that they can choose whether their confidential patient information is used for research and planning.
A new website https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/? has been launched which allows the public to find out more about how their data is used across health and care and to make this choice.
South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust will be delivering free defibrillation and Cardio Pulmonary (CPR) awareness session for all age groups.
This is open to individuals, businesses and all recreation groups large or small. This is a non certificated practical session. If you are interested in knowing more please mail. Maureen.firstname.lastname@example.org who will pass on your details to SCAS.
The sessions can be delivered locally or at a venue of the groups/business’s choice
Appointment Access Update
We are currently trialling an urgent care GP triage system for same day appointment requests. When you call and request an urgent appointment our Receptionists will direct you to the most appropriate service. These include:-
- Local Neighbourhood Hub appointment at Banbury Health Centre
- Practice Pharmacist
- Nurse Practitioner - express clinic
- Local Optician - minor eye service (MECS)
- Primary Care Visiting Service (PCVS)
- Urgent care triage GP call list.
The Triage GP will call you back to discuss your case. If this GP feels that you need to be seen urgently they will book an appointment for you to come into the surgery to see them later the same day. If less urgent they will book you in for another day. The Triage GP will also deal with all home visit requests.
Please help us by making sure we have your up to date contact telephone numbers and that you are available to take their call.
New Premises Update
We have secured land (subject to contract) on the Longford Park housing estate in Bodicote to build a new surgery (we hope to be in by April 2020). As previously reported we have received a grant from NHS England to enable this to happen and we are currently working with our Project Managers to design the new building. Our new building will include more consulting and treatment rooms as well as many more car parking spaces. Our vision is to retain the spirit of Hightown but in a building more suited to modern general practice.
This is an exciting time for Hightown and we will keep you updated as the project develops.
A new way to get your medicines and appliances
The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service. It gives you the change to change how your GP sends your prescriptions to the place you choose.
To find out more
Electronic Prescription Service patient leaflet
Volunteer Connect Transport Scheme
The Volunteer Connect Transport Scheme provides a service where volunteer drivers use their own cars to take people to essential appointments, where there is no reasonable alternative for them to travel (including appointments at GP surgeries).
All the drivers are volunteers and give their time without charge.
Passengers pay a mileage charge to help cover the driver's fuel cost.
To book a journey or to find out about joining the team as a Volunteer Transport Telephone Administrator or a Volunteer Driver please call 0300 3030 125.
‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app
Download OCCG’s ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app to your smart phone to find health services closest to where you are in Oxfordshire.
Visit the app store to download the app for Android or iOS operating systems.
See http://bit.ly/iphoneappchoosewell or http://bit.ly/androidappchoosewell
Friends & Family Test
Care Quality Commission
New contractual arrangements came into force on 1st April 2014 requiring GP practices to make available a statement of intent about IT developments. Statement of Intent.pdf
GP practices in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire are now working together as part of the PML GP Federation.
The Federation is a new way of working for GPs and it was created to enhance the delivery of health and care services for the people in our area.
There are 40 GP practices in Oxfordshire and 16 GP practices in Northamptonshire aligned to the PML GP Federation, covering a population of over 430,000.
In Oxfordshire the Federation works in four locality groups covering the North, North East, West and part of the South West areas of Oxfordshire.
In Northamptonshire, 16 GP practices are working with PML.
Your GP practice is part of the NOxMed group, which is made up of 11 practices in the North of Oxfordshire.
PML’s central office in Banbury provides administrative and management support, governance and strategic planning and each locality has its own clinical and administrative lead to ensure our health plans are tailored for our local population.
Find out more about the PML GP Federation follow the link http://www.principal-medical.co.uk/Community_Services.php
The PML Federation has been awarded funds to pilot new ways of delivering services to help GP practices meet increasing demand. The aim is to improve services that patients receive through their GP Surgery. We are spending this new money on service trials in a number of locations. We will, over time, be able to measure the impact these new ways of working might have on patient care and on GP workloads. Where services are successful, we hope they will become mainstream and enable even more patients will benefit.
Early Visiting Service The Early Visiting Service (EVS) is made up of a team of emergency care clinicians who will work closely with GP practices to provide home visits to the elderly and housebound.
Named Accountable GP
From 1st April 2015, the NHS has said that all GP Practices should allocate a named accountable GP to all patients, including children.
Our patients are already assigned a named GP, (usual GP), and many of you will already know who this is for you. If you would like to know the name of your accountable GP please ask next time you contact the practice.
This change will have no impact on the service you receive regarding provision of appointments at Hightown Surgery, your treatment, or which GP you can see. If asked by other Doctors please continue to use the name of the GP you normally see.
Patients will still have access to all of our GPs and you can still request to see the Doctor or Nurse of your choice.
Should you wish for your assigned GP to be changed we will do our best to accommodate your requests.