Winter Update - 16th November 2023


Dear patients, colleagues and supporters,

This newsletter is to share what’s happening at Burdwood Surgery and to inform you of some of the service changes that you may have noticed recently.

Having been here for almost 30 years, I can say that the NHS is constantly changing. Our surgery is no different and patients will recognise that there is a wider range of in-house healthcare professionals whom you may meet. The professional team is made up of GPs, qualified doctors undertaking GP training, a Clinical Pharmacist, Paramedic Practitioners, a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Social Prescribers, a First Contact Physiotherapist and our Practice Nurses and Treatment Room team. Prescriptions clerks, GP Assistants, Secretaries, Admin, the Receptionists and the Practice Manager complete the non-clinical staff. (When I joined in 1994, there were four GPs, nurses, a small Admin department and a Manager.)

With so many professionals working together to give the best care to our patients, it has become even more important for our receptionists to help direct you to the most suitable person to help. In July this year we migrated to a triage model. Our paramedic practitioners and duty doctor work directly with Reception Team to help direct queries and get you the help quicker. All surgery staff whether clinical or non-clinical are trained in confidentiality and data protection. They are fully supported by our clinical team. Please feel confident in talking to any member of our staff.

The clinical team have carefully considered how urgent care can be best delivered to our patients whilst maintaining continuity of care with your registered, or usual, doctor about longer term and ongoing health problems. Receiving the best information from you enables us to better help. We hope you can understand why we are implementing these changes to ensure every patient gets an appointment appropriate to their need. All our staff work extremely hard to provide the best care to as many patients as safely possible in any given day, whilst working within the confines of our capacity.

Since COVID, we’re increasingly using technology to help improve our patient care. We can now send text messages with appointment reminders, information leaflets and appointment booking links. We have a modern phone system with call back queuing to save you being on hold and advanced reporting features which allow staff resourcing for our busiest times. Our website has a range of information with a search facility to better help you find the information you need. Before the end of the year, we will implement a modern online consultation tool to ensure you get the most suitable care as quickly and safely as possible…watch this space for more information!

We appreciate that despite the benefits of technology, there are some patients who may not be as familiar with this. Please let us know if you find this challenging so we can assist.

The surgery has already implemented a slight change to the management of chronic or long-term conditions such as diabetes, heart disease etc. Reviews and any examinations, blood tests and discussions with your GP or specialist team are likely to be held in your month of birth. You may have received text messages or letters about this already.

If you have regular prescriptions, you will be aware that there have been many changes to our local pharmacies and there have been intermittent issues with drug shortages. With the closure of Lloyds Pharmacies, we now have Thatcham Pharmacy (Burdwood Centre) and Halo Pharmacy (Crown Mead). We will always try to inform you about difficulties with prescription requests. If possible, please give the surgery a working weeks’ notice for any repeat prescription request. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to download and use the NHS App. It makes it easier for you to order medication, amend your nominated pharmacy and book and cancel routine appointments. Learn more about the NHS App

You can follow a lot of our useful updates on our Facebook page.

More importantly, ensure we have your most up to date contact preferences including your mobile phone and email address. You can update your details here.

If eligible, please get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 and keep fit and well so you don’t need to come and see us!!

On behalf of all the staff, I would like to thank all patients who write and send gifts of appreciation to the team for their efforts. Constructive comments and suggestions to help with improvement are always welcome. Your input is important.

NHS Launches Campaign To Tell Patients About the Support Available at GP Practices

The NHS in England’s new campaign highlights the support offered in community health teams, including pharmacists, mental health practitioners, paramedics, physios, and social prescribers who are now available in every part of the country.

Dr Bal Bahia

On behalf of Burdwood Surgery

Published: Nov 16, 2023