Welcome to Meadowbridge Surgery Website

7 August 4.15pm  We are experiencing an electricity powercut  and phones are also down.  In the case of an emergency ring 999.

30 July 2020  While shops and restaurants etc. are re-opening giving the appearance of a return to normality, we in General Practice need to continue to protect the provision of necessary clinical services in the best interests of our patients. To accomplish this goal doctors, nurses and admin staff are adhering to increased infection control measures by donning fresh PPE and completing the fully cleaning of consultation rooms between each patient contact. This has adversely affected appointment times resulting in capacity of appointments being reduced by approximately 50%. 

The Health & Social Care Board supports practices in moving to a telephone-first model and putting in place appropriate workload prioritisation in light of the Covid19 pandemic.   Many patient issues are now being managed by remote consultation mainly  by telephone or video and through receipt of encrypted photographs.  Other patients will still require an examination face to face either in practice (by invite), or in Covid Centres or through being directed to secondary care, depending on their individual clinical needs. 

Covid19 Centres have been successful in separating Covid-19 and non-Covid services.  This has reduced the risk of cross-infection and allowed primary care to protect patients and staff, whilst continuing to provide a range of important services.

Triage consultations at Meadowbridge Surgery will continue to be available to patients from 8.30am Monday to Friday and can be accessed on-line through patient facing services or by contacting us by telephone.  Once capacity has  been  reached however, and to  be able to continue to ensure safe working practice, triage will then move to dealing with critical and urgent only issues for the rest of the day. This allows for provision of unexpected emergencies to the end of the day.  Restrictions imposed over recent months have lead to a new way of working and are likely to continue for some time to be able to continue providing  essential NHS services. 

With the sustained workload and increasing patient contacts, patients are reminded of the importance of self-care and the availability of over the counter medicines in relation to minor ailments. Adhering to these practices will help to protect the availability of clinical patient consultations for those most in need.

In the fight against Covid 19, foot fall within the Practice has had to be considerably decreased to manage the control of disease spread. Several measures have been introduced to ensure patients are not disadvantaged including prescriptions now being available for collection at any of several chemists within the Whitehead, Carrickfergus or Larne areas rather than at the practice.  All documents are now electronically delivered using encryption/password protected systems.   Infection control also seen the introduction of several cleans through the day of all hard services, door handles etc within the practice.

We would like to acknowledge the dedication of all key workers within our surgery team who have continued to work tirelessly in the provision of services to our patients while following socially distancing within the workplace in working to ensure the safety of themselves, colleagues and their families. 

Little kindnesses, gestures and supportive comments received over the past months have all been gratefully received and appreciated by us all and have helped keep moral high.  Your continuing support will be greatly appreciated.

These so-called bleak times are necessary to go through in order to get to a much, much better place.” ― David Lynch

Mrs D Lavery, Practice Manager

On behalf of the GP Partners at Meadowbridge Surgery.

COVID-19 

Experiencing anxiety issues coming out of lockdown? - See 'Further Information Tab' above : 1. Counselling and Support Services for information and links to support services.

DOH advice https://www.facebook.com/DHSCgovuk/videos/758603401543994/

Update

Face Covering Exemption Cards

Due to the current Covid crisis, all Practices have significant limitations on capacity to see patients.  Resources have been uploaded to the 'Further Information/Counselling & Support' tab above, on how to manage common medical conditions and to be able to access support links & on-line courses if you are suffering from mild anxiety.   It is however, important that patients with concerning symptoms continue to access health care through our triage service, accessable on-line below if you are registered for on-line patient facing services or by calling reception from 8.30 Mon - Fri.  Triage is available each daily until daily capacity is reached.  At that point triage is for critical medical issues only.

 CARER ID CARDS are being issued by the Health Trusts.  Carers who are known to their local Trust and are in receipt of services will receive an ID card shortly – there is no need to apply for a card.  Please contact your Trust Carer co-ordinator if you have not received a card by the end of June.

Northern Trust /  Telephone Carer Hub: 028 2766 1210  /  Email: carers.coordinator@northerntrust.hscni.net

PATIENT TESTING  patients with Covid-19 symptoms are encouraged to get testedTests can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119. There is more information on testing on the PHA website

Positive results are given directly to the patient through a phone call from the Public Health Agency and not the Practice.

Department of Health link provides information on Covid-19 activity in Northern Ireland & information on a new way of consulting within General Practice  http://www.hscboard.hscni.net/covid-19-drove-technology-transformation-gp-practices/

COVID-19 - GENERAL INFORMATION & GUIDANCE

Any individual who develop symptoms of COVID-19 will be advised to self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.

The expanded case definition for COVID-19 now includes: a new continuous cough OR fever OR a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste (anosmia).

Everyone over five years of age in Northern Ireland with symptoms of COVID-19 is now eligible for testing. Testing is offered through the National Testing Programme and symptomatic members of the public can book their own test via this weblink:   www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test

Alternatively, symptomatic members of the public can book a test by calling the free phone number 119.

People booking a test can chose to be tested at one of four drive through test centres the nearest being in Belfast – these centres are operating as part of the National Testing Programme. Symptomatic members of the public can also book a test via the above weblink to order a postal self-test kit which will be dispatched to their home. The results of testing undertaken through the National Testing Programme are emailed or texted directly to the person who has been tested.

The NI Contact Tracing Service located in the Public Health Agency will be in touch with all cases of COVID-19. The symptomatic individual will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people they have been in direct contact with, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. People identified as close contacts will be informed that they have been in contact with a case and they will be advised of what actions they need to take.

All information discussed with the Contact Tracing Service will be handled with appropriate privacy and confidentiality safeguards.

The telephone number used by the service currently comes up as a ‘withheld number’ on receiving telephones but it is anticipated that there will be an update in due course advising that calls from this number will have an identifier.

We would once again like to thank you for your support in these unprecedented times, and to call on you to support the ‘Test, Trace and Protect’ Strategy which is of crucial importance as we move into the next phase of tackling COVID-19.

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Links below : Covid19 Updates. 

Public Health Agency(external link opens in a new window / tab)

www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/take-5-steps-wellbeing-english-and-11-translations

www.nidirect.gov.uk/information-and-services/healthy-lives/mental-health.

  Infection Avoidance Steps   One of the ways you can stop the spread of a viral infection is by adhering to clean and healthy habits. The World Health Organisation’s recommendations are to:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Throw away used tissues into a closed bin immediately.
  • Clean your hands using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
  • Keep your hands away from your face to help avoid spread of infection.

Regular updates are also posted to local community facebook pages in: We love Whitehead / Ballycarry Community / Islandmagee Community / Positive Carrickfergus.

Click this link to view a patient message from the GP Partners Dr Gorman, Dr Lavin, Dr O'Connor & Dr Cupples.

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In an Emergency eg collapse, Chest pain or Severe Breathlessness call 999 for an ambulance.

If you need medical advice Out of Hours, please call 028 25663 500

New - you can now add Triage Information on-line through Patient Services for the Doctors attention - see link available below. If you haven't registered yet for Patient Facing Services contact reception. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Welcome along to our surgery website where we hope you will quickly benefit from a user friendly layout and a wealth of information about our healthcare services. Find out when we’re open and what to do when we’re not, all from the comfort of your own home.

What is NI PEARS?   NI Pears is a self referral service provided by most optometry practices across Northern Ireland for patients who develop a sudden eye problem.  Over 100,000 patients in Northern Ireland attend hospital annually with eye problems, but many could be dealt with close to home by a local optometrist, freeing up hospital eye service appointments for more serious cases.  For further information see Clinics & Services tab above.

Practice Statement: In his recent media coverage Dr Cupples has spoken as an individual Doctor, and has at no point claimed to represent the views of, or speak on behalf of Meadowbridge Surgery or any of its staff. The Partners wish it to be made clear that Meadowbridge Surgery continues to offer the full range of General Medical Services to all patients without discrimination. Within the practice there are a number of General Practitioners offering a broad range of expertise and services, and patients may continue to avail of advice and guidance in keeping with current Northern Ireland clinical recommendations and guidelines.  

Getting the Most from your Health Service - Patient Leaflet

Did you know Meadowbridge Surgery have 9180 patients registered for general medical services.

NHS urges people who can not attend to cancel appointments. With each slot costing the NHS an average of £30, the cost of the missed GP appointments comes to about £216m a year.

NHS  said this could pay for either:
  • the annual salary of 2,325 full time GPs;
  • 224,640 cataract operations;
  • 58,320 hip replacement operations;
  • 216,000 drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s; or
  • the annual salary of 8,424 full time community nurses.

CARER INFORMATION - please see further information tab  above for updated carer information on resources and annual review appointments available with the Practice Nurse.  Lynn Campbell, Information Development Officer, Carer NI will be available through the day on 9th , 16th (PM only), 30th October at the Practice Flu Clinics to offer carer's support & information.

Whooping Cough - You can help protect your baby from whooping cough by getting vaccinated from week 16 of your pregnancy.  Since October 2012, in Northern Ireland, 92 laboratory confirmed cases occurred in infants under 6 months of age and this year (to 10 June 2019), there have been 44 confirmed cases of pertussis in Northern Ireland.  Just over a fifth of cases have been in infants under 6 months of age and so too young to be protected through routine vaccination. 

A Pain Management tab is now available in the Further Information tab above which provides helpful information and tips on the self management of acute back pain.  There is also information on local short courses available to patients from September - December 2018.

 

 GP Telephone Triage allows the practice to prioritise patients based on their medical need and ensure they are dealt with by the most appropriate health care professional while maximising our appointments system on a daily basis. Telephone Triage calls are taken from 8.30 am and Urgent Only Triage is called at 10.30 or earlier if all available appointments have been taken.  Telephone triage is dealt with more efficiently and avoids patients having long waits by turning up at reception.   Please advise if you have already consulted with a GP regarding the issue to allow continuity of care where possible.

Antibiotic Prescribing - Do I Need an Antibiotic? Go to the Further Information tab above for patient guidance on self-help and antibiotic prescribing evidence.

Help Yourself  Most common illnesses can be treated by you. By making positive choices and taking control of minor illnesses, you will increase your confidence which is good for your health and well-being. Your local pharmacist can provide advice and help you manage minor illnesses. See posters attached.   Choose Well Poster  &  Go ahead treat yourself

Disabled Car Spaces - Only to be used by blue badge holders or in an emergency medical situation.

Health and Happiness

Our team are dedicated to your continued good health and approach your care with professionalism, discretion and friendliness. You can count on a warm welcome from everyone involved here at the practice.

 

(Site updated 07/08/2020)
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