Newsletter – March 2018

from Lisa Smith – Willingham Surgery

Hospital Waiting Lists
Please note that some hospital departments currently have very long waiting lists. Once your referral has been sent to the hospital, the GP has very little power to expedite your appointment or move you up the waiting list. The hospital is responsible for prioritising your referral. Moving a patient up the waiting list will obviously lead to a longer wait for someone else. If you are concerned your referral has been lost or forgotten, we are happy to check on the progress for you. Please contact the surgery if you are concerned.

School letters
We cannot supply letters to confirm that children have been brought to surgery or that doctors’ advice has been sought. This has to be done on the basis of clinical need rather than for administrative purposes. The local schools have been informed of the practice policy, and they should contact us directly with your consent if they require any further information.

The GP Surgery and hospitals are currently experiencing a high volume of patients with flu and winter vomiting. Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually begin to feel better within about a week. GPs don’t recommend antibiotics for flu because they won’t relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery. Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people so please do not attend the surgery unless you fall into one of the following categories:

Call NHS 111 or see your GP if:

  • you’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms
  • you’re 65 or over
  • you’re pregnant
    you have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • you have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
  • your symptoms don’t improve after 7 days

You should attend A&E or call 999 if you

  • develop sudden chest pain
  • have difficulty breathing
  • start coughing up blood

Visit NHS Choices for further information about flu symptoms, how to treat flu at home, and how to limit the spread of infection.

Winter Vomiting Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It’s also called the winter vomiting bug because it’s more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year. Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home. Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily. Call your GP or NHS 111 if you’re concerned or need any advice. You can also visit NHS choices for further details of symptoms and how to treat your illness at home, and when you should seek medical advice.

Additional appointments available at this practice
We are making more appointments available for patients at this practice. Additional appointments can be booked from the end of January until the end of March 2018. This is because we know that there are times you want to be able to see a GP at short notice.  We also know that over winter lots of people have seasonal illnesses which require more than a pharmacy but don’t need emergency treatment. The extra on-the-day appointments are bookable by ringing reception on the usual number.

Carers Support Meetings
Our next meetings are at Willingham Surgery on Weds 7th March, Weds 4th April and Weds 2nd May at 2pm. If you are a carer, please pop along and get some support from other people in the local community. Refreshments provided, no need to pre-book and completely FREE! Please contact Sue Lawson at the surgery for more information.

Cambridgeshire Hearing Clinics 2018
The next Hearing Aid Clinics at Willingham Surgery are on Weds 21st March, Weds 18th April & Weds 16th May. No appointment necessary, just pop along for your free NHS hearing aid batteries and for help and advice regarding hearing loss.

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