LATEST SURGERY UPDATES/ COVID-19
COVID-19 Isolation Note
If you need an isolation note for your employer, please click here
If you need to complete an Engage Consult, please use the link below. This will go to the GP who will respond the same day (not including weekends). If you can submit an Engage Consult rather than telephoning us, please do so. Thank you.
We are receiving a lot of calls from vulnerable patients chasing their letter from NHS England.
The letters are not being sent from us, we are unable to help with your query. You will be
contacted before the 29th March 2020. Sadly, we cannot do anything in the meantime.
We are telephone triaging patients, however, many patients are missing the calls from the
surgery. Can you please try and keep your mobile with you at all times, we are inundated with
requests, we cannot call every patient back 2-3 times.
We are currently experiencing a huge number of incoming calls. We are all answering
the phone as quick as we possibly can, please bear with us. If your call can wait or can be
submitted via an Engage Consult, please do so.
We are now fully telephone triaging patients. If the clinician decides, you need to come
in, you will be asked at the front door to wear a face mask. The clinician consulting you will also
be wearing a face mask, gloves and an apron. Please do not be alarmed, we just want to ensure
both the patient and clinician are safe. When you are asked to attend the surgery, we are asking
you come alone if possible, children and vulnerable patients can bring one person with them.
We have been inundated with calls regarding rescue packs, we will not be issuing
rescue packs unless the patient is symptomatic. Please complete an Engage Consult for the GP
to review and they will issue if they feel it is necessary.
We would like to reassure patients that we are continuing to issue medications when
they are required after being requested. We will not be over issuing medications as this will also
have a significant impact on pharmacy stock levels. Please only request the medications you
actually need, there is no need to stockpile medications. We are asking all patients to nominate
a pharmacy so we can send your medications directly to a pharmacy so you do not need to
attend the surgery to collect your medications. Medicines can be requested online via online
services. If you do not have online services, please submit a request and nominate a pharmacy
at the same time.
Please be Kind!
Remember when you are ringing your GP practice tomorrow or the next coming days:
Don't get angry with the receptionist when she asks you questions why you want to be seen.
Don't get angry when they give you a telephone appointment to be triaged by a clinician and not
a face to face appointment.
Bear in mind all the staff in your GP practices are working flat out to make sure all your health
needs are catered for.
Remember we are humans too.
We are concerned about this virus too.
We have elderly family members and underlying health conditions too.
Please be kind!
Thank you to our lovely thoughtful patients who hand delivered these into the surgery for us. It
has really cheered us all up. It is very much appreciated.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT VISITING THE L&D:
In light of current concerns around coronavirus and in order to protect our patients, visitors, our staff and
the wider community, we are implementing some temporary restrictions around all visitors to our wards.
Patients are only allowed one visitor at a time.
Visiting hours are now only between the hours of 4pm and 6.30pm.
No children are allowed on the ward at any time.
No visitor should attend if unwell, particularly if you have symptoms such as a temperature, headache, cough or
Please note, if we are treating a patient with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, there will be
additional restrictions to the above, on an individual basis.
We would take this opportunity to remind all family members, relatives and friends of patients to follow guidance
on washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and use the alcohol hand gel before entering the ward.
Please speak to the Nurse in Charge of the ward if you have any further questions and please accept our thanks
for your support.
We are dedicating protected times for baby immunisation clinics and INR clinics. During these
dedicated clinics, we will be limiting patient access to ensure the safety to unvaccinated babies
and patients who require regular INR testing.
Clinics will be as follows:
INR clinics will be held every Wednesday 2pm-4pm
Baby immunisation clinics will be held every Thursday and Friday 2pm-4pm
We would like to thank all of our patients for their continued support and understanding at this
We have been advised by the L&D Hospital that from Monday 23rd March 2020 routine
(non-urgent) requests for blood tests and urine tests from all GP practices will be ceased
until further notice to help with the pressure the labs are facing at this difficult time. We
will continue to keep you all updated.
Advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection for patients under the care of the Luton and
Dunstable Rheumatology Department.
For those patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases whose immune system may be re
duced by any of the following drugs:
Abatacept, Adalimumab, Anakinra, Azathioprine, Baricitinib, Belimumab, Certolizumab,
Ciclosporin, Etanercept, Golimumab, Infliximab, Ixekizumab, Leflunomide, Mepolizumab,
Methotrexate, Mycophenolate, Sekukinumab, Rituximab, Tacrolimus, Tocilizumab, Toficitinib,
Ustekinumab or Prednisolone more than 5mg daily for at least 2 weeks.
(Note to patients: Please read packaging carefully to check if your drug is on the list of
immunosuppressants. The drug company name for the medication is different from the name of the drug ingredient).
You should NOT alter your medication dose or stop any drugs at this stage.
You are now considered to be in a high risk group and are recommended to follow the advice of
the government and self-isolate for 12 weeks. You will need to ensure that you have enough
medication and blood test forms.
Hydroxychloroquine should always be continued and therapy with this alone is not considered as
high-risk. Sulfasalazine is also not immunosuppressing.
You must not stop Prednisolone (steroids) suddenly.
If you think you might be infected with COVID-19, please ring 111 and follow the current
government advice. If you have the symptoms, please stop any of the drugs listed above, except
Hydroxychloroquine and Prednisolone, until symptoms have settled. Then contact the
Rheumatology department to be given individualised advice about when to restart your
medication from your consultant. It is also being recommended that you avoid taking non-
steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as Ibuprofen/Naproxen etc).
This advice will be updated in the light of any new information about COVID -19 infection in
UPDTAE: In regards of the current situation of Covid-19 we have change the way of booking appointments, all our appointments are telephone triage appointments.
You can continue to send your queries via engage consult and request your
prescriptions via online services. To the patients that do not have online service
please send us your request and will approve it.
We will like to inform as from 21-03-2020 our Saturday clinics will be CLOSED.
From Monday 9th March 2020, we will be closing all our sit and wait clinics. We will NOT be offering same day appointments with the GP or Nurse. I
f you or a family member have been abroad OR in contact with anyone that has been abroad within the last 2 weeks and experiencing flu like symptoms or difficulty breathing- DO NOT ATTEND Priory Gardens Surgery. Call NHS111 for further advice visit: https://www.nhs.uk. If you have another health concern, you can submit your concerns via Engage Consult (https://www.priorygardenssurgery.co.uk/) or you can call the surgery but will be booked for a telephone triage by the GP or Nurse who will try to help you over the telephone. If you are required to come in, you will be advised by the clinician of the next steps.
If you or a family member have been abroad OR have been in contact with anyone that has been abroad within the last 2 weeks and are experiencing flu like symptoms or difficulty breathing- DO NOT ATTEND Priory Gardens Surgery. Call NHS111 for further advice visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Coronavirus: latest information and advice
The NHS in Bedfordshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
- Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Information about the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
Situation in the UK
As of 29 January, a total of 130 UK tests have concluded, of which 130 were confirmed negative and 0 positive.
The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on this page on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice
There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad, and the risk to the public is low. The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and international community.
The government’s approach is guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.
If and when a first case in the UK is confirmed, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country. This will be followed by a statement by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public .
PhysioLine self-referral form
You can now self-refer to our PhysioLine telephone service for muscle and joint problems if you meet the following criteria:
• You are aged 18 or over.
• You have had your condition for less than six months.
• Your GP is in the Bedfordshire CCG (if you are not sure please contact GP surgery or visit the website).
• Your complaint is regarding a single joint/area.
Please fully complete the form. Also, the form can be found in our Google Drive tab under MSK self-referral form.
BREATHE EASY LUTON & DUNSTABLE
A support group open to people
with any form of lung disease,
their carers, friends and family.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month
Starting at 2pm – 4pm, The Peter Newton Pavilion,
Skimpot Road, Dunstable, LU5 4JU
Guest Speakers in attendance at all meetings bringing you a variety of information.
Thursday 12 December
Thursday 9 January
Thursday 13 February
The group is free to attend. Refreshments will be available.
Any enquiries, you can contact our Helpline 03000 030 555
We now have our delivery of flu vaccinations for eligible patients aged under 65 years.
You can book an appointment or pop in Monday to Friday between 8:30am-12pm or 2pm-6pm and the next available clinician will give you your vaccination.
We are awaiting our vaccinations for the over 65’s and the child nasal flu.
We will notify you when we have these available.
Eligible patients will be invited in for their vaccination via text, e-mail, letter and telephone depending on the patients contact preferences.
We are currently taking bookings for this years flu vaccinations.
We have scheduled two Saturday clinics which are on the 12th October 2019 and 26th October 2019.
If you would like to book an appointment, please call us on 01582 699622.
Primary Care Networks (PCN)
Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.
To meet these needs, practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in primary care networks.
`Primary care networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively care for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging primary care networks are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.` NHS England.
Watch a short animation that explains the concept of primary care networks (PCNs) and how this new way of working enables health and other services to work together to provide better access for patients.
What does this mean for Patients?
Six surgeries has decided to work together in our PCN. They are:
- Priory Gardens Surgery
- Eastgate Surgery
- Kingsbury Court Surgery
- West Street Surgery
- Kirby Road Surgery
- Caddington Surgery
We will have approximately 51 000 patients in our PCN and over 120 staff.The aim is to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to our local populations.
Trough the PCN and DES (Direct Enhance Service) will come the majority of our founding. The majority of this funding will be enable us to hire additional staffing groups to join our practice team. These staff groups are Practice pharmacists, social prescribers, physiotherapists, physician assistants and paramedics. Their purpose will be to provide additional clinic capacity, free up GP time for patients who need more input, work with nursing homes and housebound and broaden the skill mix in our Practice teams. The PCN will ensure that all our patients have access to the Extended Hours Service.
We will keep your informed of the progress of our PCN.
If you would like to be more involved, each Surgery has a Patient Participation Group (PPG) who will be consulted and involve in the development of the broader PCN.
CQC Telephone inspection
We are Proud to announce that our Surgery has passed the CQC telephone inspection.
We have been advised they have no concerns, the information provided does not indicate there are significant changes to the quality of service being provided by the surgery. Please see the letter under the Care Quality Commission.
Veterans: priority NHS treatment
A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least 1 day. There are around 2.6 million veterans in the UK.
When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS.
It's highly important for continuing healthcare that you register with an NHS GP and remember to tell them you have served.
Telling the GP practice about your veteran status will trigger the transfer of your full medical documentation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to your GP, and
enable you to benefit from veteran-specific services like prosthetics and mental health.
We are receiving a high number of calls regarding medical certificates. If you are not fit for work, you must self certify for the first 7 days of your illness (SC2 form, which can be downloaded or available from employers).
If the illness continues beyond 7 days, please make a face to face appointment with a health care professional. If however, you are unable to make an appointment, the clinicians can backdate the certificate.
However, clinicians cannot post date the medical certificate. During the time you are signed off, if you feel fit enough to return to work, you can return to work, you do not need a 'Fit note' from a GP.
However, if your GP feels you require a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations; after your medical certificate expires, the clinician can issue, at their discretion, a medical certificate stating the required changes. Please feel free to share this document with employerd and line managers.
We have added a document to our Google Drive regarding medical certificates published by the Department of Work and Pensions, if you require more information click here.
If you under 40 years of age and have not been vaccinated against MMR or not had both vaccinations, you are at risk of contracting measles and require the vaccination to be fully immunised.
Please contact the surgery on 01582 699622 to book an appointment with the practice nurse.
Care Choices announced today the launch of its new redesigned website, www.carechoices.co.uk to support people who are looking for care and support.
Finding care can be a daunting task, whether someone is looking for themselves or a loved one. The processes are complex and knowing where to begin can feel impossible.
Presented in bitesize chunks, with links to useful contacts and local information, the guidance on the Care Choices website will help the public to understand the social care system.
Priory Gardens Surgery is now offering video consultations with a GP.
We are now offering video consulting, however, an Engage Consult will need to be completed and if the GP feels the consultation is suitable for a video consultation, admin will contact you to book you an video consultation (smartphone/tablet required with internet connection*).
The GP will video you between 9:30am – 11:30am and 14:30pm – 16:30pm. This video call will be booked with the GP who is doing sit and wait on the morning or afternoon. Although you can state who you prefer to speak too, however, this cannot be guaranteed due to working schedules.
When the GP video’s the patient, the patient will receive an SMS/e-mail depending on the patient’s preference. The patient will click the link which will directly take you to Clinic.co (our encrypted software provider), a pop up may ask you to give permission to access the camera (for video) and microphone so the GP can hear you. You and the GP will now be able to see and hear each other. The GP will consult with you as normal and document in your medical records.
* Any devices which have a camera/video facility including tablets and iPads.
* Wifi or data internet required
Our iCaSH (integrated Contraception and Sexual Health) service provides all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing and treatment. iCaSH is available from easily accessible single locations across Bedfordshire. Please click here for more information.
Try the new NHS App
If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or
tablet.You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record
and more.If you already use [insert name of GP online service available at practice] you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.
For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'(You might also need to review existing website content to make sure it covers the different options patients have to connect with online services.)
Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer; it checks the health of the cervix and can prevent potentially harmful cells from developing. Don’t ignore your #CervicalScreening invite.
If you missed your last one, book an appointment with your GP practice today www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening #CervicalScreeningSavesLives
Cervical screening only lasts five minutes and you only have to go once every three or five years depending on your age. That’s five minutes that could save your life. Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening #CervicalScreeningSavesLives
Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts. Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite. If you missed your last one, book an appointment with your GP practice today www.nhs.uk/cervicalscreening #CervicalScreeningSavesLives
Join Dementia Research information:
Join Dementia Research is a national service that makes it easy for anyone to take part in vital dementia research studies. People with dementia or memory problems, their carers and anyone who are interested can sign up.
Only through research will we find new and better ways to prevent, treat, care for and one day beat dementia. Simply register your details and a researcher will be in touch when an appropriate study becomes available. You do not have to take part in any particular studies. It is always your choice whether or not to take part.
Sign up today online at www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk or call Alzheimer's Research UK on 0300 111 5111, or the Alzheimer's Society on 0300 222 1122.
The new Phlebotomy Clinic it is been delivered by CCG at Dunstable Health Centre NOT the Priory Gardens Surgery!!!Please do not call the Surgery as soon we have more details about this service will let you know.
Total Online Access: 5,416
Total % Online Access: 41.87%
% Registered Online
Our quarterly newsletter is now available to download. Click here to view it.
For all patients with Online access to the clinical system you can now download the free EVERGREEN app to your phone, tablet, laptop or computer. The app allows you to log into your electronic health record and access online services.
The app is recommended by the NHS.
Click on the link : Evergreen
- You will be able to read what your doctor or nurse has done for you so that you no longer need to try to remember everything.
- Go online where ever you are and order repeat prescriptions or send a secure message to the surgery knowing staff will be able to pick it up and act on it when the surgery opens!
- Go online to check for yourself the results of a blood test or an Xray
- If you fall ill when on holiday you can log into your records and show what your GP can see even though you may be abroad.
It is not part of the GPs responsibilities to provide general blood tests for patients. In the past the surgery used to perform phlebotomy as an extra service but large funding cuts in recent years has meant that this is no longer possible. We have limited staff and space and we must use our resources wisely to deal with matters such as diabetes, smoking, health checks, ECGs and the like.
It IS part of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital's contract to provide this service and they run a walk in clinic for this purpose. We do not perform blood tests if a L&D department tells one of our patients to go back to the surgery. You must attend the L&D walk in clinic.
In order to look after our most vulnerable patient we do offer a small number of appointments for the vulnerable i.e. elderly (75 and older), people with mobility issues, etc. All other patients will have to attend the L&D clinic.
The county offers a home Phlebotomy service for housebound patients so the above arrangements will not apply to them. Home phlebotomy visits will be arranged by the surgery.
The surgery is aware of proposals by the L&D to move their phlebotomy service to the Arndale shopping centre in Luton. This proposal is nothing to do with the surgery.
If any patient has a comment to make regarding phlebotomy please contact the L&D or the Beds CCG directly.
If you live outside the surgery area we are happy to register all new patients as an "Out of Area" Patient. You will agree to do without home visits, but apart from that you will be able to access all the other services we offer. Registrations can be done online or at reception in the surgery.
Remember to inform the surgery of any change of name, address, phone number or e-mail.
Much of what we do involves texting patients with information, appointment reminders and even test results.
Please e-mail us on (Priory.Gardens@nhs.net)
DNA ~ Did Not Attend
I make no apologies for returning to this subject. In August we experienced another 180 appointments where patients failed to show up and did not advise us beforehand.
In the last 10 months 2,009 appointments have been wasted. The cost of providing these unused appointments is approximately £90,000. The 2,000 appointments are the equivalent of having a doctor sat doing nothing for 2 months.
If you cannot make an appointment, for whatever reason, please let us know. If we get 1 hours notice we have a good chance of giving the appointment to someone else who needs it.
Given the rising demand for appointments and the cost we are unable to ignore this issue any longer. It is a sad fact that if a patient misses appointments and continues to do so they will be required to register with another surgery.
Parent & Guardian Access to Childrens' Notes
Up to now the surgery has generally allowed parental access to the notes of children aged under 16 years. This access was subject to verification and there were some occasions when restrictions applied. We have now received advice from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) that the limit should now be set at 11 years. Between 11 and 16 years parents would still be able to manage certain functions such as repeat prescriptions or making appointments. On the persons 16th birthday all remaining access would be removed.
In line with the guidance we will soon be changing the access permissions for all parents who have been granted access. If you believe there are special circumstances that apply please contact the surgery, we would suggest via the new Engage Consult facility.
Keep Calm & Respect the Staff
Hardly a day goes by without an incident where the staff are subjected to shouting, foul language, and abuse.
It is unfortunate that a tiny proportion of our patients believe this is an appropriate way to behave.
The surgery operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to any inappropriate behaviour.
Any patient who behaves in this manner will deducted from the practice list and will have to seek a new surgery.
iQuit Stop Smoking Study
Priory Gardens is now working in conjuction with Cambridge University and Cancer Research UK in a study to improve the probability of increasing a persons chances of quitting smoking. You can download an information leaflet here iQUIT Leaflet
Friends & Family Test
The test can now be completed online. To find the test click on he "Have your Say" tab in the right corner.
By clicking on the link you can see a summary of opinions to date: What You Think of Us
I have been handed a mail shot from Pharmcy2U Ltd advising that if you are registered at Priory Gardens Surgery you can register with this firm for the reordering of repeat medications and their delivery. This firm has been acting without the knowledge of the surgery. Patient choice means that patients can register with any pharmacy they wish but we want to make it clear that in line with surgery policy this firm will not be allowed to order medicines on your behalf.
Please help us reduce the number of phone calls
The volume of telephone calls we receive is rapidly increasing & patients with urgent problems or needing to make an appointment often have difficulty getting through. Please help us by noting the following:
If you think you have missed a telephone call from the surgery, there is no need to contact us – if it is important we will always try again!!!
We need at least 3 working days to process repeat prescriptions. Please do not telephone the surgery to check if your prescription is ready.
We would also strongly recommend the use of online services to allow us to help you.