Patient Participation Group Newsletter
Welcome to our Summer Newsletter
We hope you find something useful, and of interest.
If you are a patient of Whitstable Medical Practice, we would love to hear from you. As the PPG we are the patients’ voice, and first and foremost we aim to truly represent the wonderful mix of people who live in our town of Whitstable.
We meet with our Practice bi-monthly, and meet each other, in between. At the moment we meet online, but fingers-crossed, we will soon be able to meet in person. Maybe a mix of both will be the best option?
We have developed a programme of speakers to keep up with developments in our local health services. These talks are on-line and recently we have heard from The Stroke Association and our First Contact Physio (see the article below). All PPG members are invited.
We have two types of membership, and hopefully you are interested in joining us either as a committee, or an associate member.
Have we sparked your imagination? Do you care about local health care? Are keen to share ideas?
We’ll get back to you asap. Keep Safe and Stay Well.
Patient Participation Group
I would like to thank all the patients who took time out of their busy lives to write in. We had many cards and letters of gratitude; we had pictures and paintings from children from local schools, pictures of rainbows, drawings, etc. These are so beautiful, and we tried to display as many of them as we could in our screening hut and throughout receptions. Continued support and appreciation to NHS and the Practice is truly overwhelming at times. We also had many goodies donated to our vaccination site – flowers, biscuits, chocolates, even homemade cakes, which is so lovely to see.
Our staff have been working non-stop for the last 16 months: working overtime, coming in during their annual leave and days off, working extra to cover staff who were unwell or had to self-isolate, working extra shifts at the Covid vaccination site.
We’ve had to change the way we operate many times, and I would like to thank patients for their co-operation and understanding while we find the “new normal”.
We still operate under Pandemic conditions and therefore ask that patients continue to wear face coverings while inside our buildings, as well as attend alone where possible. All our staff continue to wear PPE and face coverings, we have allocated extra time for cleaning in between patients; and we also have to limit numbers of people in our waiting rooms due to social distancing.
We are open as usual and here if you need us, and we are looking forward to seeing you - in a safe way.
Ash Grace, General Manager
Happy 73rd Birthday to the NHS - A most welcomed arrival on 4th July 1948
Welcome to a day in the life of Whitstable Medical Practice…..
..with The First Contact Physiotherapy (FCP) team
First of all, you will have a face-to-face appointment where you will be assessed by a physiotherapist. They will help you with the management of musculoskeletal conditions, such as:
- A soft tissue injury, sprain, strain, or sports injury…
- Arthritis in any joint…
- Problems with muscles; including ligaments, tendons such as ‘tennis elbow’, carpal tunnel syndrome, ankle sprains…
- Spinal pain including lower back pain, mid-back pain and neck pain…
- Spinal-related pain in your arms or legs, including nerve symptoms such as pins and needles or numbness.
- Changes to your walking.
- Recovery from orthopaedic surgery.
Did you know that you can refer yourself to see a FPC, without seeing your GP first?
If you need an appointment with the FCP team, contact a Patient Coordintor at any of the Practice’s surgeries at Estuary View, Whitstable and Chestfield.
When talking to the Patient Coordinator or when using the e-consult form, you will be asked a series of questions to assess if you need urgent treatment. Please be patient - it is for your own welfare.
When you see the First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP) they will:
- Assess your condition and diagnose what is happening.
- Give expert advice on how best to manage your condition.
- Refer you on to specialist services if necessary.
Is it time to look ahead?
If you become unwell in the future and you’d like a family member e.g., spouse, or close friend to be able to talk with your GP, your GP will first need you to sign a consent form.
This form will allow your GP to share important health-related information with your chosen relative or friend. (Please note - the consent can be removed at any time should you wish to do so)
Please call a Patient Coordinator, who have forms available for you to collect or to post to you.
One of NHS’s key dates - 1962: First full hip replacement carried out
The NHS APP
There are other Apps that you can use to manage your GP appointments, to order prescription, etc., but - this app will do those things and provide an NHS Covid pass that you can view for places in England that have chosen to use this service and to travel abroad.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurism Screening
Like a lot of men, I don’t like being messed with, if something doesn’t hurt then there is nothing wrong. Even if it does hurt, I’ll wait until I can’t stand it anymore.
Receiving letters for screening or appointments I haven’t made myself makes me anxious. Now I’m turned 65 it seems they expect me to be falling apart, maybe I am, but I don’t want to be told!
So, when an invitation for an abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) scan arrived through my letterbox, my first inclination was to cancel the appointment or opt out of the programme. Opting out is a complicated process, compliance is often easier. Right up to the time I was sitting in the waiting area I was wondering if I really wanted to know the result of the scan.
For those who aren’t aware the aorta is the main artery from the heart which carries oxygenated blood around the body. The statistics say one in every 92 men over 65 who are screened will have an aneurism.
Most won’t cause any problems if they have regular follow up screenings and make lifestyle changes. A very small number with larger aneurisms may require surgery. Men are six times more likely than women to have the condition, so men are offered the screening in their 65th year while currently women aren’t screened.
The risk is greater if you are, or have been, a smoker, have high blood pressure, or have a sibling or parent who had an aneurism.
The scan is offered by the NHS not your GP practice, so you have a choice where to go. I’m a patient of Whitstable Medical Practice and my appointment was made for Estuary View as it’s the nearest.
It’s a simple painless procedure that takes just a few minutes and you get the result right away, it’s an ultrasound scan carried out in the same way as they monitor the growth of a baby in a pregnant woman.
I was called dead on time for my appointment, I went into the examination area, lay down and had to lift my shirt, a gel was applied to my abdomen for the ultrasound. It took just a couple of minutes, and I was told my abdominal aorta was perfect at just 1.5 centimeters.
I will never have to be scanned again. Anything over 3 cm they will ask you back for yearly scans or more frequently depending on the enlargement.
As far as medical experiences go, it wasn’t bad, didn’t take long and I was fortunate to have a good result, even a grouch like me couldn’t find too much to complain about! - C.M.
The Eyes Have It
On my annual visit to the opticians - I was told to consider having a cataract operation. I was assured it would improve my sight and some people report an improvement in the perception of colours. Reluctantly, I made an appointment and even at this initial ‘inspection’ stage I was at panic stations! A kind lady greeted me and explained she would put drops in my eyes that would make my sight blurred. It was necessary to enlarge my pupil so that the ‘doctor’ could examine my eyes. He then examined my eye on a machine rather like the one at the opticians, and we went on to discuss having the cataracts removed. I explained my fears and he offered the choice of having an anesthetic that may involve staying in hospital. I decided against that …opting for the ‘in and out' choice…
A few weeks later the call from the hospital came – the date was set. Total panic set in! I asked various people, who’d already had the operation, how it was. They all said, ’nothing to worry about’. I thought okay for them – they’re on the right side of the experience!!! The day arrived. I had a good and calming, friend take me - so I had to behave myself. I signed in and was soon given drops in the eye being treated. Although they stung a little, it wasn’t horrible. My forehead was marked with a cross above the eye to be treated. I was then called into the operating room where my name and the eye to be operated on, was checked again. All the staff were so kind and understanding. They tried to explain everything that was happening, but my thoughts were elsewhere. My eye was kept open, and the doctor asked me to look directly at the very bright light that made my eyes water. I was aware that things were going on, but I could not feel a thing. A kind nurse held my hand throughout the procedure, that seemed to be over so quickly. The doctor announced, ‘All done’, and the nurse put a plastic shield over the eye. I was given drops to put in my eye for the next two weeks and allowed to go home.
I felt so foolish for wasting so much time worrying, everyone at the hospital was so kind and reassuring. I used the drops as prescribed and didn’t have any after-effects - the last thing you need is an infection. I’m please to tell you that I’ve since had the other eye operated on. I was anxious but happily nowhere near as bad as the first time. So now I’ve joined the brigade of people saying, ‘Piece of cake - don’t worry.
Oh, and yes - for me - the colours are brighter! - S.H.
Whitstable Medical Practice – 01227 284300
includes Estuary View & Whitstable & Chestfield
Previous telephone numbers for each surgery are still functioning
Another NHS key date - 1961: The Contraceptive Pill becomes available
Updates on Covid, and other WMP’s news
Can be found on Whitstable Medical Practice’s Face Book page - You do not need a Facebook account
The ‘V’ word
There are other lifesaving vaccinations that may need attention to keep you safe and healthy.
A vaccine to prevent shingles, a common, painful skin disease.
This is offered when a patient reaches 70 and up to their 80th birthday. Usually, patients only need to have this once.
If you’ve missed it for any reason, please give us a call.
Generally, this vaccine is offered once you turn 65.
Usually only one jab is needed, but there are exceptions e.g., for Diabetics. and for patients without a spleen, who have 5 yearly vaccination.
Starting college or university?
You should make sure you've had this vaccine. It protects against serious infections like meningitis. You can ask a GP for this vaccine until your 25th birthday, if you missed having it at school or before coming to the UK to study MMR vaccine 2 doses of the MMR vaccine – as there outbreaks of mumps and measles at universities. If you have not previously had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, you can ask a GP for the vaccine.
2 doses of the MMR vaccine – as there outbreaks of mumps and measles at universities. If you have not previously had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, you can ask a GP for the vaccine.
Catch up on the up-coming changes in the handling of your medical data
The closing date to ‘opt out’ is 1st November 2021.
Another NHS Key date is 1972: CT Scanners used for the first time
Urgent Treatment Centre
Estuary View Medical Centre,
We can treat:
- Suspected broken bones
- Minor head injuries
- Minor burns and scalds
- Cut, wounds and grazes
- Minor allergic reactions
- Bites and stings
- Sprains and strains
- Removal of foreign bodies
Now with X-Ray
You still need to wear a face covering when visiting NHS services after 19th July
Reconnect is a community-led programme designed to get Kent’s children and young people involved in a wide variety of activities – sport, art, enjoying each other’s company.
Under pressure? Need Help?
If you feel you are in a crisis now, in danger of harming yourself or others you may present at any A&E for immediate attention or call the Samaritans on 116 123.
- Your ideas for the Newsletter are welcome – please contact the PPG via email
- If you are interested in working at the Practice you can see the current vacancies on the website
- Find out more about careers in the NHS