We are still expereincing problems with our telephone lines at our Essex House site. All calls are being diverted to our St Andrews site, please be advised you may experience a longer wait for your call to be answered. Thank you for your patience and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused our patients.
Did you know that you can have your prescription sent electronically to the Pharmacy of your choice? We still have lots of patients coming to the Practice to collect their prescription only to then go to a Pharmacy to hand it in. The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is linked to our clinical system and the GPs and Nurse Prescribers can electronically sign prescriptions and send them to a Pharmacy via EPS. Upon signing, the prescription gets to the Pharmacy electronically in less than 2 minutes in most cases. If you would like to be able to collect your medications directly from the Pharmacy in future, please let the receptionist know that you would like to sign up for ‘EPS’ and let them know which Pharmacy you’d like to use.
There have been several new faces around Acorn recently. We have Charlie working within the reception team for us temporarily, Drs Zaki, and Kumar on a long-term locum basis at Essex House (in place of Drs Norfolk and Millar) and Helen has joined our Administration team. We also have two new receptionists Clare; joined us last week and Kate will be joining us very soon. We have Debbie joining our Admin team and Celia moving into the Admin team from Reception. Caroline Bridger has joined our Duty Team and has settled in well. We have also recruited a new Site Manager for Essex House, her name is Claire McEvoy and an Administration Lead for Gillies, his name is Steve Taplin.
We also have some team members leaving us imminently and we want to wish them well in their future ventures. Debs Leather, Clare Smith, Ali Brady, Sarah Cameron, and Dr Care are all due to finish in the coming months.
On the 4th October 2018, between 12.30-6.30pm, our staff at the Acorn Health Partnership will be attending an important training event arranged by the North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. During this time, if you need urgent medical advice or treatment please call NHS111. Your local pharmacist can also help with many minor ailments. Calling 999 or attending A&E should be reserved for life threatening emergencies only. The practice will open as usual at 8am the following day. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
The first walk-in has now been held and over 1,200 patients have been vaccinated. As always, the first hour was very busy, it then quietened down and the wait time was reduced. The remaining walk-in dates for eligible adult patients are: Saturday 22nd September, Saturday 29th September and Saturday 20th October. These clinics are 8-11am at both Gillies Health Centre and St. Andrews Centre (formerly Camrose).
The building and electrical works have now started in the polyclinic; a large bright and airy room at Gillies Health Centre. This room is being converted into an Administration office, our Admin teams will move in throughout October. There will be some unavoidable noise disruption whilst the work takes place.
All eligible adults (18+) to attend our walk-in flu clinics between 8am-11am at the Gillies site and the St Andrews Site (Formally Camrose) the clinics will be held on the following dates: 15th September, 22nd September, 29th September and 20th October 2018. If you find it more convenient to have a pre-booked appointment, then please look again in October. Children will be invited in due course.
If you are signing up to patient access for the first time, or re-registering to use this services, please follow the user guide.
Some patients are receiving an error when re-registering for this service, if you receive this error, please see our other news item titled ‘PATIENT ACCESS EMAIL ERROR’
Some patients are finding when trying to re-register with patient access after coming to collect their log in details from the Practice they get an error which states that they cannot re-register as an account already exists with their email address. The error message regarding email addresses is one that only patient access can address, but they simply are not getting back to us; this error is affecting around one third of patients. The Project Manager and a couple of the Essex House reception staff have spent hours trying to resolve this issue, which is actually patient access’, to no avail. We would therefore suggest that, if you are one of the patients who receives the error regarding your email account when you re-register on patient access, either take this up directly with patient access or use one of the alternative online patient access websites. Patient access is one of three websites that you can use for online appointment booking and prescription ordering.
Here are the alternatives to patient access:
As of 18/07/18 @ 16:19
Patient Access have now been in contact and advised us of the following:
- If a patient receives the error that advises them that they need to have their old account deactivated because they cannot have two accounts with the same email address, patients should click on the link to contact patient access and ask them to deactivate their old account. Patient access say that they are responding to these requests within 24 hours. Patient access have advised that patients should check their ‘junk’ folder for an email from them.
- Patient access are looking into a way to batch deactivate accounts so that this error stops occurring.
Firstly, we wish to sincerely apologise to the patients of Essex House (formally Hackwood) who attended the patient access open evening on 11th July under the assumption that this was the only opportunity that they had to re-register for this service.
It has come to our attention that Primary Care Support England sent the wrong letter to patients during the week commencing 25th June 2018.
Primary Care Support England (PCSE) are responsible for sending letters to registered patients on behalf of Practices when they merge, and therefore, whilst the letter is written by the Practice, PCSE print, envelope and post them to patients.
Unfortunately, on this occasion, PCSE made an error whereby they sent the wrong version of the letter to our 45,000 patients. PCSE received the letter on 18th June, but subsequently, received an amended final draft the following day. They acknowledged receipt of the amended version and advised they’d deleted the original; however, they inadvertently sent the original, incorrect version. They have said that they are sincerely sorry for their error and the repercussions caused to both patients and staff following their mistake. They will be sending a letter to all registered patients to apologise.
The difference in the two letters mainly related to the patient access open evenings, here is an explanation to clarify:
The paragraph under the heading of ‘Patient Online Access’ on the correct version of the letter started with the following sentence before then going on to explain that details of the open evenings: “We will be holding two open evenings for patients to collect their new log in details, alternatively, you can attend any site after 24th July during usual opening hours.” We appreciate that because this sentence was not on the version of the letter that you received, some patients thought that they had to come during the 6.30-8pm window on Wednesday 11th July.
The reason for holding an evening clinic was to try to ease the inconvenience felt by patients who would have to take time out of work or usual daily activities in order to attend the site between our usual hours; we usually close at 6.30pm so we extended this to 8pm for this purpose. It is now clear that our good intentions did not meet the demand and that the demand far exceeded our expectations due to the reasons explained above. We have learnt from this and will be ensuring that more staff are on hand for the second open evening at the St Andrews Centre site.
We wish to clarify that patients of St Andrews Centre (formally Camrose) do not have to attend the open evening on 25th July between 6.30-8pm if it is not convenient. Patients can attend any of the three sites any time between 8am-6.30pm from 24th July to re-register for patient access.
Please note that the following text from our previous letter still stands: “Please bring 2 forms of ID, one photographic and one confirming your address e.g. a bank statement, as this is a requirement for reassigning your log in details. Note that only patients aged 16 and over are eligible for this service and that each patient will only be able to collect their own log in details.”
Once again, we are truly sorry for the inconvenience caused to all of those patients who queued for a considerable time on Wednesday evening to collect their log in details due to thinking that this was their only opportunity because the incorrect letter had been sent by PCSE.