We continue to be open and are working extremely hard due to an unprecedented level of demand for our services. We have had to quickly adapt to new ways of working due to COVID-19 and are constantly reviewing our procedures. As we have small enclosed patient reception areas we have had to put measures in place to limit some access to these parts of our premises.
ALL APPOINTMENTS are pre-bookable telephone consultations and should the clinician feel face to face is required an appointment time will be given.
PRESCRIPTIONS please ensure you have adequate supply and allow at least 2 working days for prescriptions to be processed as failure to do so adds further pressure to the service. We will send your prescription to the CHEMIST OF YOUR CHOICE.
ADVICE: Should you have any of the symptoms of the virus we would ask you to log on to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ or ring 111 if you have no access to online services
Practices throughout the country are experiencing unprecedented high levels of demand for our services. We ask patients to access services sensibly to ensure we can offer access to those who most need it.
Please consider using ThinkPharmacyFirst
https://newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk/your-health/need-urgent-care/think-pharmacy-first-2/ and NHSApp for advice https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/nhs-app/
NHS staff in GP practices across Newcastle are asking local people to be kind and remember that they are people too. If I die it will be your fault https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ru4QhVZ2a8&t=0s
GPs and staff at breaking point https://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/2021-05-20/gps-and-staff-at-breaking-point-because-of-abuse-from-patients
Message to patients – update on the COVID-19 booster programme
The NHS and its partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.
All adults are eligible from Monday 13 December, and you will be able to book via the National Booking System from Wednesday 15 December.
You can book your booster for 3 months from the date of second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System to book the appointment from 2 months.
We are working at pace to increase the availability of appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System. Some local vaccination services will also contact patients directly.
New appointments are being added every day across our vaccination services. Further availability will come online from Wednesday 15 December.
We will be working with all of our sites to take further steps to increase what they can offer again, including opening later and on more days.
All of these appointments will be added to the National Booking System and so we encourage everyone who is aged 18 and over, is yet to have their booster and who is approaching 3 months from your second vaccine to use the National Booking System to arrange your appointment when you are able to do so.
In terms of any planned appointments, there are no changes at the current time and everyone should attend your planned appointments as normal. If we need to make any changes, we will contact you directly.
NEW GUIDANCE ON LATERAL FLOW TESTING - 11th JANUARY 2022
From 11th January, you no longer need to take a PCR test after a positive lateral flow (LFD) test.
Instead, you should isolate immediately. This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, most people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.
On the sixth and seventh days of your isolation, you should retake lateral flow tests. If both tests are negative, then you can end your isolation.
Remember, you should only take a lateral flow test if you do not have any covid symptoms.
Symptoms include high temperature, a new continuous cough, loss of taste or smell or cold-like symptoms of sore throat and runny nose with the more recent variants.
If you have any of these symptoms, you need to get a PCR test as before.
A rapid lateral flow test is a coronavirus test you do yourself. It shows you the result on a handheld device that comes with the test.
Lateral flow tests are free to order online, either for delivery to your home or collection from a pharmacy.
You may also be able to ask your work, school, college, or university if they have supplies of LFD.
You need to report all lateral flow test results online, both positive and negative. This helps reduce infection rates in your community and protect people at high risk of becoming seriously ill.
This is a temporary measure while cases remain high.
Our eConsult service is available during Practice hours. Urgent requests should not be sent via eConsult.
The eConsult self help advice service is accessible 24/7
In recent months staff have been on the receiving end of increasing frustration from patients as the coronavirus pandemic has continued. The team at Park Medical Group have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic under very difficult circumstances.
Small acts of kindness, such as a ‘thank you’, can make a positive impact on someone’s day, and help staff feel valued about the difference they are making to people’s lives. However, some NHS staff have experienced abuse from people, which has impacted on their mental health. This is not ok.
Staff are still here to help and to make sure you get the right treatment from the right person. They are working extremely hard and doing their very best, whilst keeping patients safe, at what is a very difficult time for everyone.
Services are a bit different to what people may be used to, but they are open for business, even if it isn’t business as usual. Appointments are being done over the phone or virtually wherever possible but if your GP thinks you need to see somebody face to face, you will be offered an appointment.
If you're finding it difficult to understand the changes to GP services, feel that you're unable to see your GP or left anxious or confused by media reports on General Practice - please watch this video to better understand how we are still here to help with your care
If you are over 70 or clinically vulnerable, you may be getting a call from Newcastle GP Services (NGPS) in the coming months to book your Covid vaccine booster appointment. NGPS work with all 31 GP practices in Newcastle and have been in charge of delivering 200,000 Covid vaccines since last December. They are helping all practices to book patients in for their appointments so if you get a call from an unknown or withheld number, from someone from NGPS, please be assured that this is a genuine service. The first groups to receive the call will be the most vulnerable and elderly, so please bear with us if you don’t receive a call from NGPS soon.
Your local NHS has produced the Little Orange Book which gives advice on childhood illnesses - it is free from your GP or to view online https://newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk/your-health/children-and-young-people/
During the week commencing 6th September, if you're contacting the Practice you may find a difference in our telephone system. We will have a new modern and innovative telephone system installed which will improve our patient's experience and allow us to manage our calls more effectively.
NHS Digital Data Sharing
Information on the NHS Digital Data Sharing process can be found at:
NHS Digital has also put together "Myth-busting" information as well as information on how patients can manage how their data is used:
We are asking patients and staff to continue wearing a mask or face covering, unless exempt, as well as following other guidance.
Nearly all lockdown restrictions will be lifted on Monday July 19th, on a date dubbed ‘Freedom Day’.
However, this doesn’t mean the pandemic is over, and we all need to continue to act responsibly, especially with the number of Covid cases increasing
Masks and Face Coverings
The government has said that masks will no longer be legally mandated after July 19th, but we’re asking patients to continue to wear them when visiting the practice.
This is in line with Public Health England’s guidance on controlling and preventing infection. Wearing masks or face coverings protects other vulnerable patients, as well as our staff and yourself. Keeping everyone safe is our number one priority.
Visiting the Practice
When you come to the practice, please follow the same guidance as you have since the start of the pandemic. That includes:
- Wearing a mask or face covering at all times, unless you have a genuine exemption.
- Keeping the 2-metre social distancing.
- Using hand gel when you arrive and at regular intervals.
Our staff will continue to wear masks and other pieces of personal protective equipment.
We have all had an incredibly tough year and a half, and we want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. By continuing to act responsibly, we can keep each other safe.
Helping ourselves and others
We need to look after ourselves and others as the lockdown ends. Getting vaccinated, being considerate of others, and looking after our own mental health are the best things we can do.
Everyone over the age of 18 should get vaccinated against Covid as soon as possible. There are numerous pop-ups and drop-ins where you can get vaccinated without needing an appointment. You also don’t need your NHS number or to prove your address or immigration status.
Getting the second vaccine dose – which everyone can do after eight weeks – gives stronger and longer-lasting protection.
If you haven’t had a jab yet, we strongly advise you to. Please encourages others to get vaccinated too. Vaccines are free, safe and available to all adults.
See all of your vaccinations options in Newcastle and Gateshead here.
From July 19th, double-vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine after returning from countries on the government’s ‘amber’ list. And from August 16th, double-jabbed adults won’t have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive.
Lockdown lifting Anxiety
After an extended period of lockdowns and restrictions, it is understandable that we might feel uneasy about going back to normal.
Hopefully, those feelings will pass, but we shouldn’t ignore them or anything else to do with our mental health.
Talk to friends and family about any worries, take things at your own pace, and be aware of your feelings.
For more tips on dealing with post-lockdown anxiety, visit the NHS website.
The NHS App is the new, simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
Use the NHS App to:
- check your symptoms
- find out what to do when you need help urgently
- book and manage appointments at your GP surgery
- order repeat prescriptions
- view your GP medical record securely
- register to be an organ donor
- choose how the NHS uses your data
Download the App on Apple Store here or Google Play here
Care Navigation at PMG
Over the coming months you will notice your receptionist asking you for a brief outline of your problem when you call to make an appointment.
Through this specialist care navigation training, the practice teams will be able to offer you more choice on who the best health care clinician may be in their practice and also help direct you to get to the right health clinician fast. Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering the choice to see other specialists in the practice team. If they have the expertise to deal with the problem; it will often be quicker and you may not need to see the GP each time.
For example, medication reviews or queries could be managed by a community pharmacist and you may not be aware of if you haven’t visited the practice in a while.
By working this way, it helps to free up time for GPs to care for patients with complex or serious health conditions that can only be managed by the GP. More importantly though, it means people are seen by the clinician that is best placed to manage your clinical problem. The choice is always yours though and you will never be refused a GP appointment but we hope that next time you contact your GP and speak with the receptionist you will see the value of seeing another health clinician if they are able to help.
Do you really need to see a GP? Can the Pharmacist help?
Due to unprecedented levels of demand for appointments we have temporarily moved to same day GP access. In addition to GP telephone consultations and econsults we have on average an additional 90 telephone triage requests for same to access.
Minor ailment scheme
Most pharmacies also run a minor ailment scheme for common health problems like aches and pains, skin conditions and stomach upsets. For more information click on link Pharmacy information
Check with your pharmacy to see if they run a minor ailment scheme, the pharmacist will be able to assess your needs, give you advice, suggest medicines if appropriate, and refer you to a GP if necessary.
When pharmacies provide medicines as part of a minor ailment scheme, you get the medicines on the NHS.
If you normally pay a prescription charge, the charge will apply. If you're exempt from prescription charges - if you're under 16 or over 60, for example, if you have a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) - you won't pay for the medicine.
Same day appointment for poorly children
Triage team are available each morning to discuss any concern you may have regarding your child and we offer urgent appointments each day during our working hours. This saves you attending A&E or a walk in centre. It is more appropriate for you to attend your GP surgery. You can also access free advice from 111 service 24 hours a day. This is a Freephone number from landlines and mobiles. NHS Choices website also has helpful information available (click on our link Children & Young People).
You may also find information in the Little Orange Book useful which is available from Reception or you can ask your HV for a copy. The book covers common minor illness, treatment and also times to seek medical assistance. You can also download a copy http://www.newcastlegatesheadccg.nhs.uk/little-orange-book/
GP extended access
Triage Nurses are now able to book our registered patients into extended access GP appointments. The GP Hub's are situated at:
Ponteland Road Walk in Centre
The appointments are with local GPs and are pre-booked for you (so no need to sit and wait). For more information click GP extended hours access hub
Accountable / Named GP for all patients
The practice is required by the government under terms of the latest GP contract to allocate all patients to a named accountable GP. If you wish to be told the name of your accountable GP, please ask the receptionist when you are next in the surgery.
Having a named GP does not prevent you seeing any other doctor in the practice and will not have an effect on your care. Your named GP will not be available at all times.
What is Social Prescribing?
Many things affect your health and well-being. GPs say that a lot of people visit them feeling isolated or lonely. Maybe you are feeling stressed out by work or family concerns, money or housing problems. Or maybe it’s the stress of managing different long-term conditions.
Our Social Prescribers can offer you practical support to access the help you need to make the changes you want to make. Together we can make a plan to find the help, support and advice you need. If you would like to contact our Social Prescriber, just tell staff at Reception or anyone else you see in the practice. You can also call our Fawdon surgery on (0191) 285 1763 or Kingston Park surgery on (0191) 2860022 and ask for our prescriber to give you a call.
Details on Social Prescribing can be found in the information booklet below.
What is Social Prescribing?
(Site updated 19/01/2022)