Patient Update January 2017
Welcome to first update of 2017 about the progress that Harbour Medical Group is making towards more collaborative working and bringing together our practices (Croft Hall, Chelston Hall and Barton) to provide general medical care for 34,000 residents of Torquay.
Chelston Hall & Barton Merger
It is proposed that Chelston Hall and Barton Surgeries will formally merge on 1st April 2017. Patients will see no difference in the services provided to them as doctors and nursing teams will still continue to be based at both practices.
Patients will have the opportunity to give their thoughts and feedback about the proposed merger and practices will be contacting patients during January and February.
Croft Hall Merger
It is planned that Croft Hall will formally merge and join the new organisation in October 2017, discussions with Croft Hall patients will begin in June 2017.
Abbey Road Surgery …On the Move
Abbey Road practice has now moved into the Croft Hall practice, meaning that the OTDT work will all be carried out at Abbey Road and the on-going care of Abbey Road patients will be delivered at Croft Hall. Patients from both Abbey Road and Croft Hall will check in at the Croft Hall reception and from there will be directed to the consulting rooms to see their GP or nurse. We hope that the transition will be seamless for patients and that the move will clarify the difference for all patients between acute care and on-going care for chronic conditions.
What do you think of the ON THE DAY TEAM?
As the OTDT has now been running for three months we are reviewing the impact that the team has had on patients and employees, both clinical and administrative. We have gathered feedback from patients and from those working within the team. However if you have feedback that you would like to add about the OTDT then please feel free to complete the feedback form at Reception.
From April 2015, the practice is required under the terms of the GMS Contract 2015 to allocate patients (including children) a named accountable GP who is responsible for patients overall care at the Pratice and who will take the lead responsibility for the coordination of all services required under the contract. Read More
Your named GP has overall responsibility for the care and support that our surgery provides to you. They will also work with other relevant health and care professionals, who are involved in your care, to ensure that your care
package meets your individual needs. This does not prevent you from seeing any GP in the practice as you currently do.
Please be advised there is no need to telephone the practice for this information.
If you wish to change your named accountable GP, please inform us and we will make every effort to accommodate your request.
Plan to Meet GMS / PMS 2014-15 Contractual Requirement for Patient Online Service
On-line access for Patients
This practice currently offers patients' facilities to:
- Book, view, amend, cancel and print appointments online (from January 2015 *Note 1)
- Order online, view and print a list of their repeat prescriptions for drugs, medicines or appliances.
This practice plans to offer patients facilities to view online, export or print any summary information from their record, relating to medications, allergies, adverse reactions and any other items agreed between the practice and individual patient, from January 2015 *Note 1.
Patient News -January 2017
Statement from Dr Paul Barton:
After 27 years as a GP working at a great family practice it is with mixed emotion that I announce my retirement from Barton Surgery.
Having followed my vocation into General Practice I have felt rewarded for most of my time at Barton, although in recent years it has become more challenging and the pressure has now become relentless, due in part to the increasing demands made by successive governments and their agents as well as the unrealistic expectations of some which has meant that I have less time to spend on the real job of treating patients. Additionally, our patient list size has increased dramatically while the number of regular doctors has reduced considerably.
Many of you will be aware that I responded to a different vocation when I was ordained by the Bishop of Exeter in 2014 and that I will be spending a substantial part of my time working in a local parish as a curate.
After much consideration, it is with something of a heavy heart that I will be leaving the practice at the end of March. I have worked with some wonderful people over the years, and have many fond memories of my time here, and I am grateful for your support and understanding in what has been a very difficult time recently.
However, I am delighted that the future of the practice is secure with the formation of the Harbour Medical Group and whilst it will never be the same as when I started in 1990 with 6500 patients and 4 full time doctors, the New Model of Care, joining with Chelston and Croft practices, will allow it to flourish in the future.
We would also like to advise patients that Dr Anne Neeson will be leaving the practice in early January 2017.
Dr Neeson has been working with us at Barton since August 2014 and in that time she has quickly established herself as part of our team proving to be very popular with you all. Unfortunately we are sorry to advise you that Dr Neeson will be moving away from the local area to pursue medicine elsewhere.
We are sorry to lose such a valued member of our team but understand her reasons for this change and wish her lots of good luck and happiness in her future career.
In the news……GP Practice Receptionists
We were saddened to hear the news story of 11th October 2016 about GP practice receptionists. It’s a huge risk for everyone if some patients are at risk because they are put off asking for help because of questions asked by the reception team.
Like many practices, we’ve introduced initial screening questions when a patient calls for an appointment. This is to help match the patient to the right care and support from the right person. Our patients tell us how important it is to see their own GP and we try to ensure continuity as much as we can. Patients also tell us though that at times when their needs are urgent they do not mind which clinician they see.
At Barton Surgery patients now have access to support from a GP, a Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Pharmacist who can help with many general queries provided by our ON THE DAY team.
Modern healthcare is increasingly complicated with a larger population, more complex patients with greater heath needs yet hardly any more doctors – a national problem. Resources are a problem with General Practice receiving only 9% of the NHS budget despite handling 90% of patient contacts but, as documented within the press, there is a national shortfall in doctors (especially GPs) and nurses.
We’ve taken a bold and measured step with our ON THE DAY TEAM. From our practice nurses, healthcare practitioners, phlebotomist to our nurse practitioners, our prescribing pharmacists, and our visiting team; we’ve opened up our practice to a broader range of people all of whom have different skills and areas of expertise. We try to celebrate and utilize the skills that this broad group have and reassure patients that they are in safe hands and as a practice we’ve really been able to help patients in a completely different way through employing experts in medicines, in women’s health and children’s health. The Future NHS has changed forever, and for the better, with these allied health professionals.
Our patient advisors, or receptionists, are an important part of the team for patients. They work hard not to block patients and the news will be upsetting to our team members who are fully committed to providing great care. We’ve entrusted them to ask questions when a patient calls to be your expert helper and to book you in with the best person to see at the best time. The questions also help GPs to prioritise those urgent queries that come through on the day. Even on a quiet day a duty doctor could have a huge number of calls to make ranging from a medication stock query to a cough or cold to an urgent home visit for a palliative care patient. That doctor has to make a judgement on which call to make first and the basic information that is captured by the receptionist really does help them make a critical decision.
At any time a patient can refuse to share information. Our team are trained to gently explain why the questions are asked and not to force a patient to disclose something they don’t want to. Our reception team are also trained in the importance of data protection and that information that is shared with us is in utmost confidence. We are proud of our team who work hard every day to help the hundreds of callers each day get booked with the right health care professional.
We were worried about the report and want to reassure patients about why questions are asked. We also want to share that we are proud of all of our team and the work we do to help manage tight resources and still provide excellent care. Read More
Better information means better care
Using information about the care you have received, enables those involved in providing care and health services to improve the quality of care and health services for all. The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care.
NHS England has therefore commissioned a programme of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address gaps in information. Our aim is to ensure that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.
It is important that the NHS can use this information to get a complete picture of what is happening across health and social care and to plan services according to what works best. The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including hospitals and GP practices.
Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.
Sharing information about the care you have received helps us to understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided and reduce inequalities in the care provided. The new system will also provide information that will enable the public to hold the NHS to account and ensure that any unacceptable standards of care are identified as quickly as possible. Information will help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
- make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of the local patients
- understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who can plan care can provide preventative services
- improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
- identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
- make sure that the NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for all patients
It is important that you read the leaflet Better information means better care (PDF, 2MB) so that you understand how information in medical records can be used to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.
If you are happy for your information to be used then you do not need to do anything. But if you have concerns or if you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, as described here, inform your practice in writing. They will make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your information being used other than where necessary by law, such as in case of a public health emergency.
You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care from. However, this will not affect the care you receive.
You can change your mind at any time and as many times as you wish. Just inform your GP practice in writing and ask them to record your wishes.
Information from GP practices will begin to be extracted and sent to the HSCIC in the spring 2014. The GP data will be linked with the hospital data already held by the HSCIC.
For more information about how data is collected and shared, including confidentiality, read the Q&A below or the Patient FAQs (PDF, 52Kb) produced by the HSCIC and NHS England.
Call our dedicated patient information line in relation to data sharing on 0300 456 3531. Translation and text phone services are also available. Read More
We will be holding clinics for Seasonal Flu jabs on the following days. Please contact reception to make your appointment:
| Saturday 15th October
|| 9.00am - 1.00pm
| Saturday 12th November
|| 9.00am - 1.00pm
Seasonal flu occurs every year, usually in the winter. It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. The most likely viruses that will cause flu each year are identified in advance and then vaccines are produced that closely match them. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of seasonal flu. For them it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or make exisitng conditions worse. In the worse cases seasonal flu can result in hospital admission, or even death.
As well as our normal opening hours we will be offering the opportunity of consultation with a General Practitioner outside of our normal surgery opening hours. This may be particularly helpful to those patients whose work commitments make it difficult to access a GP during normal opening hours. You can ask the reception team to arrange a telephone consultation with a GP after 6.30pm on Monday - Friday evenings and also between 7.30am and 8.00am on Monday mornings. Please contact our reception team for details on 01803 323761 or via
We would like to advise patients that the surgery will be closed from 1.00pm until 2.30pm on Thursday 12th January 2017 for staff training. If you need to speak to a Doctor in an emergency during this time please telephone the NHS 111 service on 111.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure and thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. Read More
Whilst we have possibly the largest car park of any surgery in the bay area, there are many times when it is full.
To avoid a £30 parking fine please make sure that any on-road parking is beyond the allotments entrance where there are no parking restrictions. Read More