We have had to close our Ditchling and Hassocks sites until further notice
We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.
COVID-19 UPDATE 20 March 2020
In light of the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19, we wanted to let you know about the steps we are taking to ensure we can continue to support all of our patients during this time.
Firstly and most importantly, we respectfully request that all patients refrain from attending the practice unless asked to do so by a clinician. We are trying to reduce any footfall within the practice for the safety and wellbeing of our vulnerable patients who may need to be called in.
- We have on the advice of NHS England and our CCG suspended all appointment booking via on-line service for the forseeable future.
- Put any paper prescription request in the boxes outside the surgeries. Please, do not bring them into reception.
- Ditchling – post prescriptions through letterbox, as they will be collected on a daily basis.
- Hassocks – post prescriptions through letterbox at the right hand side door by the recycling bins.
- Hurst – post prescriptions through the letterbox to the right of the main entrance.
- Please telephone to make your appointment, do not come in the surgeries to book these.V
- We would request that you download and register with the NHS apps. This will enable you to order your prescriptions electronically and avoid the need to come in to the practice. In addition you will find that this is a quicker and safer method of requesting your medication and provides us with an audit trail to ensure at such a busy time, your request can then be tracked from your original request through to completion and collection at the pharmacy.
- Please note we will be sending all completed prescription requests electronically to our local pharmacies. Should you prefer an alternative to our local pharmacy, please make us aware.
- All GP appointments will now be booked as telephone consultations for triage, should the GP then need to see you they will organise this with you during their call. This may not be at your usual branch or with your usual GP.
- Our nurses will be continuing to see some patients either face 2 face or via telephone calls. However, for our team to ensure we provide the appropriate appointment and clinician for you, they will ask you to provide a brief reason for your appointment request.
- We are currently receiving in excess of a thousand phone calls a day which is putting increased demand on a reduced workforce. We therefore, respectfully ask that any queries or concerns you have regarding COVID-19 are first directed towards NHS 111 online service (https://111.nhs.uk/). If you think you have symptoms and for general information and advice NHS England Website (https://www.england.nhs.uk/) prior to contacting the practice.
- If you have symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (burning or stinging, urgent desire to pass water or going more often), often called a UTI or Cystitis, we will arrange a telephone assessment for you. Please do not bring in a urine sample for testing.
Our focus remains the well-being of our patients, our employees and supporting the wider community and to enable us to do this, the priority will be to protect our services for vulnerable patients and those who are most in need and so we ask that you only call us if absolutely necessary.
Finally, we want to thank you for your co-operation, understanding and patience during these uncertain times.
Important Information regarding practice essential operational changes to how we are working including access to our Ditchling and Hassocks sites.
The safety of our patients and our staff is paramount to Mid Sussex Health Care. We are continuing to try to reduce the non-essential reasons for anyone physically visiting the practice. All clinically essential work will continue but ALL patients will be remotely triaged to assess whether a face-to-face appointment is clinically necessary or whether follow up care and advice can be given using remote consultation or onward referral to hospital, community provider or a visit is required.
Any patient that the GPs feel need to be seen will be directed either to Hurstpierpoint or Hassocks.
For the safety of those patients that need to be seen after telephone triage, by either the nurses or a GP, and have been identified as nil or very low risk, Hurstpierpoint has been identified as the most suitable location to use, due to its size and room availability to house the staff team that are required to provide this service.
To support our colleagues elsewhere in the NHS and ease pressure on services such as NHS111 and A&E, we will be seeing patients that have been telephone triaged by a GP and need to be seen at our practice. Where there is any doubt that a patient may have an infection of any sort they will be asked to attend the Hassocks site where the GP will be wearing protective clothing. Additional cleaning will take place to ensure the highest infection control procedures are followed. Unless you have been specifically asked by a GP to attend Hassocks please DO NOT attend the site for any other reason.
Ditchling - closed until further notice
To enable us to protect both our patients and staff and to facilitate the operational changes required as detailed above, we have made the difficult decision to close the Ditchling site with immediate effect. We are sorry that we have not been able to give you more notice regarding this closure.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly and up to date information can be found on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Routine Recalls and Annual Reviews
SMEARS: Non-routine smears will continue to be performed as they become due. However, routine smears, where possible are being postponed. If you have received a letter from Shared Services in Darlington, please do contact us if you are anxious about a postponement.
Routine calls: We will continue to either write or call you regarding routine recalls for chronic disease or other annual monitoring processes. All appointments will be booked as phone appointments and you will be asked to attend the practice if required.
There has recently been a change in the process required for the application of firearms certificates. It is best not to send your application to the police until the medical proforma is completed and can be sent accompanying the application. The Practice may complete Medical Proformas in relation to an application for a shotgun/firearms licence or renewal of a licence, for which the fee is between £50 and £100 dependent on the complexity of your health record. However the individual doctor may make the decision to decline this private service to prioritise NHS work. If licence holders are members of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) they can ring 01244 573010 for further advice. Alternatively you could contact MedCert (www.medcert.co.uk).
Important Changes To How We Handle Your Personal Data
We will soon be required to supply your personal and confidential medical information to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). This information will be taken from the practice in a form that can identify you. The practice has NO choice but to allow the HSCIC to extract this information. However, individual patients can instruct their practice to stop the transfer of their data. For more information on the reasons for this data extract and how to opt out of sending your confidential information ask the receptionist for a leaflet or go to the website at www.nhs.uk/caredata
NHS Health Checks
As a practice we have elected to not offer NHS Health Checks for 40-74 year olds because of the lack of evidence of benefit, and the risks of detecting 'illness' that would not cause any harm. The recent Cochrane review of 14 trials (with 182,880 participants) demonstrates this clearly, and includes an excellent plain language summary.
Furthermore, we believe this to be a waste of public resources, not targeting the population who stand to benefit the most. Please read the Cochrane review link above for an explanation of the science behind this decision.
Patient Online Accesss - SystmOnline and Smartphone Apps
Patient Online Smartphone Apps
Please see links below to SystmOnline for patients smartphones and tablets (one for Apple and one for Android).
Apple iPhones and iPads: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/developer/tpp/id711398513
For Android devices: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=px.app.systmonline&hl=en_GB
Logging into Systm Online for the first time
You should have been given a username and temporary password by the receptionist after they have activated your account. You will need to log in to your new account before midnight in order to set a new password.
In order to log into your account you will need to go to the web address on your letter and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the logo.
You will then be prompted to enter your username and password and should then be directed to update your password.
Should you have any problems logging in or forget your password at any time please bring photo ID to the reception desk and ask for a password reset.