We have several important Kingfisher Practice changes to tell you about. Firstly, Dr Jeremy Howes has decided to retire from the practice on 31/12/2020, after 28 years at Maswell Park. He will be greatly missed by all of us here, and by patients. We all wish him happiness and fulfilment with time now to enjoy new ventures.
We are delighted that Dr Tina Rajapakse has joined us as a new GP partner. She is a very experienced GP with special expertise in Women’s Health and Medical Education, already making a great contribution to the Practice. Dr Simran Dehal has increased his sessions in the practice, and Dr Harriet Purvis, who was a Registrar here until August, will be doing all day Tuesday from January. Dr Shah has taken up an additional role as Diabetes Specialist for Hounslow community, but for her, Dr Philip and Dr De Silva, commitments to the practice are unchanged.
This has been a challenging year. Initially, enforced not seeing patients in person was difficult for you and ourselves. However, rapid adoption of video, phone consulting and e-consult have brought advantages and convenience for a number of patients. Having the ability to consult in this way, with photos of rashes, or patients filling in symptom questionnaires, has been a real plus.
We reassure you though, that we ARE seeing patients in person, after telephone triage of all calls. our waiting times are relatively short. The building is ‘Covid Safe’ in line with current accepted practice, and we are back to ‘pre-covid’ numbers of consultations in total.
A reminder please, to wear a face mask, gel hands frequently, and not attend the practice if you ‘might’ have symptoms that could be corona virus.
We have had the additional challenges of staff absence, due to shielding, quarantining and self-isolating. As so much work is being done on the phone, despite our putting in extra lines, and using our own mobiles, lines are busy. Please do try to use e-consult for straightforward matters, and continue to request prescriptions on-line if you can.
We have a lot of catching up to do for your routine care. This is notable for flu immunisations for older people, at risk groups, and 2-3-year-old children. It is vitally important we get the numbers up here, to reduce the chances of avoidable illness and hospital admission. With all the focus on Covid, people are forgetting that ‘ordinary ‘flu’ can kill up to 20,000 people a year. Similarly, there is catching up to do on routine childhood immunisations and women’s cervical smear tests. We are doing these! Please book in.
We have been sending out a lot of messages regarding ‘routine reviews’ especially for diabetes, asthma and other long-term conditions. We realise people can feel irritated and bombarded with texts, but we are really trying to get as much of this work done as possible before we have to start ‘covid’ vaccination and face an expected increase in seasonal infections. Please, please book in if you are asked to come for a review, or if you know you are due for one.
Finally, we appreciate the enormous impact covid has had on the lives of many of you. Mental health, physical health, including delays in routine care, financial, educational, social isolation and much more. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for everyone.
Meanwhile a useful resource, www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk for patients and their families and carers.