Hartland Surgery: Patient Coordinator (JOB)

Application Form for Patient Coordinator (pdf)
(Application Form in DOC format)

Job Description Form for Patient Coordinator (pdf)
(Job Description in DOC format)

We are a busy GP surgery looking to recruit 2 friendly, dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our busy, established admin team. The positions are part time from 18 to 27.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday however some flexibility will be required to meet the needs of the Practice.

Applicants should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to remain calm, empathic and professional when faced with challenging situations. They should be organised, motivated, be able to work on their own initiative and be a great team player.

The successful applicants will undertake a varied and wide range of duties within the busy admin office whilst offering support to other teams within the Practice as and when necessary.

Application forms and full job description are available on our website

Closing Date: 8th April 2022
Interviews will be held on: 29th April 2022

Private Counsellor – Belinda Shackson

Hello, my name is Belinda Shackson.

I have been very privileged to work with a variety of clients over the last 2 and a half years as a student counsellor at Hartland Medical Centre. I work with clients facing daily life struggles, bereavement, living with anxiety/ depression/illness, trauma and general mental health issues.

The client leads the way in the sessions and I always have the clients best interests at the heart of the work. I have been a client myself and I understand fully how important it is to be heard with acceptance and empathy.

Now, as a qualified counsellor I am looking to carry on practicing privately in my locality. It has always been my aim to be as accessible as I can be, within the local area that I have lived in for the last 18 years. I will be offering more competitively priced sessions, than the average at £30 per hour. I can also work with clients over telephone or Zoom.

I am based in Hartland on a Friday, sessions are also open to non patients. I work with age 16 and over.

Please direct any enquiries you may have to bshacksoncounselling@gmail.com or contact me on 07585 334 399.
Thank you-Belinda.

An update on the Healthy Lifestyle / Real Food Low Carb groups

The monthly Hartland Thursday night group in the Parish hall has continued although we are having to cancel the next 2 sessions (Thursday 17th March and 21st April). The next Hartland session will be Thursday 19th May at 630pm.

Dr Ruth Tapsell and the Torridge social prescribers Verity, Justine and Nicola have been running a 12-week program since January to help patients from across the Torridge area to improve their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, mental wellbeing, sleep, acid reflux etc.

They have been delighted with the engagement and have seen many patients in the group transforming their physical and mental health through making changes to their diet and lifestyle. The program has been run as a combination of fortnightly education and support sessions on zoom with weekly walking and yoga groups.

They are hoping to run the program again (starting in April or May 2022) and this will again be available to patients registered with a GP in any of the 6 Torridge practices (Hartland Surgery, Bideford Medical centre, Northam Surgery, Wooda Surgery, Torrington Health Centre, Castle Gardens Surgery).

If you would like to register for the next program or would like to find out more, please email verity.hookway3@nhs.net

Red Warning – Storm Eunice, High wind, closed surgery in the morning.

We have a UK met office red warning for high wind on Friday 18 Feb 2022, 7am to 12 noon, surgery closed until at least 2pm.

What to expect

  • Flying debris resulting in danger to life
  • Damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down
  • Uprooted trees are likely
  • Roads, bridges and railway lines closed, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights
  • Power cuts affecting other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • Large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and homes, including flooding of some coastal properties

Extremely strong west to southwesterly winds will develop over southwest England and south Wales early on Friday. Widespread inland gusts of 70-80 mph are likely and up to around 90 mph near some coasts, with dangerous conditions on beaches and seafronts. Winds are expected to ease from the west during the late morning.

To avoid risks for patients and staff, we plan that the surgery will remain closed until 2pm. We hope that in the afternoon we may resume as normal, with appointments, medication collections, telephone calls although we will need to see how things develop in the morning.

Please stay at home and stay safe this Friday morning, collect any medications on thursday evening if possible, before 6pm.

Face masks still required at Hartland Surgery

Masks are still required at the moment in all healthcare settings including GP surgeries and hospitals.

COVID infection levels remain high and symptoms like nasal congestion, sore throat and headache are currently more common for omicron, as well as the cough, fever and loss of smell symptoms.

There are still some vulnerable patients in our community despite the excellent vaccine efforts, and we still need to ensure our practice is as safe as possible for patients and staff. I’m proud that all our staff have been fully vaccinated / boosted.

We are not sure how this will change in the future, but I hope that when warmer spring weather comes through, we can open the windows wider, and stop requiring the masks most of the time.

I expect for the next few years we will continue to ask patients and staff with any “viral symptoms” such as cough, fever, sore throat to wear a mask inside the building. This has been common practice in Asian countries for some time.

Preparing for a surge in January of COVID-19 cases

The NHS in Devon is expecting to be very busy in January due to a predicted surge in Omicron cases, peaking in mid-January.

Even with very high vaccination uptake in our patients and staff, the spread of COVID-19 is already having a significant impact on NHS staff absences and this is likely to become worse. This will further impact on staffing and will cause more disruption to wider health and services.

Every additional person with COVID-19 impacts on the ability for the NHS to carry out other important work. For every inpatient in hospital with COVID-19, on average more than eight other operations are postponed.

To prepare for this surge in January and the impact on staffing, in Torridge our GP practices are:

  • Reducing non-urgent work, for example routine check-ups, routine monitoring, minor surgery, sick notes
  • Starting each consultation with a telephone call or online consultation first. We need to limit exposure for both patients and staff but anyone who needs to be seen face-to-face patient contact will be where it’s safe to do
  • Limiting the staff working in our buildings to reduce the risk of outbreaks, along with regular staff testing
  • Strictly applying infection control precautions such as masks, ventilation, social distancing, and hand sanitiser

By ensuring these measures are in place, we will keep general practice open and therefore support our local hospitals, ambulances and out of hours services.

If we find that despite these measures some individual GP practices cannot open for a short period of time, then neighbouring GP practices in our area will support each other to ensure we can still ensure patients have access to GPs when it’s urgent in our area.

Our practice will review the suitability of these arrangements each week as we learn more about the impact of Omicron on NHS services in Devon.

How can you help?

  • Please be patient and kind to our staff who are working under extreme pressure
  • Get your COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Many people in intensive care units in Devon are young and unvaccinated.
  • Continue to follow national guidance about wearing face coverings, social distancing and any other restrictions that are in place

The above message was drafted just before Christmas as we made plans to cope with upcoming demand.

Omicron is already having an impact in Hartland, with Dr Ruth Tapsell working from home this last week due to COVID identifed on Lateral Flow Test on Wed 29 Dec 2021, thankfully a mild illness, she had 3 COVID jabs. Dr Sam Tapsell is testing before work each day: 3 Jabs plus previous COVID seems to be keeping the infection away.

Even with high vaccine uptake, you have a high chance (perhaps more than half) of catching omicron if you come into contact, and so having all the vaccine protection onboard is very important for the next couple of months – please get boosted and keep Torridge at the very bottom of the national infection numbers!

COVID vaccine / booster pop up clinic in Hartland

If you have not been able to visit a walk-in vaccine in Barnstaple or through the national booking site, there will be a “pop up” vaccine service visiting Hartland on Tuesday 11th January 11am to 5pm at the Parish Hall.

  • Open to all people aged over 16
  • No appointment required

To check you are eligible, or for more information about the vaccine, see the NHS site here.

Free 12 week on-line lifestyle program

Would you like to lose weight and/or improve your diabetes without hunger or calorie counting?

Torridge Primary Care Network is offering a GP & social prescriber-led program for patients registered with Bideford Medical Centre, Wooda Surgery, Northam Surgery, Hartland Surgery, Torrington Health Centre & Castle Gardens Surgery

The program starts on Thursday 13th January 2022 and runs alternate weeks (6 sessions) 6.30-8.00pm on Zoom.

★ The real food, lower carb approach is an effective way to achieve weight loss and improve blood sugar.
★ People often feel much better and wish they had tried it sooner.
★ Often it enables people to reduce or stop some of their medication.
★ Additional benefits include improvements in sleep & sleep apnoea, energy levels, mood, joint pains, IBS, acid reflux etc.

To find out more, join us for an information session on Zoom on Tuesday 7th December at 6.30pm. All are welcome, whether for yourself or someone you live with or care for.

To register for the information session, please email our social prescriber/health coaches Verity, Justine or Nicola on verity.hookway3@nhs.net or ring 07709 714668.

Poster: Torridge PCN Diabetes_Weight Loss Program

COVID Boosters – none at Hartland.

We are understandably getting lots of people asking to have their COVID booster vaccine at Hartland Surgery.

We are not delivering these locally, so you will need to book through the national booking system online or by calling 119. We dont have an alternative way to book the booster vaccine.

Why are we not doing more COVID Vaccines at Hartland?

Unlike flu vaccines, which each GP practice has been undertaking for many years, when a new COVID vaccine program was started in Dec 2020, the government and NHS England decided that due to the complexity of vaccine storage and supply, they would only deliver vaccine “at scale” to networks of practices.

To accomodate this GP practices in North Devon were together able to hire and staff the leisure centre in Barnstaple for the frozen Pfizer vaccine, and we also expected and planned that the refridgerated Oxford Vaccine could be collected from our Barnstaple hub and then delivered from our practices, like the flu vaccine.

But when the Oxford Vaccine was made available, it was diverted locally by NHS England to the pharmacy at Westward Ho! and away from GP practices, causing chaos and cancellations of many hundreds of vaccine appointments especially for the Bideford GP practices. We were only given smaller amounts of “left over” to catch up with people who hadn’t arranged vaccine through the national system, along with the Pfizer vaccine which we delivered from the hub.

This duplication and delay of delivery meant all our GP practices were frustrated in our efforts, with our patients wondering why we were always behind with delivering the vaccine, and why we only contacted them AFTER they had booked or travelled to vaccine hubs in Wadebridge or further.

Given that we were second choice for delivery of vaccines, our Torridge Network of GP pracfices “opted out” as the first doses of vaccine delivery moved below the aged 50 group, who were much more able to travel for vaccine, or wait a little longer for local delivery. We would instead focus on getting our normal GP services back on track, after all the complexity of the previous year, which I hope we have achieved.

When the booster program was announced, the Torridge network again decided not to take part, since the hospital was now running the leisure centre, and there was ongoing provision at Westward Ho! and Wadebridge.

Given the recent upscaling and urgency for the COVID booster program, we are also frustrated at the lack of vaccine capacity and we are still looking at any ways we could try and help, but up to now there has been no flexibility in what we could deliver and for which patients. Therefore we are sorry not to be able to help further.

Phone problem

We are currently having a problem with our phone connection over the last hour (2-3pm), which we are looking into. We hope to back up shortly.

Update, 4.51pm Vodafone who supply our broadband, advise a BT connection issue from 2.12pm to 8.12pm, meaning our phone lines will not be restored until after we close. Sorry if you have tried to get in touch. Our email and clinical systems are on a separate data link which is all working normally.

Update 2, Saturday. 16 Oct

We now understand the internet may be down until Wednesday. We have successfully rerouted our calls, so you should be able to call as using our usual practice number on Monday, 01237 441200, but things may sound a little different as we will be using our computers to make and receive calls and wont be able to pass calls around the building.

Update 3, Tue 19 Oct, 8.10pm

Internet connection working and calls routing normally, Thanks for being patient this last couple of days if you have taken longer to get through on the phone.