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Highlands Health Centre

Highlands Health Centre

national health service

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It is with pleasure that we welcome you to our Summer Newsletter and hope you are all enjoying the sunshine.



Highlands Health Centre  – Beacon Medical Group


The partners of Highlands Health Centre and Beacon Medical Group have had a series of positive, friendly and fruitful meetings to discuss how a closer working relationship might benefit the population of Ivybridge.


We have decided to look at how we may work to bring our organisations together to work much more closely.  This is still in the early stages as we are meeting to look at the feasibility.


We feel this is a fantastic opportunity to improve services offered to our community. We intend to achieve this by pooling our expertise and developing our relationships with our community and our community services.


The NHS, and General Practice in particular is facing unprecedented pressures, working together we feel we can create an adaptable, thriving and sustainable practice.


Developing a larger, robust and resilient practice will enable us to continue to deliver personal healthcare which our patients have come to value and which meets their needs and preferences.


Our aim is to enable our patients, whenever possible, to consult with their preferred, most trusted doctor or nurse, in both face to face and telephone consultations but we are conscious that we must respond to great increases in demand and the requirement to provide longer hours of access.



We will also take this opportunity to look at the way we work and how we can make it better for our patients, focusing initially on patient access, appointments and prescriptions. Working together will give us a strong foundation on which to maintain our current level of service, develop new ways of caring for our patients and expand the services we can offer.


The incorporation of Highlands Health Centre into Beacon Medical Group would potentially take place in the Autumn of 2018, however both practices will remain open providing GP appointments from both sites.


Individually we are both successful practices with similar, patient centred approaches to care, and a shared belief in making a continued positive difference to our patients. We feel it is the right moment to seize the opportunity to build and expand on our successes by combining our efforts.‚Äč




With effect from the 1st May 2018 we have a new computer system. This is involving a great deal of learning on our part and we would ask all our patients to be understanding of any delays in our services while we adapt to the new system.



With the change of computer system patients can now access more on-line services. This includes the ability to book appointments, request repeat prescriptions, complete surveys, access to read coded entries in their medical records. This replaces The Waiting Room. If patients wish to register for these services they will need to give their e-mail address to reception.


We have also been asking patients for their mobile telephone numbers to enable us to send them text reminders of their booked appointments.



It is the time of year when many of you are starting to think about holidays abroad. We are always happy to give advice but would ask that before making an appointment with the practice nurse for any injections you might need, that you first complete our Travel Questionnaire, which is available at reception. Please allow plenty of time before travel, ideally at least 2 months, as we cannot guarantee last minute travel vaccinations.



Hay Fever season is upon us – Antihistamines and Beconase ®nasal spray are available over the counter and are generally very safe to use. Although antihistamines by mouth should be avoided in pregnancy, the eye drops are safe.



We would be grateful if patients could ring after 11.30am for any test results as the phone lines are very busy with patients making appointments early in the mornings.



Please could all patients note that with effect from now we are unable to accept ANY prescription requests over the telephone. They can be requested by e-mail, prescription request slip available at reception or via a chemist.




On receipt of your medication from the pharmacy, we would advise that patients carefully check to ensure they have received the correct items and if in doubt double-check with the dispensing pharmacy.




We currently have a virtual Patient Participation Group who we communicate with via email to ask for their opinions and feedback on the services we currently provide and we are very grateful for their support.  We would like to consider expanding this and also having Group Meetings at the Health Centre to discuss suggestions and ideas for further improvement.  If you are interested in joining our Patient Participation Group please complete one of the slips at Reception and we will add you to the Group and you will then receive our quarterly Newsletters on which we will also ask you for your feedback and suggestions before the final draft is printed. We will also ask you from time to time to let us have your ideas on how we might improve our services.



We have now been running the Friends & Family Test for several years and the feedback we have received has been most encouraging. We would like to thank all those patients who have taken the time to complete the Friends & Family Test. We publish our results on our website monthly and also have a display on the notice board in the waiting room.




Whilst the vast majority of the work performed by our doctors and nurses is covered by the National Health Service, there will be occasions when we have to make a charge for work outside the scope of the NHS.


This may include (but is not limited to) certain immunisations, medical certificates, insurance claims, private medical examinations and letters of support.


A scale of fees which covers the most frequent requests is available at reception. We always endeavour to advise in advance if a fee is payable but if in doubt please ask.


We try to keep our fees as low as possible and accept payment by cash, cheque, credit and debit card.



Highlands Health Centre has signed up to be part of The Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG).

Many people think that their GP health record is available to all healthcare professionals involved in their care, but this is not always the case. At the moment, each professional you see keeps a separate record. This can mean some important information is not being communicated between health services as well as it could be.  To help with this we have signed up to the MIG which means your healthcare professionals will have the most up to date and accurate information about your health, medications and treatment without you having to repeat your medical history so often.  If you wish more information about this, please feel free to pick up the leaflets which are available at reception.



Can I say no to a shared record?

You are in control and can choose not to share any information with anybody outside your GP Surgery. You should inform reception if you choose not to have a shared record at all.


When the surgery is closed please ring 111 if you have an URGENT need or if it is a LIFE THREATENING situation please ring 999


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