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Information Zone...

This is the main area to access information on NHS and private services not covered elsewhere in the site:

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ROLE WITHIN THE NHS

LOCAL PHARMACIES - including their opening times

CERTIFICATES OF INCAPACITY TO WORK

COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS

COMPUTER SYSTEM  - including information on Connecting for Health

DISABLED PATIENTS

HEALTH INFORMATION

MINOR ILLNESS INFORMATION

MEDICAL RECORDS

NHS DIRECT, Walk-in Centre & Dental Access Centre

PRIVATE SERVICES

TEST RESULTS

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ROLE WITHIN THE NHS

"Primary care" is so named because it is the patients' first port of call to access health services. This was traditionally via a visit to their local GP surgery but nowadays may also be at a walk-in centre, a phone call to NHS Direct (particularly outside office hours) or at one of the local community clnics, a dental surgery, or via home-based care provided by district nursing services.

NHS England has Area Teams which are responsible for the provision of these services to the communities they serve. This practice like most others in the area is a business in its own right, in the sense that we own our premises, employ our own receptionists, practice nurses and administrative staff. We also produce annual accounts of our income and expenditure. The doctors are effectively the directors of the company, and their salaries are based on shares of the profits it makes after staff, equipment and building costs are met, rather than a set "wage" as such. The bulk of our work centres around our contract with the NHS to provide GP services to patients living within our agreed catchment area on behalf of the Greater Manchester area Team.

The fact that we are independent contractors to the NHS and not its employees is of crucial importance in understanding our position and views as expressed in other areas of this website and at the surgery, and is often the source of misunderstanding about our roles and motives both by patients and NHS staff in other disciplines who are not aware of this fact. We hope that this article helps in explaining this.

We provide accommodation within our premises for other primary care staff such as the district nurses and health visitors, and receive allowances from the PCT towards our staff costs and investment in our buildings in return. This makes the contract rather complex to administer and this function is one of the main roles of our practice manager and the PCTs contract manager. However this arrangement means that we get a fixed team of attached staff, and can be more flexible and innovative in our working practices with them.

The high scores achieved by the receptionists and nurses in recent patient surveys reflect the high level of investment we have made in our team, and we believe demonstrate the fact that not all GPs are actually taking home the supposedly huge profits reported in the papers, but are ploughing significant amounts back in to deliver high quality care in their practices!

Indeed the figures quoted in such reports are grossly exaggerated as they do not take account of the fact that we are having to pay the overheads of ownership and maintenance of the surgery premises, employment and training of staff, and actually include our pension contributions, out of hours work and income from sources outside of our NHS contract!

As well as our contract with the NHS, we offer various non NHS services detailed elsewhere on this page. Where we feel that patients' health problems warrant referral to more specialised services, we can refer them to "secondary care" services, usually based in hospitals or other treatment centres. In view of the above, this can either be on a private or NHS basis, and in the latter case we can now offer you a choice of providers for these services. Your doctor will probably mention this if a referral is appropriate in your case, but you are very welcome to ask about this at the time.

We will try to keep you informed of these developments on this page.

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CERTIFICATES OF INCAPACITY TO WORK

The first 7 days (including Saturdays and Sundays) of any period of illness should be covered by a self-certification form (SC2). If for any reason your employer is not prepared to accept this we can provide a private medical certificate for which a fee will be charged, as this is not a statutory or NHS requirement.

If you are employed and eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):

The first 7 days (including Saturdays and Sundays) of any period of illness should be covered by a self-certification form (SC2). If for any reason your employer is not prepared to accept this we can provide a private medical certificate for which a fee will be charged, as this is not a statutory or NHS requirement.

If an illness lasts longer than 7 days you will need to be seen to have a Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) certificate issued, on a Med 3 form, commonly known as a standard "sicknote". Sick notes cannot be backdated unless the doctor has seen you previously for the same condition and it is an on-going problem. In the case of hospital admission, the hospital doctors will issue a Med 3 printed on yellow paper to cover the time spent as an in-patient, and the GP will then issue a standard Med 3 to cover any recuperation time spent off work after admission. If a GP has seen a discharge note from the hospital and is satisfied with this you may not need to be seen to have the Med 3 issued.

If you have a prolonged absence from work due to ill health, you will probably be expected to discuss the terms of your job contract with regard to this with your employer.

Following this, your GP may be able to issue a med 3 stating that you may be fit to return to work provided certain conditions are met by your employer such as adaptations to your work station or amended hours etc. This is known as a "fit note"

If you are unemployed, self employed or not eligible for SSP:

Med 3 forms will be issued for about 13 weeks until you are invited to attend a work capability assessment to decide whether you will continue to receive benefits, or be allocated to a personal adviser about support to return to some form of work.

Please visit www.dwp.gov.uk/esa for more information.

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COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS

We are always looking for ways to improve our service. We work to the NHS complaints procedure guidelines. Please see the reception staff if you have a comment or complaint about the surgery. If you have a problem with one of the staff or a doctor, Susan Ingham (practice manager) or Judith Robinson-Hale (assistant practice manager) are designated to deal with any problems. We will take your comment or complaint seriously and deal with it in private.You will have a reply or a chance to talk about it and sort things out within five working days. You will not upset the patient -practice relationship by any comment or complaint you have, provided it is expressed in a reasonable manner.

If you are still not satisfied you can contact:

Contracts and Complaints
NHS England Greater Manchester Area Team
4th Floor
3 Piccadilly Place
Manchester
M1 3BN

Telephone 08450500194.

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COMPUTER SYSTEM

The practice is fully computerised by Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS), so that your care can be more efficient and so that we can address the problems of preventative medicine with the information we need at our fingertips. More details about the system can be obtained here

From our online services page, patients can now use a module called EMISAccess®, allowing secure access to our system on order to use some of its facilities online. This includes a summary of your medical records as per our contractual requirement with the NHS. For access to more detailed information see the "medical records section below.

The NHS has a programme underway which will eventually create a central database containing summary records for all patients uploaded from GP systems like ours. The idea is that any health professional treating a patient either at their local surgery/hospital or when away from home will be able to access this information to get basic medical information needed. The database may also be used for research purposes in the future. This obviously has benefits for patient care, but some patients are understandably wary of the risks of a breach of security or confidentiality regarding their personal information. All patients will be given the opportunity to opt out of this process before it occurs but you can let us know from now if you wish to opt out, please contact the practice manager about this if you wish to do so.

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DISABLED PATIENTS

There is easy access through the front door for the disabled and there is a toilet for the use of our disabled patients.  However, access to the extension is via two steps, so please let the receptionist know if you have difficulty with steps so that the doctor can carry out his consultation with you in a room with easier access. Please inform the reception staff when making the appointment that this may be necessary.

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HEALTH INFORMATION

There are leaflets in the waiting room giving advice on many illnesses and on health care issues. If you cannot find what you need please ask our practice nurses. The leaflets are available in other languages. We will make every effort to ensure that you receive any information which affects your health and care, and you may also receive some information leaflets  printed from a database on our computer system during consultations with the doctors to help you understand your medical condition better. These are also available at our approved site Patient UK.

We are aware that patients may well wish to search and download information from the internet themselves. The doctors have no objection to discussing this during your appointment but please remember that we only have 10 minutes available to do this so please do not bring in too much material or request a longer appointment for this.

Please also note that there is little or no regulation on quality of information posted on many internet sites and we would ask you to follow a few simple guidelines to help you obtain good quality, trustworthy information from the internet:

The guidance is available here and from the Patient UK website referred to above.

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MINOR ILLNESS INFORMATION

You can download our own handy guide to managing minor illnesses here. (18KB). Our local pharmacies are now also operating a scheme which enables you to consult the pharmacists for advice on minor ailments and for reviews of long term repeat medications.

...This may save you an appointment!

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MEDICAL RECORDS

These will at all times be kept confidential. You have the right to see your health records subject to any limitations in the law. You should be aware that sometimes other members of the primary healthcare team might need access to them. If you wish to see them please consult the practice manager who will advise you on your rights under the current legislation on Access to Health Records. We will at all times follow the rules of the Data Protection Act.

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NHS 111

This is a 24 hour telephone advice service offered by the government allowing you access to health advice from nurses. Please dial 111.

NHS Walk-in Centre, based at Middleton Health Centre: For information and advice or to see an experienced nurse for treatment of minor illness and simple injuries.

NHS Dental Access Centre, Whitehall Street: Gives you access to NHS dental treatment and advice.

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OVERSEAS VISITORS

Visitors to this country who need medical treatment by a GP will not necessarily receive this free of charge. Visitors from EEC member countries and some other countries have a reciprocal agreement. Visitors from countries not covered by a reciprocal agreement will be treated privately and will also have to pay for medication at the pharmacy.  A receipt will be provided for re-claiming purposes.

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PRIVATE SERVICES

A charge is made for services not included in the NHS. These include some certificates to cover time off work and for financial or insurance purposes, passport applications, vaccination certificates and forms authorising private referrals. Medical examinations for special purposes such as elderly driver, pre-employment, fitness to undertake sports, HGV or PSV drivers etc are carried out at the surgery by appointment. Fees charged are in line with recommended BMA rates. Ask reception for details.

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RESULTS

If you have had a blood test the result may take between two days and three weeks dependent on the test. The doctors will advise you whether it is OK to phone in for the results, or if they would prefer to see you again with the results. Normal results are given over the phone. Any abnormal results are better discussed with the doctor and an appointment is then given. If you are registered for text messages, you will receive an automated text when the doctor looks at your result. We will contact you to make an appointment when we receive abnormal results which require action. This provides a double check. X-ray results take up to 10 days from the date of x-ray to reach us.

The results line is open
10.00 – 12.30 am and 2.00 – 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

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LOCAL PHARMACIES

Most of our patients use our neighbouring Co-Op Pharmacy on Cutgate Precinct, or Hughes Pharmacy within our Bury Road premises. These operate collection and delivery services from the surgery and are open as follows:

Cutgate Pharmacy

8.30am - 6pm Mon-Fri
9am - 2pm Sat

Lloyds' Pharmacy Bury Rd

9am-6pm Mon-Fri
9am-1pm Sat

Smaller number of patients use Norden Village Pharmacy. Boots and Superdrug Pharmacies also run a collection and delivery service from the surgery. Cohens on Milkstone Road operate a late night service until  9pm, and pharmacies located within local supermarkets tend to open longer hours also, some up to 11pm. When using our online repeat prescription ordering service you can specify which pharmacy you wish to use to collect your repeat prescription orders in the text box on the order form.

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

The government is determined to ensure that staff who spend their lives caring for others are not rewarded with intimidation and violence. ‘Violence’ means any incident where staff are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, well-being or health. The definition is not subjective - ‘Zero Tolerance’ means exactly that:

If any of our staff feel that intimidation or violence has occurred you will be asked to leave the premises immediately without being treated.

Violence against staff working in the NHS is a crime and NHS employers and their contractors will work with the police locally to prevent it.

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Last updated  Sept 2014
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