West Malling Group Practice

Milverton, 116 High Street, West Malling, ME19 6NE
With surgeries at: West Malling, Leybourne & Kings Hill

WMGP September 2018 Update

Flu Clinics There are two types of flu vaccine being offered to the over 18’s this year. There is a vaccine called “trivalent” offered to 65 years and over and a vaccine called “quadrivalent” for those aged between 18 – 64 years (in at risk groups & pregnant women). Don’t worry about which one you are as we will ensure as part of checking records that you get the right one. Due to late delivery of the trivalent vaccine nationally we will be holding the Saturday open flu clinics slightly later this year, and at the moment planning just 2 dates. These are strictly for adults only. We have 8 nurses who will be working all day on Saturday the 20th of October and 6 nurses  working the morning on Saturday the 27th of October. The nurses who are administering the flu vaccine will quickly check if you are due shingles or pneumonia vaccine and will send you after your flu vaccine to a “special room” to have this done. This should speed up things for those just needing flu vaccines. No need to book for these appointments they are walk in clinics.

Flu Clinics will be held on the following dates: Saturday the 20th of October:-  Morning clinic – 8:30am – 12:30pm. – Afternoon clinic will be 2pm – 5pm Saturday the 27th of October:-  Morning only 8:30am – 12:30pm More detail to follow on dates for children Flu clinics. Improved Access Update Over the last year there has been some media attention on plans to change Primary Care hours by NHS England, this has widely been marketed as a “8-8 service” slogan. This is likely to change nationally anytime from today (1st October 2018 -March 2019). We have been working hard to try and keep our Out of Hours Services available for WMGP patients on site, however we are having to increase the hours in which we do in order to keep the services on site for you. We are also needing to open up some of the appointments for local practices in our cluster. Our cluster is made up of (Thornhills, Snodland, Wateringbury, Phoenix and us). Until now we have had the “extended opening hours” covering an average of just over 10 hours a week. We have till now been offering a selection of early appointments 7.30am -8am Tue-Fri, Mon evening at Kings Hill 6.30pm-8pm and adhoc Sat’s 9am-1pm. NHS England are changing the way funding and these service’s are delivered. We have needed to now enter into a joint services with the above local practices in our cluster and increase our Out of Hours services to an average of 19 hours a week in order for the service not to go to a private provider. This new service is being called “Improved Access” and we have worked with Snodland and Thornhills to keep this service operating out of our practices by our clinical staff. Between the 3 practices you will shortly be able to access appointments every night of the week till 8pm and every Sat. However the IT software is still being finished in the next couple of days, but we hope that it will be available and set up by the end of this week. The IT problem is across West Kent not just with us. We are open tonight and tomorrow night (Monday 1st October 2018 and Tuesday 2nd October 2018) and have already today filled most of these appointments. As soon as the IT software is finished and useable I will send out more information and dates. As WMGP patients you will book all appointments through our Patient Service team. If we are not open then very soon we will start to book you appointments at “the practice” that is open “that evening” at either Snodland or Thornhills. We will give you all the information you need to get to the practice. There will also be facilities for you to access appointments on a Sunday in Central Maidstone. These are not being run by us and at the moment I have no information from West Kent CCG to if these will be available to go live this Sunday 7th October 2018. Again once these do go live you will book by calling us on the normal number during the week and we will have access to book you into for an appointment and give you information to which practice in Maidstone is hosting the Sunday service and how to get there. Text Service Update 70% patients are set up now for receiving texts from us. This is a great percentage rate to have active with less than a year of setting up the service. Now we have ironed out a set up of it for appointment reminders we will be developing the way we use the software to allow more information to be sent to patients by text. A reminder replies are coded so cancelling an appointment by text removes the appointment automatically from our diary system ready to be rebooked. At present this software is not available for the “new” Improved Access  and appointments if they are at neighbouring practices, it only works for the standard appointments available here at WMGP. Please make sure we have your up to date mobile number next time you call us so that you can get these texts. If you are get a text and then need to cancel an appointment you can use the text service to “cancel” without needing to call us.

This also helps to reduce pressure on phones of patients calling us.

My GP app service The My GP app is part of the text messaging software. We are going to start to use the appointment app to set up appointments for rheumatoid arthritis and Asthma annual reviews. Those without the ability to access the app will still get sent a letter or get a call from us to book an appointment, so don’t worry if you a part of our 30% that don’t have access to mobile phone or apps.

This also helps to reduce pressure on phones of patients calling us.

Don’t Call Us……….. We Will Call you We have been trialling projects where we call patients rather than sending a letter asking “please call us to book….” This has been really effective and we like the personally touch that it gives our patients.

This also helps to reduce pressure on phones of patients calling us.

In other News……… Dementia Friendly Accredited Practice Dementia Friends Training for Staff organised for Clinical and Non clinical staff in November. This is part of a process we are on to make WMGP a Dementia Practice which is an accredited award given out by Alzheimer’s Association, more information about this can be found here  Online Booking System

The present online system we use is used across West Kent and we having been promised a new and improved system to be available soon, but no date is confirmed. We have met and discussed with suppliers of a number of good software companies the options that are available but we have been told by one of the largest suppliers that an online solution for West Kent are likely to be funded for the update soon and to wait. There is staff training and time needed to implement a system so at present we hold and wait. From online shopping to searching for information, patients spend more time online than ever before, making it crucial that NHS services offer a first class digital experience nationally.  Many areas across the country have already had these improved online booking systems. We will continue to chase for updates and hope to launch a new improved service soon. Open Meeting Dates now published October-December Reminder we are still running monthly meetings so that any patients can drop in a catch up on the latest information and discuss face to face with our Business Manager any practice news and topics or to discuss the latest changes. The next meeting is being held on Tuesday 16th October at a new time of 12 noon -12.30pm at Leybourne Surgery. The November meeting will be at West Malling on Thursday 22nd November and will be held in the “Hollies” the smaller building situated behind the main West Malling practice between at 12-12.30pm. The December Open Meeting will be held at Kings Hill, upstairs on the first floor waiting area on Tuesday 18th December from 10-10:30am.


Next Half Day Closure for National Training is on Tuesday 30th October 2018

The Practice will be closed from 12.30pm on Tuesday 30th October for Protected Learning Time. This applies to all three sites.

As always these closures are set by the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group not the Practice and are to ensure that all teams get the essential training and development needed. If you require emergency medical treatment while the surgery is closed this cannot wait until they reopen at the usual time on Wednesday 31st October then please call NHS 111.