News

DoctorLink

Following patient feedback, The Beacon Health Group has ceased using the Doctorlink Symptom assessment app as of 15/09/21.

For more information on how to book an appointment please see the appointments page.

The Royal College of General Practitioners Award

The Beacon Health Group is extremely proud to announce we have received an award from The Royal College of General Practitioners in recognition of our service and dedication to primary care.

This is the first time the award has been given to a GP practice as opposed to an individual so well done to all our team.

Community Pharmacist Consultation Service

We are participating in a new service that will direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare professional when booking an appointment, which may be a local community pharmacist either virtually or at their pharmacy. 

We believe this is a good thing, as your local pharmacist is a highly trained and skilled clinician experienced in treating minor illnesses, and should be quicker.  This will help free up GPs to deal with more complex health needs and ensure that everyone gets treated at the right time, by the right healthcare professional.

We will be listening to patients about their experience of using this service to inform how we can improve things, and so are keen to hear your views. You will be advised how to give this feedback when you access the Community Pharmacy Service.

New Website Launched to Provide Local Health and Wellbeing Information

We’re proud to launch our new Phoenix Primary Care Network website together with our partners in the network. You can find the new website at www.phoenixpcn.nhs.uk.

This new website will support patients to self-care by providing accessible information and advice on a range of topics, including mental health support, weight management, cancer services and more. All the information has been reviewed by clinicians and residents to ensure it meets their needs.

This website has been designed for our local population, and will help patients improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to the full range of services available in our community. This includes support available from the voluntary and charity sector, local authority and other partners.

The new Phoenix Primary Care Network website also includes information about new healthcare roles available in our Primary Care Network to help patients get the right care first time. You can find these here - www.phoenixpcn.nhs.uk/about-us/our-healthcare-roles

Primary Care Networks offer a new way of organising care, bringing together all local health and care services in a local area to deliver more joined up care to local populations (usually covering around 50,000 people). Find out more about Primary Care Networks at www.phoenixpcn.nhs.uk/about-us/what-we-do.

 

Dealing with Depression

Face Masks/Covering

In line with current Government guidance patients are required to continue to wear a face mask/covering in all healthcare settings.

NHS Essex Child Health App  

It is normal to feel anxious when your child is ill. Sometimes their illness is obvious – they may have visible symptoms such as a runny nose. At other times it isn’t as easy to identify the problem even though you know your child best and can spot if something is wrong. Most illnesses such as sore throats and ear ache get better by themselves but it’s important that parents know what to do if their child is unwell and how to recognise the signs. 

The new NHS Essex Child Health app has been designed to give parents, grandparents and carers across Essex NHS advice at their fingertips, to help look after their children’s health and recognise when they are unwell.

Many illnesses can now be treated at home with lots of rest and over-the-counter medicines. The NHS Essex Child Health app offers handy advice on some of these most common childhood illnesses, as well as helping you to understand when it’s better to chat to your school nurse, visit a local community pharmacist or GP, or to call NHS 111.

Health conditions covered within the app include:

  • Coughs, colds and flu
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Chicken pox and measles
  • Ear ache and tonsillitis
  • Wheezing and breathing difficulties including bronchiolitis and asthma
  • Headlice and threadworms
  • Bumps, bruises and accidents

Information on mental health and wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and advice on some more serious conditions like meningitis and sepsis are also covered. And there’s a handy section on when you might want to consider keeping your child home from school.

The app is free to download, just search for “NHS Essex Child Health”.

SystmOnline Update

We have now released telephone medication review appointments to be booked through SystmOnline.

General Practice Data for Planning and Research Data Collection

Please click here for more information

The data held in the GP medical records of patients is used every day to support health and care planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient outcomes for everyone. NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out or a National Data Opt-out, or both. 

If you wish to register a Type 1 Opt-out before data sharing starts with NHS Digital, please complete this form and return to us. You can email this to reception.f81100@nhs.net or bring it into the surgery.

Alternatively you can call 0300 3035678 for a form to be sent out to you.

If you have previously registered a Type 1 Opt-out and you would like to now withdraw this, you can also use the above form to do this.

If you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data with anyone else for purposes beyond your own care, then you can also register a National Data Opt-out.

If you wish to register a National Data Opt-out please complete the electronic form here. 

NHS App

If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

You can use the NHS App to get health advice, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP health record and more.

For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp'

 

Update to telephone system

We have now changed our telephone options - please listen carefully for these changes.
We also no longer have the call back option or inform you of the call queue position.

Blood Tests

As of Friday 26th March, the Christchurch blood testing centre is closing and will be replaced with a new clinic at the Chelmsford Central Health Hub on Duke’s Walk from Monday 29th March.

Find information about booking a blood test at any of the Mid Essex centres here http://orlo.uk/MSE_Blood_Tests_u3BnY

New Dispensary Opening Hours

The dispensary at Danbury is open for medication collection between:

08.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 18.30 - Monday to Friday 

The dispensary can be contacted by telephone between 10.00 - 13.00 weekdays for advice on 01245 221777 then press option 3, or via email f81100.scripts@nhs.net

Could we please ask where possible that you allow 72 hours for collection of prescriptions and medication.

Reception Email Address

The reception email address is now for queries only. If you email to book an appointment you will not receive a reply. However, flu vaccine appointment requests will continue to be accepted via the reception email address.

Please do not attend the surgery to book an appointment.

To book a routine appointment:  

-Telephone the surgery 

To book an on the day appointment: 

-Telephone the surgery 

Extended Access Appointments

Mid Essex residents who need to see a GP or nurse on a weekday evening, Saturday or Sunday can now book an appointment by calling 01245 398055. (Phone line open on Saturday and Sunday for patients)

Appointments are available as follows:

Monday to Friday, 6.30pm to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 8pm

Consultations will usually take place via telephone or video call. If a face-to-face appointment is required, it will be at North Chelmsford Health Centre, Sainsbury's, 2 White Hart Lane, Springfield, Chelmsford, CM2 5EF.

Advice on accessing the surgery 

Please click on the link below for helpful advice on accessing the surgery during this time.

#HelpUsHelpYou

Advice for parents during Coronavirus

Advice for parents during Coronavirus.pdf

Immunisation Reminder

NHS England and Public Health England are urging people to attend routine vaccinations to prevent outbreaks of serious diseases as part of a campaign to encourage people to use their NHS if they need it. Parents, in particular, are being urged to make sure pre-school children attend vaccination appointments, and pregnant women are being advised not to miss out on antenatal vaccinations which protect them and their baby.

Please call reception to book an appointment.

immunisation
immunisation
immunisation

Local GP surgeries delivering gold-standard LGBT care

15 GP surgeries across three Essex districts have stepped up to meet the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients, some among the first in the country to receive a special award. The GP practices in mid Essex, comprising Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District, have all received awards from the Pride in Practice programme for making services more accessible for LGBT people in their communities. And 11 have further cause to be proud as they are the first in the county to receive the Pride in Practice Gold Award – the highest possible rating available.

Dr Michael Brady, National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Now more than ever it is vital that we address LGBT health inequalities. Pride in Practice is a great example of primary care services taking the lead to improve the care and experience of LGBT patients. Through better monitoring, staff training and the support provided by the LGBT Foundation, practices are able to both identify inequalities and address them. I applaud all these practices for their efforts in ensuring they deliver LGBT inclusive care and look forward to seeing more services taking up this initiative.” ‚Äč

Claudia Carvell, Business Development Manager for Pride in Practice, said: “This is a fantastic accomplishment for each of the 15 GP practices who’ve achieved a Pride in Practice award, meaning that more LGBT people than ever can have confidence that their identity will be recognised and considered as part of their GP appointments. We know that many LGBT people may worry about accessing services for fear of experiencing discrimination or even hostility on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or trans status and it is imperative that we overcome this to enable health providers to become more aware of the needs of LGBT communities and how to best address them. As Pride month approaches, there’s never been a better time for GP practices to take part. We’ve also recently launched our Pride in Practice Training Academy, a training and accreditation service designed to promote LGBT inclusion at home, at work and in the community.”

Surgeries that sign up to Pride in Practice receive personalised and ongoing support from the LGBT Foundation through dedicated account managers and access to resources. As well as the 11 gold awards, 1 silver and 3 bronze awards have also been awarded in mid Essex.

The 15 Practices are:

  • Beacon Health Group (Danbury Surgery, Mountbatten House Surgery, Moulsham Lodge Surgery) (Gold award)
  • Coggeshall Surgery (Gold award)
  • Fern House Surgery, Witham (Gold award)
  • Beauchamp House Surgery, Chelmsford (Gold award)
  • The Writtle Surgery (Gold award)
  • Rivermead Gate Medical Centre, Chelmsford (Gold award)
  • Whitley House Surgery, Chelmsford (Gold award)
  • Baddow Village Surgery (Gold award)
  • North Chelmsford Health Centre, Chelmsford (Gold award)
  • Blandford Medical Centre, Braintree (Gold award)
  • Longfield Medical Centre, Maldon (Silver award)
  • Chelmer Village Surgery, Chelmsford (Bronze award)
  • Stock Surgery (Bronze award)
  • Tollesbury Surgery (Bronze award)

Danbury PPG email address

Please note the Danbury PPG have now launched an email address for patients of Danbury Medical Centre to contact the PPG to share their experiences and with their suggestions for the practice. This enables a broader range of patients to share their views and allows people who cannot attend the meetings the chance to give their feedback. The email contents will be presented anonymously at the PPG meetings. The email address is - ppgdanbury@gmail.com.

Collecting controlled drugs

Controlled medicines are sometimes misused so they have stricter legal controls on their supply. Just to remind patients collecting controlled drugs that the dispensary have to follow guidelines set out to them so this process will take longer. The controlled drugs are ordered in however they are only dispensed when the patient arrives to collect them. The patient will need to provide photo I.D e.g. passport or driving licence. If you are collecting on behalf of someone else you may be ask to provide your proof of identity too. We may also confirm with the patient that their medicine is being collecting by someone else. The controlled drugs have to be checked by two members of staff and signed out so please bare this in mind when collecting and please be patient with the staff. Due to this longer process we ask that patients collect their controlled drugs before 6.00pm.

Phone Line Update

We have now merged our phone lines across the three sites to allow us to utilise all of the reception team in answering calls. The phone number for The Beacon Health Group as a whole is 01245 221777.

To further help with the volume of calls please can we remind patients that with our expanded clinical team you do not need to telephone the practice at 8.00am to make an appointment. If you have an urgent problem as long as you telephone the practice before 12.00 noon we should be able to accommodate your request. If you need a routine appointment for your long-term condition review or medication review please telephone the practice after 10.00am. If you are requesting a home visit please call before 11.00am.

Advice for patients - Weaning opioids

We are contacting patients who have been taking painkillers for a long period of time, particularly a type of painkiller called an opioid; like co-codamol, co-dydramol, codeine, dihydrocodeine, and tramadol.

Recent medical evidence questions the benefit of opioids (which are in the morphine family) for long-term pain. Strange as it might sound – we don’t think that they are very good at killing pain at all when taken for more than a few months.

Please see the links  for more information and advice.

Social Prescribing Clinic

Frank a 'Social Prescriber' to here to help patients make changes to improve their social, physical and mental wellbeing by linking them with appropriate, non-medical support and guidance. Please contact reception to book.

Memory Assessment Clinic

We are pleased to announce that The Beacon Health Group is piloting a new service which will help to develop and improve the diagnosis and treatment of memory problems and dementia within primary care. If you or any family members would benefit from this service then please book an appointment at reception. Our health care assistants will carry out an initial memory assessment.

Patients and carers can also be seen by the Alzheimer's Society please contact reception to book.