While the Coronavirus crisis continues to dominate our news bulletins and daily activities, there is at least some good news in that the practice has just initiated a new patient service, AskMyGP.
Those of you who attended last year's public meeting may remember a presentation on this topic given by a Practice Manager from Weston-super-Mare, but for those who weren't there, this is a quick summary. You can find out more details by going to our section on this web site.
AskMyGP is the new way to request help and advice from the practice. It is important to emphasise right at the start that the existing telephone system will remain unchanged in most respects; this is an additional, online service.
The principle is simple: when you require help or advice, you go to AskMyGP in your browser. You will be asked to enter a brief description of your problem - such as 'severe headache' or 'swelling of right ankle' and so on. AskMyGP will immediately come back to you with some suggestions for immediate self-help if appropriate.
If that doesn't provide the answers or reassurance you need, you can then expand upon your initial comment and that will be sent to the surgery. You can send messages at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, though you will only receive a response during normal surgery hours.
Your message will be handled promptly by the surgery and will be passed to the most appropriate clinician to deal with it. If you wish to direct your query to a specific GP, you can do so if he or she is on duty that day.
You may then be called back by a GP or other clinician, or sent a message related to your query, as appropriate. If necessary, you will be invited for a face-to-face appointment to investigate further.
This is a brief summary of the new service. For more details, refer to the section mentioned previously.
Because of the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible to hold a physical AGM this year. Instead, a virtual AGM was held, via Zoom, on 21st May.
The Minutes of this meeting, along with the statements of the Chairman and Treasurer, can be found on our page.
At the recently held AGM, Phil Tilson, who has chaired the committee for the last 2½ years, decided it was time for some fresh ideas to influence the direction of the PPG and chose not to stand for re-election.
His report on the previous year's activities of the PPG is attached to the Minutes of the meeting, which can be found on our page.
His place will be taken by Paul Harding who will no doubt be making himself known over the coming weeks and months.
Many of you will have seen one or more of the videos that the PPG has produced for the televisions in the waiting rooms. The problem is, if you miss the one you want to see, it's gone! And you'll have to wait a long time for it to come round again.
So we have now put our videos on the web site. They are an excellent way of finding out about various topics in just a couple of minutes. So far we have videos on what a PPG is, the Appointments system, Repeat Prescriptions, Patient Access and the NHS App.
If you'd like to take a look, just click on .
As promised previously, we have now uploaded an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to register with the new NHS App. You can find it listed on our click here to go directly to it.
We understand that this won't appeal to everybody - and not everybody has a smart phone or tablet, which is required at present. But remember, the more people that start using online access to appointments, notes and prescriptions, the less load there is on the telephone system, so the fewer delays others should experience.
Do let us have your feedback on this new idea. If it's popular, we will create more tutorials on other subjects.
If you have ever wanted to put a face to the names of your PPG committee, then you have the chance if you visit the Martock Farmers' Market on the second Saturday of each month.
Thanks to the kind offices of Fergus Dowding, we have had a table at the market for the last six months, and had conversations with many patients of the practice. If you would like to talk to us about anything (other than medical matters!) then we will hope to be there every month. Why not drop by for a chat?