A day in the life of Wychwood Surgery

Page 5 Surgery reception rdWhat the doctor says …
It is 8 a.m. and the phones start ringing. The receptionists start fielding calls and dealing with requests. The practice managers, Vanessa and Margaret have been in for 30 minutes trying to stay ahead of everything. Others soon arrive ready for the day ahead. The waiting room doors open at 8:15 a.m. and the room rapidly fills. Coffee is swallowed to kick start us into action.

Morning surgery usually finishes around midday by the time all the phone calls, emails, hospital referrals and urgent needs are attended to. The doctors, practice and district nurses meet for coffee upstairs with Vanessa, and we chew over events, medical and NHS updates and what the Daily Mail has announced today; news or fake news? Some will thrash out a game of table tennis for 10 minutes before heading out on visits to those who are housebound. The receptionists will be dealing with patients’ records while attending to the constant stream of phone calls and requests.

Over 6000 of the nurse appointments are with Margaret our health care assistant, demonstrating just how many blood tests we do now as well as other investigations. Our practice nurses are doing more management of long term conditions such as asthma and diabetes as the GPs manage more patients with complex and multiple conditions, much of which was previously done by hospitals.
Early afternoon is spent reading hospital letters, checking and acting on blood results, telephoning patients, filling in forms and responding to letters. Clinics such as minor surgery, contraception and immunisations are held, and the nurses will be managing patients with diabetes, asthma and heart disease as well as doing complex dressings. Jen the secretary is typing letters furiously and juggling the various appointments.

By 3 p.m. evening surgery begins and goes on until 6:30 p.m. when the phones switch over to the Out of Hours Service. A bit of peace descends; staff tidy up and drift away. By now the dispensers and pharmacist will have collected dispensed, labelled and checked 500 prescriptions and dealt with all sorts of requests and queries. About 150 patients will have passed through the surgery and the receptionists will have dealt with the same number of phone calls and face to face enquiries. Business finally completed, the doctors are usually away by 8p.m.

David Nixon

What the practice manager says …
Being a practice manager means the responsibility of a practice lies in your hands, along with the tasks of picking up the work of others, whilst keeping your patients, staff and doctors happy. My average day at the practice starts around 7.30 a.m. and can end at any time from 6.00 p.m. onwards, depending on whether I need to talk with one of the partners after evening surgery or attend an evening meeting. I need to download reports regarding patients who have been seen by the Out of Hours or in casualty, plus other administrative emails which have arrived overnight and need urgent action. I then greet members of the team and check that they have an appropriate level of cover for the day ahead.
During my day I need to fit in time to meet payroll, staffing, accounting and, of course, the dreaded Health and Safety requirements. It’s not all admin – I have sometimes had to spread gravel on the frozen car park and unblock toilets so life is never dull. I can honestly say that in the 17 years I have been Practice Manager at Wychwood Surgery no two days have ever been the same! Would I change that – no, not at any cost!

Vanessa Newman

What the pharmacist says…
Page 7 Pharmacy rd“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine”. That was President Donald Trump a few hours ago, just weeks after taking charge of the White House. Impressive, but only if true.
Wychwood Pharmacy opened almost exactly four years ago and I have been involved at various levels with it since then. The aim of the pharmacy is to provide an efficient and effective pharmaceutical service to the patients of the Wychwood Surgery. That means continuing the excellent dispensing service that has always been part of the surgery practice, and introducing a new element, that of the pharmacist. Different regulations, means different ways of working, and the relentless pressure of prescriptions to be done, means there are inevitable disruptions. But now, 400,000 prescriptions on, and thanks to the patience, loyalty, and sheer hard work of the entire dispensing team I would like to say:
“This pharmacy is running like a fine-tuned machine…most of the time”.
So much so, that the next phase to a genuine pharmaceutical service is being planned, with greater access to the pharmacist to discuss any medicine related issues, in the confidence of our own consulting room.
I would like to thank all the surgery staff and all of our patients for their support. If you have any suggestions for improving our service please contact us by email to wychwood.pharmacy@nhs.net.

Paul Jenner

And finally…
What lies ahead?… uncertainty. The future of General Practice is worrying. Many practices have become financially unviable, while General Practice remains an unpopular career choice. It remains to be seen what Government and NHS England can do to turn the situation around but changes must happen if our much-valued Wychwood Surgery is to continue to fill the needs of our communities.

David Nixon

April – May 2017