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We are here for you when you need us – how to access services

If you need the help of a GP, practice nurse or other health professional that works in our surgery, we are here for you.

GP practices are busier than they have ever been and we want you to know how to get the help you need from us.

As you will know, we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering you telephone and online appointments. Face to face consultations are available for those who need them. We have continued to help many thousands of patients each week, alongside planning and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

There are some things that patients can do to help make sure we can see everyone who needs us, as quickly as possible. Please continue to contact us by phone or online as this helps us to manage people entering our practice building; it is much better if you don’t come to the practice unless you have an appointment.  We need to keep social distancing in our practice building to keep everyone safe, we also ask that you always wear a mask while in the surgery. Please remember that appointments are a set amount of time so it is only safe to discuss one or two health issues. If you have more to discuss please mention this when you speak to reception staff.

Our busiest times of the day on the phones are between 8am and 10am so if you can, we would suggest that you call outside of this time.

During the pandemic the use of our online system https://florey.accurx.com/p/F81216 increased. It is a great way to get clinical advice for your condition, however, it is worth remembering that each consultation takes a significant of time to review and there are lots of other ways to get advice. Also, you will not get an instant response to these so if it is urgent please call the practice or contact 111.

On our website we have links to key NHS information and advice. Please also go to  www.nhs.uk which is a as a source of trusted health advice about your or your child’s condition. Your local pharmacist is also there for you as an expert in medicines. They can offer advice for certain ailments. They will also know when you need to contact a GP or another more urgent service. Many pharmacies are open in the evening and at weekends, you can find them on the NHS website. You can also find out how to make the most of your pharmacist.

Remember if the situation is urgent you can contact NHS 111 by visiting www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.  They can also support with a mental health crisis if you select option 2.

You don’t need to see a GP to refer yourself for some mental health services. Find out more at https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/wellbeing-service/ If you are worried about your mental health and any harm you may cause yourself please contact your practice.

Remember to always dial 999 straight away when it is a real emergency, for example if you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.

Please continue to use general practice when you need to, we are open and there for you.

Thank you for your support - The River Surgery.

 NEW ONLINE CONTACT FACILITY - ACCURX

You can now contact us online with a medical, administrative or prescription query by using the link https://florey.accurx.com/p/F81216

We aim to respond to your queries within 2 working days. Please do not use this online form for urgent or emergency requests as they may be missed. 

TELEPHONE CALLS

Please note - all incoming and outgoing phone calls at the surgery are recorded for training and quality purposes.

SHARPS BIN DISPOSAL

From January 1st 2019 you will no longer be able to return your sharps bins to your local pharmacy. Epping Forest Council has arrangements in place for the disposal of used sharps bins, details of which can be found by clicking on the link below.

Epping Forest sharps bin disposal information

EVENING AND WEEKEND GP APPOINTMENTS

The West Essex Evening and Weekend GP service provided by HUC (Herts Urgent Care) offers additional, pre-booked appointments at convenient times to suit your needs.  

Please see the attached information or contact reception for details.

HUC Patient Information

PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP MEETING

Currently suspended due to COVID19 restrictions.

Physiotherapy Self Referral

Patients can now find full details of how to complete the self-referral process for Physiotherapy on the EPUT website via the following link:

 

https://eput.nhs.uk/our-services/essex/west-essex-community-health-services/adults/rehabilitation/musculo-skeletal-physiotherapy/physiotherapy-self-referral-form/

 

On this page it explains how patients can complete a Physiotherapy Self-Referral Form themselves and then email or post it to EPUT. Or, patient's can simply phone EPUT directly to discuss the self-referral process, if they would prefer to do so by calling: 01279 827404 (lines open 09:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday).

 

TEXT MESSAGES

Due to the new GDPR requirements, we are no longer be able to text you unless we have your explicit consent. Please call into the surgery to complete a consent form if you have not already done so. 

PARKING RESTRICTIONS

Please note that you cannot park on the single yellow lines in Rous Road and Hurst Road between the hours of 1 and 2pm. You may park there at any other time. Please also be aware that neighbouring Dene Road is now resident permit parking only. You may want to try and avoid these times when planning your visit to the surgery.

 

Clinics & Services

We offer a variety of clinics at the practice which are listed below. Many other clinics are available locally within the NHS – please contact us if the service you require is not listed.

Emergency Contraception

This service is available on a daily basis. The ‘Morning After’ pill is effective if taken during the 72 hours after you have been at risk. You can speak to our receptionists in absolute confidence to make an urgent appointment.

Healthcare Clinic

This clinic is provided by our healthcare assistant, Sue Flack. Please use this service if you require blood pressure checks, ear syringing, E.C.G’s, spirometry, support for weight management or new patient medicals.

Minor Ailments

We hold a minor ailments clinic every week day. The clinic is run by our nurse practitioner, Noelle Garrett. This clinic is designed to run in conjunction with the doctors’ surgeries and enables prompt referral to a doctor if necessary. Our reception staff will be able to help you confirm that it will be appropriate for you to be seen in this clinic.

Smoking Cessation

The first appointment is usually for half an hour and during this appointment you are able to discuss all the options available to you. You will be followed up on a weekly or fortnightly basis after this, depending on your needs. Please make an appointment to see the practice nurse. If you would prefer to be seen outside the practice or join a stop smoking group, please contact West Essex Stop Smoking Team on 01279 827866.

Chlamydia Screening

The service is offered to both male and female 16-24 year olds. You can either collect a self-screening kit from the surgery or make an appointment with one of our practice nurses. If you are aged over 24 years and have concerns regarding Chlamydia, please contact reception and make an appointment with one of our practice nurses.

Child Health Surveillance

The doctors carry out developmental checks by arrangement for infants’ around 6-8 weeks of age. Routine childhood vaccinations are carried out by the practice nurse by prior appointment. Parental permission is required for all vaccinations. If a parent or guardian is arranging for another responsible adult to bring the child for immunisation, this must be discussed with the nurse prior to the immunisation and consent must be provided in writing.

Ante Natal Clinic

Generally antenatal care is shared by the hospital and the GP. Ante-natal patients will initially be seen by the GP at 8 weeks into the pregnancy and referred to the appropriate hospital. A member of the midwifery team will then contact the patient to arrange a booking appointment.

Post-natal Care

All new mums will be invited to have a 6 week post-natal check. Babies will have a developmental check at the same time. Please contact the surgery for a triple appointment for you and your baby.

Cervical Smears

Cervical smears are provided by appointment with one of our nurses. These are routinely done between the ages of 25 and 65. Cervical smears are carried out every 3 years up until the age of 50 and, thereafter, every 5 years. Abnormal smears will be followed up more frequently.

Chronic Disease Management

The doctor or nurse carries out regular reviews of patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, COPD or cancer. You will be monitored regularly and be invited for a full review once a year.

Flu Vaccinations

Influenza immunisation protects effectively against ‘true’ influenza. This vaccination is offered to all patients aged 65 and over and those less than 65 years with any long term condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and COPD, as well as those on long term steroids or immunosuppressants. This service is available from the beginning of October each year. Any patient fulfilling any of these criteria should contact the practice nurse to discuss having a routine vaccination each winter.

Pneumococcal Vaccinations

Pneumococcal vaccination is offered to all children as part of the routine immunisation programme, however it is also offered to all patients aged 65 years and over and those less than 65 years with a long term condition. For most patients it is a single injection, but certain groups of patients may require a booster after 5 years.

Travel Vaccinations

These are available by appointment with the nurse. You will be required to complete a health questionnaire before your appointment in order to provide the nurse with as much information as possible. Please contact reception for further information at least 6 weeks before you intend to travel.

More information is available on the above tab.

Private Referrals and Prescriptions

If you wish to see a consultant privately you must discuss the matter in advance with your GP who will provide a referral letter if appropriate. Prescriptions from private consultants will not automatically be provided on an NHS prescription.

Dietitian

The dietitian is here once every other month and can be seen by appointment if referred by the doctor or practice nurse. The dietitian also attends our monthly diabetic clinic.

Family Planning

Advice on all forms of contraception is given. Coils are fitted at the surgery. Patients may register just for family planning advice. Please note we do not insert or remove contraceptive implants.

Minor Surgery

Procedures will only be carried out if they are clinically indicated. We are not able to remove lesions for cosmetic reasons. This service is available by appointment only after prior consultation with a doctor.

Young People Services

While we prefer to see young people with their parents, we are willing to offer a confidential and sympathetic consultation to any young person if requested, to offer advice about emotional development, contraception, health education, or any health related problem. Please make an appointment with the doctor or nurse.

 
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