Primary Care - Working for You

 

Your general practice teams across Oxfordshire are working hard for you. They are continuing to provide services as they have been doing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and are prioritising delivery of care and services based on clinical needs.

If you need medical advice or treatment, please call your practice or, for non-urgent advice or treatment, visit the website and send in your query. If you need to visit your practice in person, please follow social distancing guidelines and do not attend if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

When you phone or go online, you will be asked to provide some information about your healthcare needs. This will help the practice healthcare team assess the most appropriate way to provide your care, which may include a face-to-face consultation and ensure it is provided by the most appropriate person. Face-to-face appointments are available to patients where there is a clinical need. Appointments are also being offered by telephone via video calls.

Consultation requests for non-urgent help can be made online. They will be responded to as soon as possible, usually within two working days. Alternatively, visit your local pharmacy for clinical advice on minor health concerns.

For urgent issues or out of hours, you can also call the NHS on 111 or go online to seek NHS advice.  NHS 111 can also put you in touch with mental health services.

You can also download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions and get health advice. There’s a handy step by step guide on how to do this here  bit.ly/3ipZdYs

Other things that can help your practice and GP to help you:

  • Keep your contact details up to date. Please notify your practice if you change your mobile number or address so they can easily contact you when needed.
  • Please respond to your practice when they offer you reviews for your health conditions or monitoring, blood tests or screening tests. These reviews are important to help you stay healthy and well.
  • Your practice understands that sometimes your plans change or unexpected things come up that might mean you are no longer able to attend a booked appointment (whether that be on the phone or face to face). Please contact your practice to cancel or rebook your appointment so they can offer any free slots to someone else.

Don't ignore these symptoms

Unusual lumps
Whilst many lumps are completely harmless, it is important to consult your GP if you find a lump that is new or unusual and that you are worried about, particularly if it has been there for longer than two weeks.

Changing moles
Mole checking is a good habit to get into. If your mole starts to change in shape, size or colour, you should contact your GP so that you can get it checked by a professional. Specific changes to look out for are when your mole has gone darker, is itchy or has started bleeding.

Unexplained weight loss
If you are losing weight unexpectedly and without significant changes to your diet, lifestyle or activity-levels, get in touch so that we can assess the reasoning behind it and rule out any other health conditions.

Unusual bleeding
If you have experienced unusual bleeding from anywhere in the body, it is important to seek advice from your GP.

Difficulty swallowing food
Difficulty with swallowing (also known as dysphagia) can prevent you from getting the nutrients you need and can also be a symptom of another health condition. If you are struggling with swallowing, contact your GP so that they can diagnose the problem and offer suitable treatment.

Breast lumps
Breast lumps are a commonly known symptom for which you must seek medical advice. Whether you are male or female, if you find a lump in the breast area, it is important to contact your GP right away.

Persistent mouth ulcers
There are several reasons mouth ulcers might appear, many of them harmless. However, if you have had a mouth ulcer for more than 4 weeks, it is important that you contact your GP so they can check it out.

Change of bowel habit
Any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage. You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels. If you are experiencing any changes like these contact your GP so they can review your symptoms.

Persistent Cough

We all get coughs at times and but if you develop a new persistent cough that goes on for more than three weeks please contact your GP so they can assess your symptoms and advise if you need further investigations.

 

Please #bekind to GP practice staff

In recent months some GP staff have been on the receiving end of increasing frustration from patients as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued.

Small acts of kindness, such as a ‘thank you’, can make a positive impact on someone’s day and help staff feel valued about the difference they are making to people’s lives. However, some NHS staff have experienced abuse from people, which has impacted on their mental health. This is not ok.

GP practice staff are there to help and to make sure you get the right treatment from the right person. They are working hard and doing their very best, while keeping patients safe, at what is a very difficult time for everyone. So please #bekind to staff whether you’re speaking to them over the phone or face to face. Please watch this video to see what #bekind means to them.