Patient News for June 2024

The Hall Practice June 2024 Patient Newsletter Header

How we did in May

Another bumper month at The Hall Practice with our key stats below. If there's something missing that you'd like to hear about, let us know:

  • Over 3,100 appointments delivered. Half of those were with GPs (1,508) and 9 out of 10 were face-to-face.
  • 3,333 patient requests came through the patient portal on our website. This included: 1,178 appointment requests, 608 follow-up appointment requests,945 medication requests/queries, 209 referral queries, 103 admin queries and 75 test request queries.
  • 1,723 documents were filed, coded and actioned. These are mostly hospital letters and correspondence from community services about patients. Any new problems identified, medication changes or further investigations or follow ups need actioning too.
  • Over 5,900 calls came into the practice during May with an average wait of 1 minute 44 seconds to be answered.
  • Almost 5,300 outbound calls to patients, hospitals and other care providers were made by The Hall Practice team too.

Thanks for your support with the parking

It’s been a couple of weeks since our new designated parking bays were painted purple for those of you needing to park directly outside The Hall Practice building for appointments. So far so good so thanks everyone!

Parking bays around The Allan Practice (Calcot Medical Centre building) now have ANPR cameras which means you may receive a fine if you park in their bays.

There's 1-hour free parking available across the road at Chalfont and Gerrards Cross Hospital but just remember to double check you're not parking in a marked staff bay near the entrance to the hospital car park. These are for the hardworking community and hospital staff who need access to them throughout the day.

Staff updates in June

  • Jorgo Nikollo: Our first contact physiotherapist, Jorjo is now available for face-to-face appointments on Thursday afternoons. His telephone clinic will now move to Friday mornings instead of Tuesdays.
  • Tara Baithoon: Our clinical pharmacist, Tara is sadly leaving the PCN this month. Tara has been with The Hall Practice for four years and we wish her the very best of luck in her new role and thank her for all her hard work.
  • Welcome Back Dr Ghania Ilyas: So happy to welcome back Dr Ilyas after her maternity leave. Dr Ilyas is our ST3 GP Speciality Trainee and she's on her third and final year of GP training. Already a qualified doctor and competent in the same areas as our GPs, Dr Ilyas can still access supervision and support from Dr Turner, our in house GP Trainer if required.
  • Well done to Dr Katherine Yeomans: She completed the Blenheim Palace Triathlon last weekend!

PCN digital literacy event

Great to hear lots of positive feedback from patients who attended our PCN’s digital literacy event focused on getting to grips with the NHS App last month.

100% were satisfied or very satisfied and found the event helpful for learning how to download and get the most out of the NHS App for which there was clearly an appetite.

The NHS App has seen some huge improvements in the past 9 months including the ability to check on repeat prescriptions and view medical records with more improvements to come.

If you missed it, don’t worry. Another event will be available shortly.

Top tips for healthy eating

Crowdsourced from across The Hall Practice team ahead of National Healthy Eating Week (10 to 16 June), have you tried any of these?

  • Eat seasonally. These are foods that are naturally in harvest right now and grown in the UK. Produce that’s had to travel is usually out-of-season and tends to be more expensive. Cherries, courgettes, new potatoes, spinach, blueberries, lettuce and strawberries are all in season this month.
  • Plan your meals to avoid waste. Many of the team admitted to doing away with big shops because thanks to long days sometimes, they were wasting quite a lot of fresh fruit and veg before they had a chance to eat them. Doing smaller shops can be a money saver too.
  • Use frozen fruit and veggies. Just as tasty and a fraction of the price, many foods are quickly frozen within a few short hours of harvest nowadays, locking in all those nutrients and good stuff. Frozen strawberries and frozen peppers ready for a stir fry were firm team favourites.
  • Batch cook. We discovered a couple of the team are batch cook pros! This helps use up all the ingredients in our fridges and cupboards before we go food shopping again and often a saving grace for breakfast on the go. Always got ripe bananas looking a bit sad in the fruit bowl? Try this three-ingredient, easy-peasy go-to recipe (if you can call it that) for delicious banana breakfast bars.
  • Look up “budget-friendly recipes” online. 25 healthy recipes you can cook in 5 minutes or less is a good link to check out but there are literally thousands on Google and YouTube depending on how adventurous you are. The special stir fried rice one is great if you’re partial to a cheeky Chinese takeaway. Enjoy!

Fruit salad

Ask a GP: Your Men's Health Questions Answered 

Recently, we asked you to share questions and issues related to men's health. Dr Panesar offers his insights and practical advice on a range of topics, from prostate health to sexual problems. We've included a few here but you can find the rest throughout June on our Facebook Page:

Q: I notice that most of the doctors and staff are female. What should one do to make an appointment with a male doctor if that is preferred?

“We understand that for sensitive subjects and intimate examinations, you may have a preference regarding whom you see. At The Hall Practice, we currently have three male GPs available. As with any issue, you can request to see any GP of your choice by specifying your preference online or over the phone when booking your appointment.”

Q: When will I be invited for prostate cancer screening?

“We often receive questions about prostate screening using a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen). Currently, there is no national screening program in the UK because the PSA test is not always accurate. As a result, routine PSA testing for all men is not recommended. Testing men without symptoms can lead to false positive results (a raised PSA in a man who does not have prostate cancer), which may result in unnecessary worry and invasive investigations.

If you are considered at higher risk (for example, you have a family history of prostate cancer or are of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity), you may be offered an annual PSA test, and we should have already contacted you to offer this. If you are experiencing symptoms, such as urinating more frequently, particularly at night, have a weaker or interrupted urinary flow, or blood in your urine or semen, please arrange an appointment for assessment.”

Q: What does a prostate examination involve?

“If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms and are over 40, we are likely to recommend a prostate examination. You will be asked to provide a urine sample to rule out infection. Prostate testing involves two parts:

  1. An examination, where a gloved, lubricated finger is inserted into the rectum to gently feel the prostate, checking for pain or any concerning lumps.
  2. A blood test (PSA), which is typically arranged two weeks after the examination. You will need to abstain from ejaculation or strenuous exercise for 48 hours before the blood test, as these activities can falsely elevate your PSA levels.

There are many potential causes for these symptoms, and most men will be diagnosed with a non-cancerous, age-related enlarged prostate (BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia).”

Q: I am finding it increasingly difficult to get or maintain an erection—is this normal?

“Erectile problems are very common and are not normally a sign of anything serious. However, if they persist or affect your quality of life, it's always worth discussing with one of us. We will ask some simple questions to identify potential causes, such as a stress, low mood, or worry. We will also perform some basic checks, such as measuring your weight and blood pressure. Additionally, we may recommend blood tests to check your cholesterol levels and test for diabetes, as erectile difficulties can sometimes be linked to overall cardiovascular health.

If it is deemed safe, we can prescribe medications like sildenafil (Viagra), which aim to increase blood flow to the penis. These medications are also available over-the-counter, and you can consult your pharmacist to see if they are safe for you to try.”

Di Lord Nurse
Louise Jones GP

Meet Di Lord

Practice Nurse at The Hall Practice since 2016

Those of you who have been patients at THP for a long time might know I joined as a District Nurse first all the way back in 1994. You’ll find me in practice Tuesday to Friday.

I support my patients by adopting a holistic approach to patient-centred care and encouraging self-management of their long-term conditions. My specialities include supporting patients with their mental health and wellbeing, promoting a good uptake of childhood immunisations and vaccine programmes, as well as assessing and mentoring our HCA's, Return to Practice Nurse, Student Nurses, and Nursing Associate Students.

I’m proud to be involved with Jo's Trust; the cervical cancer charity, educating patients on cervical screening and HPV and I am one of the team’s wellbeing champions, running monthly wellbeing sessions.

Outside work, I have an interest in alternative therapies, and I am a reflexology and Reiki healing practitioner. I play golf, go fishing and I enjoy beach walking along the south coast and the Thames pathways. I also love my garden which provides me a relaxing haven after a busy day. The two loves of my life are my grandchildren and my gratitude journal. I wake up every day grateful for the gift of a new day.

Meet Dr Jones

GP at The Hall Practice since 2021

I am fortunate to have worked at this practice since 2021, witnessing the move to our fantastic new building and working with such amazing colleagues. 

I work here on Mondays and Tuesdays and enjoy seeing patients of all ages. I try to support patients by having a holistic approach to care and encouraging continuity. 

Prior to general practice training, I worked in hospital medicine, specialising in infectious diseases and acute medicine, however, I longed for continuity and variety which general practice gives me in buckets!

On Fridays, I work at Wexham Park Hospital as part of the 'Non-specific symptoms' team looking after patients who GPs have referred in wanting to exclude cancer which I find hugely rewarding.

Outside of work, I am mainly running around after my two young boys, watching sports or baking and I love travelling and new experiences.

International Nurses Day

Showing our eternal gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the brilliant Hall Practice nursing team celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May.

International Nurses Day 2
International Nurses Day 3
International Nurses Day 4

Dementia Carers Respite Presentation

Here's the presentation on Dementia Carers Respite, presented during Protected Learning Time on Tuesday 14 May.

Dementia Presentation
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