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Riverbank and Sunnyside Surgeries merge
with Mendip Vale Medical Group
We are delighted to announce that Riverbank Medical Centre and Sunnyside surgery have completed the practice mergers with Mendip Vale Medical Group.
In the last month there has been the joining of the IT software (database), which has not been without some problems. We do apologise for the inconvenience and disruption to our services.
For further information about the merger can be found in a guide for patients which has been specifically written to address patient questions and concerns.
Important information for Riverbank and Sunnyside patients
For more information about Mendip Vale Medical Group, please see the Practice Leaflet, found under further information on the website.
Temporary closure of the Congresbury Surgery
Due to a number of factors it has become necessary to temporarily close the Congresbury Surgery. This will be from Monday 8th October until Monday 10th December 2018. Firstly, as you maybe already be aware challenges across the country, particularly for recruiting GPs, have made staffing in recent months difficult which resulted in Congresbury having morning only surgeries. We currently have 3 GPs on Maternity leave which has impacted on the overall number of GPs available to undertake clinical work. To ensure safety is maintained we need to provide a certain number of clinical staff at each site, this is so we can react in case of emergency should a patient suddenly present at the surgery with a life threatening condition. This has happened several times over the last few months; fortunately the team has been able to mitigate any problems by having adequate staffing in place.
In the interim, temporarily closing the Congresbury surgery will enable us to provide safe care for our patients. We will move capacity from Congresbury into Yatton so access to your GP, Nurse and Health Care Assistant won’t change, only the location. The Practice has put in additional transport, so should any patient require a same day urgent clinical appointment and is unable to get to another surgery they will be collected by our Practice car and driver. In addition, on each Monday from 15th October there will be appointments available at the Congresbury Surgery.
FLU SEASON 2018/2019
Dedicated drop in “Flu Vaccination Sessions” will be held at Riverbank, St Georges, Langford, Yatton and Sunnyside Surgeries on the following dates:
Patients aged 65 or over –
Saturday 22nd September 8.30am-12pm
Saturday 13th October 8.30am-12pm
Patients aged18 to under 65 in ‘at risk’ groups -
Saturday 13th October 8.30am-12pm
Every patient who is eligible to receive a vaccine will be sent a letter, Please bring this letter with you to obtain your vaccine.
We've just received our CQC rating of "GOOD" following a three day inspection of services.
Mendip Vale participates in a number of research projects at any one time.
Look at our research pages by clicking here.
Self-Care and changes to OTC (over the counter) Medicine Prescribing
A fifth of GP appointments are taken up by minor illnesses which could be dealt with in other setting, such as pharmacies or by the individual caring for themselves.
For more advice please take a look at
Free course to help manage your money
CAP is a national charity offering a local free service to clients who are experiencing the stress and strain of living with debt. It provides a debt management service which is face to face, includes home visits and provides long term support.
Details of their next course is available here
Exciting news! The award winning NHS gastro dietitians have now set up the First Line Advice IBS webinar 'on demand' which means that patients can watch it when ever they wish.
Patients do not need a referral letter, simply email: email@example.com
Vigilance for measles cases in the area
Cases of measles continue to be reported across the south west and more recently Public Health England has seen both child and adult cases across Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.
Public Health England is asking GPs in the area to remain vigilant for cases and take the appropriate action. If you are concerned or would like advice please contact the surgery.
Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-symptoms-diagnosis-complications-treatment
Surgery Merger Proposal
Mendip Vale Medical Practice and Sunnyside Surgery are delighted to announce that work is being undertaken to look at a potential merger.
Why are we looking at merging?
The demands and pressures on GP practices are continuing to increase, and we are reviewing how we best adapt to meet the needs of our patients. Working together as a larger group will put us in a more sustainable position to deliver safe and effective care. Both Practices have worked together on new and innovative ways in delivering patient focused care, for example last year we were the first surgeries in North Somerset to provide the One Care Improved Access appointments on Saturdays.
The surgeries have a shared belief in making a continued positive difference for patients, and feel it is the right time to combine efforts and build upon the successes to date. There is a common goal in wanting to provide the best possible service for our patients and ensuring their healthcare needs are met.
What are the benefits?
More choice for our patients - We want to be able to offer the choice of which surgery patients are seen at. This will make it easier for patients to select an appointment time and location that is the most convenient.
More services for our patients - Both surgeries offer a wide range of additional services, including ECG’s, stop smoking clinics and more - which are available to all our patients. In addition, Mendip vale offer a nurse led coil fitting service and have Clinical Pharmacists, which following the merger will be available to all our patients.
More GPs and Nurses skills will be available to all our collective patients - Our GP and Nursing teams have specialist interests and additional skills, working together will again enable us to offer a wider service to all our patients. Having larger multi-disciplinary teams (groups of staff from several different professional backgrounds who have different areas of expertise) will help us provide services that are robust and sustainable for our patients.
What happens now?
It is business as usual for our patients. All our patients from both surgeries will continue to access our services in exactly the same way as they do now. You will continue to ring the same telephone numbers, see and speak to the same receptionists, GPs and Nursing staff, and attend the same practice that you have always attended. Nothing will change.
Over the coming months we will be identifying areas across both surgeries that could be improved to benefit our patients. There will be regular updates, and we will let you know if and when changes may be made. We will be actively working with our practice patient groups to help support these changes to ensure they meet the needs of all our patients.
Memory Cafe at St Georges 21st April 10:00 - 12:00
The monthly Dementia Cafe is up and running at St Georges Medical Centre. Anyone suffering with dementia, caring for someone with dementia or just wanting dementia friendly advice is welcomed to a friendly informal session at the Practice. Next date is Saturday 21st April 10.00 to 12.00.
1 to 1 support is available to anyone that requests it.
A benefit of coming to a memory cafe is being with people who are experiencing the same things that you are and have been through that fearful stage of ‘do I want to go out? Do I want to interact with people?
Its a drop in session where people suffering from memory problems can come with family/friends and carers and chat, refreshments provided.
For further information please contact Harry Bidwell 01934 839820
Bristol Ostomates Self Support Group
The latest newsletter from Bristol Ostomates Self Support (BOSS) Group is available here
BOSS, the self help support group for people and their partners / carers who have a Stoma of any kind. The group meet once per quarter, 1st Saturday of March, June, September and December at St. James Priory in Bristol. This is next door to the Bus Station and very handy for folk coming into town from any direction. They meet 2 pm - 4 pm and generally have a speaker relating to Stoma problems.
Wrington Branch Surgery
Mendip Vale Medical Practice is considering a proposal to close its Wrington branch surgery at Broad Street, Wrington BS40 5LA.
The Wrington branch surgery has limited facilities, being a former retail store, with just two clinical rooms. One of which has to have a couch is a small side room as there is insufficient space in the room. There is also no reception area, and only a small waiting room. Overall the site is not conducive to current medical practices.
From closing the site we would achieve better utilisation of GP clinics. The current utilisation at Wrington is low as there are limitations on the range of staff and equipment in such a small site. Using the larger sites we will be able to offer a more complete one stop shop service, meaning our patients won’t have to return for ECGs, bloods etc.
Like many Practices across the South West we are facing a number of challenges in the delivery of NHS services. Our patient numbers are increasing as are the complexities of their conditions. The climate nowadays favours larger practices with a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) of GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacists, Nurse and Health Care Assistants which working at scale from a large surgery is achievable. MDT working means there is less risk of professional isolation for our GPs and makes the Practice more likely to recruit in a highly competitive market.
There are also economies of scale as small sites are not cost effective, whilst savings are small they would enable the Practice to reinvest and recruit clinical staff. This would help support the growing demands placed on our services from the increasing list size.
In the autumn of 2016 Wrington Parish Council undertook a survey of local residents to gather information on experiences at the branch surgery in Wrington. As a result of the survey and feedback received we have put the practice driver in post, to facilitate transport for those needing same day urgent medical attention who would not otherwise be able to get to the surgery. Our home visiting service is also robust, covering all of our patients. This offers either an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or GP visiting patients at home who are too ill and unable to be seen in the practice.
Our intention is to continue to offer our existing medical services by our core medical staff to all of those who use the Wrington branch surgery at the Pudding Pie Lane, Langford surgery. Patients are also able to seen at Congresbury, St Georges and Yatton surgeries should they so wish. You may also have heard that we are about to submit a planning application for a new enlarged surgery to be built on Smallway, opposite the Cadbury Garden centre. This is intended to replace the existing dated facilities in Congresbury and Yatton and will further enhance the options available to all patients.
It must be pointed out that at this stage that this is just a proposal by the practice which cannot be actioned without NHS England approval and without consultation with various important groups. These include, quite naturally, our patients, our Patient Participation Group (PPG), and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
This questionnaire is available for patients to fill at the Wrington branch surgery and across all of our surgeries. You can also complete a copy here and return electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep you informed of any progress via our practice website, monthly newsletter and in our waiting rooms.
Gluten Free Prescribing Changes for over 18's
The CCGs recently undertook a consultation on the prescribing of gluten free foods. A full copy of the report is available online at
Following this consultation, a decision has been made to stop prescribing of gluten free foods to all patients over the age of 18, and to prescribe only a limited choice of products to those patients aged under 18 from 14th August 2017.
This decision has been very difficult for the CCGs to make but does bring the two areas into line with the NHS across much of the South West. Similar guidance has been issued by many other NHS organisations up and down the country.
there is an information leaflet produced by the CCGs which provides information on maintaining a gluten free diet. If you have further questions or feel you need further support in managing your condition, please contact the surgery to make an appointment. Also on the CCG website are some ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which explain the CCGs’ decision further.
If you have purchased a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC), the CCGs will refund any full months that are left between the 1st August and the expiry date of your card based on the current costs of PPCs. Please send your card with a return address for the CCGs to send the refund to the below address;
Medicines Management Team
NHS North Somerset CCG
It is very important that you continue to follow a strict gluten free diet, and the practice are committed to ensure that you have the right support available to do this.
If you have any concerns or questions, please discuss this with your GP or pharmacist, or contact the CCG Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), via telephone on 0117 947 4477 or 0800 073 0907, by email on email@example.com or on the address below;
Suite 15, Corum 2
Corum Office Park
Think! Why A&E?
That is the message from local doctors, as a new campaign to raise public awareness of the different NHS services available to local residents launches.
Originally developed in partnership with NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, it encourages people to choose the right NHS service for them and their families according to their symptoms.
The aim is to remind local people that A&E is not for common health problems associated with the colder weather but for critical or life-threatening emergencies.
Many people attend emergency service departments with minor ailments which could be better treated elsewhere. This can put extra demands on already pressured emergency departments, particularly during the winter period.
Visit WhyAandE.nhs.uk for more information and advice on the most appropriate place to seek further advice.
Click here for the self care section of our website.
Pre-booked Saturday appointments now available
We are now able to offer pre-booked appointments on a Saturday morning at the Pudding Pie Lane Surgery for those patients who are unable to attend the practice during the week.
Appointments are available with a GP, Nurse and Health Care assistant.
These appointments are for pre-booked routine problems including blood tests.
Please ask at reception about booking saturday appointments.
If you have an urgent problem at the weekend this service is provided by the Brisdoc out of hours service and can be accessed by ringing 111.
We need your help to set up an Ellie Lindsay Leg club in Congresbury, Yatton and Wrington.
We’re looking for volunteers with enthusiasm and energy who can help create a welcoming atmosphere at our North Somerset Leg Clubs.
They’re a partnership between community nurses, GP practice nurses. patients and the community.
It provides wound care management in a friendly, social environment.
Nurses provide the health care, but they can’t do it without volunteers who are needed for essential support.
We also need volunteers to join our steering committee which oversees the running of the club, organises
fundraising events and puts together lots of information.
leg club flyer
Volunteers Wanted. Are you over 50 with time to spare and skills to share?
In conjunction with RSVP West - Retire into action GP Practices and Health Centres are seeking volunteers from among their patients to help older patients who are lonely, isolated or need help to get to the surgery. Volunteering for your local surgery not only helps the GPs and nurses and the people you are volunteering for but is rewarding for you.
If you like meeting people, enjoy sharing your time with them and are keen to make a difference to their quality of life, you are the person we are looking for.
Please Contact Mrs Lesley Viney at the Yatton Surgery. Tel 01934 839820.
We are able to offer online appointment booking and repeat prescription ordering via patient access. If you do not yet use this service please contact us to be set up.
The MIU is a nurse led service based at Clevedon Community Hospital
for treatment of minor injuries.
Click on the video below for more information.