Welcome to Bridge Street Surgery.
Carlsberg don't do doctoring - but if they did it would 'Probably' be like Bridge Street Surgery.
We also score well in terms of low antibiotic prescribing, low emergency admission rates, low A&E usage, and low prescribing for sleeping pills and other drugs with a lot of drawbacks. This may be something to do with the fact that we do not see 'Drug reps', and support the "No Free Lunch" campaign against the influence of the drug industry on doctors.
But! we have a big problem - a severe shortage of GP's -help!
There is a shortage of GP's all over the country, but it is particularly bad in this area. We advertised for a new GP recently and had no responses. As some of us will be retiring fairly soon, we need to work out how to square this very tough circle, perhaps by using nurses or working more efficiently in some way.
Mission statement - sorry!
We hate pointless drivel mission statements like 'caring together' - but of course we do in a way have a sort of 'mission' Of course it is more than a few words. Our motivation was probably best expressed by the philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1956 in his autobiography.
Please have a go at completing the new Friends and Family Test (especially if you are recommending us!), by clicking on this link. FFT
At this practice you can book appointments in advance. You can have more than one problem dealt with at one appointment. You can also book same day appointments without having to go through a triage nurse. You can also just turn up (if your problem is urgent) to open access surgery every weekday mornings 9-10.30 and you will be seen (bring a book as patients are seen in order of medical need, not first come first serve).
You can talk to a GP on the phone, ideally by booking an appointment so we ring you at a prearranged time. You can see a doctor outside normal working hours as we do extended hours on Monday and Tuesday evenings (nb this is suspended between 27/6 &22/7). You can also see your doctors out of hours as we do shifts for the out of hours service. You can also see the same doctor for regular care of long term conditions, partly because we do not have trainee GP's. You can always be seen on a Wednesday afternoon because we never close for management meetings they call 'training'. You will always see a fully qualified GP for a new problem - because we do not employ nurse practitioners, or trainee doctors.
Why? This is because we are a fairly small practice that has been established for a long time, and has a long tradition of respect between doctors and patients. We are big enough to have a variety of skills and special interests, but small enough to know most of our patients, and our patients families. We have a lot fewer patients per GP than most practices, because we want to do a good job that satisfies us, and this usually satisfies our patients. We have 2 male and 4 female GP's so you can choose the appropriate sex for your complaint! We are happy to be old fashioned, but we are quick to use new technology if it helps us and our patients. For example - making appointments and requesting prescriptions online is much
better than by phone. Online access works really well (most of the time) and is still not offered by most GP's. See EMIS Access
At this practice your records can not be seen by doctors and staff at other practices in the area. All the doctors have their own 'special interests', which means that we can provide a lot of services such as coils and minor operations that other practices have to refer patients for. Our building is old and a bit inconvenient, but it is beautiful and has character. Practices like ours are becoming rarer, as doctors are moved into big purpose built white elephants.
Climate change will probably not affect middle aged doctors and office staff too badly, but it will be a big problem during our children's lifetime and an enormous problem during our grandchildren's. The NHS is a massive carbon dioxide emitter. Please try to minimise your carbon emissions, by asking if you really need to travel to the surgery or outpatients. Where it is reasonable please use our new telephone appointment service, and if you do need to come to the surgery consider walking or cycling.
New telephone system at the surgery!
It is early days, and it will need adjustment, but we have a new system which we hope will help improve our service. Answering the phone is a big workload for us, and we try to do it well and efficiently, but the number of calls we get has risen hugely and we struggle to cope. Patients will increasingly find that we will be reserving phone contact with us to issues that cannot be dealt with either by online requests, or for example ordering prescriptions through a pharmacy. In this way we hope to be more available to more urgent medical matters.
Registering for online appointments and repeat prescriptions is easy at reception.
Medicines unavailability problem gets worse. BOOTS especially! If they can't supply try another pharmacy.
Try not to blame us for this it really is not our fault. Its a complex political problem caused by the suppliers trying to limit supplies to the UK to prevent traders exporting UK drugs abroad at higher prices. Nothing has been done about this problem which has gone on for several years. We are provided with no central information about which drugs are involved and how long the problem is likely to last for. Chemists should contact us directly and suggest alternatives but they rarely do as they are not paid to do it. It causes enormous hassle for us as well as patients. Please complain - but not to us as we are powerless to do anything. Write to your MP instead!
New bookable minibus service for rural villages run by the council
You have to register to use this new service, which is already up and running in most of our area. see Call Connect
Scunthorpe hospital rated poorly by the CQC.
It is no surprise to hear this news. After various bad reports it has been very difficult to recruit good staff and financial cuts mean that the administration is a mess, with letters being delayed and appointments cancelled or delayed to an absurd degree.
However, giving one rating for a whole hospital is obviously an absurd oversimplification, and there are many good doctors and nurses providing a good service, (and it is possible that there are good managers too). We shall continue to refer patients to many, but not all departments at Scunthorpe. Unfortunately the same issues affect many if not all local hospitals, causing stress to patients and GP's.
GP earnings now have to be published here on our website. Our last years taxable average earnings of the 4 partners and 2 salaried doctors was £74,357. Quite a lot of this money has been earned by work we do on top of our normal GP work at Brigg, for example doing evening sessions at the GP out of hours centre in Scunthorpe and doing Appraisals and teaching. Obviously we earn far far more than most people - but not as much as the Daily Mail makes out! Our net income is going down quite rapidly, as our expenses are rising fast and our pay has been flat or falling for years.
CQC inspection result- GOOD!
We have finally been inspected. It was not that bad after all - phew !. We were advised to improve our administration and to buy expensive machines to record the temperature of our fridges and check them regularly. How we should do extra admin work without it affecting our ability looking after our patients well is unclear, especially as we are a doctor down at present. -
The overall rating was GOOD and we were also rated as GOOD for the following categories: effective, caring, responsive and well-led. For safety we were rated as Requires Improvement. In particular they found that we had failed to check references for new employees, failed to keep a file of national safety alerts, and we had not complied with some rules to do with keeping a controlled drug called temazepam which is a sleeping tablet.
So we have been allowed to carry on for a few more years, subject to paying them several thousand pounds a year for their services!
Dr Monisola Uwechue has left us. Our staff and patients have loved 'Dr Moni'. She has shown us how to be very frank and honest but at the same time to have a very positive attitude. She is planning to move down South to be nearer her family. We will miss her. Replacing her looks like being very difficult, but we are working on it. If anyone does know a good GP who is fed up with their current job and is happy to earn a bit less working in a less busy practice ask them to contact us.
An Oxford Pathologist was recently struck off by the General Medical Council after police complained in 2010 that she supported parents prosecuted for child abuse! See Dr Waney Squier -guardian article. This means that Doctors may now be reluctant to act as expert witnesses opposing the prosecution.
NHS Choir at number 1 see NHS Choir you tube video
The Keitflyer blog is back Just click here Keitflyer - mainly musings on Healthcare and it's organisation.
The rhetoric on '7 day NHS' has changed since the election, with the goverment concentrating on the very debatable idea that the quality of emergency care at weekends is poorer- cherry picking the statistics that support their case and ignoring the ones that contradict it, for example that less patients in hospital die at weekends than on weekdays. They are still proposing that you will be able to see 'your GP' 7 days a week between 8am and 8pm. Of course they are right that people need doctors outside normal weekday working hours, and why should we not be able to get help at times that are convenient?
In fact we have done out of hours on call for many years, first of all for ourselves and local doctors on a rota basis and more recently based in the Scunthorpe out of hours service. We also have late opening on Mondays and Tuesdays until 8pm.
We could do more of our work outside the standard working week, but there are some quite big problems. We will need more staff manning reception etc. We will need transport and lab and xray staff and hospital secretaries as well as GP staff. This will all cost money- so what part of the service will be cut to free up the funding? And we are struggling to get enough GP's as it is - so where will the extra working hours come from?
Another big problem is the effect on what is called 'continuity'- the idea that we should be able to see the doctor we know and who knows us. This is known to lead to better quality and also more efficient and less expensive care. If doctors become 'shift workers' it will be very difficult to see the same doctor on consecutive visits, and continuity - which is already poor in many practices - will get worse.
For further info on this issue see these links Gp seven day working would cost £3bn per year, The governments case, Patient survey on the '7 day NHS
Unfairly imprisoned surgeon launches appeal
David Sellu was recently released after serving 15months in prison. He was convicted of criminal negligence after he treated a patient with peritonitis who died. Many doctors think that this was a miscarriage of justice, and he is appealing. Seewww.dailymail.co.uk/news/article and please pledge your support on davidsellu.org.uk/supporters/
Staff change - Kathy Booker retires - Catherine Greenwood and Jane Gibbons join us
Kathy Booker has retired to devote herself to an incredibly busy life looking after gardens, crafts and a large family. Thankyou for 7years of devoted service. Luckily we have managed to recruit Catherine who is already an experienced receptionist and dispenser and she is alreay getting used to our quirky ways. Jane Gibbons has also bravely started in reception having never worked in the health service before and is taking to it like a duck to water.
The rumours are true - well maybe a bit.
Dr Willis (59) and Dr Iuel (39!) after working here for 28 years, have decided to cut back to part time. Despite a severe GP shortage we have luckily managed to attract a really nice experienced young GP who is neither Grumpy, nor Old, nor indeed a Man, so she will be a considerable improvement. Dr Rebecca Littleford is originally from Cleethorpes, and trusted us when we said that our patients were always well behaved. So please don't let us down and scare her off. She does ride horses but otherwise is the perfect candidate for the job.
A good death !(Not connected with the above item at all)
Partly because of the Daily Mail, and partly lawyers and the feeling that Doctors are being spied on by the NHS version of big brother, there is a sad tendency for many people who are reaching the end of their lives to be sent to hospital where they die a lonely death, when they would have preferred to be cared for at home. In order to avoid this, please discuss your wishes with your family. There is a useful document dealing with this issue in the Further Information section.
Friends and family test introduced for GP practices
If you want us to carry on at Bridge Street Surgery and not be merged with other practices in a faceless megapractice then please record your recommendations by using the following link. FFT
Diesel Pollution causes 29,000 deaths a year in the UK! 10 times more than accidents! Around 90 deaths a year in North Lincs alone!
This is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. The figures refer to total pollution deaths, and vehicle pollution is probably only responsible for about half of this, but it is still a shockingly large number. The problem is that the tiny carbon particles and the nitrogen oxides chemicals cause heart and lung disease. By the way you are not protected inside your car!
So what is to be done? Modern petrol cars are less polluting, and bikes dont pollute at all.
We need your current mobile numbers!
We have a lot of problems trying to contact patients who have either never given us their mobile number, or have changed it and not told us. If you want us to be able to contact you with a test result or about a hospital appointment, how about giving us your number, as we are not telepathic.
Bridget Grant has retired.
Sadly, we have said goodbye to Dr Bridget Grant who has been by far the most patient doctor in the practice for many years. She has decided to devote herself to exploring Europe by rail, and all sorts of worthwhile voluntary activities.
Crisis in the NHS- fact and fiction
Fact - There is a genuine shortage of GP's for many reasons. It has become very unpopular among trainee doctors, perhaps because there has been so much negative publicity from the press. Many doctors have emigrated to better jobs abroad mostly Australia. Many GP's have retired early because of the huge increase in regulation and interference in our work by various authorities, and in particular many older doctors who used to work part time have stopped completely because of this and the increasing cost of insurance cover. Our area is worse hit than most, and it will not be surprising if in the next few years it will be as difficult to find a GP as it was a few years ago to find an NHS Dentist.
It is true that the NHS is facing severe long term pressures, in that there are more old and therefore sick people, and more that can be done, and the money is not increasing to match demand. More people are attending A&E, although the figures now include walk in centres. It is not surprising as people have been led to expect a 24/7 service by successive governments. However, amid all the blame game coming from the media and rather surprisingly from the government, lets not lose sight of the facts that death rates have been generally going down steadily, and lots of things are actually getting better. Unfortunately, the freedom of a doctor and patient to decide together how to deal with a problem is more and more being interfered with by managers and targets. If you spot your doctor checking the computer when he should be paying attention to you, please tell him off, but nicely. If you like us are allergic to the Daily Mail (which by the way recently has been found guitly of libel and had to pay a GP £45000! see http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/legal/gp-awarded-45000-in-damages-following-defamatory-daily-mail-article/20008121.article#.VDenvCh_E-c )and want to follow a sensible discussion see www.changingnhs.com
Meanwhile keep up your payments for Private Health Insurance! (if you can afford it)
Dr John Willis RIP Jan 2013 Aged 87 of a stroke.
Dr Willis moved to Brigg with his wife Moreen in 1953 and took over a failing practice in Bridge Street from Dr King who was in poor health. They built up the practice over the next 35 years - extending the original premises, and introducing lots of new fangled things like secretaries, typewriters, acupuncture, and even computers. He was famous for writing witty poems, and also for taking an interest in and 'bringing on' young people. Broughton Church was packed for his funeral. He will be much missed.
NHS health checks - get a reality check!
Recent research published by the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration has concluded that these health checks do not effectively prevent illness. As a result the Danish Government has cancelled their health check program. Presumably for political reasons the NHS budget continues to fund them for hundreds of millions a year.
Blood thinning treatment for AF (a common form of irregular heartbeat)
There has been a lot of publicity about new guidelines suggesting that patients take Warfarin or similar drugs and no longer take aspirin to reduce the risk of stroke in this condition. It is a complex question, and all the options have their problems which need to be discussed in detail before decisions are made.
Statins - good or bad?
It is amazing that after 20+ years of use and millions of patients - doctors are still arguing about the usefulness of these treatments and their risk of side effects. We think they are good drugs - but only for the right patients!
Calcium is out of favour!
For most patients on normal diets - we no longer recommend Calcium tablets! They are not necessary for bone strength, and may possibly be bad for our arteries. On the other hand - we need to keep up our Vitamin D intake. Patients on combined tablets will gradually be switching to pure Vitamin D, without the calcium.
Low dose aspirin is back on the recommended list for prevention!
Randomised trials have proved that low dose dispersible aspirin 75 mg daily is an effective means of preventing several forms of cancer. It is now recommended that most people should take this dose daily for at least 5 years from age 55.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and it matters.
In summer we need at least 30minutes every other day of midday sun on our faces and bare arms to get enough Vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks Vitamin D production completely. In winter we use up our stores. It is found in fish, but not enough to make much difference. Deficiency leads to all sorts of problems - muscular pains and weakness, and possibly Diabetes and Cancer. It is now recommended that unless you are a real outdoor freak, you buy supplements. 10mcg =400u daily for children and young adults, 25mcg or 1000u for over 65's and possibly 2000u for housebound elderly.
Online record access including appointments and repeat prescriptions.
You can now request repeat medication and make appointments via the internet 24/7. Please register at reception. It is so much better than phoning. You can also view some parts of your medical records like blood test results. Do you still book holidays or train tickets on the phone?
Cancer screening review
Despite the views of Cancer charities, a lot of experts are now questioning the value of Breast and Bowel cancer screening. Prostate Cancer screening with the PSA test is now officially discouraged as it is simply not good enough at detecting Prostate Cancer, and leads to a lot of unneeded and unpleasant biopsy tests. The latest estimates on breast cancer screening are that approximately 1 death will be prevented by 300 people attending regular screening for 20 years and as a result the Swiss have decided to close their screening programme. Roughly 3 patients will be 'overdiagnosed' with breast cancer who would otherwise never had a problem for each death prevented.
Do you need to re-order your medication? Visit our prescriptions page and complete the online form. Find out more
Like To Register?
New to the area and would like to join our practice? We would be happy to help you. Fill in our registration forms and come see us. Find out more
Both surgeries have access for wheelchairs, toilet facilities and car parking spaces for patients. At the Brigg surgery patients are welcome to park in our rear car park and use the back door, which is operated by a buzzer system at the right hand side of the door.
(Site updated 02/06/2016)