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Welcome to the Garden City Practice

We are located at Birdcroft Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6EH

The practice is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care and has a strong team of GPs, nurses, a healthcare assistant all supported by a fantastic team of receptionists and administrators.

This surgery website has been designed to make it easy for you to access the information you need from opening times to being able to book an appointment online and a wide range of health related information. Please have a look around and feel free to send us feedback as we can use this to develop and improve the information we provide. 

We would also be grateful for reviews to be posted on Google - please click here.

Flu Vaccine 2023-24

Flu Vaccination Clinics

We are offering flu clinics starting from 16 September. We have clinics on Saturday 16th and 23rd September, plus we will be offering clinics during the week. One of our nurses will be visiting the housebound patients starting week commencing the 18 September.

The aged 65 and over patients with a mobile number will have been sent a link to book your flu appointment. We apologise there was a technical glitch and the appointments weren't showing when you followed the link but this has now been resolved so you should be able to see available flu vaccination appointments. Our phone lines are extrmeley busy so I would encourage you to try the link again. 

Due to the recent chagnes in NHS Englands response to offering covid vaccine, we had already arranged our flu clinics and will be offering additonal appoinments for those patients that would like the covid vaccine. We will let you know when we have stock available.

Patients wihout a mobile phone have been sent a letter and can of course book through reception. please avoid ringing between 8.30-10.30am in the mornings.

Covid-19 AutumnWinter Booster

Covid Vaccaintion 

Due to the recent announcement by NHS England the covid vaccination booster programme will be starting earlier then originally planned, we are still awaiting notification for when stock will be available and as soon as we can we will sbe prioritising housebound patients and then arrange clinics for other eleigble patients to book into. Due to the planning that goes into these clinics we will be doing covid in separate appointments this year so that patients can get their flu vacciantion as ealry as possible. We have been advised we will be giving the Pfizer vaccine.

Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS)for Covid-19 vaccinations

The Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) for correcting incorrect or missing records for COVID-19 vaccinations is currenlty paused and will be changing. Please use the link below for furher information:

 https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/covid-19-services/nhs-covid-pass/problems-getting-an-nhs-covid-pass/ 

Recording Overseas COVID vaccinations in the National Booking Service

The practice is unable to record covid vaccinations that have been given overseas. The service is changing to an email service and you will not need a face to face appointment. Please use the link below to get further information:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/tell-nhs-about-coronavirus-vaccinations-abroad/ 

 

Practice Education and Training

Practice Education Event next date Wednesday 13th September 2023

To allow administrative and clinical staff dedicated time to undertake education and mandatory training, it has been agreed with the training Hub of Herts and West Essex ICB that the practice will be allowed to close for one afternoon per month. The practice and phone lines will be closed from 1.30 - 5.30pm, we are sorry that we will not be able to deal with routine queries on these afternoons.

If you have an urgent medical need when we are closed please contact NHS 111 for assistance. 

Future dates agreed so far are:

Date

Day

13th September 2023

Wednesday

12th October 2023

Thursday

14th November 2023

Tuesday

17th January 2024

Wednesday

15th February 2024

Thursday

12th March 2024

Tuesday

We thank you for your co-operation to enable the practice to undertake this essential training.

eConsult

Due to the increasing numbers of eConsults that we were receivng, the practice has taken the decision to limit the number of eConsults that can be submitted each day. In additon we have limted eConsult to be available due our core hours only so itis not available in the evening or weekends.

We have a limited number of appointments each day and to enable patients to access appointments via the telephone, at the reception desk and via eConsult we have had to limit the numbers of eConsults. We are reviewing this on a regular basis so as not to disadvantage those patients with no digital access as demand for appointments is greater than capacity we can offer every day. Once the limit has been reached a message will show that says "you can submit a consultation from 8am tomorrow......."

Guidance on covid infection preventon and control at the practice

 Legal COVID restrictions have ended, but for now measures to prevent the spread of COVID remain in health settings to keep staff and patients safe.

People who have symptoms of COVID and a temperature should remain at home and avoid contact with other people while they have a temperature but can still seek health services if needed.

It is important that you let the practice know if you have any symptoms of COVID before you attend a face-to-face appointment. If you have symptoms of COVID and you need a face-to-face appointment, we will continue to offer an assessment at the Scarlett Room to the rear of the building.

We will also continue to ask you to wear a mask when you visit the practice. This will help to reduce the risk of staff absence in the surgery and also to help keep our patients safe.

Thank you for your understanding.

Extended Access

Patients are now able to access extended GP services between 6.30-8.00pm Mondays to Fridays, and between 8.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays and from 8.00am to 2.00pm on Sundays.  This service is open 365 days of the year, including Bank Holidays. These extra appointments will all be at Spring House Medical Centre (across the road from the QEII Hospital - Ascots Lane AL7 4HL).  To find out more, or to book an appointment, please speak to one of our reception team or visit the following website:

Ephedra Healthcare Ltd - www.ephedrahealthcare.co.uk

It is likely that you will not see/speak to a GP or nurse from this practice at one of these appointments, but be assured they have full access to your notes and can complete tasks as if working from our practice.  Do ask our reception team when you call if you would like one of these Extended Access appointments.  There are a few same day appointments on Saturday and Sunday at the Extended Access hub - please call 01707 294358 to book these.

 

Access to Primary Care May 2023

Dear Patients,

We wanted to respond to answer your queries following the Government’s release of its “Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care” today. A lot of the points in the plan are already embedded in many practices, we felt it would be helpful to clarify current operational procedures at Garden City Practice.

We know first-hand that things have been extremely busy, the pressure and demand for appointments is very high, and continues to remain so.

Although we have a cloud-based telephony system, it doesn’t have the functionality, particularly the call-back function, as the newer recommended systems.  As many of our complaints are about the waiting times and queues on the phone, we have applied for funding to replace our existing system, however we have not had confirmation of this and if not, successful we will not be able to upgrade our system until or existing contract expires in 2024. However, you are also probably aware we don’t have unlimited appointments to offer when you do get through to us. Appointments may be accessed via telephone, at the reception desk or via the online consultation tool eConsult on the homepage of our website. To ensure equity amongst patients that don’t have online access we limit the number of these each day.

To ensure safety, we do restrict the number of patients seen by the doctors and our duty doctor and will ask patients to contact 111 online or by phone or visit your local pharmacy or the Urgent Treatment Centre at QEII when we feel we have reached capacity on the day.  We will not routinely ask patients to call us another day, but please bear in mind depending on capacity, we may not be able to deal with every request same day. Using 111 or your local pharmacy may be appropriate, and our staff will advise you if so.

The news about prescription medications available directly from Pharmacies is welcome, we always ask patients to visit their local pharmacies for many minor conditions as you will find you can access excellent help and advice quickly; please note some of the changes are not yet in place, however, a lot of minor illnesses and injuries do not need a GP or nurse appointment, so it allows us to be available for those that really do need an appointment at the practice. Information about how your pharmacist can help and a list of common conditions that can be assessed and treated by your local Pharmacists can be found here.

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/prescriptions-and-pharmacies/pharmacies/how-your-pharmacy-can-help/

Treating minor illnesses.pdf

We already ask patients when they contact us for a brief description of the issue you are calling about. We don’t need a lot of information here – but it helps our team direct you to the most appropriate person, in the most appropriate time frame. We have clinical pharmacists, Advanced Nurse Practitioners that can prescribe, First Contact Physiotherapists for initial assessment of musculoskeletal problems, Social Prescribing Link Workers and Mental Health nurses working as part of our team – you may be directed to someone other than a GP who is qualified to deal with your problem.

Once we have reached capacity on the day we will ask if your issue is “urgent for today” – we can only deal with urgent issues requiring same day assessment. This may be triage by telephone, and the clinician will arrange to see you if clinically indicated.

For patients with routine issues, we offer appointments that can be booked in advance. We used to allow these to be booked up to 6-8 weeks in advance, but this often results in high numbers of patients not attending so we are trialling opening these up 2-3 weeks in advance. For routine long-term condition reviews, we also offer appointments on some Saturday mornings each month. In addition, we offer evening and weekend appointments through the Extended Access Scheme at Spring House Medical Centre. We would ask patients to cancel if you are not able to keep an appointment as soon as possible; you can call our main number and press option 2 and leave a message to enable us to offer this to another patient.

We appreciate the Government now states all appointments should be within two weeks. However, for some follow-up and long-term condition reviews this may not be required. By seeing the most appropriate healthcare professional offered this will help capacity issues with GP appointments.

We continue to work very hard to offer the best service for our patients, we appreciate your cooperation and support.

Garden City Practice

Blood Tests

Services available at Lister Hospital, New QEII and Hertford County Hospital

From Tuesday 2 May, East and North Herts NHS Trust will be returning to a booking service for adult phlebotomy service at Lister, New QEII and Hertford County Hospital.

If you have a blood test booked, please attend as scheduled. If you are not able to attend, please cancel in good time so that the appointment can be available for others.

Adult and Children booking service (11 years and over) from Tuesday 2 May 2023

You can now book your appointment using the links below, if you do not have online access you can call 01438 284044

In order to book your appointment, you will need to register an account on SwiftQueue. You will then be able to book, manage and/or cancel your appointment. You can also manage family members’ appointment by adding them to your account.

Please note the Garden City Practice does not issue appointment cards or letters for your blood test at the hospital but you need to tick this box to proceed to book your appointment, we are taking this up with the Trust.

Guidance on how to book your appointment can be found on the SwiftQueue website.

Adults and children (over 11 years)

To book an adult or children’s (11 years and over) blood test, please click the appropriate hospital below:

If you need a fasting appointment, please book your appointment using the Fasting appointment links below.

Children (10 years and under)

If the patient is under 10 years old, please book using the following link:

Children under 1 year

For blood tests for children under 1 year, please call Lister Bramble Ward on 01438 286315.

Please ensure your GP or Nurse has raised the appropriate request before booking your appointment.

X-Rays - Radiology 

Teaching

Our team is committed to teaching and feel we have a responsibility to help develop the next generation of doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals. We are an accredited training practice and have a variety of trainees throughout the year including foundation doctors, GP Registrars, medical students, and trainee nurses working here.

GP Registrars are fully qualified doctors who have usually completed a minimum of three years of hospital work after qualifying. As part of their training for General Practice they are required to spend a year working at a practice. Foundation doctors are recently qualified doctors currently spend 4 months with us as part of their training.

As part of their training GP registrars need to video some of their consultations as part of their assessment. These videos are only used for teaching purposes and only seen by doctors. Physical examinations are not video-taped. If a video session is taking place you will be given a form at reception, which explains what is happening. If you agree to be videoed, please sign the consent form - you have the right to change your mind at the end of the consultation and the tape will be erased. If you do not agree to be videoed the video recorder will be turned off before you enter the room. It will help us greatly if you do agree to be videoed, but we understand if you do not wish to consent to this. At no time will this decision prejudice your care with us.