Welcome to The Medical Group
Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) June 2021
If you have a recent problem with your eyes – such as sore eyes, red eyes or visual disturbance – you can be assessed and treated by our local Minor Eye Conditions Service. This is a free NHS service available from a number of local opticians.
How do I book an appointment with the service?
To make an appointment, call one of the opticians below. You will be asked some questions about your symptoms in order to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service, which will be within 24 hours in urgent cases and within a few days for routine appointments.
Please take your glasses and a list of your current medication with you to the appointment. The optometrist may put drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils in order to get a better view inside your eyes. You should not drive until the effects of these drops have worn off, which may take a few hours.
Costspex 41 Dragonville Industrial Park, DH1 2XU 0191 386 3517
Grundy and Naisbitt Ltd 1 Sanderson Street, Coxhoe, DH6 4DF 0191 377 0628
Simon Berry Optometrist Ltd 41a Marshall Terrace, DH1 2HX 01913757544
Specsavers Durham Unit 2, 1-4 North Road, DH1 4PW 0191 383 9495
Specsavers Arnison Unit S, Arnison Retail Park
Durham, DH1 5GB 0191 814 2020
Conditions that can be seen under the service include:
•Dry eye, or gritty and uncomfortable eyes
•Irritation and inflammation of the eye
•Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
•Recently occurring flashes or floaters
•Recent and sudden loss of vision
If you have a major eye condition that is being regularly monitored by your optometrist or hospital eye service, this will not be covered by this service; for example, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
Registered optometry practices (opticians) offering the service are listed above. An appointment will normally be required, so telephone first. Appointments are available during normal working hours and some practices offer appointment at weekends. Not all practices have an optometrist available every day,
but if they don’t, they will be able to find you an alternative appointment nearby.
If you are registered with a local GP you can use this free service. It is for people of all ages – adults and children. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult
20th May 2021 "If I die it will be your fault" Institute of General Practice Management Campaign video to end abuse in GP Practices
11th May 2021 - We, as a practice, have continued to see patients face to face on a medical need basis throughout the whole pandemic. Accessing the surgery has been in a different way but if someone has needed to be seen they have been. Any changes were brought in to protect patients and staff and to ensure continuity of service to our patients. Our clinicians have all seen people in the surgery and on home visits throughout the last 15 months and this is not going to change.
Our workload has increased hugely since this time last year. Our practice list size has grown by 2000 patients due to the closure of Brandon Lane Surgery, and as well as providing general medical services we are also delivering a Covid 19 vaccination service. Please understand that every member of the practice team has gone above and beyond their job, sometimes at a cost to themselves and their family, to ensure that our patients get the best possible care that we can deliver. We understand that our telephone lines are busy, particularly at Meadowfield Surgery. We have had new telephone systems installed at 3 of our surgery sites and the number of lines into the surgeries has increased, however the number of telephone calls we receive continues to increase with enquiries about Covid 19 testing and vaccinations. Following a number of Facebook comments about staff at Meadowfield Surgery not answering the telephone, we would like to reassure you that our reception staff spend most of their day answering telephones. We have a team of staff at Meadowfield Surgery who work upstairs answering the telephones. The Receptionist on the front desk does not answer the telephone as they are there to assist patients who are asked to come to the surgery.
We are aware that a number of patients are due their second Pfizer vaccination next week and we have not yet contacted you to make an appointment. This is because the delivery of Pfizer vaccines for next week has not been confirmed. Please note the Practice has no control over vaccine delivery, hence the difference in days/dates vaccinations are given. We truly understand your frustrations when you are waiting for us to call you, however this does not excuse you from shouting and swearing at our staff or from calling them useless, stupid, incompetent and a number of other unrepeatable things. There is a zero tolerance policy across the NHS for patients who are abusive and/or violent to staff. At The Medical Group we take this policy very seriously, and will not hesitate to remove patients from our list who do not abide by this policy.
We will get things wrong occasionally, and are happy to look into anything we could do better, but we never set out to annoy or upset anyone. Our Doctors and staff are tired, many have been working 7 days a week to ensure patients receive the Covid 19 vaccination. We have been through the same things that you have in this pandemic whilst working harder than ever before and a patient shouting or swearing can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. We ask that you be kind to anyone you come in to contact with at the surgery. We also ask you not to post derogatory comments on Facebook; if you have a genuine complaint please let us know by writing to us, a member of our team will then get back to you to discuss your concerns.
Thank you for you co-operation
30th April 2021 - We are receiving unprecedented amounts of e-consults (around 200 per week). We would ask in the first instance that you look at the ‘I want help for my condition’ section of eConsult. You can pick the problem area and click ‘I want to help myself’ which gives current advice and 1st line treatments for many health problems. You can also try a local pharmacy for advice about a range of conditions. Please try this advice before submitting an e-consult to the Practice. The eConsult service is available Monday to Friday only.
Do you really need paracetamol on prescription?
As a practice we are constantly reviewing our prescribing to make sure that our patients are receiving the most appropriate treatment for their medical conditions and that we are making the best use of limited NHS funds. We are asking you to please "Think Twice" before asking your GP to prescribe over-the-counter medications such as Paracetamol for common or short-term ailments. We would suggest that you buy paracetamol over the counter when making your weekly essential shopping trip. Paracetamol is so cheap over the counter but the admin costs behind an NHS prescription are much higher. Did you know a box of 32 paracetamol tablets on prescription costs the NHS approximately 4 times as much as it does to buy the tablets from a pharmacy or supermarket and if you take into account the staff time and dispensing payments the total cost to the NHS is almost 100 times more than buying over the counter? This practice spends approximately £274,000 annually on Prescriptions for Paracetamol. Every pound we save is another pound the NHS can invest in better A&E care, new cancer treatments, hip replacements, cataract extractions and much better mental health services. £274,000 would pay for approximately 300 cataract extraction or 75 hip replacements.
Please "Think Twice"
Response to COVID-19 Vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca media reports
The UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe, have said that evidence DOES NOT suggest that the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is linked to blood clots.
People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
Please read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-response-to-irish-authorities-action-to-temporarily-suspend-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine
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Care Navigation - New ways for your GP Practice to help you get the right support
We want to make sure that our patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional. We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly. Throughout June & July our practice staff are receiving specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with the information and choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs. Sometimes a GP isn't the best person to see, for example a Practice Nurse is appropriate to deal with some matters including dressings and immunisations or a Nurse Practitioner may be better to examine, diagnose and prescribe. You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse. So shortly, when you contact the practice a receptionist may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly. They won't try to diagnose the problem, but you may need to tell them a little bit about why you are calling.
Physiotherapy Self Referral -
Green Impact for Health Award Scheme
The Medical Group are now taking part in the Green Impact for Health Award Scheme which aims to improve our sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment. As part of the scheme we are encouraging patients to take part in recycling all inhalers. All Boots Pharmacies are taking part in this scheme. Click on the link below to find your closest pharmacy and for further information.
Click here to view our Newsletter Newsletter
Information and / or Communication Support Needs
We want to get better at communicating with our patients. We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you. If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know.
Please tell us if you need:
- Information in braille, large print or easy read.
- A British Sign Language interpreter or advocate.
- If we can support you to lipread or use a hearing aid or communication tool
Please tell the receptionist when you arrive for your next appointment.
Named Allocated GP
All patients now have a named allocated GP. Any patient can contact us to find out who their allocated GP is or to request a specific GP.
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice. However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible. To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
If you would like to leave feedback about your experience at the surgery; then you can do so by following the Friends & Family Test link on this website or through either of the websites listed below:
We would ask that you do not use Facebook with regards to feedback as we will be unable to respond to any concerns raised.
Important Information about Your Health Record
This practice can share your patient record with other community clinicians. This means everyone who is caring for you can be fully informed about your medical history, including your medication and allergies. However your records will only be shared if you give consent.
Find out when our practice is open, what the GP consulting times are and what to do if you need help when the practice is closed. Find out more
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
All of our practices have wheelchair access.
(Site updated 08/06/2021)