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PPG Updates

To help improve communication and let our patients know what services we offer and also to keep you updated with changes and improvements, we intend to do monthly bulletins in the local parish magazines, Marlborough news on-line and here on our website.

Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership Patient Participation Group (PPG) Update

Did you know…?

From 1 April 2017, the Marlborough Medical Practice and Pewsey Surgery have been working together under the new name of Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership.

Staff have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure that the two practices are following the same protocols, improving communications and ensuring the preparations required for a full ‘digital merge’, which is scheduled for August, are underway.

We hope that patients have not experienced any disruption as a result of this process. We do expect that you will see positive changes to the following areas over the coming weeks and months:

  • Changes to the appointment system, ensuring equal access to appointment for all patients, however they book
  • A new phone system that will work across the two sites
  • A new website that will help all patients access information about local healthcare provision
  • A new logo, designed for us by pupils of Pewsey Vale School

As ever, we welcome patient input into this process so that we can ensure we are providing all patients with the best possible care. If you have any suggestion, comments or concerns, please do send these to the practice via email to Alternatively, please feel free to leave a note, for the attention of Amy Lacey, with our receptionists.  

Did you know…

If you have a minor injury you can get help at a Minor Injury Unit/Walk in Centre. These centres treat sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest or an infection and rashes, emergency contraception advice, vomiting and diarrhoea. Units in the area are listed below, including their opening hours. It is a good idea to check which is the closest to your home:

Andover War Memorial Hospital, Charlton Road, Andover, SP10 3LB

Opening hours 08:30 – 19:30

Carfax Medical Centre, Carfax Street, Swindon, SN1 1ED

Opening hours Monday to Friday 07:00 – 20:00   Weekend/Bank Holidays 08:00 – 20:00

Chippenham Community Hospital, Rowden Hill, Chippenham, SN15 2AJ

Opening hours 07:00 – 23:00

Salisbury Walk-in Health Centre, Avon Approach, Salisbury, SP1 3SL

Opening hours Monday to Friday 06:30 – 22:00    Weekend/Bank Holidays 08:00 – 20:00

Urgent Care Centre-based at Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB

Opening hours – 365 days, 24 hours

West Berkshire Community Hospital, Benham Hill, Thatcham, RG18 3AS

Opening hours 08:00 – 22:00

For urgent and life-threatening emergencies only, use Accident & Emergency (A&E) Departments or dial 999. Urgent and life threatening conditions include loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions, severe burns or scalds.

The nearest A&E Department to Marlborough is at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

As always, if you are not sure where you should go, call 111 and they will assist you.

Did you know…

There are many healthcare services on offer to patients besides General Practice, which patients may find are able to help with some ailments.

Pharmacies can help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as aches and pains, cystitis, colds and skin rashes. They can also promote health and wellbeing, and provide access to stopping smoking, sexual health and alcohol support services. Pharmacists can give advice and medicines, if appropriate, or direct you to see your GP or another service as required.

Sometimes, particularly out of hours, it can be difficult to decide which of the many services on offer is best for your situation.  If you do not know where best to seek help, you should call 111 - a free national phone number that can provide advice at any time on where and how to receive the most appropriate treatment.

Did you know…

Sometimes, particularly when the surgery is closed, it can be difficult to decide which of the many services on offer is best for your situation.

If you call 111, a free national phone number, you will receive advice at any time on where and how to receive the most appropriate treatment for urgent medical needs that are not emergencies.

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best, which could include an out-of-hours doctor, an emergency dentist or late-opening dentist.

Where possible the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, persistent severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions, severe burns or scalds call 999.

Did you know…

The national ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme gives Emergency Services quick access to key information about you such as allergies, medication and contact information in a standard location (the Fridge) should you be unable to provide it yourself.

To make use of the scheme, you will be asked to:

  • Complete the details on the form provided;
  • Put it into the bottle supplied and place in the door compartment of your fridge;
  • Stick one sticker on to your fridge door, and the other sticker on the INSIDE of your front door
  • If the Emergency Services are called out, they will know to look in the fridge to locate the bottle and pass it on to a doctor or hospital personnel in an emergency.

If you feel you could benefit from this scheme, drop into the practice to request a ‘Message in a Bottle’ pack, which comprises of a Bottle, a Form and 2 Stickers. Bottles are free of charge. 

Did you know…

If you are planning a long trip away, you can request up to three months’ worth of your repeat medication from the dispensary. Please ensure you make these requests in good time as we cannot guarantee to provide medication at the last minute

Timescales are slightly different for controlled drugs or monitored dosage systems, and we would ask that you contact dispensary as soon as possible in advance of your trip, and no later than a week before you travel.  

When taking certain medication abroad, you may require a letter from your GP to explain why you have it and its usage. We can provide this letter, which can take up to two weeks to produce, and there will be a charge.

In addition to taking your medication for pre-existing medical conditions with you, it is a good idea to take a repeat slip with you, listing all your current regular medications, and ensure you carry this with you on your trip.

We are not able to provide an NHS prescription for some travel medication, such as if you require a flight calmer. In these situations, you would require a private prescription for which there is a minimum fee of £10.

For more information about any of the above, contact dispensary on (01672) 514878

Did you know…
  • You can have a free flu jab at the practice if you:
  • Are 65 years or over
  • Are pregnant
  • Have certain medical conditions
  • Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • Receive a carers allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

Flu clinics for those in the above categories will be run from 9.00 am until lunchtime on:

  • Saturday 17th September 2016
  • Saturday 24th September 2016
  • Saturday 1st October 2016
  • Saturday 22nd October 2016

If you are eligible for a flu jab, the practice will send you a letter inviting you to make an appointment. If you do not fall into the eligible categories, you can still have the flu vaccine at some of the bigger supermarkets and chemists for a fee.

Further information about flu and the vaccination programme can be found on NHS choices at

Did you know…

Carers Week will be taking place from 6 – 12 June 2016. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that Carers face and recognise the contribution they make.

A Carer is someone, of any age, who provides unpaid regular support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. 

Marlborough Medical Practice has achieved the Gold Plus Award for two years running in recognition of the hard work we do providing services for our patients who are Carers.  This can help them in the role they take on when supporting a loved one.

The Marlborough Medical Practice supports carers in a number of ways:

  • Offer Carers flexible appointments with our clinical staff to suit their needs as we understand that looking after your own health can be challenging when caring for someone else.
  • Undertake Carer support clinics at the Surgery during the year and all Carers will be invited by letter to attend.
  • Notifying Carer’s Support Wiltshire when we are made aware someone is a carer. Carers are then contacted by a support worker and will be offered relevant information and advice.

If you believe you are a carer, please let the practice know so that you can receive any additional support you may require. Any patient who is a Carer can register on the practice’s ‘Carer’s Register’ by collecting a pack from Reception and returning the completed form it contains.

More information is available on the practice website, along with an electronic version of our Carers registration form:

Wiltshire Carers can be contacted by phone on 0800 181 4118, or through their website:

Did you know...

All patients registered with the Marlborough Medical Practice are allocated a Named GP. This GP is responsible for the co-ordination of all appropriate services that relate to the care and support that our surgery provides to them.

We hope that you are able to see this GP when you require an appointment with the practice. However, you will be able to book an appointment with any of our GPs.

It is now a national initiative that patients are allocated a Named GP and are informed of who this is. Therefore, if you do not know who your named GP is our reception team will be happy to provide you with this information. Please do contact the practice after 11 am on weekdays on 01672 512187, or drop in and ask.  

Did you know...

Many of us will have a cold, sore throat or other minor illness at some point during the winter and some of us will have flu. The most common winter illnesses will usually get better without the need to see a doctor, saving you from a visit to the surgery.

Here are some top tips to help you keep well and self-care throughout the year, but especially over the winter months:

Colds, flu and most sore throats do not need antibiotics and can be treated at home:

  • Make sure you get lots of rest, drink plenty of water and take pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you need them.

Order any repeat prescriptions in good time:

  • If you take regular medication make sure you order your repeat prescriptions from the surgery in good time. We need 2 working days to prepare your medication for you, so please take this into account when you order it.

Book your flu jab:

  • If you're eligible for a flu jab, we hope that you have already had it. It is available free from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant or have a long-term condition such as heart failure, diabetes or respiratory disease. Children aged two and three can have the vaccine as a nasal spray.
  • If you are a patient of ours and would like further advice as to whether or not you qualify for the vaccine, please call the surgery after 11 am on weekdays.

Get advice from your pharmacist:

  • Your local pharmacy can recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines to help you manage the symptoms.  If your problem is more serious or you need medical advice, your pharmacist will advise you to contact your GP.
  • You can also ask your pharmacist what over the counter remedies to keep in your medicine cabinet at home to help get you and your family through the winter months.

If you have access to the internet, check online for information and advice:

  • There is lots of information on the NHS websites about how to keep well, check your symptoms or use self-care to stay healthy and treat common winter illnesses such as colds, sore throats and flu:

We hope you are able to keep well this winter and manage any symptoms you experience. However, if your symptoms persist, or you are at all unsure, always seek advice from your pharmacist, nurse or GP.

Did you know...

Over the last 12 months, from November 2014, over 428 hours of clinical time was lost due to patients failing to attend their booked appointments. 

With this time we could have offered up to 2499 appointments to other patients. That is the equivalent of 73 days of GP appointments; an average of nearly a day and a half of GP appointments every week.

If all our patients cancel appointments they do not need or cannot make, then time to get appointments with our clinical staff can be reduced.

To make it easier for our patients to let us know when they cannot attend a booked appointment, we now offer the following ways to cancel your appointments:

24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

When the practice is open:

  • Drop in and cancel in person
  • Call the Practice on 01672 512187

We understand that things crop up and it is not always possible to attend an appointment, and so we are always happy to rearrange. If you cancel then these appointments are available for other patients.

Did you know...

The practice now employs a number of trained Health Care Assistants (HCAs) who are able to perform a number of clinical procedures including:

  • Taking blood
  • Giving vaccinations
  • Changing dressings
  • Syringing ears
  • Freezing warts and verruca
  • Offering smoking cessation advice
  • Undertaking NHS Health Checks
  • Undertaking New Patient Medicals
  • Fitting and removing 24 hour ECG machines

All members of our clinical team work together to help support patients, especially those with increasingly complex health needs, and we would ask rather than always seeing your GP, you consider seeing other members of our team when appropriate. For instance if you have a query about the medication you are taking, our Dispensary Team may be able to help you.

If you are not sure who you should see, or if you need to have an appointment to discuss your concerns, please ask reception for advice.

Did you know...

The practice has been through a number of staffing changes over the last few months.

Dr Abi Griffith is now on maternity leave, looking after her healthy new baby girl. We hope you will join us in sending her congratulations and wish her well for the duration of her maternity leave, and we look forward to welcoming her back in 2016.

In the meantime, Dr Helen Dace has joined the Practice as a Maternity Locum GP, and will be looking after Dr Griffiths’ patients. Dr Dace will be working on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Practice.

In addition, Dr Anke Lehmkuhl has joined the practice as an Associate GP and has taken over the care of all those patients who were registered with Dr Thirza Deboo. Dr Lehmkuhl will be working on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Practice. 

Finally, Dr Maddox, a locum GP, will be working at the practice over the summer and will support the existing GP team in the care of all our patients.

All our patients are allocated a named GP who is responsible for the co-ordination of all appropriate services that relate to their patients’ care. We hope that you are able to see this GP when you require an appointment with the practice, however, you will still be able to book an appointment with any of our GPs. If you are uncertain as to who your named GP is, please do contact the practice.

In addition to the changes to the GP team, there will be a number of other new faces at the practice over the coming month as we welcome two new reception team members and a new Health Care Assistant to our nursing team. We hope you will join us in welcoming these new team members, and help them to settle in to the practice. 

Did you know...

Marlborough Medical Practice now has a Patient Participation Group (PPG). The purpose of the group is to represent the views of patients that fall into the practice boundary, and so includes representatives from Marlborough itself and from surrounding villages. Representatives also have specific demographic areas they have experience with to ensure that people who may not normally have a voice in the practice have a say.

Meetings are held regularly, and representatives are encouraged to raise areas for discussion. In between meetings, the PPG is kept informed of any developments and news from the practice via email. There are always several representatives of the practice present at the meeting.

The PPG is run by patients, with the chair being a patient representative, and administrative support is provided by the practice. It is a way for the practice to be made aware of what patients feel about the practice, as well as ensuring patients know about the practice's services.

If you are registered with the practice and you have any comments, suggestions or thoughts that you would like the PPG to discuss, please send these to the group through our email address Alternatively, any comments can be posted to the PPG at the following address: The Patient Participation Group, C/O Amy Lacey, Marlborough Medical Practice, The Surgery, George Lane, SN8 4BY.

Please note, the PPG is not a conduit through which to send complaints, and these should be directed through the usual complaints process.

Did you know...

Since November 2013, we have helped over 130 patients give up smoking. We have excellent stop smoking advisers, and research has shown that seeking help can massively boost your chances of quitting for good.

Our advisers run a stop smoking clinic each Thursday. If you attend, you will be given accurate information and advice on how to quit, and you will receive professional support during the first few weeks after you have stopped smoking.

If you think you would benefit from attending this clinic, please contact our reception team.

Our stop smoking clinic is just one of a number of dedicated clinics, aimed to help keep you in good health. Others include clinics for:

  • Carers’
  • Diabetes
  • Extended Health
  • Memory
  • Minor Surgery
  • NHS Health Checks
  • Orthopaedic
  • Vaccination

If our clinical team feel you would benefit from having an appointment at any of these clinics, they will invite you to attend.

Did you know...

If you have an urgent clinical problem, the practice will always see you on the same day. In fact, during March 2015, 1456 patients had a same day phone consultation and 697 patients had a same day face-to-face consultation with a clinician about an urgent health matter.

To access same day care, please phone the practice and speak to a member of the reception team who will add your name and a description of your symptoms to our triage list. You will be offered a call back from our triage team, made up of experienced nurses and our GPs. Please ensure you provide our clinicians with details of your concern so they can establish if you need to be seen.

Please also help us to contact you by providing the reception team with the most reliable telephone number on which you can be contacted. We appreciate that this may be a mobile number, but if possible a landline is best.

There is no advantage in coming to the surgery instead of telephoning. If you do come to the surgery, our receptionists will advise you to leave a suitable number where we can contact you and ask you to return home.  So just call us, that way we can deal effectively with your specific needs.

Did you know...

In December 2014, January 2015 and February 2015, a total of 526 appointments with clinical staff were missed at the Marlborough Medical Practice.

As some of these appointments may have been for more than the standard appointment time of 10 minutes, with this time we could have seen up to 608 patients. This is roughly equivalent to all of the appointments with a GP over the course of 6 weeks.

Please help us to improve appointment availability by only booking appointments that you need, and letting us know if you are unable to attend for any reason.

We thank you for your continued help and support.

Did you know...

You can now cancel an appointment you no longer need or find you cannot attend, and there are 3 easy ways you can do this:

Don’t feel bad about cancelling an appointment, we understand that things crop up and we are always happy to rearrange. If you cancel then these appointments are available for other patients. 

During December, 41 hours and 32 minutes of clinical time was lost due to patients failing to attend their booked appointments.  With this time we could have offered up to 246 appointments to other patients.

We thank you for your continued help and support.

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