PATIENT ADVICE AND INFORMATION
12.10.2023 Update to the Somerset Patient Transport Service
EMED Patient care is delighted to be providing a planned Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service for Somerset patients.
From 1st october 2023, they will be providing transport to existing and new patients for:
- Outpatient appointments
- Admissions and Day Care
- Renal Dialysis treatments
- Cancer treatment or appointments
For more information, see the FAQ's here.
05.06.2023 Extension of restricted opening hours at Burnham-on-Sea, Chard and Shepton Mallet MIUs
MIUs in Burnham-on-Sea, Chard and Shepton Mallet had been affected by a number of frequent, short notice and unplanned closures due to ongoing workforce shortages so the decision was made to consolidate teams and restrict opening hours at the units in Burnham-on-Sea, Chard and Shepton Mallet to ensure a consistent and safe service could be maintained across the county.
Opening hours are as follows:
- Burnham-on-Sea will continue to be open: Monday – Friday between 10am – 6pm (no weekend service).
- Chard will continue to be open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday between 8am and 9pm (closing on Wednesdays and Fridays when there is no X-ray service)
- Shepton Mallet will continue to be open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am and 4pm with the last patient to be booked in at 2:30pm (closing on Tuesday, Thursday and at the weekend)
It is intended that all the other MIUs at Bridgwater, Minehead, Frome and Glastonbury will be open as normal, 8am – 9pm, 7 days a week.
31.05.2023 Educational Exemption letter requests
From time to time we receive requests from pupils, parents and carers asking their GPs provide an educational exemption letter.
Examples of the requests we receive are listed below
· For face mask exemption
· To allow pupils to use toilet facilities during lesson time
· As evidence of dietary requirements / food intolerances
· To provide prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines
· To confirm COVID-19 diagnosis
· To confirm short-term sickness absence
· To provide sickness certification for students that that miss an exam or believe their performance was affected due to illness
· To be excused from lesson
It is not the responsibility or function of GPs to provide such letters. The examples above are all classed as non- NHS work therefore requests made for educational exemption letters are not the responsibility of general practice.
Our GPs will continue to ensure that the healthcare needs of their patients continue to be met in accordance with NHS and Government guidance.
This advice is issued from Somerset Local Medical Committee (LMC) as the official representative body of GPs across Somerset.
09.05.23 Information for patients changing gender
Please click here for useful information for patients changing their gender and the various health screening programmes that will still be applicable.
15.09.21 - Blood and Organ donation recording
There are changes coming soon in the way your preferences for Blood and Organ donation are being recorded. Historically, this information has been requested when you register at a new surgery and then the surgery would update the national records with your wishes.
From 1st November this is changing and patients need visit the websites listed below to record their preferences, there is also a telephone number you can call.
To record/update your wish to start or stop donating blood, please click on the link below:
Please note that the organ donation law in England has changed; all adults in England are now considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
To record/update your wishes to donate your organs and for more information about organ donation in general please click on the link below:
To call someone about either Blood or Organ donation please dial 0300 123 23 23
31.08.21 - Taking a Statin - Patient decision aid
The decision aid is intended to help you to make up your mind whether or not to take a statin to help reduce your risk of having a heart attack or developing angina (together called coronary heart disease or CHD), or of having a stroke. Your decision depends on several things that this information will help to explain. Different people will feel that some of these things are more important to them than others, so it is important that you make a decision that is right for you.
Please click on the link below to view information to help you make an informed decision regarding your options when taking a statin.
11.08.21 - Symptoms and Care of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) in Children
There has been an increase in RSV and other respiratory illness in children and many parents, especially new parents will be unfamiliar with managing unwell children and when to access help. A new app has been developed by Paediatric Consultants at Musgrove Park Hospital and has since been developed and approved by Paediatric Consultants at the RUH and launched in collaboration with BaNES Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Wiltshire CCG and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The HANDi App aims to give parents and carers more confidence in dealing with minor conditions at home.
It's easy to use as it takes the user through a series of questions about the symptoms their child is experiencing and then advises on the best course of action, whether that's to treat at home, make a GP appointment or to go to A&E.
Please click on the link below to visit the Royal Untied Hospital (RUH) website for further information on the app and links to download it to your smart phone:
17.02.21 - NHS Diabetes Advice Helpline
A temporary diabetes helpline has been launched in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHS Diabetes Advice helpline is intended to be available until mid-March 2021 and is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require clinical advice. Where routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for clinical advice to help patients understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.
Patients can access NHS Diabetes Advice helpline on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.
07.12.20 - Digital Tools for people with learning disabilities
Somerset ICB has successfully bid for funding from NHSX to fund three digital tools designed to provide support to people with learning disabilities. The tools are called BrainInHand, HearMeNow and MySense. There are link to each of these websites here:
The work will build on a number of pilot projects already in place in Somerset via our colleagues at Somerset County Council. These digital tools are designed to support wellbeing and improve our ability to deliver annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. We are also looking forward to developing other measures of success throughout the project lifespan with our partners at the Academic Health Science Network.
Allison Nation, Director- Digital Strategy, says "We are delighted to have secured this funding for Somerset, and are looking forward to working with the County Council, Primary Care, care home providers and many other sectors to improve the lives and wellbeing of our residents".
07.09.20 - Somerset Treatment Escalation Plans
Please click on the link below which takes you to the Somerset ICB website for more information on Treatment Escalation Plans (TEPs)
07.07.20 - My Diabetes My Way in Somerset
My Diabetes My Way Somerset is a website for people with diabetes and their carers. It contains information resources that can help you understand more about your diabetes and explains how you can more effectively manage the condition. In addition to this information, you can also access your diabetes records. Data are collected from your GP notes, hospital diabetes clinic records, eye screening service and laboratory blood tests.
People who use the service say that it improves their knowledge to help them meet goals, improves motivation to make improvements and acts as a reminder for discussions during appointments. The service is not a replacement for your normal care, but helps you to monitor your results before, during and after contacts with your healthcare team.
If you wish to find out more about the service before you register please email the My Diabetes My Way team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
30.06.20 - Type 1 Diabetic Patients read this
Please click on the link below for further information about the MyType1Diabetes online free education package which supports you to manage your Type1 Diabetes.
MyType1Diabetes, provided by MyWay Digital Health, includes tailored advice and educational resources created by NHS experts in diabetes and in association with people with diabetes.
Adults with Type 1 diabetes can use this platform to access lots of information about diabetes in different formats, including videos, leaflets and eLearning courses. The platform aims to support users to gain more understanding of their Type 1 diabetes and increase their confidence in how to manage it.
Norovirus – Diarrhoea and Vomiting?
The ‘winter vomiting bug’ can be very unpleasant but usually goes away in about two days.
Patient leaflets and guides
STOMP and STAMP
Stopping The Over-Medication of children and young People
Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics
The STOMP-STAMP family leaflet has been produced for families of children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both who may be prescribed (or are prescribed) psychotropic medication, to help them ask questions about their care and be more involved in discussion.Some examples of psychotropic drugs are; Risperidone/Rispadal, Aripipazole, Clopixol and Haloperadol.
Click on the link below to view the STOMP-STAMP leaflet:
Child Immunisations – Parent information leaflets
Somerset & Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA)
The SWEDA Support Group takes place on the first Wednesday of every month between 7.00pm & 8.30pm at our comfy meeting room in Shepton Mallet.
We have two qualified group facilitators, both with years of experience in eating disorders.
The next group will be on Wednesday 4th September at
The Coach House, Harvest Court, Park Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BS.
Please feel free to bring along a friend (they are welcome to join in the group or wait in our waiting area for you).
Our self-help group is user led, so in each session the discussion will vary depending on who is attending and what they are bringing to the session. You will always have an opportunity to discuss what is important to you. This will allow you to talk about things you might not be able to discuss with others. We are not here to judge you. You might just want to ask for information or for some advice. You may just need to off load (whatever is important and beneficial to you). We want to give you the feeling of empowerment, a sense of community, letting you know you are not alone. Our members have found this form of support helpful when used on a regular basis; there is no obligation to attend every month. It is completely up to you.
SWEDA has always recognised the value of peer support – people coming together to support one another, share their successes and challenges and to encourage each other along the journey to recovery.
We hope to see you there.
Have you been referred by your doctor for further treatment?
When you see your doctor they may refer you to see a specialist for further treatment. Please click on the link below to find out more about this process:
Travel to Hospital
If you have been referred for further treatment it is possible that you may have to attend a clinic at the hospital. Please use the link below to go to the Somerset ICB website to investigate your local Transport options. You can also check to see if you are eligible for free transport.
Slinky is an accessible bus service for people who can’t use conventional transport. Call them on 01749 880482.
Car schemes locally include the Mendip Community Transport Bookings: 01749 880613
Sepsis leaflet – what to look for if your child has a temperature and you are worried
When Should I Worry – a patient guide to coughs, colds, earache and sore throats
Large text, easy read and audio formats
Please click on this link below to visit the Easy Read leaflets website.
Robobraille converts documents into a variety of alternate formats for the visually and reading impaired. Click on the link below to visit their site.