Welcome to Temple Hill Group 

Your annual flu vaccination is now due

The flu vaccination is the best protection for you and those around you which is why it is offered for free for those most at risk. 

  • are 65 and over (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in a long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • frontline health or social care workers

Vaccinations started in September and continue over the winter months, with appointments available throughout the season (so there is still plenty of time to book). Priority is given to those who are most at risk of flu. GP practices and pharmacies receive phased deliveries of the vaccine and flu clinics are scheduled to coincide with these deliveries. 

By staggering appointments over the winter months, we can help protect as many people as possible from flu.

Please note that if you are aged between 50 and 64 and are not in a clinical at risk group, the earliest you will be offered a flu vaccination is November. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding and cooperation. If you are aged 50 to 64 and are in a clinical at risk group which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier. Please contact your GP practice for more information or visit your local community pharmacy.

If you are a household member or a carer of a shielded patient, you are eligible for the flu vaccination. Please contact your GP practice for more information or visit your local community pharmacy.

For parents/carers of two and three year olds, you should receive an invitation for your child to have the vaccination at their GP practice before the winter. If you haven’t heard by early November, contact the practice directly to make an appointment. 

For primary school-aged children and those in Year 7 at secondary school, a vaccination session will be held at school during the autumn term. Your local healthcare team will contact you via the school.

NHS APP

We would like to invite you to try the NHS App.  You can book and cancel appointments, check your test results and request your repeat medication. 

Soon you will be able to request advice without an appointment using eConsult.  Simply use the online consultation form to tell us about your symptoms.  A member of our practice will come back to you.  We might be able to give you the help and advice you need, without you having to phone or come into the practice. 

This will help end long waiting times on the telephone and most importantly it is really useful during the Covid-19 outbreak, as it helps keep our patients and staff safe by reducing the risk of infection. 

We will be providing this service using eConsult and the service is quick, convenient, safe and secure.  So get prepared now for eConsult and sign up to the NHS App.

Find out more and download the NHS App here:  www.nhs.uk/app

Cervical Screening Campaign

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a significant impact on cervical cancer mortality since it was established in 1988, saving an estimated 5,000 lives a year.

However, coverage is at a 20-year low.  The national target for cervical screening coverage is 80% with coverage at its lowest amongst those aged 25 – 35.

To help address this issue, Temple Hill Group is launching a Cervical Screening Campaign.  As well as offering appointment throughout the week we will be improving our access to cervical screening by holding a clinic every Saturday between 08:00 - 13:00.  

Cervical Screening Can Stop Cancer Before It Starts

Don’t Delay Book Your Appointment Today.

Everything you need to know about cervical screening:

Cervical screening, or the “smear test”, is a routine health check that identifies potentially harmful cells and changes on the cervix. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but catching any changes early can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills two women every day. Regular screenings can help reduce that number, which is why it’s so important you attend your screening when invited.

Our nurses are trained to do all they can to put you at ease during your appointment and are on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have. However, whether you attend your screening or not, is ultimately your choice.

If you do have questions or are unable to make your screening during working hours, please call us we as we are able to book a weekend appointment for you.

If you’re due to have a cervical screening, you’ll receive an invite letter/sms text message from the practice.   Don’t ignore it, book your cervical screening here today.

If you missed your previous appointment or are unsure if you are due a screening, please contact us and we will book you an appointment if you’re due.

Cervical screening, or the “smear test”, is a routine health check that identifies potentially harmful cells and changes on the cervix. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer but catching any changes early can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills two women every day. Regular screenings can help reduce that number, which is why it’s so important you attend your screening when invited.

Our nurses are trained to do all they can to put you at ease during your appointment and are on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have. However, whether you attend your screening or not, is ultimately your choice.

If you do have questions or are unable to make your screening during working hours, please call us we as we are able to book a weekend appointment for you.

If you’re due to have a cervical screening, you’ll receive an invite letter/sms text message from the practice.   Don’t ignore it, book your cervical screening here today.

If you missed your previous appointment or are unsure if you are due a screening, please contact us and we will book you an appointment if you’re due.

Coronavirus (COVID‑19)

For your safety and ours we ask that all patients wear a face covering when attending any of our sites for any reason. 

These measures are vital if we are to protect patients, the NHS workforce and the nation’s health.   Thank you.

FACE COVERINGS

The Government have said some people have a legitimate reason not to follow the face covering rule. This is called an exemption.  Please follow link for more information:-  www.keepsafe.org.uk/mask

 

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Patients are advised that the walk-in GP service at White Horse, Northfleet, ended on 30 June 2020. This is the first step towards implementing a linked urgent treatment centre at Gravesham Community Hospital and Darent Valley Hospital, following a public consultation last year, in line with the Government’s Long Term Plan. In taking that decision, it was also agreed at that time that the contract held with Fleet Healthcare to provide the walk-in GP service would not be extended when it expired on 30 June 2020.

An open letter to our registered patients - Update on planning for our new medical centre

  

Before we update you on our planning for a new medical centre, we would like to thank you, our patients, for your understanding of the necessary changes we’ve had to make over the last few months because of the coronavirus pandemic and for your on-going observation of the social distancing and infection prevention control measures we have in place.

 

Late last year, we, together with Swanscombe and Bean Partnership were given the go-ahead by the former NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group* to work up proposals for a new medical centre on land south of Steele Avenue, in Greenhithe, which is owned by Kent County Council (KCC).

 

The need for a new medical centre in this area is well known and a number of sites have been considered over many years by your GP practices. None have proved viable options, with the most recent site we were considering over a year ago being in Stone, known as the Stone Pit 1/Horn Cross site.

 

Our proposal will bring together our three branch surgeries on one site. The branch surgeries being:

 

  • Greenhithe Surgery (32 London Road)
  • Ivy Bower Surgery (7 Ivy Bower Close)
  • Elmdene Surgery (273 London Road).

 

We have sought the views of patients over the years on proposals for a new medical centre and, we will again, when we reach the appropriate point in the process, be engaging with our patients on the scheme currently being worked up with KCC.

 

We’ll update you on how you can get involved and share your views as soon as we are able.

 

Closure of GP walk-in service at White Horse

Patients who need to urgently see a GP should contact us and we will do our best to offer an on-the-day appointment if clinically needed. You may be asked to visit another local surgery for your appointment. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 for advice and direction to the nearest available service where appropriate.

The Miinor Injury Unit at Gravesham Community Hospital, Gravesend, remains open for urgent minor injuries and some minor illnesses. For life-threatening conditions, call 999.

Further information is available on the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group website.

Telephones

We are aware that some patients are experiencing difficulty getting through on the telephone to our Temple Hill Practice.  We would like to make you aware that you can telephone any one of the following numbers and the receptionist will assist you.

01474 855000

01322 382181

01322 226090

 

Extra GP appointments available

Local GP practices including Temple Hill Group are working together to offer patients better access to GP appointments in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.

This means patients will be able to book an appointment to see a GP, practice nurse, or other health professional from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. These extra appointments are available at a number of practices in the local area.

All patients registered with a GP in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley can access these routine appointments which are bookable in advance. You can call this surgery to book them on our usual number 01322 226090, 01322 382181 or 01474 855000.

Patients should continue to access urgent GP appointments in the way they have been – eg through this GP practice for an on the day urgent appointment, or the out-of-hours GP service which can be accessed when this practice is closed by calling 111.

Temple Hill Group will also be offering extra appointments on Saturday mornings.

Please ring NHS 111 as usual if you need medical assistance when we are closed and it cannot wait until we reopen.

Find out more about how we are improving access for you https://www.dartfordgraveshamswanleyccg.nhs.uk/


WE ARE AWARE OF LARGE MEASLES OUTBREAKS IN THE UK, EUROPE, THE USA AND OTHER COUNTRIES DON’T LET YOUR CHILD CATCH MEASLES GET THEM VACCINATED WITH THE MMR VACCINE

The link below is to the MMR leaflet, answering some common questions about measles and the benefits of the MMR vaccine: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mmr-for-all-general-leaflet

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

Opening Times

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

Repeat Prescriptions

Prescription Ordering Direct

A convenient repeat prescription ordering service.

Over the phone: CALL 0300 131 1100 between 9am and 5pm Monday - Friday Excluding Bank Holidays.

With the free mobile app: DOWNLOAD Healthera  Available 24/7

TELEPHONE SYSTEM

To help with the long waiting times on your telephone calls being answered we have had our telephone system reprogrammed to allow all of our 3 surgeries to answer incoming calls.  The reception staff will ask you what surgery you would like to be seen at to make sure your appointment is at the surgery of your choice. 

SMS Text Messaging

You will be sent two reminders about your booked appointments with the opportunity to text back CANCEL if this is no longer required.  If you do not wish to receive appointment reminders please contact the surgery and ask to opt out of SMS text messages.  We would encourage you to use this system as it will reduce the amount of wasted appointments which cost the NHS vast amounts of money each year.  Thank you for your cooperation. 

Named Accountable GP

From 1st April 2015 the GP Contract, held with NHS England, requires GP practices to allocate a Named GP to every patient.

This is to inform you that Temple Hill Surgery has met this requirement and all patients have been allocated a Named GP.If you wish to know who your Named GP is please contact Reception.PLEASE NOTE: There is no requirement for you to see your Named GP, you can still choose to see any Doctor or Nurse in the practice.Training Practice

We would like our patients to know that we are a training practice. This means that the surgery will be involved in hosting and training fully qualified hospital doctors seeking to gain experience in General Practice. You may be offered an appointment with one of these doctors or see them sitting in with our regular clinicians. Although gaining General Practice experience, you can expect the same quality of care as you would normally. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Emergency Dental Treatment

Doctors are no longer permitted to treat dental problems.  If you feel you require antibiotics you should contact your own dentist or the Out of Hours Service on 01634 890300.

Message to Female Patients

It is important that you attend for regular Cervical Smears.  If you have received a letter inviting you to make an appointment, please do so as soon as possible.

Friends & Family Test

In line with all other surgeries we are required by NHS England to ask patients to take part in a Friends & Family Test survey each time they contact the surgery.  Please speak to the receptionist who will be happy to supply you with the test.

Patient Participation Group

This Practice is committed to improving the services we provide to our patients.  To do this, it is vital that we hear from people about their experiences, views and ideas for making services better.  By expressing your interest, you will be helping us to plan ways of involving patients that suit you.  It will also mean we can keep you informed of opportunities to give your views and up to date with developments within the Practice. Please let us know if you are interested in becoming involved in the Practice Patient Participation Group.

Why we may be running late

We understand that when the Doctor or Nurse runs late it can be very frustrating and here at Temple Hill Group we understand.

The most common reason for running late is that several patients have come with either very complex or multiple problems. Remember 10 minutes is all that is allocated and only one problem is realistic in that time frame. We are dealing with complex human beings who we are trying to do our best for – you are one of them!

Urgent extras happen every single day and need to be seen – these are squeezed into a non-existent time between appointments.

Urgent house calls are sometimes needed and can be in the middle of a booked surgery. These often take a minimum of 30 minutes and disrupt the appointments.

We receive urgent phone calls throughout the day, either from patients, relatives, hospital doctors, district nurses, pharmacists, laboratories or care homes. Again these take time.

We are often in the position of breaking bad news to some of you. Maybe even the worst news of all. If that person was you, would you want us to get you out the door as quick as possible, when your world is falling apart.

We do not just stop seeing patients because all of the appointments are full. Every single day each doctor and nurse sees multiple extra patients with no appointments and this often means that they are late home to spend time with their own family.

For appointments and prescriptions please use the Online Services link above. Alternatively, just click here.
 
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