To all of our patients, families and supporters, a very warm welcome to the Willow Practice’s Spring Newsletter in which we report on a mixture of sad news, but also exciting developments.
In January, Dr Geoffrey Baum, the Uncle of Dr Mandy Baum, died of Covid at the age of 92 years. He was a GP in Hounslow since the 1959, moving into Maswell Park Health Centre in 1970s. He shall be fondly remembered for his commitment to patients’ care and wellbeing. He delivered many of our current patients and he set very high standards which the current GPs all aspire to.
Dr Mandy Baum joined him on 1st April 1996, later naming the practice “Willow Practice”. She has therefore been here for exactly 25 years.
As we pass the anniversary of the first COVID lockdown, please accept our most-sincere gratitude for the overriding support and understanding that you have given ‘Team Willow’ during these unprecedentedly challenging times. Our patients, along with the rest of the nation have been subject to additional stresses and concerns, both physical and mental, leading to busier phone lines and additional strain upon the practice resources on top of managing COVID vaccinations.
Due your understanding as well as additional online and telephone options and the commitment of all the doctors and staff we have been able to deliver a standard of care comparable to pre-pandemic times of which we are very proud.
To offer yet more availability and capacity for the future we are delighted to announce that we have gone live with a collaboration with “Push Doctor”. They are an organisation of off-site GPs who offer video consultations. It will be as if you are talking to a locum GP on site. This should help take the pressure off the phone lines and appointments. If you have a smart phone, please try out this new service, particularly for new medical complaints or minor concerns or if you should require medical assistance outside of the Practice’s opening hours. They have appointments from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday.
In order to set up an account and book an appointment, please visit www.pushdoctor.co.uk
Please be assured that we are still here for the vast majority of consultations and certainly to help you manage your chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
If you require non-urgent appointments from Willow Practice, you may also use eConsult (which can also be found via our website from the blue box entitled “Contact your doctor online”)
For other (non-appointment related) requests you may email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow at least a full working day to get a response as we are getting very large volumes of emails in our efforts to help reduce volume of calls.
We hope we’ll be able to offer shorter phone waiting times as we are delighted that our previously shielding staff will be returning and we’ve also recruited new staff to improve our access. Thank you again for bearing with us during this unprecedented year.
Advice is also available on the NHS website or you can speak to your local pharmacist.
Online advise from 111 is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for urgent health advice or by calling 111, and 999 is for emergencies.
We ARE doing face to face consultations but the GPs are still speaking to patients in the first instance. Nurse appointments can be booked via reception.
Covid vaccinations are going extremely well with Willow hitting some of the highest targets very early on. Dr Roy has been involved in the local delivery and so hasn’t been around as much at the practice. It’s been an incredibly complex process with constantly changing vaccine delivery numbers and dates but we have been very excited to have been so involved. Thank you to you all for being patient whilst awaiting your invites and booking online whenever possible. We are only involved with booking our aged 50 years +, care home and other residential units, carers and those at clinical risk.
You WILL get invited for your 2nd dose, at around 11 weeks, so please don’t contact us before if you’ve not yet been invited.
If you’ve not had a text message or don’t know how to book, then please email. It’s also helpful for us if you “decline” the invitation if you have booked elsewhere or don’t currently want a vaccine. However, we would very much like the opportunity to discuss concerns with you if you are worried about having your vaccine. Please email or phone and we’ll arrange for a Nurse or GP to phone to discuss.
For those under 50 years old, with no other conditions, you shall be receiving your invites from your local mass vaccination sites in due course or book here when it’s announced in the news.
Please help us to keep the phone lines available to other patients by not calling the Practice to discuss COVID vaccinations, if you have specific queries/ concerns please feel free to email us at email@example.com
To further help our reception staff prioritise answering phones and emails, please request your repeat medication online if you have the ability to do so. All the paper requests are converted into online requests by our staff, wasting hours of time every week. Please download and follow the directions for identity confirmation on the NHS App or use the Airmid App (you’ll need to use the NHS login to access or get login details by request). If you can’t do this, is there a relative that could request on your behalf?
With the additional stresses that everyone is facing at the moment, there are many online support options. Hounslow IAPT have lots of resources and self referral links. Also Good Thinking and NHS mental health page are excellent places to look for information and quizzes. However, please always contact us if struggling. You can complete a Depression E-Consult or a Anxiety E-Consult before if you wish. Please click here if you need urgent help.
Many of us have gained weight during lockdown or given up on all those New Year Resolutions! As we enter the warmer months (hopefully) you can access advice to improve your health and increase your exercise and help you lose weight at One You Hounslow site or on the “NHS live well”.
Please be assured that everyone at the Willow Practice is, as ever ready to support you in all aspects of physical, mental and lifestyle so please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We wish you a safe and happier new season as restrictions ease and the weather hopefully improves.
Thank you again and our very best wishes,
ps if you’d like to suggest useful topics for future topics for newsletters, don’t hesitate to let us know. If you’ve appreciated this update and the work we do, we’re always delighted to see nice reviews on Google and/or NHS Choices!