Welcome to the Blake House Surgery Website
Our aim is to provide friendly, personal health care which combines the traditional values of General Practice with evidence based modern medicine, and we welcome new patients to the surgery.
If you wish to register you can do so on-line, or by calling into the surgery and completing the appropriate forms. All new patients will be invited to attend a new patient check with the Practice Nurse.
You can find out information about medical conditions and diseases through our patient information leaflets as well as keep up to date with all the latest practice news and developments.
We are always looking to improve our services so please fill in our patient survey or leave some feedback on our Contact details page or our Facebook page.
Show some respect - Mask up - Save life's
Rainbow mask challenge. Make your mask & wear it for Thursday doorstep challenge. Help keep your community safe.
See our facebook page for more information.
Tuesday 12th May - Today is International Nurses Day and an opportunity for us to publicly recognise our own fantastic nurses, Lynn and Sally, who have dedicated years of loyal service to the patients of Blake House Surgery.
A visit to the nurse is more than just a long-term condition review, a blood test, a dressing change, an ECG, an ear syringe and so on. It is a meeting of togetherness and support with a confidant, a listener, an advocate, and often a friend. This is a highly skilled and multi-faceted role delivered with a smile and ease and I am sure you will all join me in saying a heart-felt “THANK YOU!” to our wonderful nurse team.
Some information from our Social Prescriber you may find useful:-
APRIl 6th PCN Coronavirus info sheet to patients.pdf
Mental Health Support Services
Whether you are socially isolating, socially distancing or socially shielding, if you are a sat-at-home seamstress then your community needs you! We are putting out an urgent appeal for handmade masks for our dedicated Care Home staff who have not got the basic mask PPE to wear throughout their day. Masks protect us all. Please help if you can and contact us at Blake House with any donation you can offer.
The links to patterns are below. Thank you, wonderful people, for helping at this most challenging time.
Keep calm, stay at home and carry on sewing!
Instructions for making masks
Printable instructions for making the masks
washing instruction labels
Printable washing instructions with inspirational messages and #masks4all slogan on page 2 - please print off in duplex/back to back if you'd like to use.
To all residents in Black Torrington, why not join the surgery staff in a masked doorstep/street dance at 1.30pm tomorrow Thursday 9th April. Pattern for masks above if you'd like to make your own or improvise with a scarf or bandana etc. Stay safe everyone!!
Update: Please can everyone wear a mask for the doorstep/street dancing on Thursday at 1.30pm. It may go on Spotlight and if you're happy to participate this will, of course, aid our appeal for masks to help our local Care Homes.
Please wear a face mask if out and about shopping, exercising in addition to social distancing and hand washing etc.
Wash immediately you get home at 60° or above and air dry. Wash your hands immediately after handling a worn mask. Wash your hands before handling a freshly laundered mask.
Colleagues have been making facemasks for fellow staff members to wear for personal use whilst out and about, during exercise, shopping etc.
If you would like to have a go at making your own, here a couple of options to try amongst many:
http://masks4all.co.uk/index.html - click on start making masks for pattern and instructions.
STAY HOME ~ STAY WELL ~ STAY SAFE
Marie Stopes for Termination of Pregnancy:
Did you know that you can self refer to Marie Stopes by calling their confidential telephone line One Call 0345 450 3964 which is fully operational day or night, 7 days a week. You do not need to see your GP to access this support service. Please see their website for further information - Mariestopes.org.uk
CORONAVIRUS (NOVEL COVID-19)
Thank you everyone for your continued commitment to the surgery’s proactive steps to delay the spread of Coronavirus in our community.
Update - 2nd April 2020
Emergency Weekend Telephone Clinics
As of the beginning of April we are starting a 7 day a week service with weekend GP telephone clinics for Emergencies Only between 9am – 1pm and 5 – 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Please call 01837 682803 during these times to speak to one of our GPs.
This is to help support our patients and to help stop our Out of Hours services becoming overwhelmed
As of Wednesday 25th March the surgery will move to a skeleton staffing regime. This is to protect the staff and community as much as we can.
Staff are wearing masks to help stop the risk of infection.
Please note that if you are required to attend the surgery, only the patient will be allowed into the building and you will be asked to wear a mask.
We are experiencing a very high demand of medicine requests and need to be able to prioritise these in the interests of patient safety. These may take longer than 3 days to process.
These are unprecedented times for Blake House Surgery and we are responding as quickly and as best as we know how.
The information board outside the surgery has all the new surgery guidelines.
Thank you https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Please see updated guidance on Ibuprofen - 18/3/2020
What is the latest?
The current advice (letter from Professor Stephen Powls, Medical Director NHSE) says:
- Unpublished data from France, which the UK authorities have not seen, has led to the French Health minister advising against the use of ibuprofen.
- There is no current published evidence that NSAIDs have an impact o COVID-19.
However, the NICE/Committee of Human Medicines (an advisory body of the (HRA) have been asked to review the evidence.
- In the meantime, those with/suspected to have COVID-19 should use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs.
- Those on NSAIDs for other medical reasons (e.g. arthritis) should not stop them.
Patients who have not been regularly taking inhalers in the past year or more, please do not ask for these 'just in case' prescriptions now. We are experiencing a very high demand of medicine requests and need to be able to prioritise these in the interest of patient safety.
Thank you for your co operation at this time.
The spread of the virus is set to exponentially rise in the coming weeks and we all must take immediate precautionary steps to stop people we know and love from contracting the virus and becoming seriously unwell as a result. We know that the risk of contracting the virus is far higher than that of seasonal flu and the risk of serious complications from the virus is also significantly higher. Our hospitals will soon be overwhelmed with the demand on care for those patients requiring intensive treatment and we urge everyone to start their own social distancing strategies immediately to delay the viral spread.
You may be aware that our very own Dr Finola O’Neill appeared on BBC Spotlight on Friday evening during her own period of self-isolation after she came down with flu-like symptoms. We praise the speed of her containment at home and thanks to the contingency plans that we had already put in place at the surgery, Dr O’Neill has been able to work remotely to support our telephone triage service. We wish her a very speedy recovery.
Please be aware that our front doors are now closed for open access.
At the surgery we have moved to an entirely telephone-based system of appointments. If you need to speak to a GP on the day then you will automatically be given a telephone appointment and be called back between 9am-midday, 3pm to 5pm. If your call is urgent then please make this clear when you speak to our reception team.
Routine telephone appointments can still be made to review ongoing issues, such as X-ray results, blood test results, medicines reviews, outcomes from hospital / speciality appointments, general enquiries etc. These are held Tuesdays 2-4pm and Thursdays 2-4pm. There is an Immunisation clinic on a Wednesday 2-4 pm for baby vaccinations. We are still able to make referrals into hospital and physiotherapy clinics but please be mindful that these may be subject to prolonged waiting times for routine care as the clinical situation with Coronavirus evolves.
Other ways to contact us: 1. Using the E-consult form (*found on our website) for non-urgent enquiries. The form is easy to use and will guide you through a standard set of questions to ensure that you are using this option appropriately. 2. Why don’t you email us any relevant pictures of non-urgent rashes/ eye problems/ skin infections/ lumps and bumps and so forth to the surgery email address? This will help you make the most of your telephone appointment.
For medicine collection please use the front reception window – it is clearly signposted. If you have an appointment, then please check-in at the reception window (giving a description of your car) and wait in your car until you are called by a member of staff.
I would like to draw your attention to our accompanying FAQs which should answer most of your questions on this topic and are based on the best available evidence at this time.
Further supporting guidance may also be found via the online 111 website (https://111.nhs.uk/), gov.uk website, NHS website, or the NHS app.
If you are self-isolating because you, or a household member has symptoms which could be Coronavirus, then please see our FAQs for guidance and support.
Please can I ask you all to take the time to think about those vulnerable and elderly people close-by in your neighbourhood which are isolated, lonely and most at risk during this outbreak.
Think about ways you might be able to reach out and help people - this may be by offering to bring shopping, offering to be a telephone contact or give a 2 minute call every day to check in and give reassurance, you might be able to pick up/ drop off medicines to them, perhaps you could help them use the E-consult option or surgery email option, could you help people with access to their online surgery accounts?
Would you be interested in being a telephone buddy for somebody else? Then let us know and we will match you up with somebody local in our community. This way you can offer each other companionship and support.
Don’t forget that our Social Prescriber is available for phone consultations alternate Tuesday afternoons and can help direct you during this outbreak.
ALL OF OUR STAFF AT BLAKE HOUSE ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO ENSURING EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE DELIVERY AND PATIENT CARE DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
PLEASE WORK ALONGSIDE US AND SUPPORT THE CHANGES WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY.
YOUR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME
PLEASE SPEAK TO US, EMAIL US, WRITE TO US
OR USE THE NHS FRIENDS AND FAMILY TEST (www.nhs.uk)
CORONAVIRUS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- Isn’t the Coronavirus the same as seasonal flu?
- No, this is not just the flu. Coronavirus is much more infectious and spreads much faster than seasonal flu.
- Flu has a death rate of 0.1%. The World Health Organisation quotes 3.4% as the fatality rate from Coronavirus.
- An estimated 15-20% individuals infected with Coronavirus will suffer from severe symptoms that require medical attention, including pneumonia with shortness of breath and low blood oxygen levels.
- What are the chances I will get seriously ill if I get Coronavirus?
- If you are < 60 years old and in relatively good health, the chances of death or severe complication is low. According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged:
- 50-59 are 13x more likely to die from Coronavirus infection;
- 60-69 are 36x more likely to die from Coronavirus infection;
- 70-79 are 80x more likely to die from Coronavirus infection;
- 80+ are 148x more likely to die from Coronavirus infection.
- If you have a weakened immune system, the risk is also higher.
- How do I catch Coronavirus?
- The virus is spread from person-to-person through infected respiratory droplets. If a person does not cover their nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing they can spray the virus into the air, onto other people’s clothes or skin, or onto surfaces.
- The virus can also be carried on people’s hands and transmitted from person-to-person when you come to touch each other, e.g. shaking hands, on clothing, or on contaminated surfaces.
- Experts do not know exactly how long the virus can live on surfaces and this range can be anything from several hours to several days.
- What can I do to limit the chance of me catching the virus?
- Stand back: Stand at least 3 feet / 1 metre away from people who are coughing and sneezing, or if you are in a queue.
- Wash your hands regularly: You should wash your hands regularly with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds – this is the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser: This needs to be at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
- Avoid touching your face: You can transmit the virus from your skin to your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Avoid shaking hands: Use alternative methods of greeting – elbow bumps, prayer hands, salutes, or whatever feels most comfortable for you.
- Keep surfaces clean if you think they may be contaminated
- Stay home: Staying away from groups of people may help you avoid being exposed.
- If I have got the virus, how long does it take for symptoms to show?
- Symptoms take roughly 2-14 days to show up. The chances of passing on the virus if you do not have any symptoms is thought to be very low at this time, but it is still vital that you limit your public activities to those that are essential to lower the chance of contracting or passing the virus on.
- What symptoms am I looking out for?
- Cough – this tends to be a dry and persistent cough
- Fever – a temperature of 37.7oC or above. If you do not have a thermometer at home, you may feel hot or have a flushed face, or you may have chills in your body.
- Body aches and pains and feeling generally unwell – although take note, this symptom may not be as frequent with coronavirus as seen with a flu-like illness.
- What should I do if I have any of these symptoms?
- You should immediately self-isolate at home for at least 7 days.
- You should take plenty of warm fluids and simple medicines, such as Paracetamol to help control fever and relieve body aches and pains.
- If you develop shortness of breath, difficulty catching your breath, chest pains, or are breathing at a fast rate then you should call 111.
- How long should I self-isolate for if I have cough and/or fever?
- You should self-isolate for 7 days, or longer if you continue to feel unwell.
- What should I do if one member of my household has symptoms? Do we all need to isolate?
- There is imminent guidance that all household members should self-isolate for 7 days if any member in the house is symptomatic. Please be alert for this!!!
- What about my shopping?
- Try contacting family or friends to help with shopping delivery.
- Family or friends can also help you with ordering online shopping.
- You may wish to consider contacting a meals provider to deliver your meals e.g. Wiltshire Farm Foods
- Our Social Prescriber can help guide you through online grocery shopping if you have not used this service before. Please contact the surgery about this.
- I am supposed to be going to a social event / party / gathering – should I go?
- The only way to slow the spread of the virus is to limit your exposure to other people which may have the virus. This means putting a halt on your proposed social gatherings. You can always consider these again at a later date.
- I am due to go on holiday. Will I be able to go? Should I go?The Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice is constantly under review. The advice is against travel to some countries unless essential. Further information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
- Before you travel:
- Check the travel advice on the gov.uk website
- Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance
- Check with your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers for any coronavirus-related changes
- Plan ahead for any potential disruption to your travel
If you are older, or if you have pre-existing medical conditions *e.g asthma, diabetes, heart disease, you are more likely to become severely ill if you catch the virus. Consider whether travel at this time is the right choice for you. Check the NHS guidance before you travel.
Shebbear Shop Medication Collections
A reminder to our patients who live in and around Shebbear.
If you would like to collect your medications from Shebbear Shop, you will need to contact the surgery on 01409 231628 to register for this service.
NHS Patient Survey on Improved Access
The NHS are keen to seek the views of local people about how they can further improve access to GP appointments. Since the service was launched nationally in October 2018, they are now keen to find out people’s views on these hours and if they are in the most appropriate locations.
We have prepared a short and confidential survey to gather views that will take no more than 5 minutes to complete. It will give patients the opportunity to tell us about when they would like to be able to access GP appointments and where they would be willing to travel to access them.
You can now book appointments to see a GP or Practice Nurse in the evenings or at the weekend from 8am to 8pm. Contact us on 01409 231628 to find out more.
Early morning, evening and weekend appointments
now available for North Devon Patients
As you may have heard, nationally GPs are being asked to offer their patients appointments outside of normal hours. The aim of the GP Improved Access Service is to make it easier for people to get an appointment at a time that suits them. This includes early morning, evening and weekend appointments.
In North Devon, a collaboration of local GPs have come together to provide this service for North Devon patients.
This new scheme is an extension of the usual GP practice services that patients across North Devon will be used to – it is not a walk-in or urgent service. Patients will still need to contact their practices directly to make an appointment.
When using the Improved Access Service, patients might not be able to see their usual GP or Practice Nurse and may have to attend a different GP surgery. If that is the case, the clinician they see will be from another GP practice in North Devon.
The practices involved in delivering this service across North Devon are:
Bideford Medical Centre, Bideford.
Wooda Surgery, Bideford.
Northam Surgery, Northam.
Brannam Medical Centre, Barnstaple.
Castle Gardens Surgery, Torrington.
Torrington Health Centre, Torrington.
Black Torrington Surgery, Black Torrington.
Hartland Surgery, Hartland.
Community Pharmacists based in Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe will also be offering additional appointments for North Devon patients.
From 1st October 2018, patients will be able to book face to face or telephone appointments at one or more of these surgeries to see or speak to either a GP or Practice Nurse or other health professional in the evenings or at weekends from:
08.00am to 08.30am - Monday to Friday
18.00pm to 20.00pm – Monday to Friday
09.00am to 12.30pm - Saturday
09.00am to 12.00pm - Sunday
If you are seeing a Doctor or Nurse in a surgery that is not your usual surgery, we will ask your consent for the Doctor or nurse to see your clinical records. Your records will not be accessed without your permission. This will enable your usual Doctor to see what investigations and treatments you have had.
To arrange an early morning, evening or weekend appointment, speak to the practice receptionist or member of the practice team or call the practice on 01409 231628.
Further information can be found at http://ndgp.co.uk/
Please continue to contact your surgery in the usual way during normal hours.
(Site updated 18/05/2020)