I would like to update you on developments in Alnwick Medical Group through the last four months.
It was obviously a major undertaking to merge Infirmary Drive Medical Group and The Bondgate Practice and much credit should be given to all staff members who have worked extremely hard to consider the many aspects of how the practices worked previously and how they should work following the merger.

This involved considering how and where different aspects of care would occur, how background administration functions should work, how telephone system and answering should be structured, how prescription systems should work and virtually every other aspect of how care is delivered.
This has been a massive task and a real challenge to achieve whilst faced with the daily needs of all our patients. I would like to thank you all for being patient with us. It is important to remember that providing the best care that we can is our prime objective and that we are continuing to review how we are doing and continuing to improve things on a weekly basis.

There are many ways which you could help us during this transition which I would be grateful if you would consider:
1. If possible try to avoid contacting the surgery at peak times such as 8am to 9am in the morning (unless you have an urgent concern).

2. If you have a new medical problem consider if the community pharmacist would be able to offer advice or if you need medication for a minor ailment consider if you can buy this without a prescription.

3. If you do feel that you need help from the surgery and it is a new problem please be prepared to give some brief details to allow us to prioritise your call and perhaps direct you to the most appropriate person. However, if you feel unable to give details please feel free to let the receptionist know this and your privacy will be respected.

4. Consider requesting an appointment with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who will be able to prescribe medication and review many acute and new problems.

4. Home visits are possible but should only be required for housebound or those too poorly to attend but where an emergency ambulance is not required. Please request a home visit by no later than 10.30am.

5. If you have access to the internet, we can register you for online services to book appointments online and request repeat medication. Please see a receptionist for more information and to be registered.

5. Finally if you have an ongoing problem it is very important whenever possible to approach the doctor or practitioner who has already dealt with your problem before. This may mean waiting for the next time that person is available if your problem is not urgent. Continuity of care is a major factor in keeping the quality of care which we provide to a high standard.

Many thanks for your help and please let us know if we can do anything else to help.

Dr Graham Syers, on behalf of Alnwick Medical Group