Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - April 2018
Bowel cancer screening saves lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test in the post complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.
We can all raise awareness of bowel cancer screening this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.
- Over 60? (or in Scotland and over 50?), take the test when you receive it in the post.
- If you are younger, tell the people over 60 (or over 50 in Scotland) in your life, to take the test.
Why is screening so important
Screening can detect bowel cancer early before any symptoms appear, when it is easier to treat. It can also prevent bowel cancer from developing in the first place by picking up non-cancerous growths (polyps) which could become cancerous in the future.
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer however, this drops significantly as the disease develops. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early and early diagnosis saves lives.
How does screening work
If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 (50-74 in Scotland), you will receive a free NHS bowel cancer screening test in the post every two years.
You have to collect three samples of your poo, over a maximum of two weeks (10 days in Scotland), and send it back in the hygienically-sealed freepost envelope provided. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with clear step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.
You usually get the results of your test in about two weeks.
Most people have a normal result. If this happens, you will receive a test again in two years but see your GP if you have any symptoms in the meantime.
If the results aren’t clear, you might be asked to do the test again.
If blood is found in your poo sample, you will be offered more tests to take a closer look at what might be causing this. This doesn’t mean you definitely have cancer as it could be as a result of a non-cancerous polyp or another health problem. But it is definitely worth investigating. If it is cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed the quicker it can be treated and the greater the chance of survival.
Whatever your age, if you have any symptoms you are worried about, speak to your GP.
If you have any questions or are over 75 and would like to request a kit, contact your local screening programme:
For more detailed information about screening visit our screening page
GP Extended Access Service
Stevenage Locality are looking at the best way to provide a new GP Extended Access Service to patients in Stevenage.
If you would like to have your say as to how this service is set up and run, please click on the link below to complete a short survey online:-
If you do not have access to the internet, require the survey in an alternative format (such as easy read), or require support in completing the survey, please:-
Please note: this survey will be available to complete up until the 20th April 2018
Dr. Holt Relocation
Dr. Holt will sadly be leaving the practice on the 31st March 2018 as she is relocating with her family to the coast. We will all miss her at the practice but wish her and her family the very best of luck on their relocation.
Dr. Holt wanted to write a personal message to her patients, which is detailed below:-
I thought I should let you know that I will be leaving Bedwell Medical Centre sometime in the summer of 2018.
My husband (who is also a GP in Hitchin) has reached retirement age and has decided to stop working. Our family is grown and will have left home, so we are taking the opportunity to move closer to the coast and start a new chapter in our lives.
It has been an absolute pleasure working with you all and I have greatly enjoyed my time here. I will miss you a great deal.
One final favour. I would ask that people please do not use appointment time to reminisce or say goodbye. I struggle to run to time dealing with the medical problems brought in by patients within the 10 minute time slots that I have. It is not unusual for me to run late. Adding in extra delay, however well-meant, is not fair to the people with appointments booked later on in the surgery.
Instead I have put a book behind reception at Bedwell Medical Centre. If you have a message or a goodbye you wish to leave for me please ask a member of the reception team at Bedwell and they will find the book so you can write it down for me.
If you are at Roebuck surgery and can't get to Bedwell the reception team at Roebuck have some sticky labels that you can write on, which can be stuck into the book later on.
I wish you all the very best for the future. I have met some of the strongest and most courageous people I have ever known working here. Keep up the good work!
Online Services - Sign Up Today
If you are not yet registered for online services, ask at Reception today for information on how to gain access.
Once signed up you will be able to enjoy the benefits of booking and cancelling appointments, ordering repeat medication and much, much more.
We would love to hear what you have to say about us, whether it is regarding the services we provide for you, about our staff, the care you have received or our facilities etc.
- if you feel we have done something particularly well for you
- if you feel you have received good or exceptional care from one (or more) of our staff members
- if you feel that we have assisted you in any enquiry you may have had
please go to NHS Choices website, click on link below, and leave us a review
Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service
The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), the new care taker provider of non-urgent patient transport services, is putting in place new arrangements to provide transport services in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Luton.
All patients who are eligible for patient transport, and have transport booked for their next out-patient appointment, should call EEAST’s contact centre on 01603 481 208 (this number is operational from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday) to confirm their transport arrangements. Eligible patients should also use this number for making bookings.
They are trying to encourage those patients who are able to make their own way to their appointments to do so if possible.
'Fit to Fly'
Please be advised that if you require a 'Fit to Fly' letter from your GP, you will need to put this request in writing and send it into the practice.
We then have 14 days, from receipt of this letter, in which to respond to your request.
As this is classified as 'non-NHS' work, there is a charge of £25.00 which is payable upon collection of the letter.
Integrated Urgent Care Service - NHS 111
From the 29th June 2017 patients calling NHS 111 will be able to speak to a much wider range of clinicians than before. So as well as GPs, there will be nurse prescribers, dentists and pharmacists present in the contact centre to give advice.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Call NHS 111 if:-
- You need medical help fast but it's not an emergency
- You don't have a GP
- You need access a GP but your surgery is closed
- You don't know who to call
- You need health information or reassurance about what to do next
When you call NHS 111, a team of fully trained healthcare advisors supported by clinical advisors are there to help you.
They will ask you questions to assess you and can also give you fast and easy access to a range of clinical staff if required, including GPs, nurses and prescribing pharmacists.
NHS 111 can then direct you further to the local service which can help you best. This could be an Out of Hours doctor, a late-opening pharmacy or an urgent care centre.
Benefits of calling NHS 111 when your GP surgery is closed
- Get advice from a wide range of healthcare professionals including GPs, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and mental health staff
- No time spent waiting at A&E if your condition could be better treated elsewhere
- Your GP will receive a report of the service we provided for their records if you are happy for us to do so, making sure they are aware of any special help you might need
- Different healthcare services and providers are now connected making it easier for you to get the help you need
- If you have complex need you could be given quicker access to the help you require
- You will be cared for in the right place for your health needs, ensuring you receive the right care for your condition
Missed Appointments - New Policy with effect from 1st April 2017
Missed Appointments at the Practice
Our Practice has an ever increasing amount of patients who fail to attend their appointments and who fail to contact the surgery in advance to cancel.
Due to the number of patients failing to attend appointments, it may be that you are not able to see the doctor on the day that you wish to.
Effects On the Practice
- An increase in waiting time for appointments
- Frustration on both staff and patients
- A waste of resources
- A potential risk to health of the patient
The Practice and our Patient Participation Group have both agreed a Practice Policy needs to be implemented for patients who fail to attend their appointments without sufficient notice - this policy will take effect from the 1st April 2017.
Practice Policy for Missed Appointments at the Practice
Fail to attend 3 appointments in the duration of 12 months:-
Any patient who fails to attend a pre-booked appointment on more than 3 occasions in the space of 12 months will receive an informal letter. The letter will give you the opportunity to advise us if there are any specific problems preventing you from providing sufficient cancellation notice.
Fail to attend 4 appointments in the duration of 12 months:-
If a patient fails to attend another appointment in a rolling 12 month period a second informal warning letter will be sent to the patient, advising that a further occurrence could risk removal from the Practice.
Fail to attend 5 appointments in the duration of 12 months:-
If a patient fails to attend a further appointment in a rolling 12 month period the matter will be discussed at a Practice meeting and a majority agreement will be reached as to whether the patient will be removed from the Practice and 30 days' notice will be given before being removed. Once removed, the patient will be unable to re-register at our Practice for 1 year from the date of removal.
The National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP)
Bedwell Medical Centre and Roebuck Surgery are participating in the National Diabetic Prevention Programme (NDPP) which offers our patients, at risk of diabetes, the chance to attend a behaviour change programme. This programme is being delivered on behalf of the NHS by ICS Health & Wellbeing to help people reduce their risk of diabetes.
Those referred will receive tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been provide to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Named Accountable General Practitioner
All our fully registered patients at the practice now have an allocated named accountable General Practitioner who is responsible for their overall care. If you would like to know who your named GP is, or would prefer a different GP to the one you have been allocated, please contact the practice. We will endeavour to accommodate your request, where we can. Please note that by having a named GP does not prevent you seeing any other GP at the practice.
My Care Record
What is it?
The people caring for you need access to your health and care record in order to make the best decisions about your diagnosis and treatment. This could include GPs, hospital-based clinicians, nurses, health visitors and social workers.
For this to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place.
This will allow your information to be accessed by different health and care organisations, using existing computer systems.
This does not share your record, but provides health and care professionals, with your permission, access to view your information.
How it works
My Care Record securely connects different health and care computer systems together. When a patient’s records are requested, it collects the information from the different systems and allows health or care professionals treating to view this information. None of the information it collects is stored and none of it can be changed. The information viewed is therefore always as up-to-date as possible.
Before any information is collected or displayed to a health and care professional, the patient must be asked for their permission. Patient permission is recorded in an audit trail so that we know exactly who has accessed what information and when. The audit trail is available to the people who hold the original record (for example your GP).
For more information on My Care Records, please click on :- http://www.mycarerecord.org.uk/
For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's): http://www.mycarerecord.org.uk/faqs
If however, after you have read all the information regarding 'My Care Record' you do not wish your information to be made available, please print off a copy of the 'opt out' form below and return to the practice at your earliest convenience:-
My Care Record Opt Out Form
CQC Inspection Report 2016
Following our CQC Inspection In June 2016, please take a look at our Quality Report by clicking on the link below:-
Bedwell Medical Centre CQC Report