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Welcome to Withnell Health Centre

With patients' needs at the heart of everything we do, our website has been designed to make it easy for you to gain instant access to the information you need. As well as specific practice details such as opening hours and how to register, you’ll find a wealth of useful pages covering a wide range of health issues along with links to other relevant medical organisations.

Our new normal

Is my GP practice open?

Yes, your GP practice is open. You can access GP services from your GP practice. Some of the ‘traditional’ ways of working have been adapted to protect you and staff from the potential risk of coronavirus. For example, how you access your GP practice building or how your appointment is undertaken might be different.

I would like a face-to-face appointment, when can I get this?

Not all conditions need to be seen by your GP in a face to face appointment. Your GP will judge whether or not he or she needs to see you, or whether an alternative consultation is better. When contacting your GP, you will undergo an assessment (called triaging) of your needs and to determine whether you may or may not have Covid-19 symptoms. Based on this assessment your doctor or clinician will determine if you need a face-to-face appointment. If safe and appropriate to do so a member of your practice clinical team may undertake your consultation via telephone or through a video consultation. This will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection to you and the practice staff.

How can my condition be properly diagnosed via telephone or video?

Lots of common conditions can be diagnosed using mobile devices, telephone or video thanks to the experience of your GPs and their ability to recognise the signs and symptoms of conditions from the information you provide. However, if they judge that it is safer and more appropriate to organise a face-to-face appointment for you then this will be arranged.

What if I can’t or don’t want to use video technology for an appointment?

If for a number of reasons you aren’t able to have an appointment via video technology then your GP will arrange an alternative option – either a phone call, or a face-to-face appointment for you.

Can I still access other services from my surgery, such as ante-natal appointments for example?

Services such as ante-natal clinics, all vaccination programmes for example child and baby immunisations, and hormone injections for patients with prostate cancer have remained in place throughout the pandemic. If you are unsure what the arrangements are, please contact the service directly. Before you attend your appointment, you will be assessed to see if you have any symptoms of covid-19. The helps keep you, other patients and practice staff safe.

“Assessment first” from GP practices open and providing services

The threat of infection from Covid-19 still exists within our communities, and locally, patients are being asked to continue to follow the guidance, stick to any restrictions in place and take the necessary precautions such as wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene.

GP practices are open and continue to provide services as they have done throughout the pandemic. This means that for patients, their GP practice is open and providing GP services.

GP practice buildings are public buildings and as such must be kept covid-secure. Withnell Health Centre has a process in place for managing entry into the premises to help minimise the risk of anybody spreading the virus. Please continue to follow this and use the intercom on arrival.

New ways of providing GP services have been introduced in order to maintain access to your GP practice team whilst protecting you, others and staff. Triage (making an assessment of your condition and prioritising care accordingly) is an important part of how GP practices work. This has always been in place but has been vitally important during the pandemic.

Medical Director of the Chorley & South Ribble CCG said:

“GP practices are open and have been providing GP services throughout the covid-19 pandemic. They have learned during the pandemic, that they can conduct consultations very well with the vast majority of patients using digital technology. The majority of common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your Doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones - and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus".

“If your GP judges that your condition needs to a consultation in a face-to-face appointment then this will be arranged, however this will be a clinical decision by the GP based on their judgement of the absolute need to do so".

“These new ways of working provide mutual benefits to patients and your GP practice which is why before the pandemic we had a plan to start introducing these more frequently”.

"The use of these digital technologies has been shown to improve patient experiences thanks to the convenience and increased access that they provide. GPs want to make sure that these new ways of working and the benefits they bring are not lost. Covid-19 has changed many aspects of our daily lives, with lots of positive changes. These new ways of accessing your GP and receiving care or treatment are just one of those."

Face Coverings

NHS organisations in Lancashire and South Cumbria have agreed to implement new measures on the use of face masks and coverings in general practice settings.

Patients and visitors are asked to wear a face mask or face covering. Face coverings are different to face masks in that they can be homemade, made of cloth, and be reusable after being washed.

If a patient or visitor does not have a face covering or face mask when they come to a service, they will be provided with a face mask on arrival.

Where do I go for more information? If you have further questions on our local plans to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 across Lancashire and South Cumbria visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/covid

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our NHS services safe. If you are coming to an NHS service as a patient or visitor, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to a service, you will be provided with a face mask on arrival.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this.

If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the general practice setting.

Where do I go for more information? If you have further questions regarding the changes we have made across primary and community services in Lancashire and South Cumbria visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/covid

IMPORTANT NOTICE - RECRUITING FOR OUR PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

We are looking to set up a patient participation group to meet up bi-monthly - please click on the "Have your Say" tab if you are interested and require more information

Statement of GP Earnings

NHS England require that the net earnings of GP's engaged in the practice is publicised and the required disclosure is shown below.  However, it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time GP's spend working in the practice and it should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings or to make any comparison with any other practice.


All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GP's working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GP's working in the surgery in the last financial year was £69,700 before tax and national insurance. This is for 2 part time GP's and 2 locum GP who worked in the practice for at least six months.

Care Quality Commission - read our latest inspection report

Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing

Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns.

Instead, over the the counter medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket in your local community.

The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns, and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious they’ll ensure that you get the care you need.

You may still be prescribed an over the counter medicine if:

  • You need treatment for a long-term condition, e.g. regular pain relief for chronic arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • You need treatment for more complex forms of minor illnesses, e.g. migraines that are very bad and where over the counter medicines do not work
  • You need an over the counter medicine to treat a side effect of a prescription medicine or symptom of another illness, e.g. constipation when taking certain painkillers

A patient information leaflet explaining the changes is available to download here.

For Charity

Dress Down Friday

We are currently taking part in dress down Friday.  On the first Friday of each month staff will come to work in non-uniform and donate money to charity.  For the last few months the chosen charity has been SiMBA.  We did this on Friday 5th April and Friday 3rd May.  We also hosted a cake sale on Friday 3rd May.  Total amount raised so far £130.00

Our next dress down day is Friday 6th September when we will be raising money for the charity Tommy's.

Chorley Food Bank

We now have a collection box in our reception for any items donated to the Living Waters Food Bank Located in Chorley.  If you wish to donate please just pop into the health centre and drop the required items into the box.  In particular they are short of:

Milk, Sugar, Corned Beef, Tinned Curry, Tuna, Rice, Tinned Ham, Crisps, Shower Gel and Toothpaste

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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