Category Archives: News

Purple Star Information

We are very proud to have been awarded with Purple Star Accreditation in 2018 as a recognition for providing an excellent service to our patients with learning disabilities. We are now the practice that the specialist learning disability team signposts patients to as they recognise we provide a good service from answering the phones to finding accessible appointments, helping patients to liaise with the hospital teams and providing good clinical care.

If you have a learning disability or have supported someone with a learning disability then Purple Star Team would like to hear your views, good or bad, about the service you received.

Please contact the team using the information below:

PurpleStarStrategy@hertfordshire.gov.uk
01438 844681

Flu Vaccinations 2019

Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a flu virus.

The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains.

You could also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a dry cough. Symptoms can last for up to a week.

We offer ‘at risk’ groups the flu vaccine at a certain time each year to protect you against the flu virus.

You may be invited for a flu jab if you are:

  • over 65 years of age
  • pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions
  • Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • or have a serious long-term health condition, including:
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease
    • diabetes
    • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
    • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS
    • being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above)
  • eligible children who are aged 2 and 3 on 31st August 2018 – that is, children born between September 1st 2014 and August 31st 2016
  • children who are 4 years old are also eligible for flu vaccination provided they were 3 on August 31st 2018. These children should be offered the vaccination at their general practice
  • children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be offered their vaccination in school. In a couple of areas it might be offered in primary care settings

Our Flu Clinics can now be booked. If you have any queries please contact the surgery.

External Websites

Flu and the Flu Vaccine – NHS Choices
Children’s Flu Vaccine – NHS Choices
Flu Vaccine FAQ’s – NHS Choices
Which Flu Vaccine should children have? – gov.uk (PDF)
The Flu Vaccination – gov.uk (PDF)

EpiPen shortage ‘likely for rest of the year’

New advice is being issued over the EpiPen availability as supplies of adult and junior EpiPens are likely to be limited for the rest of the year.

  • Certain batches of adult EpiPen (300mcg) can be safely used for four months after the expiry date has passed, says East and North Hertfordshire CCG.
  • Patients should not dispose of their expired devices until they have replaced them. If no new devices can be obtained parents / patients should be advised to use expired devices in an emergency as this is safer than not using them as this is not dangerous but the potency of the adrenaline may have reduced.
  • Training will be required if receiving different device.
  • Junior adrenaline auto-injectors (150mcg) in all 3 brands – Epipen, Jext and Emerade – should be reserved for children weighing under 25 kg during this shortage period. Children weighing more than 25 kg should be given adult auto-injectors (300 mcg).
  • Each patient should have a maximum two AAI devices available at all times
  • To manage the existing supply of EpiPen Junior® and other replacement products over this short-term period it has been necessary to put in place national contingency arrangements to ensure that patients with the greatest short-term need have priority access to the 150mcg adrenaline auto-injectors as they become available.
  • See a patient/parent letter about the EpiPen Junior shortage and relevant advice here.

In the onset of symptoms of anaphylaxis, patients should:

  •  Immediately use an adrenaline auto-injector device.
  •  Immediately call an ambulance or send someone to do this. Say this is an emergency case of anaphylaxis*

*Please note- ambulances carry adrenaline 1mg/1ml (1 in 1,000) ampoules, which are not affected by the shortage

If no new devices can be obtained parents / patients can use expired devices in an emergency as this is safer than not using them, as they are not dangerous but the potency of the adrenaline may have reduced.

However, patients are advised that using an in-date device, even if not of the usual brand, is preferable to using an expired device.

Extended GP access during evenings and weekends

GP and nurse appointments are now available in your area during the evenings and at the weekend, as part of an ‘extended access’ service for patients registered at practices in Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and the surrounding areas.

You will be able to book appointments to see a GP, Nurse or other health professional in the evenings between 6.30-8pm and at weekends from 9am-1pm.

Appointments can be booked either in advance or on the day and will be held in different locations across the area.

For more information on the extended access service or to book an appointment please contact your practice, or if you’re seeking an appointment on the day at the weekend, please call: 01707 328919.

Waiting Room survey results

On 18th June the Practice, with the assistance of members of the Patient Participation Group, started a Waiting Room survey.

This is a simple questionnaire comprising 8 questions with tick-box answers and the responses will enable us to understand our patients’ views on the telephone call-back/triage process we have instituted.

This enables a GP, Nurse or Pharmacist to call the patient back, and, depending on the problem, either an appointment is offered or advice can be given over the ‘phone thus preventing the need for an appointment.

As of 12th July 138 questionnaires had been completed by patients in the waiting rooms at Peartree Lane and Moor’s Walk surgeries. We are very grateful to those patients who have taken the time to respond. This feed-back from our patients will enable us to see if the call-back/triage process is working and the level of patient satisfaction with it. It also identifies areas of possible improvement.

The first 138 responses have been analysed and the results graphics can be seen here.

We will be continuing the survey for another couple of months and will update the web-site so please keep checking back to see how we’re progressing.

We can only improve things if we understand what our patients think. We welcome your input.

Extra evening and weekend routine GP and nurse appointments

Peartree is joining other practices in Welwyn and Hatfield by providing extra evening and weekend routine GP and nurse appointments. This service is being offered as a collective arrangement across the locality to provide additional access to out of hours appointments.

To find out more please visit the following website:

Ephedra Healthcare Ltd – www.ephedrahealthcare.co.uk

Peartree operates a telephone triage system for all new appointments and so please mention to the duty doctor if an evening or weekend appointment is more suitable for you.

Extra appointments will be provided between 6.30-8.00pm Mondays to Fridays and from 8-4pm on Saturdays and from 8-12pm on Sundays. This service will be located at Spring House Medical Centre, Ascots Lane AL7 4HL. It is likely that you will not see a GP or nurse from this practice at one of these appointments but the clinician will have full access to your Peartree Group Practice medical records.

Staff News

Our Nurse Practitioner, Eimear Daniel, left us as of the end of October. Eimear had been with the practice for many years, and we wish her very well as she begins her retirement!