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Noticeboard

Please note we are currently experiencing GP staff shortages

We have advertised for two new GPs and despite our best efforts to date have not been able to fill the two posts available.  We will continue to try to recruit GPs.

There is a shortage of Doctors who want to work in General Practice in Northern Ireland and there are many vacancies at present for GPs in Practices.  We hope when the Northern Ireland Executive is up and running again that this issue will be addressed.

This is happening in many Practices across the Province and GP service provision is suffering

You may have heard reports in the press of General Practices having to close in some areas of Northern Ireland due to having no Doctors to provide appointments.

Due to our shortage of GPs we have had to adjust our appointment availability to allow the GPs who are here to cope with Patient demand safely and this has had an impact on the provision of routine appointments.  We are working hard to improve access to our services.

Our reception staff are giving you advice on how best to use the system and are not acting as a block to appointments, when they ask you questions it is because they have been asked by the GP to get as much information from you regarding your problem, this will allow the Doctor to deal more efficiently and appropriately with your request

Please bear with us in this difficult period we are doing our best with the resources available to us at present and hope that we can increase the number of routine appointments asap.

Please note we are currently experiencing GP staff shortages

We have advertised for two new GPs and despite our best efforts to date have not been able to fill the two posts available.  We will continue to try to recruit GPs.

There is a shortage of Doctors who want to work in General Practice in Northern Ireland and there are many vacancies at present for GPs in Practices.  We hope when the Northern Ireland Executive is up and running again that this issue will be addressed.

This is happening in many Practices across the Province and GP service provision is suffering

You may have heard reports in the press of General Practices having to close in some areas of Northern Ireland due to having no Doctors to provide appointments.

Due to our shortage of GPs we have had to adjust our appointment availability to allow the GPs who are here to cope with Patient demand safely and this has had an impact on the provision of routine appointments.  We are working hard to improve access to our services.

Our reception staff are giving you advice on how best to use the system and are not acting as a block to appointments, when they ask you questions it is because they have been asked by the GP to get as much information from you regarding your problem, this will allow the Doctor to deal more efficiently and appropriately with your request

Please bear with us in this difficult period we are doing our best with the resources available to us at present and hope that we can increase the number of routine appointments asap.

 

CASTLE PRACTICE

SEASONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION PROGRAMME 2018/19

This year there are different Flu Vaccines available to 3 groups of patients as advised by the Public Health Agency (as per Department of Health Guidelines here)

  • Children from 2 years old to under 18 years old (see guidelines for specific dates of birth)
  • At Risk patients from 6 months old to under 65 years old (see guidelines for specific dates of birth)
  • Over 65 years old (see guidelines for specific dates of birth)
  • Patients attending for annual COPD; Asthma; Diabetes; Cardiology reviews from October can receive their influenza vaccine at their appointment regardless of age groups (see guidelines for detailed information regarding eligible conditions)
  • The Public Health Agency (PHA) have advised that there will be restricted delivery of Influenza vaccine for adults over 65+ and have prioritised those patients 75+ years.  Public Health Agency have asked Practices to NOT offer the flu vaccine to patients who are aged 65 to 74 years until November 2018 or until restrictions are lifted.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep you informed of vaccine availability.

  • Priority Group: Vulnerable children and adults with complex medical healthcare needs such as (but not confined to), those attending special schools for severe learning disability and day care centres are particularly vulnerable to influenza infection are invited for vaccination unless P1-P7 as they will be vaccinated in school.
  • For children 2 - 4 years (pre-school), appointments can be booked through the appointments at reception
  • All pregnant women (at all stages of pregnancy) are invited for vaccination as a priority group. Flu is the most frequent single cause of death in pregnancy.   Pertussis vaccine will still be offered from 16 weeks gestation.
  • Priority Group: Chronic Neurological Disease patients including children and young people with any chronic neurological disease and includes Multiple Sclerosis and related conditions and hereditary and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system are invited for vaccination.
  • Carers: Carers are encouraged to avail of the flu vaccine and this can be facilitated at the time of booking an appointment or at home if caring for a housebound patient.
  • All pre-school children aged two years or more on the 1 September 2018 (D.O.B range 02/07/14 – 01/09/16) are invited for vaccination.
  • A live attenuated influenza vaccine (Nasal vaccine) will again be available and is strongly recommended as the vaccine of choice for children aged two years up to less than 18 years in clinical risk groups (except those with contraindications)

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CASTLE PRACTICE MESSAGE FOR OUR PATIENTS REGARDING OUR APPOINTMENTS

Please read the notice board on the top right of the website or 

click here

   

We are currently trialling a new appointment system.

The telephone list system will run from 8.30 am until 11.30 am ONLY

There will no longer be a “book opening date”, patients contacting the practice will be asked the following questions on behalf of the GP.

Your symptoms and details relating to them.

Which of the following you require;

An emergency appointment on the day

A telephone call with advice or a prescription

A general appointment

These details will be reviewed by a GP and you will either;

Receive a call from reception regarding an emergency appointment.

Receive a call from reception with a general appointment sometime in the near future.

Receive a call from the GP re advice or discussion regarding your symptoms.

We have introduced this system as a safe way of ensuring that those who require medical care have the best access we can currently provide due to the constraints of the shortage of GP appointments.

The GP appointments will be spread across the normal surgery hours 8.30 am – 5.00 pm.

 

NEW TELEPHONE AND RECEPTION DESK HOURS

Reception desk

Monday to Friday                 8.30 am - 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm - 5.30 pm

Prescription telephone orders; we would encourage patients to use online ordering where possible for your own convenience

Monday to Friday                 9.30 am – 11.30 am and 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Telephone queries and other issues

Monday to Friday                8.30 am 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 3.30 pm

 

Should you have a medical emergency outside of these hours contact;

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm; 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm;

Castle Practice - 028 9331 5804

 

5.30pm onwards

Dalriada Urgent Care - 028 2566 3500

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WONDERING WHY YOU ARE HAVING TO WAIT LONGER FOR ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS???!!

Patients not attending is becoming a chronic problem!

KEEP OR CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENTS, DO NOT FORGET THEM!!

Over 250!! appointment slots are wasted each month due to patients not attending or cancelling them.

This not only wastes the appointment time on the day, it also clogs up the phones with these 250+ people ringing, to book the appointments, which they then do not attend.

The Castle Practice introduced a “DNA Policy” (Did Not Attend or Does Not Arrive) in 2014. Please read and familiarise yourself with this policy as we have, and will, enforce it.

Castle Practice - D.N.A. Policy

As you can see from the Policy we have numerous options, including texting and online links, to help you cancel your appointment, in adequate time for someone else to use it.

(Site updated 18/09/2018)
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