Housing Documentation- Information for patients
We do not provide letters for housing, so please do not request these.
Whilst we appreciate that housing problems can be stressful, this is a matter for the council housing office. If the council requires additional medical information, they will send a specific form to the GP surgery. You will need to provide your written consent for this.
If you are intending to apply for a council home for health reasons you do not need to send a letter from the GP.
The Council will write, in confidence, to your doctor if further information is required.
GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications from a variety of sources – the local authority, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice Bureau. The arrangements for seeking GP reports and for payment vary from local authority area to local authority area, and even when clearly agreed are often not implemented by local authority staff. However all requests should come via the Council or Housing Association and not the patient.
Information in support an application based on health grounds should be supplied by the applicant using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP/practice.
Only if additional information is required, should the Housing Department Medical Officer obtain it from the applicant's doctor, preferably using a standard form, provided the patient has given written consent. The Medical Officer should seek information which is only available to the GP, for example:
• the diagnosis;
• severity of the illness;
We understand that patients are often wrongly advised to get a letter from their GP and we can supply you with a letter outlining the above that you can show to anyone wrongly directing you to us for such documentation.
We Are Men- WAM
Dear Patients of The Avenue Surgery.
Many thanks for your patience during the last 3 years with all the upheavals that the pandemic has caused and in the last 12 months as we have been trying to navigate post pandemic times.
Over the last 12 months we have gone from being staffed by 8 full time partners to at our lowest 5 full time partners. Throughout all of this we have been truly touched by the support we and the staff have received. We have also done our best to respond to all complaints and try to ensure that we are delivering the best healthcare that you deserve.
In the last 18 months we have lost Doctors Wingfield, Corey, Austin and Hirst. We have had to bring in allied work forces such as our Living well team (who support our elderly vulnerable team), ECP’s (Emergency Care Practitioners – who deliver the majority of our on the day acute medical care) and our Pharmacy team (looking after much of your medication needs).
We are also helping to train the GPs of the future – with Dr Boyd- Carson who will be with us until he finishes his GP training in February. In August we will have two further final year GP’s trainees (2 fully qualified doctors in their last year of specialist training) Dr Jones and Dr Griffiths.
We have had to markedly alter the way we have worked historically to ensure maximising the number of patients we can safely see with a reduced GP workforce, and we have weekly been seeing above the numbers in comparison to other practices in the Wiltshire area.
We have manged to recruit further GPs – in September 2022 we welcomed Dr Minton, in December, Dr Mitchell, and in mid-July Dr Payne will also be joining us. Sadly, Dr McDonagh will be leaving us at the end of July, but she is being replaced by Dr Bryony Moore.
We have taken on board comments made through all mediums available to patients and we are going to trial a new triage system which hopefully will be even more efficient and streamlined for our patients. It will mean less waiting for call backs and hopefully issues dealt with at the time you call in to us. However, for us to do this we need to ask for your patience once more. This will mean a slightly longer call initially with our patient navigators but will help with your outcome and patient experience. We aim to trial this from Monday the 3rd of July. This will be a system that we will keep evolving as we use it but has already been implemented in practices across Wiltshire with benefits to patients.
Earlier in the year we put out communications for PPG (patient participation group) volunteers and have been overwhelmed by the response. We will be contacting patients to take this forward and hope to have a PPG up and running by the Autumn.
Once again, from all of us at the practice thank you for your patience, your support, your comments, and your kindness towards us all. Please be reassured we at the practice are working to improve the service, we are aware we do not always get this right, but we will continue to strive and evolve to ensure that our population are getting the best possible service we can provide.
Carer's Week 5th - 11th June 2023
Carers Week takes place 5-11 June and is a national campaign that raises awareness of those who are caring for a family member or friend. If you are looking after someone who can’t manage without you, please make yourself known to our reception team at the surgery so as we can put you onto our carers register.
Did you know that on 1st April the Department of Health and Social Care launched an HRT pre-payment certificate?
The certificate will reduce the cost of HRT for those patients who pay for their prescriptions. It will be valid for 12 months and covers an unlimited number of listed HRT medicines for the cost of two single prescription charges. The current cost is £9.65 per item. This means if you pay for more than two HRT prescriptions in a year you will save money.
Side by Side Cancer Support Chat Cafe
On Friday 2st April 2023, 10am until 12 noon, the Side by Side Cancer Support Chat Cafe' will be welcoming Karen Macmillian Welfare Rights Advisor.
Anyone affected by cancer who would like advice, please join us for a chat over a cup of coffee.
Find us at The Athenaeum, High St, Warminster BA12 9AE
Dr Hirst is Leaving
Health & Wellbeing Fair
Health & Wellbeing in Warminster is organising a Health & Wellbeing Fair on Saturday 22 April 2023 10-1pm at the Civic Centre.
At the Health and Wellbeing Fair you can find out what kind of help, advice and support is available to you in Warminster and the surrounding area.
Entrance is free and there will be free activities, along with a free 'healthy' raffle.
With some 40 local organisations being represented on the day, you can find out all about local groups for socialising, sharing hobbies, health support and keeping fit.
Come along and see what's on offer in Warminster and the surrounding area!
2023 Chat Café Programme
The Side By Side Cancer Support Group meet on the first and third Friday of each month at The Old Fire Station, Warminster, BA12 9AL from 10am- 12:00pm
On 20th January, 2023, they will be hosting: Macmillan Nurse, Tracy, Macmillan Cancer Information Specialist Nurse at RUH
On 17th February, 2023, they welcome: ‘Look Good Feel Better’ volunteer Liz to talk about skin and hair treatments
On 17th March they will introduce: ‘We Hear You’ Clinical Coordinator, Frances, to speak about the benefits of nature.
Join the PPG
How can we improve our services? Share your ideas by joining the patient participation group.
For more information visit: https://www.avenuesurgery.co.uk/patient-participation-group
Welcome Dr Mitchell
Welcome to Dr Rebecca Mitchell who joined the practice on December 1st as a new partner. Dr Mitchell has specialist interest in medical dermatology and clinical education.
Carers Platinum Award
Members of staff attended the carers support award evening where The Avenue Surgery received the Carers Platinum award. Well done to all involved.
Welcome Dr Minton
Welcome to Dr Grace Minton, who joined the practice at the beginning of September as a partner.
Welcome Dr McDonagh
Welcome to Dr Anna McDonagh, who joined the practice at the beginning of August as a General Practitioner.
Caring for Carers
The Avenue Surgery celebrated the unpaid carers in the community in a Care for Carers event at Warminster Civic Centre as part of national carers week.
Read the Warminster Journal Article below.
Message from the POD
We are having some issues with our telephone lines this morning; this is being investigated as high priority; however, this may affect patients ringing into POD.
Spring Covid Boosters
NHS England are beginning to send texts to those over 75 inviting them to book their spring covid booster. Can we ask that you do not call the surgery regarding this text as we are not administering spring covid boosters. If you call, we will direct you to 119 where you will be able to book an appointment.
Dr Corey and Dr Austin
The end of March sees the retirement as partners of Dr Corey and Dr Austin. Dr Corey started her life at the Avenue on 1st October 1996 and Dr Austin joined her and the rest of the partners at that time on 27th November 2000.
They will be stepping down from their job share partnership on March 31st, although Dr Austin will continue to undertake locum work for the practice so patients may still see or speak to her at times. These plans have been in place for some time, and no one could have envisaged how healthcare has changed during their long careers especially in light of the pandemic.
They will both be sorely missed, and we wish Dr Corey lots of fun in her retirement. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Dr Austin when she locums.