The Surgery will be closed from 1300hrs on 11th Nov 20 for training and Flu clinic.
New appointment System Crickhowell Group Practice
Unfortunately due to increasing number of cases of Covid-19 in our area and the on going infection control measures required, the partners at Crickhowell Group Practice feel we need to introduce a new appointment system on a temporary basis.
We aim to prioritise care in the safest way possible to ensure your access to medical advice and treatment is maintained during this difficult period.
From the 23rd of November we will only be offering ON THE DAY telephone first appointments for all our GP consultations. During this time advanced appointments, online appointments and online telephone consultation requests are not available.
Important information for patients booking appointments at the Practice during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you suspect that you have symptoms of the virus please do not attend the surgery. There is information on how to obtain a Covid-19 test by ringing 119, looking at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or https://gov.wales/coronavirus. This means that you can quickly get help and advice without leaving home or potentially putting others at risk.
We are still bringing in patients that need a face to face assessment to the surgery. This is after a telephone appointment with a doctor or nurse with appropriate infection control measures provided.
Do you need to see the doctor today?
You can now get free NHS advice and free treatment for a range of common ailments from our local community pharmacists without having to make an appointment with a GP. For more information and for the full list of conditions covered under this scheme download a leaflet below: Minor Ailments Services Leaflet.pdf
If you need an appointment
You can call the surgery and speak to a receptionist/patient administrator at the reception desk. Call lines will be open from 8.30 am until approximately 11.00 am every morning. We recommend that you phone early to avoid disappointment.
The appointment system is as follows:
- Our trained patient administrators will ask you a few questions to assist the clinicians in dealing with your request in the most appropriate way.
- If you need an appointment the administrator will allocate your name to a clinician’s list. It is your right to express a preference for a practitioner, however, we cannot guarantee an appointment with the clinician of your choice.
- Later on the same day the clinician will return your call, the clinician will then decide whether the problem can be resolved by telephone, or if a face to face appointment with a doctor or nurse is necessary. It is possible the clinician will recommend another professional such as a pharmacist or an optician or physiotherapist, as these professionals might be more appropriately consulted. If a face to face appointment is necessary then the clinician will arrange an appropriate time.
Urgent Treatment during surgery hours
After the GP bookings are full – approximately 11 am.
If your appointment is immediately necessary and cannot wait for the next day. After taking brief details the receptionist will contact the duty doctor who will arrange a telephone consultation. It is important that these appointments are not used for routine concerns or for any concern that can wait for the next day.
Should there be any delay or difficulty in contacting the surgery and the patient is unconscious, suffering heavy blood loss, severe breathlessness or chest pain or symptoms of stroke (facial or arm weakness or slurred speech) you should dial 999 and request an ambulance.
Appointments for blood tests and INR checks can be booked in advance by phone. Repeat HRT and any contraception requests can be booked in advance as a telephone appointment with the nurse. If you are due a Depo Provera injection the receptionist will give you a nurse appointment in advance. Patients receiving other injections at the practice will be seen as current system. A clinic day will be provided on a rolling basis for B12 injections to book in to when due.
It is very important you attend for your cervical smear appointment when you receive a letter form Cervical Screening Wales. These appointments are held at our branch surgery in Gilwern currently. This site is also being used for 6 week baby checks and childhood immunisations.
Our trained practice nurses are available for minor illness telephone consultations in the morning.
Home visits are for patients who are too ill to attend the surgery, not for people who have difficulties with transport. Please ring before 10.00 am if you feel a home visit is necessary and your request will be assessed by one of the GPs.
Minor Surgery, Joint Injections
In view of the recent increasing number of cases of Covid-19, we are not planning the re-introduction of these services at the moment. This will be reviewed again in the February with an update provided here on the website.
Failure to attend appointments
Nurse and certain clinic appointments can be booked in advance so if you cannot attend your appointment for any reason please let us know as soon as possible, giving at least 24 hours notice. We can then offer the appointment to someone else as there is considerable pressure on our appointments.
Thank you for your co-operation with this new system. We will monitor and review issues as they occur over the winter. We hope with this re-configuration and your assistance we can continue to provide you with the good healthcare you need.
Please click on the link for more information:
We still have appointments available for Over 65's at our Drive through clinic on Wednesday 11th November. Please call the surgery to book your appointment.
There is still a national shortage for the under 65's and we have no more stock available. Please keep updated by looking at this webpage or or Facebook.
Announcement from Dyfed Powys LMC
Increased demand for flu vaccinations this winter is a concern for Crickhowell Group practice.
We have been overwhelmed by demand for flu vaccinations this winter and fear that not everyone who wants a vaccination will get one.
Each year the Chief Medical Officer identifies the priority groups for vaccination – the over 65s, those with certain long-term health conditions, and children. In response, we plan a military style operation to deliver flu vaccinations to our vulnerable patients. This starts in December each year when an order is placed for the vaccinations required the following autumn, and to reduce wastage, the size of the order is based on the number of patients who requested a vaccination in the previous year. For the 2020 flu campaign, orders were placed at the beginning of the year, long before COVID-19 was first in the news and there was any mention of a pandemic.
As part of the preparation for this year’s campaign, all GP practices have been required to consider how they would deliver vaccinations to patients while addressing the additional complications of social distancing, the wearing of protective equipment and the availability of sufficient staff. As a direct consequence, each vaccination will take longer to deliver, and fewer patients will be seen at each flu clinic.
Taken together this has led to the perfect storm of more patients requesting a vaccination, an insufficient supply of vaccine due to the increased demand not being anticipated at the time of ordering and a reduced number of staff in GP practices able to safely deliver the additional vaccinations.
Dr Peter Horvath-Howard, Medical Director at Dyfed Powys LMC said ‘GPs and their teams have gone above and beyond to support patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to support them as we face dramatically increased referral times for hospital treatment and backlogs across NHS services due to the impact of the virus.’
Dr A Poddar (lead GP) said ‘ the GPs and our staff are working incredibly hard to rapidly embrace new ways of working to ensure both patients and the workforce are protected; however we have limited resources to meet additional demand, while continuing to deliver routine consultations for our patients. We would ask that the public be patient and bear with us during this exceptionally busy time.’
On the 6th of October Crickhowell GP Surgery held a very successful drive through flu clinic at Cwt-y-Gollen Estates. In the clinic we safely vaccinated 580 patients. A very big thanks to our staff and our partners, Crickhowell Estates, Glangrwyney CC and Crickhowell Voluntary Bureau.
In the next 2 weeks our district nursing team will be visiting their cohort of housebound patients to administer the vaccine and our practice nurses will calling in the most vulnerable to arrange appointments. This stock has been allocated and we will be contacting the patients, so please do not call the surgery.
Our second batch of flu stocks are due to arrive late October, in time for our second drive through. Given the success of the first clinic we will be increasing the number of appointments for the clinic on the 28th October. Please follow the website or Facebook for details of when these appointments will be released.
We understand that there is considerable frustration in the community regarding the shortage of appointments, however stocks are short nationally, demand is very high and cohorts have been expanded, factors that are beyond our control. Please be assured that everyone at the practice is working at maximum capacity to deliver the best possible service to our community.
Staff and Volunteers ready to start the clinic....
Flu Appointments Update
Flu vaccinations Appointments
We still have appointments for those over 65 for the 11 Nov 20 clinic.
Why don’t we have enough stock?
Orders for the 2020/2021 season were placed in December 2019. The quantity of stock the practice purchases is dependent on patient numbers and the percentage uptake in the previous season. As stocks are ordered so early we were unable to plan for COVID, and the additional cohorts added to this season, nor were we able to predict the additional demand from the usual cohorts.
The practice is working hard and is under severe pressure to meet our current demands and to keep you and the staff safe. We are adopting different ways of working, such as the drive through clinic at Cwrt-y- Gollen and telephone triage. We can assure you that every effort is being made to provide the best service possible. We are working with the Health Board and Public Health and will inform you as things change.
We understand that the shortage is frustrating but please do not take this frustration out on our reception staff. Our practice staff are here to help you, our aim is to be as polite and helpful as possible. It is your responsibly to treat all our staff with respect and dignity. Aggressive behaviour, shouting and rude language will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Flu Vaccines are available at your local Pharmacy free of charge if you are in an eligible cohort.
We know there’s been a lot of discussion in the news this week about GPs providing face-to face-appointments. We wanted to take this opportunity to keep all of our patients updated on how we are operating at the practice and the reasons why.
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained open to patients. We have offered appointments using new ways of working and new technology. We are working hard to make sure we remain available to speak to throughout and to quickly signpost patients to the most appropriate care. We know that patients sometimes prefer to see a GP face to face, but there are reasons why we went to a triage model offering video and telephone consultations, and government guidance has played a big part in this. It has remained the case that if we have needed to see a patient face to face, or felt it was important for their care, we have asked those patients to come in to see us.
- Changing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) between each patient adds additional time to the end of each appointment. The difficulty in obtaining PPE has also meant that we have needed to be more cautious than normal about the way we use scarce resources. We continue to work hard daily to source the PPE we need.
- The cleaning required between patients during the pandemic means that if all patients were to come into the surgery, we wouldn’t be able to offer the same number of appointments because of the amount of time that cleaning between each patient takes.
- Offering new ways of working has helped some patients to access appointments when they wouldn’t normally be able to due to other commitments, such as their work or caring responsibilities. We are aware of the IT challenges in our beautiful rural area, we know that some patients have difficulty getting a mobile phone signal/internet access, or who find using technology a challenge. We will continue to strive to overcome these challenges and highlight concerns to the relevant authorities.
- We understand that some patients are reluctant to come and see us in the surgery as they’re worried. We are making sure that social distancing is as good as it possibly can be and that we maintain a ‘COVID-secure’ environment. Some of the things we take into account when we’re considering this are: the use of the waiting room, people passing each other in the corridors, and the toilet facilities.
- All patients attending the surgery are being asked to wear a face covering, this is in line with Welsh Government guidance. Your clinician will see you wearing PPE which can include a mask, visor, apron and gloves.
- If you have a face to face appointment, you must only attend at your appointment time. We will not be able to see you earlier as we have strict infection control processes in place between patients to ensure we keep both patients and staff safe.
- Our staff are people too, and some may be vulnerable due to their ethnicity or health issues. As caring employers, we need to ensure we keep our staff safe as well.
- Increasing the number of patients in the surgery would increase the risk for everyone – particularly if some of those people had symptoms of COVID-19 and were unwell enough to need to be seen. For this reason, we will continue to triage and ensure we are only asking patients to attend our surgeries, where there is a clinical need to do so.
There’s nothing we’d like to see more than a return to ‘normal’ life and the easy face-to-face care we’ve always provided, but at the moment offering fewer face-to-face appointments keeps patients safe and provides the maximum number of appointments we can.
We are available to talk to, and we always want to hear from, patients who need us.
While we understand patients’ frustrations with the current situation, we hope you’ll continue to help and support us, as you always have, so that we can go on providing you with care and support in the coming weeks and months.
Please note all our current Adult Flu appointments are fully booked. We are no longer booking Adult Flu vaccines until further notice. Please review the website or our Facebook page for regular updates
The surgery will be closed from 12pm on Wednesday 06th October for staff training. 👩⚕️👩🏫
We apologise for any inconvenience.
If you require medical attention whist we are closed between 12:00pm and 6:30pm, please contact 01743 455 364.
Normal service will resume on 7th October at 8:00am.
For urgent medical assistance outside Surgery opening times you will be required to phone 111 (NHS Direct Wales).
In the case of an EMERGENCY please phone 999.
Flu Clinic UPDATE:
Bookings will be opened up earlier than previously advertised.
You will now be able to book into the Drive through Clinic, taking place on 6th October, from Monday 7th September.
Please read the information in the below attachment below before booking.
This year we will be running our flu clinics differently to ensure that we are COVID safe.
Drive Through Flu Clinic
UPDATE - Booking Appointments
Appointments can be booked by calling the Practice on 01873 810255
Due to the current situation online appointment booking through My Health Online is temporarily unavailable. You can still use this facility to order your medication.
If you require an appointment with a GP the reception team will be able to book you into a routine Telephone Appointment. Routine medical appointments can be booked from 10 am.
For immediately necessary concerns that cannot wait for a routine appointment, the receptionist will take your contact details and will request information regarding the reason for request. Your name will be added to the triage list and a member of the clinical team will telephone you back later that day. Our triage list is open from 8.30 am to 2 pm.
Most routine Nurse Appointments such as bloods, INR’s and Woman’s Health can be booked by our reception staff. They will give you full instructions, where the appointment will be, directions, where to park and what to do when you arrive.
After the success of our drive through B12 clinic in June we are planning to hold another in September. Details for this will be released closer to the time.
What to expect when attending a face-to-face Appointment
Your Safety is important to us.
We have created a system to protect both patients and staff, minimising contact with others and to help you maintain social distancing and safety when attending the surgery.
When booking the appointment, the Clinician or receptionist will give you instructions and advise where would be best to park. You are asked to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible and wait inside your car until you are called inside.
Our Clinical staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Staff wear the PPE to protect you and themselves from catching the virus.
You will be asked to wear a fluid resistant face mask to the appointment - if you do not have one, we can provide one for you. After each patient everything is cleaned down and PPE changed to ensure patient and staff safety.
If you are requested by the GP to attend a face to face appointment in the surgery, please park in the patient car park in one of the “GP appointment parking” spaces. Due to limited parking at the surgery please be prompt for your appointment, do not arrive early and do not arrive late. Please wait in your car for the GP to call you into the building.
Please park in one of the “POD” parking slots in the staff car park at the rear of the building. Due to limited parking at the surgery please be prompt for your appointment, do not arrive early and do not arrive late. Please wait in your car for the Nurse to call you into the POD. (Old physio therapy room)
Please find below an information leaflet giving some information on Powys Home First service:
What is SilverCloud
SilverCloud offers secure, immediate access to online supported CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) programmes, tailored to your specific needs.
These programmes have demonstrated high improvement rates for depression and anxiety.
It’s flexible – access it anywhere, on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.
It's easy to use - interactive tools and activities make your experience interesting and motivational.
How it works
The programmes consist of seven to eight modules - complete these at your own pace, in your own time.
The goal of each module is for you to take the information and techniques learned - and to start applying them in your day-to-day life.
At regular intervals, your supporter will check your progress and provide feedback and guidance.
We are currently trialing a system called MedLink, which allows our patients to have certain reviews done online. This includes chronic disease reviews (asthma, blood pressure) as well as routine reviews (such as medication reviews & pill checks). Some of our patients will receive a text message, email or letter from us inviting them to complete this online. Once they have done this, the results come back to us and we will be in touch with them.
Online Reviews FAQ
What it is and how it works
• Online consultations tailored to your health
• Each consultation can
o Assess your health
o Provide you with relevant information
o Allow you to highlight any concerns
o Provide valuable information to your doctor or nurse
• Accessible from invites via text message, letter or email
• Available on computer, mobile or tablet
• All your answers held securely and attached to your medical record
Does this replace face-to-face and phone appointments?
• Some consultations offer the option of completing your consultation remotely. This is never obliga-tory
After completing a consultation
• It will always be very clear what (if anything) you need to do next
• Your answers are attached to your medical record and available to the practice team
o Please note this system should never be used for urgent messages to the surgery
• Your answers will be sent to an appropriate clinician (eg asthma nurse) to review and get in touch with you as needed
Please see below list of organisations that could be useful at this time:
Crickhowell Group Practice is working with Accessibility Powys to support patients in the local community, who are unable to attend to collect their Dispensed medication.
Patients wishing to use this service are to contact the group on:
07498 833 913 Between 9am and 5pm
You will be asked to supply some information to the group to assist in the collection. Thank you for your co-operation and support at this unprecedented time.
Due to the current situation please see the below updated opening times for your local Pharmacies:
The Surgery Dispensary opening times are now:
9.15 am - 1.00 pm
2.00 pm - 5.30 pm
10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 5 pm
Gilwern / John Williams
9 am - 12 pm and 2.15 pm - 5.30 pm
The Belmont Surgery in Gilwern will be closing sooner than previously announced. It will now be closed with effect from Monday 23rd March, until further notice.
We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Repeat Prescription slips can be handed into Gilwern Chemist.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to high demand please allow 4 working days for your prescription to be processed.
Leg Club is cancelled until further notice. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Official surgery announcement in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
As a precautionary measure, from Monday 16th March 2020 until further notice we have changed our current appointment system.
All appointment requests will be triaged by a GP or nurse. If they feel you need to be seen they will organise a face to face or conduct a telephone consultation.
For appointments that have already been booked, we are in the process of contacting those patients and offering, if appropriate a telephone consultation or cancelling any non-urgent appointments, such as routine bloods tests, blood pressure check, etc.
If you need to order your repeat prescriptions you may order online, or drop the prescription script in the external drop box, or order on the telephone between the hours of 9 am and 12 noon. Dispensing patients can collect their prescription from the dispensary window in the car park.
Access to the War Memorial surgery will be restricted to only those who have been invited to attend, unfortunately due to limited resources we will be closing the Belmont surgery from 30th March 2020
We hope that you will see this as a positive effort on our behalf to minimise any risk to the community and to ensure that we are able to offer patients appropriate healthcare during this very uncertain time.
For on-going changes please keep checking this website
For advice as regards to the corona virus please contact 111 or visit the below website
The Health Centre will be closed on the afternoons of the following dates:
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Thursday 11th June 2020
Wednesday 16th September 2020
Tuesday 10th November 2020
Out of Hours
The Out of Hours contact telephone has changed.
If you have a severe problem such as difficulty in breathing, chest pains or heavy bleeding you should call 999.
If you need care that cannot wait until the surgery is open, please ring 111 which is a free number. If phoning from a mobile you may be unable to connect to this number - you will then need to phone 0345 46 47 instead.
Telephone advice on a range of medical conditions is available from NHS Direct 24 hours a day. Their number is 111.
Information on Common Seasonal Illnesses
Here's some handy advice on common seasonal illnesses.
More advice is also available from the @NHSDirectWales Symptom Checker at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/SelfAssessments
Everyone needs a bit of support from time to time….
Are life’s problems getting you down? Are you feeling lonely? Having money problems? Are big life decisions making you worry? Are you feeling
stressed, anxious or depressed?
A new service is available in Crickhowell Group Practice run by Brecon and District Mind. It’s called SOCIAL PRESCRIBING and can help
you get the support you need when you need it to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
If you are over 18, you can ask for a patient pack at the surgery reception and make a self-referral by completing a consent form. A Link
Worker will then make contact, talk with you to find out what matters to you and, using their extensive knowledge of community support and
services, will connect you to the appropriate local community and voluntary groups, activities and advice services.
This social prescribing service is part of a two-year joint research project between Mind Cymru and local Minds, funded by Welsh Government.
All collected data is anonymous. We know that social prescribing has really helped people in other areas. By taking part in this initiative you will
be contributing to important evidence that will help plan future health services. Thank you.
We are now holding a monthly clinic with Dr Summors, dedicated to Implanon. Please call the surgery for available dates and times.
Please click on the below link for more information on Shingles.
Dementia Friendly Crickhowell
We are working with local groups in the Crickhowell area to make our town Dementia Friendly. Check out our dedicated webpage here for more information.
New Minor Ailments Service in Powys
Do you need to see the doctor today?
If you think:
you have a common ailment but are not sure about your symptoms or how to treat them with over-the-counter medicines and you need an NHS appointment, you can now get FREE NHS ADVICE AND TREATMENT (where needed) for a range of common ailments from our local community pharmacists instead of seeing the doctor.
- You don’t have to make an appointment.
- You can go along at a time that suits you.
The service is available for the following conditions:
- Athletes Foot
- Backache (acute)
- Cold sores
- Dry skin
- Dry Eye
- Head Lice
- Ingrowing toenail
- Mouth Ulcers
- Nappy rash
- Oral thrush
- Sore throat
- Vaginal thrush
Where no medicine is recommended by the NHS, the pharmacist will give you advice on how to manage the condition.
You can register for Choose Pharmacy at one of the community pharmacies by clicking the following link: Local Pharmacy Details
Please refer to the following guides for more information on this service.
Minor Ailments Leaflet- English
Minor Ailments Leaflet- Welsh
Crickhowell Rotary working for Town's War Memorial Health Centre
Crickhowell Rotary Club are raising funds to fully equip the practice with some brand new examination couches. Read more about this here.