Bromley Primary Care is here for you and your family

Your local NHS wants to make it as easy as possible for you to access the services you need.

Select the options below to find out more about #YourPrimaryCare and watch our short video which explains how Bromley primary care services are working

Images of Bromley GPs and Pharmacists working to support local people.

 

What is primary care?

Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare available in every local area and the first place people go when they need health advice or treatment. It’s the first stop for symptoms that are new or for concerns about physical or mental health.

Primary care professionals such as GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists, look after the basics of care, focusing on preventing illness, making diagnoses (working out what the problem is), and treating conditions that don’t need hospital care.  As they’re usually the first professionals people go to see when they’re unwell or hurt, they’re considered ‘primary’ or the ‘first front door’ of the NHS.

Primary care provides an easy, accessible route to care, whatever the patient’s concern – whether it’s a common minor illness, a long term condition, or to prevent future ill-health through health checks, immunisation (injections) and screening programmes (such as cervical screening).

In the NHS, the main source of primary health care is general practice – going to see the family or local doctor at your GP surgery. GPs and their teams deal with a broad range of physical, mental and emotional problems. As well as finding out what’s causing a person’s symptoms, GPs and their teams also act on behalf of the patient as an advocate (support), making sure that people who are living with health problems get all the care they need. Depending on the health problem, patients may be referred (passed on) by a primary care clinician to hospital or to another specialist.

How are new Bromley primary care services working?

Every day, GP practices in Bromley are in touch with hundreds of patients to assist with their different needs, requests, and health concerns.

New ways of working mean that consultations are offered in a range of ways (such as over the phone and online)  to best meet individual needs and enable practices to help as many people as possible each day.  People will be seen face to face if this is needed.

In your practice, you will now find a wider team of specialists and professionals all working together to help you. This larger team means your GP and practice nurse will have more time to treat those with complex or chronic health needs who require more in-depth support. The new roles include clinically trained physician associates, clinical pharmacists, nurse specialists, physiotherapists, mental health practitioners, social prescribers, and others.  These are just some examples – not every practice will have every role.

Who is who in your GP practice team?

You will now find a wider range of specialists and professionals working together as part of your GP practice.  They are all there to work together to get you the right care.   The larger practice team is designed to best manage the very busy workload and the range of health needs people have.

Find out more >

How do I get an appointment?

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get in touch with your GP practice to make an appointment. We know that phone lines can be very busy as the demand for care is higher than ever before. You can avoid the phone queues at 8am by using the NHS App or eConsult. However, please call if your need is urgent or go to www.111.nhs.uk .

Practice staff are seeing patients face-to-face and digitally, in fact they are busier than ever. There is a higher level of demand and need than ever before. Please be patient when calling and avoid the busiest times if you can.

Find out more >

eConsult - helping you get medical advice from your practice online

All Bromley practices use an online consultation tool called eConsult.

eConsult is software that allows you to get help and medical advice quickly and safely from your practice online. If you are not able to use eConsult, you can call Reception in the usual way.   However, by using eConsult, your GP practice can make sure you get the right care, including face-to-face appointments for those that need them.   If you can use eConsult it also means you can avoid the need to phone and wait on the line.

eConsult lets you explain in your own words what you want help with by asking questions that give the clinician the required information in an easy to read format. The questions are designed to ensure you are appropriately directed if your health condition is assessed as more urgent. Your surgery will always follow up an eConsult request. They may message you, phone you or arrange a face-to-face appointment.

Find out more about how to use eConsult >

Are you seeing patients face to face?

Yes, all GP practices are open and seeing patients. Patients who need to be seen in person are offered a face to face appointment.

Due to the high demand for care, and in accordance with the NHS plans for modernising primary care, GP practices are continuing to use phone and online consultations as it enables primary care to help many more people. When you call, you will be triaged to make sure you see the best person for your needs.

What is triage and why does it happen?

Triage ensures the practice team works efficiently and safely to help as many people as possible get the right care they need.

Every day, GP practices receive requests for help or advice through patients calling on the phone, walking into the surgery, and online. For each patient request, the practice needs to work out:

  • Why they have sought help from their GP practice
  • What kind of help the patient needs
  • How quickly the patient needs help
  • Who is the best person to help this patient?
  • If, where and when the patient should be seen.

The answers to these questions help the practice to assess patients based on their health needs. This process is called triage. Triaging is essential when a healthcare team is dealing with hundreds of patients a day, all with different needs, requests, and health backgrounds. It is also undertaken in urgent and emergency care services for a similar reason.

With very large numbers of patients to look after, it is essential to triage in order to ensure each patient is directed to receive the right type of care. It might seem convenient to book an appointment with a GP for when you have time, but if that appointment is not the right care for your needs, then it is not a good use of your or the doctor’s time.

The practice reception team is trained to provide this important function and is bound by confidentiality in the same way as a clinical member of staff. Personal information about you can only be shared with the necessary individuals in the GP practice team.

How to self-refer to Bromley services

In Bromley you can refer yourself to some local health and care services by either filling in an online form or by telephone.

Making this request yourself means you don’t have to go through your GP practice and it could be quicker.

Find out more

Use your pharmacist – it is your NHS on the High Street

Arti Jethwa, pharmacist at Paydens in Beckenham

Your Bromley high street pharmacist is a fully qualified healthcare professional and part of your NHS Primary Care Team.  They train for five years in the use of medicines and have further training on managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Your local pharmacist is the best person for you to see if you need clinical advice or over the counter medicines for a wide range of minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.  if your symptoms are more serious, they will get you the help you need.

Did you know your pharmacist can help you with:

  • Minor ailments and injuries
  • Provide expert advice on medicines
  • Repeat prescribing if you are stable on your medication.
  • NHS services such as blood pressure monitoring, emergency contraception, asthma inhaler use and advice, chlamydia screening and treatment, stop smoking and weight management advice.
  • Advice on winter vaccinations.

Visit www.nhs.uk to locate your nearest pharmacy and find out what is on offer.    Find out more.

Jasraj Matharu
Jasraj Matharu, pharmacist at Westchem Pharmacy
in West Wickham

Self care

Self-care is about looking after your health, recognising, or treating minor conditions and illnesses, or knowing who to ask for help when you are not sure.  It’s the actions we take to develop, protect, maintain and improve our health, wellbeing or wellness. 

There is lots of advice available to keep well and self-care.    You can read our leaflet or poster or visit Live Well on the NHS.UK website.

Keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet can really help with managing minor ailments to help keep well, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Find out more.

 

 

 

Your medicine cabinet

The use of medicines in self-care for some minor medical conditions is one way you can contribute to taking responsibility for your own health and wellbeing.

Get ready for the winter season by stocking your medicine cabinet with essential supplies.

GP surgeries do not routinely prescribe readily available medication like paracetamol for minor conditions. Prescribing them costs the NHS millions every year, adding unnecessary strain to local GPs and the NHS. These items are widely available from pharmacies, supermarkets, and some high street retailers at a range of prices.

 

Read more

 

 

Who to turn to when you need help

These NHS websites can provide further information and advice.

Staff working in GP practices (primary care) are working extremely hard and providing more appointments than ever before. To make sure you get the right care at the right time and to manage the increased need for services, we have changed how we work. You will now find a wider team of specialists and professionals in your practice, all working together to help you.

Dr Michael Choong, Woodlands Practice

Follow #YourPrimaryCare on socials

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