Put up the banners, blow up the balloons, and celebrate in style – we made it! It has been a year and a half since Victoria Practice and Southlea Group Practice officially joined forces. I’m not going to lie – it’s been challenging for everyone, staff and patients alike. The changes that have occurred range from different telephone numbers to staff members being moved from one site to the other to a change in Practice Managers. And we all know that change is not easy. To use the slightly generalised saying, “we are creatures of habit”; we all get used to coming in and dealing with familiar people, albeit Receptionists, Secretaries, Admin Staff or Doctors, and when suddenly you’re coming in to the surgery and there is a complete stranger sitting in your favourite receptionist’s chair, it is bound to be a bit unsettling for some. We want to take this opportunity to reassure everyone that no matter whom you speak to, no matter who you see within the Practice, we are all here to help you. Our priority is you. We are all committed to making The Cambridge Practice the best it can be, and in turn, making sure the care you receive is the best it can be.
On the topic of care, I would like to mention something new and exciting within the Practice. In the words of Marvel’s Nick Fury; “There was an idea …” – the Practice has set up a team, a mix of clinical and non-clinical people, whose aim is to improve the Mental Health Services we offer as a Practice. There has been a lot of focus recently on mental health – it is everywhere you look; Facebook, News Websites, TV shows … and for good reason. Mental Health is such an important factor of everyone’s life – no matter who you are. Anyone who is suffering with their mental health deserves to have as much support as possible. Therefore, the Practice’s Mental Health Team, who had their first ever meeting in September, have had a few thoughts on how we can support those who need it. Our plan is to ensure that every GP has a folder filled to the brim with information on local services that they can handpick and present to patients depending on the patient’s needs and what would best benefit them. We are also planning to set up a Mental Health Web Page on our Practice website. And this … this is only the beginning.
As the patient, you know what would best help you. You know yourself better than anyone. And as a Practice, we have been thinking of new ways to get you, the patient, the best care that you know will be beneficial to you. Therefore, there are talks of setting up a way of getting your ideas to the forefront of our minds. One thought has been a ‘Suggestion Box’ in each Reception, so if you do have any ideas on how we can best help you, there is an anonymous way to put forward your thoughts.
Alas, the time has come for me to tie this post up – so as a goodbye for now, we would like to thank everyone who has supported the Practice throughout the merge and the challenges that followed. As I have said, it was not easy, but we got there! And we will continue to improve all that we can. Thank you – each and every one of you – for making this Practice all that it is, all that it can be, and all that it will be.