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NEWS | Hereford Medical Group issues statement after patients raise concerns

The Hereford Medical Group has this afternoon issued a statement following concerns raised by members of the public on a Facebook post on the ‘Your Herefordshire’ Facebook Page.

The post in question was titled, ‘We are approaching a year since Greyfriars, King Street & Bobblestock, Moorfield House, Sarum House and Quay House surgeries merged as a single entity.

During that time we’ve received a lot of messages from people about concerns over waiting times for an appointment with some people having to wait up to a month to see a GP.

Do you believe the service has improved since the merger?’.

Within minutes, hundreds of comments were being posted by people who said they thought the service had got worse since the merger of the surgeries.

Many people including Lucy Noble have been affected by the changes with Lucy saying, “My 14 month old had been suffering for nearly 2 months with a really bad cough. I called and was given an appointment that evening; roughly about 6pm if I can recall. I turned up for the appointment to have a very grumpy GP who you could tell didn’t want to be seeing my daughter as she expressed herself she was meant to have finished at 5:30.

This was very disrespectful to us as she barely made an effort to assess my daughter and it is not the patients fault if appointments overrun.”

Hereford Medical Group is made up of the following surgeries; Greyfriars, King Street & Bobblestock, Moorfield House, Sarum House and Quay House.

Bethany Wright, Patient Experience and Communications Manager at Hereford Medical Group responded to the criticism with the following statement;

“Hereford Medical Group was formed on 1st July 2018 by the merger of 5 practices in Hereford City.

One of the main reasons for the merger was to provide a resilient service to the patients registered at each practice in the face of a national shortage of GPs. It would be fair to say that had the merger not taken place, then by now, at least two of the practices may have been forced to close due to the inability to recruit GPs to replace those that were retiring. This would have meant that patients at those practices would not have had any registered GP.

Since the merger, we have been successful in attracting new clinicians, including GPs, to strengthen the workforce and we continue to operate out of the 9 sites that the old practices had.

In order to deal with an ever growing demand for appointments, particularly on the day, we have opened an urgent care centre which operates out of Moorfield House.

Any patient who contacts and says that they need to be seen on the day will be asked for some brief information to enable an appropriate appointment to be booked. For example, patients do not necessarily need to be seen to obtain a repeat sick note. If patients require an assessment on the day, they will we placed on the triage list for a GP or Nurse Practitioner to call them back to discuss their problem. At this point, if a face to face appointment is required, then the patient will be offered an appointment for later that day. That will usually be at the Moorfield House site, but sometimes may be with a doctor, nurse practitioner or physiotherapist at a different location.

All calls to reception are now dealt with at one site by a team of up to 12 receptionists and staff aim to answer calls as quickly as possible, although there are some days and times that are busier than others.

The telephone system has been upgraded and now gives information about position in the queue and we are about to introduce a new staff rota which will increase the number of people answering calls at our busiest times. We understand the importance of answering telephones speedily and we are working hard to improve the service in this respect.

Patients are able to register for patient access which will allow them to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and see some key parts of their medical records.

We recognise that not all patients wish to use this, but would encourage anyone with a computer or smart phone to consider signing up for this free service.

We are always interested in receiving both good and not so good feedback and we have a Patient Participation Group that we work with to review and improve patient services. Any patient is welcome to join this group.”

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FEATURED | Making blue lights go green – West Midlands Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service has welcomed a challenge from NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens to vehicle manufacturers to help “blue lights go green”.

Mr Stevens wants the manufacturers to develop more environmentally friendly ambulances, which will cut air pollution. The NHS accounts for almost 10 billion journeys each year – around 3.5% of all road travel in the UK – as staff and patients travel to work and appointments and medical supplies are delivered.

WMAS Fleet General Manager, Tony Page, said: “As a Trust we have the most modern ambulance fleet in the country and have made significant changes to our fleet that has substantially reduced the level of pollution we create over the past six years

“We use van conversions which are almost a tonne lighter than the modular vehicles used by other services which immediately produces savings in fuel and operating costs.

“We have worked closely with staff and the converters to improve the designs so they are easier to operate in and have then invested significantly in producing vehicles that are considerably lighter which has reduced our CO2 emissions.

“Had we not made the changes we would have created an additional 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year!

“We made a commitment to our staff five years ago that none of our frontline vehicles would be older than five years. As well as meaning they are a better place to work, it has allowed us to make many other improvements including:

Using new technology pioneered in the aircraft industry to reduce the weight of the ambulances by almost 10%. This brings real savings in fuel, tyres and vehicle spares as well improving the vehicles handling and ride quality.

A newer fleet substantially increases the availability of vehicles and reduces the level of spares required which has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Although the number of incidents has risen by 28% over the last six years, we have only increased our fleet size by 7% due to better availability of vehicles.

“Our objectives for the next few years will be to implement the issues highlighted in the NHS Improvement Carter Report which will focus on further weight reductions from vehicle conversion, exploiting telematics, making further improvements to the saloons of the ambulances which will further improve the working environment for crews and make the patient experience better. If the vehicle manufacturers can play their part too, we can continue to make a real difference to the environment.”

FOOTBALL | Cheltenham Town recall striker Lloyd

Cheltenham Town have recalled young striker George Lloyd from his loan deal with immediate effect.

Lloyd first arrived at Edgar Street in October and went on to make 12 league appearances before being recalled by Cheltenham Town at the start of 2019.

His recall didn’t last long though, and Lloyd was back at Edgar Street on loan on 18th January. During his second loan-spell, Lloyd has made a further 7 appearances for The Bulls and scored an 86th minute goal during Hereford’s 3-2 win at Blyth at the end of January.

Head of Football Tim Harris thanked George for his efforts whilst with the club. “‘Lloydy has been great to have around, he’s always smiling, a real positive character and we all seriously wish him all the very best for the future.”

Harris also confirmed that with striker James Waite still serving two more games of his three-match suspension, The Bulls will be looking to strengthen the squad.

Article from the official Hereford FC website.

FOOTBALL | Dinsley departs the Bulls

Hereford midfielder Calvin Dinsley has decided to leave the club in search of first team football.

The midfielder, who is a full-time teacher, has made 17 appearances this season and has fought to overcome several injuries.

“He’s had struggles with injuries and has been in and out of the team,” said Marc Richards. “This means that at times he’s been travelling up and down the country and not necessarily been involved in the matchday squad.

“He’s not played for the last six matches and he wants to go and play first team football. I completely understand where he’s coming from,” added Richards.

“I’d like to thank Calvin for the commitment he has shown during his time with us and wish him all the best for the future.”

Article from the Official Hereford FC website. https://www.herefordfc.co.uk

MISSING | Police appeal for help to find missing 15 year old boy

Aaron McDonald is believed to have left his home around 7pm last night (Sunday 17 February 2019).

Aaron is very slim, 5″5 tall with short wavy brown hair and a light moustache. He is wearing ripped jeans with a “True Religion” t-shirt, a grey sweatshirt and white trainers.

Officers are concerned for his welfare and are keen to speak to anyone who has seen him.

Anyone with information should contact West Mercia Police on 101 quoting reference 592-S-170219

APPEAL | Police appeal for help to find missing Herefordshire man

Police are appearing for help to find a missing Herefordshire man.

David Weaver, 44, was last seen at around 11am on Wednesday, 13 February, on Alexandra Road in Abertillery, Gwent, Wales. Since then, it is thought he may have travelled on a train to London.

He is described as a white male, approximately 5’11”, of medium build, with blue/green eyes, a shaved head, tattoos on his arms and a goatee beard which he had at the time of his disappearance.

He wears glasses and is believed to be wearing tan coloured trousers, a black jacket with white arms, a hood and “AC/DC Back in Black” written on the back and a blue and white shirt with a collar. He may also be wearing or carrying a grey beanie hat with him.

He has connections to Herefordshire, Wales and London.

Officers are growing increasingly concerned for David’s welfare and would urge anyone who may have seen him to please call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident number 298s of 15 February 2019.

CHARITY | Speed Dating event raises much needed funds for Herefordshire Mind

Our first ever Your Herefordshire Speed Dating event was held Valentines Day and raised a fantastic £192.82 for Herefordshire Mind.

Our reporter Matt Healey who spent hours of his own time to set up and host the event, met up with Rose Hedges from the charity to hand over the money raised earlier this morning.

Thank you to Yates Hereford for allowing us to use part of their floorspace to host the event.

CINEMA | The Gateway in Ross offers a fresh new cinema experience

Located on the edge of the M50 and part of the popular Ross Labels Shopping Centre is a new boutique style cinema experience called The Gateway.

You arrive through an impressive glass entrance hall with steps taking you down to a comfortable Bar area, which serves a nice selection of food and local beers, ciders and wines to suit all tastes.

My choice of film was the 1991 Academy Award winning chiller The Silence of the Lambs.

Walking into the auditorium, you immediately feel the warmth and intimacy of a smaller theatre, with a variety of luxury sofas to choose from.

The movie itself has lasted the test of time with some classic scenes which are still frightening 28 years down the line. It was a great pleasure in seeing this iconic film on a big screen for the first time.

Although the theatre sound was a little bit inconsistent, this was probably more down to the age of the film and shouldn’t be an issue with more recent releases.

Checking out their upcoming releases, there seems to be something for all tastes, so if you are looking for something different in the future, make sure The Gateway is on your to do list.

Visited by YH’s Lewis Pearce

FOOD | Jane Beedle to host food demo at Shobdon Food & Flying Festival 2019

Shobdon Food & Flying Festival organisers have confirmed former Bake Off finalist & winner of the 2018 Christmas Special Jane Beedle as their first cooking demo for the 2019 event.

She’ll be in the Hereford Means Business Demo Theatre with the ‘Wots Cooking’ team on both days of festival.

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