Welcome to the December 2018 Nelson Medical Practice Newsletter.
Now that the Indian Summer is finally over and the temperature has dipped nearer the norm, it is time to look forward to Christmas and the New Year. Although a little early, we would like to offer you our very best wishes for the festive season and encouragement for all those New Year resolutions!
Sadly we have to let you know that Dr Andrew Mills will be retiring in February 2019 after a grand total of 31 years both here and previously at the Church Lane Practice – he will be sorely missed – please see his comments later in the newsletter.
We are currently in the process of recruiting two new GPs and look forward to welcoming them to our practice team.
This newsletter offers information about what is happening in the practice and general seasonal health advice, we hope you will find it useful.
New Mainline Telephone Number
We will have a new contact telephone number from Wednesday 19th December 2018. Our new mainline number will be: 020 3826 0826
Practice closure dates over the Christmas / New Year period
- Tuesday 25th December 2018
- Wednesday 26th December 2018
- Tuesday 1st January 2019
The surgery will be closed on the above dates, though cover will be provided by SELDOC whose number will be available when calling our main line.
Patient Reference Group (PRG) Practice Talks
The Nelson PRG, together with the practice, will provide a number of ‘talks’ throughout the year for patients on health related subjects. You can book your place and view up to date information on these talks via the PRG notice board on our practice website.
Upcoming talks will include topics such as:
- Community Pharmacists’ role
- Mental Health and available services
Dr Andrew Mills’ pre-retirement message
You may have heard that I am retiring at the end of February after just 31 years as a GP. Here are some brief reflections which I have been asked to put down for the newsletter.
I went to King’s College Hospital Medical School in October 1977 (which feels like another age!) already intending to train as a GP, which was quite unusual in my peer group at the time, and from quizzing the present batch of medical students we get through here would appear to still be a bit strange. About half of us ended up as GPs though, whatever
we had thought at the beginning of our training. It has been a rewarding career, challenging in many different ways, and I am still learning. I have enjoyed the long-term relationships I have formed with my patients, some of whom I have been seeing regularly for all of the past 31 years. It has been a somewhat strange time recently as I look towards
retirement and the end of my medical career. Every week I am saying goodbye to patients who, when their next medication or blood pressure review is due, will be seeing a new GP.
Over the last four years we have been through major changes with the merger of our two previously separate practices and the relocation here as the Nelson Medical Practice. It has not been an entirely straightforward journey – the difference between running and organising a practice of 16,000 patients and one of 23,000 was a lot greater than we
had anticipated and though we had done a lot of helpful planning we have also had to make a number of changes to adapt to circumstances since. However, we have got there and I know that despite all the pressures and demands I am leaving the practice in excellent shape with a first class team of both clinical and non-clinical staff. There is a lot of rubbish about teams and teamwork spouted in NHS circles (a lot of so called teams never seem to actually see one another) but there is a real feeling of teamwork in our organisation. This hasn’t happened by chance: it’s the consequence of hard work and proper organisation that has placed us in an enviable position for delivering healthcare to our bit of Merton over the next few years whatever new challenges and difficulties are coming our way. From next March onwards I will no longer be part of it. I’m not leaving without some feelings of sadness, but I had always planned to go at 60, and it’s better to leave whilst you are still on top of what you do and enjoying it than to stay too long and
Winter : Flu / Viral Illness
The flu season is well and truly upon us and many of you will have already received your flu vaccine at the surgery during our Flu Saturday on 29th September. We vaccinated over 1400 patients on that day before running out of supplies of the over 65s vaccine. We are pleased to announce that we now received adequate vaccine to finish vaccinating our remaining eligible patients, so please book yourselves into our designated flu clinics as soon as possible or ask the doctor or nurse when you next have an appointment.
Patients over the age of 65, and those with chronic diseases and their carers, pregnant women, and those on certain medications are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination through the surgery. Those patients who do not fall into one of these at-risk groups but would like a flu vaccination should see their pharmacist who will happily oblige for a small fee.
You will probably have read in the press that the over 65 flu jab has been enhanced this year as the vaccine delivered last year to this age group proved less effective than hoped. Contrary to popular myth, the flu jab does not cause flu. It contains only inactivated flu viruses which stimulates your immune system to rapidly produce antibodies to the live flu virus when you come into contact with it. The vaccination can certainly leave you with a sore arm and possibly a slight temperature and aching muscles for a few days but it does not cause flu. This flu season we are again offering nasal flu vaccine to our younger patients aged 2, 3 and 4 years old, born after or on 01/09/2014 and before or on 31/08/2016. If your child is eligible and has not yet received their nasal vaccine, please do make an appointment as soon as possible
Free support is available in Merton. Get the help you need when you need it—in person or online:
Thinkaction Merton (MIAPT)
One-to-one therapy (face-to-face, telephone or Skype) and group therapy. The group therapy includes a wide range of innovative workshops and webinars. You will be contacted within a week of registering and offered an appointment. Workshops are run on a rolling basis.
Register online at www.thinkaction.org.uk/onlineregistration or by calling 0300 012 0012
Ieso Digital Health
One-to-one online therapy through written conversation. Appointments are available at any time of the day, including evenings and weekends.
If you are registered with a Merton GP you can refer yourself at www.iesohealth.com/merton or by calling 0800 074 5560
Big White Wall
Talking therapy and counselling sessions available from 7am -11pm, 7 days a week. Sessions are delivered by typing, audio only or via secure webcam. If you’re interested in this service please speak to your GP who can refer you.
You can also refer yourself online at
Primary Care Home
Over the past few months we have been working more closely with local practices, namely Central Medical Practice, Stonecot Surgery, Grand Drive Surgery, and Morden Hall Medical Practice to look at ways where we can work closer together and strengthen primary care.
This is on the back of encouragement from both the CCG and NHS England to form “networks” of practices, combined with local community services, who can help support each other. Merton Federation was successful in winning a bid to support this.
We have been successful in forming the South Merton primary care home though we are still in the early stages.
This will not change the makeup of The Nelson Medical Practice in itself, but will be more a way to work closely with other practices to get better care for patients, for example in looking at patients with chronic diseases or how best to organise visiting housebound patients.
Please see the link below for further information on Primary Care Homes.
Do we have your current contact details?
We would be grateful if, when next in contact with the practice, you could check the
contact details we have for you on our system.