Pencoed Medical Centre

Dr G V Price | Dr J A Crane | Dr G A Preest | Dr O R Thomas | Dr E Garfield

News

For the most up to the minute news, follow us on Twitter

Most news and topical information will be relayed by our Twitter feed (and you can scroll through our Twitter feed above and on our home page). However, we will post longer items and more detailed statements regarding practice activities in this section whenever appropriate

IMPORTANT NOTICE March 2016

AS OF MONDAY 4TH APRIL 2016 THE OPENING TIMES FOR THE MAIN SURGERY PENCOED AND THE BRANCH SURGERY IN LLANHARAN WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:

PENCOED SURGERY - 01656 867900         

BRANCH - LLANHARAN SURGERY - 01443 220650             

Llanharan walk in baby weighing clinic - Every other Monday afternoon from Monday  11TH April 2016

WHEN THE BRANCH SURGERY IN LLANHARAN IS CLOSED ALL CALLS WILL BE DIVERTED TO THE MAIN SITE IN PENCOED   

FROM THIS DATE ALL PRESCRIPTIONS WILL BE PROCESSED FROM PENCOED MEDICAL CENTRE

 

Twitter
We are trialling Twitter as a means of keeping our patients up to date and informing them of any information that we think may be useful to them. As with this website, we have received no additional funding (or personnel!) to do this, nor are we under any contractual obligation to provide a "Twitter" service to our patients. However, we feel that Twitter could be a useful service to our patients and we will be assessing it in coming months to see if it can be of value to our patients and what types of information may be helpful to them. We would like to emphasise the following points:
1. Please do not send any personal messages or messages to individual Doctors to us via Twitter
2. We regret that we do not (and cannot) check any messages sent to us via Twitter on a regular basis. Copies of tweets @PencoedMedical are sent to our Practice Manager by automated email, but we are not able to respond to individual requests for information sent to us via Twitter. If you have an urgent medical or administrative issue, please contact the surgery by phone in the usual manner, not via Twitter. Whilst we will take note of messages sent to us via Twitter (indeed, these can be very useful) we cannot respond on an individual basis. Senders of offensive, personal, derogatory or critical tweets will be blocked. This is not because we are not open to criticism, but we feel that an open forum with restricted text is not the place to discuss. If you have any criticisms of our service, please contact our practice manager by phone or letter and we will be pleased to deal with the matter.
3. We do not intend to re-tweet commercial or profit generating tweets. We will re-tweet information from reputable and charitable sources if we feel that the information will be of value to our patients, medicine and the community at large.
Who sends tweets?
The practice manager, some admin staff and the GP partners all have access to the Twitter account and have the ability to tweet. Any tweets relating to clinical or medical matters, such as a reference to a useful medical website, will have been seen by one of the GPs beforehand. Clinical tweets are sent predominantly by Dr Preest. Admin staff will only tweet about service and admin issues. If we've re-tweeted or tweeted a link to a webpage, this is done in good faith and does not replace a face to consultation with a Doctor or to replace the advice that patients may obtain from their own Doctor about individual care.
This is a learning process for us and we will be evaluating the use of Twitter and the feedback from our patients in coming months. We apologise that it may appear to be a "one way" stream of information from us to you but we are trying to use this as a means of circulating useful information about our service and other healthcare services in the community. The local health board and local hospitals are trying to reduce waste due to patients over ordering medicines that they don't need and to try to reduce inappropriate attendance at A&E with conditions that are more appropriately seen by the GP. As a result, you will notice that a number of our tweets reflect this agenda

Our telephone numbers are changing    February 2013
The telephone numbers for both surgeries will be changing soon. Our 0844 telephone numbers will be replaced.
First to change will be Pencoed,  which is changing to 01656 867900 and will become operational on the 7th of March 2013. The old 0844 number will remain operational for 3 months following the switch over.
We will also be replacing the 0844 number for Llanharan, although we don't yet have a date for the switch over (however we anticipate that it will be a matter of a few weeks later).

New GP partner    February 2013
We would like to welcome Dr Eleanor Garfield to the practice as our new GP partner. Dr Garfield replaces Dr Ware, who recently retired. You can read more about Dr Garfield in our Doctors section.

Christmas opening hours and emergency pharmacy details
All of these details will be posted on our Twitter feed. Please scroll down our Twitter feed above or visit our Twitter page. We are no longer regularly updating the news section of this website and, aside from longer announcements, all of the latest information will be relayed via Twitter.

Dr Delyth Ware    December 2012
Dr Delyth Ware retires at the end of 2012 with her last surgery being on the morning of Monday December 24th. She will be greatly missed by colleagues and patients alike and we wish her a long and happy retirement.
Dr Ware will be replaced by Dr Eleanor Garfield, who starts in February 2013. Dr Garfield did her GP training in Pencoed and will be a familiar face to many patients.

Doctors' strike Thursday June 21st 2012 - NO disruption at Pencoed or Llanharan surgeries.
ALL services at both Pencoed and Llanharan surgeries will be running as normal on Thursday June 21st 2012. There will be no cancellation of surgeries and you will be able to see the Doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professional at our surgeries on that day. All of the Doctors at your surgery have decided not to take part in any action that would affect our patients in any way.
Please note that the GPs at your surgery have no control over what happens at the hospitals and there may be some limited disruption there, although this is beyond our control.
Please see our Twitter feed for up to the minute details.

Open access appointments    May 2012
Both surgeries now operate an "Open access" system each morning for any patients who wish to be seen the same day. This is a "sit and wait" system and seems to be working very well and is popular with patients. We have introduced a staggered attendance system that saves patients from waiting longer than they need and we also have a minor illness nurse triage system to "fast track" urgent cases to the doctor. See the respective Pencoed and Llanharan pages for details of the appointment system. The busiest mornins by far are Monday mornings.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT IF YOU ARE ATTENDING SURGERY FOR AN “OPEN ACCESS APPOINTMENT” THERE ARE TIME CONSTRAINTS THE DOCTOR NEEDS TO ADHERE TO AND ONLY ONE/TWO PROBLEMS WILL BE DEALT WITH IN YOUR APPOINTMENT

Christmas and New Year repeat prescriptions    November 2011
In order to assist patients over the busy Christmas and New Year period and to help with the smooth running of the practice, patients may order their repeat prescriptions a week early if they are due in the Christmas/New Year week. This will allow us to get your prescription to the Chemist in plenty of time so that there are no delays due to the bank holiday period. We would strongly urge patients to put in their repeat prescription a week early if it is due at this time.

Sister Viv Wright    November 2011
After many years at the practice, our diabetic nurse, Sister Viv Wright, will be retiring in December. We would like to wish Sister Wright a long and happy retirement. Sister Tina Morgan will be taking over diabetic clinic after Sister Wright retires.

Dr Louisa Evans    22nd November 2011
After many years at the practice as a salaried doctor, Dr Louisa Evans will be moving on to pastures new in January 2012. On behalf of the practice we would like to wish Dr Evans well with her future career.

Twitter    26th May 2011
I suppose it was inevitable eventually......
You can now follow us on Twitter @PencoedMedical. We periodically post information on the news section of this website, but you can get more up to date information on Twitter. We will be evaluating the use of Twitter and giving it a suitable length of time to see if our patients are using it. It is our intention to post information about any surgery or clinic cancellations, any closures due to bad weather during the winter, any topical local health information (outbreaks of infectious diseases) and possibly up to the minute information about any late running surgeries - it all depends on demand and whether our patients find it useful. Watch this space....

Bank Holiday opening hours    26th May 2011
The surgery closes at 18:30 on Friday 27th May and re-opens at 08:00 on Tuesday May 31st. During the time that the surgery is closed, all emergencies will be dealt with by the out of hours service. If you phone the surgery over the bank holiday, your call will be automatically routed to the out of hours service.

Llanharan surgery closed    21st December 2010 07:00
Unfortunately, the access to our Llanharan surgery and adjacent parking remains unsafe this morning and we have made the decision to run all services from our Pencoed surgery again. Patients who have appointments booked at Llanharan this morning have been contacted to ask them to attend at Pencoed.

Bad weather UPDATE    20th December 2010 07:26am
We're experiencing major difficulties this morning getting staff into the surgery. Three of our doctors have currently abandoned their vehicle in the Cardiff area, unable to get to a main road. All booked surgeries are cancelled and we will be dealing with emergencies only. If the doctor is unable to get to you, as seems likely at present, you will be offered advice on the phone. Please only phone the surgery if it is a genuine emergency, we have fewer staff and we need to keep the phone lines open to deal with emergencies.
If you are about to run out of your tablets, you may be able to obtain an emergency supply from the pharmacy by taking your tablet boxes along and requesting an emergency supply to tide you over. Please make use of the online prescription request service available via this website. We will update you as and when the situation changes.

Bad weather UPDATE    19th December 2010 17:34pm
Due to current and expected adverse weather conditions, we will be operating an emergencies only service from our Pencoed main surgery on Monday December 20th. The Llanharan surgery will closed and all services will be working out of Pencoed. All routine services will be postponed. Any telephone calls to Llanharan surgery will be routed to Pencoed and we expect a big increase in telephone calls as a result. Therefore we would urge you only to phone on Monday morning if absolutely necessary. If you wish to cancel an appointment, please use the online facility via this website to save the telephone lines for urgent calls - we will even phone you back to rearrange your appointment to save you from hanging on the line waiting to be put through. This situation will be reviewed at noon. We have been warned of further bad weather causing disruption tomorrow and if this is the case, we will continue to operate an EMERGENCIES ONLY service out of Pencoed in the afternoon.
A number of Doctors are unable to move their own vehicles from their homes and will be transported in. As a result, we have fewer Doctors available to do housecalls. Again, please only request a housecall if it is an absolute emergency. Your call will be triaged by a doctor prior to any visit. Most side roads are causing problems and Doctors usually have to leave their vehicle on the main road and walk to their destination, greatly reducing the number of patients we can see.
Finally, we would like to reassure you that any emergencies will be seen and dealt with in the usual way to the best of our abilities. Please bear with us. We are doing our best.

Influenza, coughs and colds    19th December 2010
During the past week we have seen a massive increase in the numbers of patients presenting with coughs, colds and influenza. On Monday morning in Llanharan surgery, there were over 60 emergency extra patients and people were queuing to get into the building. The vast majority of patients seen had mild illness such as coughs and colds and were advised paracetamol and fluids. Antibiotics do not work against viral illnesses and most people can treat themselves at home with paracetamol and fluids. In order to help you, we have added information to our "Health information" section - you may wish to read this before contacting the surgery.

Bad weather UPDATE    17th December 2010 11:53am
Bridgend Local Health board have now closed all GP surgeries in the Bridgend area due to adverse weather conditions and expected deterioration this afternoon. Both Pencoed and Llanharan Medical Centres are now closed. Anyone needing to see a GP urgently should phone the surgery number and the call will be automatically routed to the Primecare out of hours service who will be handling all calls.

Bad weather    17th December 2010 07:00am
Due to the adverse weather conditions, our Llanharan branch surgery will be CLOSED today
. We will be operating an EMERGENCIES ONLY service out of our main Pencoed surgery. If you have booked an appointment this morning for a non urgent condition, we would be very grateful if you could use the online cancel appointment facility to let us know. Doctors who were scheduled to be at Llanharan will be phoning their booked patients to see if they can deal with the problem on the phone. If you are booked for an appointment at Llanharan, please wait for the phone call from the Doctor first. If you need to be seen, the Doctor will tell you when to attend at Pencoed.
Please bear in mind that it takes us considerably longer to do housecalls in adverse weather conditions.
If you have a booked appointment at Pencoed for a non urgent condition, please use the online cancel apppointment facility on this website to let us know. We will arrange a callback and do all we can to rearrange your appointment. It helps us considerably if you use the online facility because it frees up the telephone lines for urgent calls.
We are very grateful for your assistance with this.

Christmas opening hours for Pencoed and Llanharan    November 24th 2010

*IMPORTANT* If your repeat medication is due over the holiday period, to avoid the possibility of running out of medication, please ensure that you submit your repeat slip one week earlier than normal.

Pencoed Medical Centre opening hours 0844 477 8890:
Friday  December
24th - OPEN AM ONLY. EMERGENCY SURGERY 12.00pm – 6.30 pm
Monday 28th December - CLOSED
Tuesday 29th December - CLOSED
Friday 31st December open am as normal doors closed at 4pm – 4pm to 6pm Emergencies
only
Monday 03rd January
- CLOSED
FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY RING 999 FOR AN AMBULANCE
NHS DIRECT 0845 46 47
FOR URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION PLEASE CONTACT PRIMECARE ON TEL NUMBER 0845 60 111 86 OR Ring the surgery number and press the option for urgent medical attention, this will transfer your call straight through to Primecare

Llanharan Medical Centre opening hours 0844 477 8792
Friday  December 24th - OPEN AM ONLY
Emergency Surgery at Pencoed 12.00pm – 6.30 pm
Monday 28th December - CLOSED

Tuesday 29th December - CLOSED
Friday 31st December open am as normal doors closed at 12.45pm – Emergencies only at Pencoed Surgery from 4.00 pm to 6.30pm
Monday 03rd January - CLOSED

Requests for repeat prescriptions during appointments    November 24th 2010
YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH THE DOCTOR IS FOR 10 MINUTES ONLY. The Practice would appreciate your assistance by not requesting your repeat medication during your consultation; this should be done by submitting your request to reception in the normal manner. Thank you for your co-operation

Dr Griff Gwilliam    October 4th 2010
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr Griffith Gwilliam on Friday October 1st. Until his retirement, Dr. Gwilliam had worked at this Practice for over 30 years. He will be greatly missed. The Funeral will take place at Coychurch Crematorium on Friday October 8th at 2.45pm.

Welcome to our new website!    July 2010
It's been a long time coming, but it's here at last. You might not realise it, but we were pioneers of GP websites in the UK and, at one point, were one of the most visited GP websites in the UK. Having been one of the very first GP practices in the UK to run a practice website, we felt that the time was right to update the site to bring all the information up to date and give it a more modern look. The main reason for the change has been to increase the security of the online prescription ordering system. The old system involved the website "e-mailing" your request to us and is less secure (in theory that e-mail could be intercepted by a third party). The new system involves a "secure server system" which is similar to the system you use when you do online banking or purchasing on the internet. You will notice the "padlock" symbol in your browser when you access the prescribing section and your details are held on a secure server, which can only be accessed by our prescribing personnel.
If you have any comments about the website or if you feel that it would benefit from any additions or information, please let us know. We have funded and developed this website personally - we recieve no NHS or external funding for the running of the site (the Doctors pay for the website out of their own pockets, in other words), so it means a lot to us if you find this facility useful. Unfortunately, due to the complexity and security of the clinical software system used in the surgery, it is not yet possible for us to integrate the appointments system with this site, so you cannot book appointments online yet. However, you CAN cancel your appointment. Over 300 patients a month book an appointment then fail to turn up. This blocks appointments for others and is one of the main reasons why you have to wait to see a Doctor. In order to try to address this, if you cancel your appointment online, we will phone you back if you like, so that you don't need to wait in a queue on the phone to rearrange your appontment. Finally, we would like to emphasise that it is impossible to access your medical records via this website because they are held on a completely different system which is not accessible online and not connected in any way to this website.

How we used our website in the last 12 months    May 2010
During the cold weather this winter, our website was an invaluable tool to inform you of changes to surgeries and emergency provision of medical care during adverse weather conditions. Access to our Llanharan surgery was blocked by snow and ice on a few occasions (not least because the local authority omitted our road from the gritting schedule....) and we had to run an emergency service from our main surgery in Pencoed. We informed you of these changes immediately they happened, via the website. When swine flu struck, we were inundated with calls from worried patients asking for advice. To help our patients we updated our site with all of the LOCAL information that was relevant to our own patients. We plan to do the same in future. Please visit again. We welcome any suggestions about improving our website.

Historic news items from 2009.........

SWINE FLU UPDATE September 2009

We have seen a dramatic decline in cases of swine flu in the area over the past couple of weeks and services at the medical centres are continuing as normal. We anticipate that cases will rise again in the autumn and will keep our patients informed of the situation locally via this website. However, for the time being it's "business as usual"

SWINE FLU UPDATE July 21st 2009

Keep calm and carry on.....

The numbers of suspected cases of swine flu continue to rise in our area, but the greatest demand on services at present appears to be from the "worried well". We would like to remind patients that this is a mild illness for the vast majority of patients. If you have symptoms of flu and do not belong to a high risk group, you should have no reason to contact the surgery unless you are particularly unwell - paracetamol, fluids and rest should suffice - "Tamiflu" is only being issued to high risk groups (see below).

Tamiflu prescriptions:

From Monday 20th July patients in receipt of prescriptions for antiviral medication should go to their nearest /usual pharmacy to collect their medication. All pharmacies within Bridgend have received their stock and arrangements have been made to re-stock them as required. Please remember that patients should get a 'flu friend' to collect their prescription on their behalf, when issued following telephone consultation, and to collect their antivirals from their pharmacy. Prescriptions for suspension for children (under 1s) can only be dispensed from hospital pharmacies - Princess of Wales Hospital - in the Bridgend area.

Young children

Children young enough to be carried are being seen and assessed in their parents' cars in the car park after surgery. When you phone the surgery, you will be asked for details and if the doctor or nurse feels that face to face assessment is necessary, you will be asked to attend by car after surgery when the car park is less busy. Simply phone or send in a symptom free representative to let us know when you arrive. You will be asked for your car registration number and the doctor or nurse will come out to assess you. This helps us a great deal because each house visit can take up 30 minutes of a doctor's time, whereas 4 patients can be seen in the same time if assessed in their car. Our main reason for assessing the under 5s is not because of concern about swine flu, as most most cases are mild anyway - these children are being assessed mainly to exclude other conditions (such as bacterial infections) that may require a different form of treatment. Diagnosis is often less clear cut in young children because they can't give an accurate description of their symptoms and this is the main reason why we ask to see them, not because of any concern about swine flu per se.

SWINE FLU UPDATE July 16th 2009

Enquiries about swine flu have increased tremendously over the past week and we are now beginning to see a big increase in the numbers of suspected cases. As these enquiries increase, so the doctors and nurses are having to deal with a considerable increase in additional workload whilst trying to manage "business as usual" with routine appointments. We have discouraged patients from coming to the surgery if they are ill enough to need to be seen and have symptoms of swine flu. Most, but regrettably not all, patients are adhering to this advice. As a result, we are dealing with a big increase in telephone consultations and home visits. This means that, inevitably, there are unavoidable delays during our booked surgeries. Unfortunately, as is human nature, staff at the medical centres (receptionists, nurses and doctors) are experiencing abuse from some individuals because they have been waiting longer than anticipated. We would ask that you bear with us during this period - we are doing our best, but delays may occur despite our best efforts.

We would like to highlight the following points:

Swine flu, for the majority of cases is a relatively mild disease and most patients should recover without need to contact the surgery. Simply having the flu is not a reason to contact the surgery provided you are not seriously unwell and do not belong to a high risk group.

Common queries and answers as of 16th July:

Do I have swine flu?

Your first action should be to contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for advice.

Suspect swine flu if:

  • Sudden onset fever (>38°) and TWO or more of the following:

  • CoughSore throatRunny noseLimb/joint painHeadacheUnfortunately, these symptoms are not unique to the flu and many patients with simple viral infections may have very similar symptoms.

What should I do if I have the symptoms of flu?

Provided you do not belong to one of the high risk groups (below), you should stay at home until you are well. Take paracetamol regularly and plenty of fluids. Do not attempt to go into work or "soldier on". It is foolish to go to work with the flu and you will only spread the virus amongst your colleagues. If you do not belong to a high risk group, you will not be given Tamiflu and will be treated with paracetamol and fluids alone. Unless you are seriously unwell and in need of urgent medical attention, you should not need to contact the surgery.

I've had contact with somebody who has swine flu

Wait and see. We are not giving Tamiflu to patients who do not have symptoms and in any case, Tamiflu will only be given to high risk patients who currently have symptoms of flu (as detailed above)

Who is eligible for tamiflu?

Only patients who belong to the following "High risk" groups will be offered Tamiflu:

  • <5yrs old

  • >65 yrs old

  • Chronic lung, heart, kidney or neurological disease

  • Chemotherapy, or drugs affecting immune system (steroids, Methotrexate, azathioprine etc)

  • Pregnant women

  • Patients who’ve been treated for asthma within past 3 years

  • “Morbidly obese” patients (BMI > 40). i.e. patients who are exceptionally overweight

Tamiflu is only given if you have symptoms of swine flu as defined above. It is not being given any more if you've simply had contact with somebody who may have had swine flu. Tamiflu can be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. At present, if you need Tamiflu, doctors are deciding based on the information given over the phone. If the Doctor decides that you have swine flu and belong to a high risk group you will be issued with a prescription. You should send a SYMPTOM FREE representative to collect the prescription from the surgery. At present, you have to take the prescription to the HOSPITAL pharmacy (i.e. Princess of Wales hospital) to collect your Tamiflu. However, this situation may change and there may be a time when this may become available at local Pharmacies - but we will keep you informed via this website

How is it spread?

This is a very important consideration. Not only is it desirable to avoid influenza in the first place, but if you have it, you have a duty not to pass it on to others! Bear in mind that if you pass it on to healthcare professionals - who are no more immune to it than anyone else - then there will be fewer doctors and nurses available to help out! Never has the phrase "coughs and sneezes spread diseases" been more important!

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue after use and wash your hands.

  • Frequent handwashing

  • Isolation if you have the symptoms - there is nothing "stoic" about trying to go to work if you have the symptoms of the flu - you will only pass it on to others

How are the doctors dealing with swine flu?

We are dealing with swine flu in the following ways:

Receptionists have been issued with guidelines to identify which patients have the symptoms of swine flu. If a patient has symptoms of swine flu, they do not belong to a high risk group and they are not seriously unwell, they will be advised to stay at home and take plenty of paracetamol and fluids until they are better.

SIMPLY HAVING SWINE FLU IS NOT IN ITSELF A REASON TO SEE THE DOCTOR.

WE ONLY WANT TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHO BELONG TO HIGH RISK GROUPS OR ARE SO SERIOUSLY UNWELL THAT THEY NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR

If a patient has symptoms of swine flu and are either seriously unwell or belong to a high risk group, they are placed on a "swine flu callback list" where they will be phoned back by a triage nurse or doctor to decide on the best way of dealing with them. If a patient has swine flu and is seriously ill enough to need to be seen, they will be seen at home and NOT at the surgery

The main problems for the doctors:

1. Patients turning up at the surgery with symptoms of swine flu. This is the single most effective way of passing on swine flu to the most vulnerable patients in the community whilst passing on the flu to the medical staff. If the doctors, nurses and receptionists are all ill with swine flu, then there is nobody to look after our patients!

2. Abusive patients who have been waiting longer than anticipated for their appointment. We're doing our best. We have the same number of staff but a huge increase in telephone calls and house visits. We have to prioritise to deal with the most sick patients. If you've been sat in the waiting room for a long time, it is for a good reason. The doctor isn't ignoring you, he or she may be dealing with urgent queries on the phone or may have been called out on an urgent home visit. Even if it seems quiet in the waiting room, it may not be quiet "behind the scenes". Most of our patients are understanding of this and we are very grateful for your patience. Unfortunately, a vocal minority are abusing staff and this does nothing to help the situation.

Useful websites:

Health Protection Agency - Swine flu

BBC News - Swine flu