Improvements to our Telephone System
We are excited to inform you that we are upgrading our telephone system on 11th December 2018. This new system will improve your access to the surgery, offering you 4 different options, advice and information to ensure you speak to the right person first time. There will be a back-up line installed to ensure our services remain 'live' during core hours. We hope this upgrade will improve our services to you, however please bear in mind that there may be some technicial difficulties during the initial 24 hours of the upgrade. We thank you for your patience.
Improving Access to Appointments
We are now working together with other local practices to offer more appointments on Monday evenings 6:30pm to 8.00pm. Please speak to a member of the practice team to find out more.
Sick Notes for School Children
We will not be providing sick notes for school children. This is not part of the NHS Healthcare Service. If the school request a sick notem they will have to request it in writing with parental consent, and there will be a fee of £10.00 to the school or parent. With the increased workload on GP's, appointments solely for sick notes are an inappropriate use of time.
Changes to Ear Care at Sea Mills Surgery
In line with other local & national GP practice policies, we will be changing the ear care services we offer at Sea Mills surgery from 1st January 2018. Surgeries are not funded to offer this service, and sadly we are having to prioritise our clinical services to ensure that those most in need have the treatment required.
We will continue to offer ear care appointments to the following groups of people;
We recognise that self-management of wax build up may be difficult for these patients, & socially isolating.
For all others, there are two options;
Ear wax is normal. It is designed to protect the delicate ear drum by trapping dust particles & debris. Ears are designed to clean themselves, and wax build up usually only becomes a problem if it has been pushed deep into the ear canal, beyond the self-cleaning structures. We advise you never to use cotton buds or similar objects to clean your ears, as they push wax into this area where it can become impacted & block your ear canal.
Self care using Oil / Drops
In most cases, the use of olive oil from the supermarket, applied with a dropper from the chemist (warmed is most effective) or drops bought from the chemist (e.g., Earex, Cerumol, Earol, Otex) will disperse the build up of wax within 2 weeks.
If you have regular problems with wax blocking your ears, we suggest you use olive oil drops once a week to prevent this.
If you have dry skin problems such as eczema or dermatitis, try to avoid shampoo, shower gel or hairspray entering the ear canal.
NB Sodium bicarbonate drops should not be used for more than 2 weeks, as they may cause irritation of the skin. Use olive oil after 2 weeks, if the problem has not resolved.
If at any time you are experiencing pain or notice an unpleasant smelling discharge, stop using the drops & make an appointment to see a doctor.
Microsuction is the gold standard for ear wax removal, as it does not hold the same risks of damage to the ear drum which are associated with ear irrigation. It is undertaken using a microscope & medical suction device.
Several surgeries in our north Bristol offer this private service, currently at a cost of £40 for one ear, £60 for two (buy one, get one half price!) Please click on the link below to download an information leaflet about accessing this service, & preparing for microsuctioning.
Although we are disappointed to no longer be able to offer a full ear care service to everyone, we recognise that microsuction is the safest way of removing wax. We have always had to ask patients to sign a consent form acknowledging the risks associated with ear irrigation, such as perforation of the drum or infection, and we are advised that when safer procedures are available, these should be offered first.
If you are unhappy that we are no longer able to offer ear care services free of charge to everyone, please contact Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who are responsible for allocating funds to GPs for the services they provide.
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