Update on Anti-Depressants
Anti-depressants are still prescribed frequently (there are estimated to be about 8 million patients in the UK taking these medications currently) and a recent report for BBC’s panorama has suggested that around a quarter of patients will have been taking them for 5 years or more. There is increasing evidence that many of these patients no longer need the treatment but perhaps are fearful of change. Here at the Calverton Practice, we would aim to regularly review such prescriptions with our pharmacists. At some point it may be time for patients to consider coming off treatment and the important message here is to do this slowly. These medicines are not considered addictive (in the way that strong painkillers and sedative tranquilizers are) but stopping them does take care and is often best done very slowly over several months (or even longer for those taking them for many years). Talking therapy services are often an excellent alternative to starting anti-depressants in the first place; they are very useful in planning to come off medication and certainly reduce the likelihood of needing to go back on tablets in future. Talking therapy is a FREE NHS self-referral service – ring 0333 188 1060 or go to www.notts-talk.co.uk
Update on the new Medical Examiner requirement for deaths
Next an update on the new Medical Examiner requirement for deaths. As perhaps anticipated, this has introduced some delays in the issue of a formal death certificate (as the issuing GP has to make a referral to a medical examiner). This can take a few days and with many GPs in the primary care working part time, this can further complicate things as the certificate generally has to be issued by the GP who last cared for the patient. Recently we were contacted by the local Registrars’ office to say that ‘It is a requirement that every death that occurs whether in a hospital or in the community undergoes independent scrutiny by a medical examiner (ME). This medical examiner review must take place prior to writing and submitting the [death certificate] to the Registrar. It is essential that bereaved families are aware of the process and that the registration service will contact them when paperwork has been received. We are receiving … calls from families who have been told that “the paperwork has been sent” and they are assuming that it has hit the registration service inbox when in actual fact it is still with the medical examiner. Can we please be clear with bereaved families with the information provided and avoid unnecessary work, confusion and upset. Kind regards’. As a practice we understand what a very difficult time this will be for families, and hope that this provides some clarity around the new legal process.
There are some changes in our staffing over the coming weeks – Dr Igoe will be on maternity leave now. We say goodbye to Marie from dispensary who is going to spend more time with family, and to Rochelle our pharmacist who is moving to a role in Rushcliffe looking after Care Homes. We have welcomed Kay into the dispensary delivery team.
Cancel your appointment
Finally, please could we remind patients to cancel appointments with as much warning as possible? We have noticed an increase in the numbers of patients not attending their appointments and also those cancelling so close to the planned appointment time that the slot cannot be used for anyone else.