Update on the GP team

We thought it would be helpful to further outline for our patients some of the changes underway in our doctor team, and to introduce our new GP’s.

We have been tremendously lucky in the Green Practice to have had a “core” group of highly experienced and skilled GP’s working here, providing the practice and our patients with stability and real continuity over the years (in some cases, over 30years!).

We have reached one of those times where there are lots of changes afoot, mainly due to doctors reaching retirement age simultaneously – here is a summary of who is leaving the practice:

Dr Joan Rodgers retired from practice on 1st April 09 and we included her goodbye letter in our spring newsletter. She has now returned from a month-long trip to China and more recently the Shetlands, and is enjoying her retirement so far!

Dr Peter Berrey has just officially retired from the practice as of 9 Jul 09. Unfortunately due to an intercurrent illness he has been off sick in the run-up to retirement. He has, however, continued to help us as ever with his behind-the-scenes work including our IT and protocols whilst unable to carry out clinical work. Dr Berrey joined the practice as a trainee in 1977 and hence is the longest serving of the present GP’s. He has written a personal goodbye letter for patients – hard copies are available at reception or you can view on our website.

Dr Barry Parker has decided to have a change of career after 19years as a full-time GP. He has been appointed as a medico-legal adviser to the Medical and Dental Defence Union Scotland (MDDUS) – where he will undertake further legal and ethics training. Competition for these posts is fierce and we all wish to congratulate Dr Parker on his success, and wish him all the best in his new career. Dr Parker leaves the practice on the 9th August 09. Here are some parting words from Dr Parker himself:

“Having spent a very enjoyable 19 years working in Stockbridge Health Centre, I have now decided to move on, and will be leaving the practice in August 2009. It has been a privilege to get to know patients over the years, and indeed to work with such an excellent team, and I am sure I will miss patients and colleagues alike.

I am taking up a post as Medico- legal adviser with the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. This is an interesting and varied type of work and I look forward to the new challenges it will bring. I have managed to say goodbye to many of my patients but for those whom I have not managed to see personally, I would like to wish you all the best - and good health - in the future. Best Wishes Dr Barry Parker”

To Dr Rodgers, Berrey and Parker – on behalf of everyone in the practice, we will miss you all tremendously and have greatly enjoyed working with you. Thank you for your support, professionalism, camaraderie and vision over the years! Good luck for the future.

Our New GP’s

As detailed in our spring newsletter, Dr Joanna Richards is joining the practice on the 15th June. She has worked here before as a GP Registrar in 1999/2000 and after this initially worked in Community Paediatrics as a GP Fellow, then as a GP in Bristol and latterly in Glasgow. She now returns to Edinburgh with her young family and will be working part-time at the practice. Dr Richards is going to undertake further training to become a GP Trainer, supervising and assessing GP Registrars in the practice, alongside Drs Reid and Sayers. She has particular interests in cancer, palliative care and womens health.

We have also appointed a second new partner, Dr Susie Martin. Dr Martin started out in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery before switching careers to medicine and general practice. She brings particular experience and skills in minor surgery and facial/ENT problems.

She also has interest in teaching medical students, and we hope to expand our undergraduate teaching with Susie and Dr Nicol taking this on. Dr Martin joins us on the 10th August 09 working part-time.

Here is an introduction from Dr Martin herself:

“Hi, my name is Susie Martin. I am looking forward to joining the Green Practice in August. I am currently working as a GP Retainer on the South Side of Edinburgh at the Conan Doyle Medical centre. I moved up to Edinburgh with my family from London 5 years ago to complete my GP training. I qualified in 1991 in London as a dentist and worked in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for some time so I have a special interest in oral pathology and facial pain. My other interests include Minor Surgery and Women’s Health, but I have a broad skills mix. I am also very involved in teaching Advance Life Support skills (ALS) at the Royal Infirmary and Western General hospitals which I very much enjoy. I live in Edinburgh with my 3 young children and enjoy golf, running and have been known to try other things!”

We are delighted to welcome our new partners who we feel bring huge enthusiasm and skills to complement our practice team.

We are also delighted to announce that our current registrar, Dr Jenny Lamb, is going to be employed at the practice part-time on a temporary basis from September. Many of you may have consulted Dr Lamb over the past year or so; she has extensive experience in General Medicine including Haematology, Accident and Emergency and Psychiatry. We are sure Dr Lamb will continue to be an asset to the practice following a successful registrar year.

Of course the Green Practice is not just about individual GP’s, but our wider and hugely committed, hard working and loyal team of nurses, admin staff, and practice manager – as well as our affiliated community colleagues including District Nurses and Health Visitors. As a team we feel we cope well and even thrive on change, and we hope this period will be no different in that regard!

Continuity and Registered Doctors – which doctor should I see now?

We recognise that for both the patients and team here there is inevitably going to be a period of transition. In particular it can take time to establish new relationships, between patients/families and their doctor(s) or other health care professional.

As a practice we value continuity and personal care ie long term (often lifelong) relationships between the practice and our patients. Please bear in mind that a doctor who is “new” to you or your particular current problem/s may need time to digest your previous medical history and any investigations, case-notes, background details/family history etc. This may well mean they need more than one consultation! We therefore recommend whenever possible to stick to the GP(s) who know you for ongoing or complicated problems. We realise that individual GP’s may not always be available however, and will do our best whoever you see. Each GP in the practice has a GP “Buddy” who provides cross-cover for annual leave and other absences, and they may be able to help you best when your own GP is not available.

Registered doctor – what does this mean? Prior to the most recent GP contract in 04 each GP “Principal” or partner had a designated patient list, and this was key to primary care administration. Since 2004 this system has changed, however patients are still registered with a particular GP when they join the practice as each GP has their own “patient list” so that related administration, including repeat prescriptions, are allocated proportionately amongst the GP partners. However you do not have to see your registered doctor. We also operate a “seen by” list so that hospital letters, patient enquiries, house calls etc are directed at the doctor who knows you best, or who has been dealing with problem most recently. It is not a perfect system as emergencies happen and doctors may be away and so on, but it helps us to achieve a level of continuity of care.

Finally, we realize that over the last 12months we have had to rely much more on locum doctors than we would like. Much of this was of course unavoidable, in the case of covering sickness absence for GP’s. We hope that this need will become much less with our new team and would like to thank our recent long-term locums, Dr Chris Wheal and Dr Janet Dickson for all their help.