Frequently Asked Questions

What is Our Health Partnership?

Our Health Partnership is a new and unique GP super-partnership in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and beyond. It hopes to ensure that Ridgacre Medical Centres thrives and that all our patients benefit for many years to come. The super-partnership was formed in November 2015, founded with 32 surgeries, including your surgery.

Why has Our Health Partnership been formed?

General practice and the wider NHS is under pressure. Surgeries are trying to cope by working together. The NHS has already said that practices should work more closely with each other. The overall vision of Our Health Partnership is to make life better for patients. We believe this super-partnership will protect your GP services and develop new and better ways of providing healthcare closer to home.

What does Our Health Partnership mean for patients?
You will not notice any obvious change to the way that Ridgacre Medical Centres operates, as it will:

  • not move
  • look the same
  • have the same staff
  • have the same doctors and nurses
  • have the same contact numbers

Most of the work in setting up Our Health Partnership that has taken place “behind the scenes”. As the super-partnership develops we believe you will notice:

  • doctors and nurses spending less time on administration and more time caring for patients
  • better direct links with hospitals, social and community care
  • development of services to provide more complex care
  • the ability to treat more people closer to home
  • the sharing and development of good clinical practice between practices

Happier doctors are better for patients
Our Health Partnership also aims to make life better for the doctors, nurses and other staff that work at Ridgacre Medical Centres. We firmly believe that patients benefit from happier practice staff. We are doing this by developing ways of supporting staffing levels across the super-practice and helping the business side of Ridgacre Medical Centres run more efficiently.

Have your say

We want to you to have the opportunity to ask questions and understand what is happening. Information can be found on our website: www.ourhealthpartnership.com

You can email us at info@ourhealthpartnership.com

 

Disabled Access

There is a ramp at the main surgery entrance and all the surgery is on the ground floor.

Car Parking

Disabled parking is available.

If possible please try to telephone reception before 10am if you require a home visit.

A doctor or nurse may phone you back as it may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or that it would be more appropriate to send a nurse, or indeed arrange a hospital attendance.

House visits are only available for patients who are housebound because of illness or disability.

Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the Health Centre.

You can book an appointment by using Online Services – please do not email or fax an appointment request. If you are unable to book online then call us on 0121 422 3111

Appointments can be booked 24 hours a day 7 days a week online or during surgery hours by telephone. To register for online appointments please fill out our online form or request access from the reception on your next visit.

If you have been referred for a Choose and Book Appointment recently, you will need to book your own hospital appointment. You will have been sent the paperwork to do this within 2 weeks. Please contact the appointment centre details on section 2 on the enclosed paperwork and give details of both your reference number and password. You should then be able to arrange an appointment at your convenience at your chosen hospital.

Should you contact the e-referral service and there are no appointments available to book at your selected hospital, you will be put on that hospital waiting list for an appointment to be sent to you. It is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure you receive an appointment. Please be assured that you are on the hospital waiting list and will be sent an appointment in due course.

If you have not heard from the hospital with an appointment, please contact the hospital directly quoting your reference number and password. Please see the direct telephone numbers for the hospitals as below as they manage their own waiting lists.

  • Birmingham Eye Hospital 0121 507 6712
  • Birmingham Treatment Centre – 0121 507 4151
  • Birmingham Women’s Hospital – 0121 627 2786
  • Children’s Hospital  – 0121 333 9700
  • Solihull/Heartlands – 0121 424 1234
  • Royal Orthopaedic Hospital – 0121 685 4186
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital – 0121 371 7066

To track your e-Referral you will need the following details to log into the e-Referral website:

  • Your date of birth
  • Reference number – this will be on the first page of your letter
  • Password – this will be on the last page of your letter
  • Please make sure to update your mobile number.

GP net earnings

All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.

The average pay for GPs working at Ridgacre Medical Centre in the last financial year was £49,329 before tax and national insurance. This is for 5 full time GPs and 10-part time GP’s who worked in the practice for more than six months

Is your feedback positive or negative?

Positive Feedback: We really work hard to provide you with good quality healthcare services and we are human too. If you are happy with our services then please do tell us and tell others too.

Negative Feedback: If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.

How to complain

Complaints Procedure
Although we always try to offer our patients the best care, despite the increasingly heavy demands made of us, we accept that there may be times when you have comments or complaints to make.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service or have constructive suggestions for improvement then please contact our practice business manager. We would ask that you let us know of any problems as soon as possible. We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, preferably at the time they occur. Information is obtainable from reception.

If you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, you can contact PALS, Adams Hill Centre,190 Adams Hill,Bartley Green,Birmingham.B32 3PJ. If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman. Tel: 0345 015 4033 Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk Write: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.

NHS Complaints. members of the public, patients and their representatives can also contact NHS England. Customer contact centre, NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT telephone:0330 311 22 33 email: england.contactus@nhs.net. British Sign Language (BSL): if you use BSL, you can talk to NHS England via a video call to a BSL interpreter. Visit NHS England’s BSL Service NHS England opening hours are: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, except Wednesdays when they open at the later time of 9.30am.

Monday 08.00am – 18.30pm
Tuesday 08.00am – 18.30pm
Wednesday 08.00am – 18.30pm
Thursday 08.00am – 18.30pm
Friday 08.00am – 18.30pm

We also offer extended access appointments on Tuesdays, and through the extended access hub at Oaks Medical Centre

List of useful links and phone numbers 

Heartlands Hospital & Good Hope Hospital & Solihull Hospital  0121 424 2000
Birmingham City Hospital  0121 554 3801
QE  Main switch 0121 371 2000
QE Appointments 0121 371 7070
QE Imagining Appointments 012 1 371 4695
ROH Switch
Appointments
0121 685 4000
0121 685 4186
Children’s  main
Appointments
0121 333 9999
0121 333 9700
Women 0121 427 1377
Social services 0121 303 1234
Birmingham Carer Hub 0333 006 9711
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri: 8.45am-5.15pm  Weds: 8.45am-7pm
Yewcroft / Quinton Carers Group The Kenrick Centre Mill Farm Road
Monthly 2nd Wednesday of each month Harborne  0300 304 5530  or
Michelle Long 07392 319482
Longbridge Carers Group Longbridge Health & Community Centre, 10 Park Way
0300 304 5530 or
Michelle Long 07392 319482
Health & Wellbeing Carers Group Monthly 2nd Thursday of each month Michelle Long 07392 319482
Creative Support 88 Bristol Road South Northfield
alt. Wednesdays 2-3pm 0121 476 4349
Birmingham.hob@creativesupport.org.uk
Looking Forward Term time only
(Parent and Carer Support Group) 17 Victoria Road Harborne
Fortnightly, info@cpmids.org.uk
Thursdays 10-11:30
National Autistic Society 0808 800 4104
Monday Thursday 10-4 Friday 9-3
National Dementia & Alzheimer’s Helpline 0300 222 11 22
Ring and Ride 0330 053 8135
Autism West Midlands 0121 450 7582 / 0303 03 00 111
Silverline—Helpline for older people 0800 4 70 80 90
Age UK 0800 055 6112
Age Concern  0121 362 3650
 info@ageconcernbirmingham.org.uk
Citizens Advice 0344 411 1444 www.citizensadvice.org.uk
National Debtline 08088084000 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
CRUSE Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677
Citizens Advice Bureau 03444 111 444
MIND 0300 123 3393
Dementia Awareness 0121 466 6000
Samaritans 0121 666 6644
Birmingham Healthy Minds  0121 301 2525

Violence Policy
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.

NHS Services

In addition to GP consultations the Practice offers a comprehensive range of healthcare services and specialist clinics:

Adult Immunisations – are your vaccinations up to date? If not, make an appointment to see one of our Practice Nurses to have your routine vaccinations. Adult Vaccines available on the NHS
Ante-natal Care – the Doctors work closely with the midwives to deliver your ante-natal care. Please arrange an appointment with your Doctor if you are pregnant.
Child Health Surveillance 6 – 8 week developmental review -Appointments for consultations will be sent from the practice. These are undertaken by the GP.
Childhood immunisations – Appointments for your child’s immunisations will be sent to you direct from the child health team. It is important that you attend for these appointments as the vaccinations need to be given at specific times in your child’s development (8, 12, and 16 weeks). If you are unable to attend please let us know so that we can re-arrange in a timely fashion. Childrens Vaccination Schedule
Contraception and Sexual Health – a full range of contraceptive services are available – this includes fitting coils as well as hormonal methods e.g. the pill, injections and implants. These services are also available to residents who are not registered with the Practice.
Chronic Disease Reviews – We have changed the way we invite our patients with chronic diseases, so that hopefully it will make it easier to know when you will be invited and reduce the number of times we ask you to attend. By chronic disease, we mean Diabetes, Asthma, COPD, Stroke monitoring and Heart Disease. Instead of asking you to see the nurse about separate conditions, we will invite you to attend for a nurse appointment each year in the month of your birth for a review of any of these conditions. So, if you suffer from 2 of these conditions, the nurse will review both conditions at the same appointment. You are welcome to book appointments if you have any concerns at any other time and the nurse will arrange any follow up you may need before your next routine review. We hope this will make your review appointment procedure simpler and more effective.
Holiday/ Routine Vaccinations – are your tetanus and polio vaccinations up to date? If not, make an appointment to see the Nurse to have a booster dose. Holiday vaccinations are just as important- ask for details at reception
Health Promotion – the Practice firmly believes that good health can be maintained by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Advice and encouragement are available for all our patient
Minor Surgery – these clinics are held on some Fridays by appointment. In these clinics minor lumps and bumps, skin tags, verrucas and warts may be removed. Please see your Doctor for further details.
Smoking Cessation – we have a comprehensive programme of help if you want to stop smoking. This involves initial support to set a quit date, prescription of medication to help you to stop smoking and follow up advice to help you keep well when not smoking. Please book an appointment with reception if you want help to quit.
Travel Vaccinations – if you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with one of our Practice Nurses at least two months before your planned travel. This allows time to plan and complete a course of any necessary injections and sign post you to other specialist clinics.

Please see our travel form
Click here

Non-NHS Services

he National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions such as prescription charges. The NHS does not employ GPs but has a contract with them to provide NHS general medical services for their patients. Sometimes, however, GPs are asked to provides additional services, which fall outside their contract with the NHS, and in these circumstances, they are entitled to make a reasonable charge for providing them. It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge, although the BMA produces lists of suggested fees for the Doctors to use as a guideline.

When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, the doctor needs to check the patient’s entire medical record to ensure that they are providing accurate information. GPs will not be able to complete forms overnight, so please ensure that you give them reasonable notice. Not all documents need a signature by a doctor. For example, you could ask another person in a position of trust, who may be willing to sign a passport application free of charge. (Teacher, Accountant, etc).

If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask the receptionist if bringing them as a ‘job lot’ can reduce the price. You can also complete the form to the best of your ability in pencil, so the doctor just has to quickly verify your entries against the information held by the practice.

What is covered by the NHS and what is not?

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are:

  • Certain travel vaccinations
  • Private medical insurance reports
  • Holiday cancellation claim forms
  • Referral for private care forms
  • Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.

We aim to complete all reports within 2 weeks from the date of receipt. If the report does not form part of the NHS services a charge may apply. Where possible, we base our fees in line with the British Medical Associate (BMA) Guidance.

IMPORTANT: Contact reception about any requests you may have. Do not book an appointment with the Doctor to discuss a medical report or letter.

Please telephone us an explain you need to see a Doctor urgently – The receptionist will ask you for a brief description of the problem and will offer you a sameday appointment to see a Doctor. If you call after 11am, the Receptionist will pass on the nature of your problem to the Doctor, who will either request you come to the surgery or they will telephone you to discuss the problem.

Modern Slavery Statement

Section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) requires commercial organisations operating in the UK with an annual turnover in excess of £36m to produce a ‘slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation’.

Organisational Structure and Business

Our Health Partnership is one of the UK’s biggest GP partnerships. It brings together 52 surgeries in the Midlands and Shropshire. By using our shared expertise to tackle the challenges of GP practice today, we can keep local surgeries thriving and provide the excellent care that our patients need now and into the future.

Our approach to slavery and human trafficking

We are committed to tackling modern slavery within every part of our business and its supply chains. Our Anti-slavery statement, in combination with the establishment of effective policies, demonstrates our commitment to the issue of modern slavery and ensures that appropriate and coordinated action is taken throughout the business.

Due diligence

We have taken action to understand and address the risks of modern slavery within our operations, including:

  • The development of robust processes around whistleblowing, grievance, disciplinary and bullying and harassment policies, to provide both staff and patients with assurance that modern slavery concerns will be raised and dealt with appropriately
  • Staff training and increasing awareness of modern slavery, on how to spot signs and raise complaints within the organisation, and monitoring the delivery of this training to staff
  • Putting in place Strict standards for conduct in the workplace, mirroring the NHS code of conduct, as referenced within our staff handbook and code of conduct policy
  • Ensuring inappropriate employment practices are avoided by adhering to our Illegal Working Prevention, DBS, and Recruitment policies, to ensure identity checks, DBS, qualifications and references are in place
  • Continued development of policies around safeguarding

Earlier in the year NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners also published guidance on ‘Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care’ and subsequently the Birmingham and Solihull CCG policy was produced. Medicines included in the policy are:

  • Co-proxamol
  • Dosulepin
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Herbal treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Immediate release fentanyl
  • Lidocaine plasters
  • Liothyronine
  • Lutein and antioxidants
  • Once daily Tadalafil
  • Omega-3 fatty acid compounds
  • Perindopril arginine
  • Prolonged release doxazosin
  • Rubifacients (excluding topical NSAIDs)
  • Targinact – Oxycodone and naloxone combination
  • Tramacet – paracetamol and tramadol combination
  • Trimipramine
  • Vaccines administered exclusively for the purposes of travel (see list in policy)

NHS England Guidance:https://www.england.nhs.uk/medicines/conditions-for-which-over-the-counter-items-should-not-routinely-be-prescribed/ 

Birmingham and Solihull CCG policy: https://nhs.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fc496e37a02fff5979483df7e&id=50f4e99283&e=261acd4ccf

Suspension of private work.

We have been asked by NHS England to stop doing any private work for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. We are grateful for your understanding on this. Urgent patient care is our immediate priority at present. 

Private Fees and Charges

Why do GPs charge fees?

The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are some exceptions.  For example Prescription charges have existed since 1951, and in other cases charges are made because the service isn’t covered by the NHS such as medical reports for insurance companies, letters and forms which require the doctor to  review the patients medical records and some travel vaccinations.

It is important to understand that GP’s are not employed by the NHS, they are self employed, and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc in the same way as any small business.

The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work, but for non NHS services the Practice needs to charge a fee to cover the doctor’s costs.

What is covered by the NHS and what is not?

The government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to be sure that information provided is true and accurate.

Examples of non-NHS services for which GP’s can charge their patients

  •   Certain travel vaccinations
  •   Private medical insurance reports
  •   Holiday cancellation forms
  •   Referral for private care forms
  •   Letters requested by or on behalf of the patient
  •   In certain instances fitness to work forms

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions

  •   Medical reports for an insurance company
  •   Some reports for the DSS/Benefits agency
  •   Examinations of local authority employees

Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?

Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Most GP’s have a very heavy workload with the majority of GP’s working up to 60 hours a week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.

I only need the doctor’s signature – What is the problem?

When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor needs to check the patient’s entire record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police.

VAT

The practice is registered for VAT and, where stated, VAT is included in our fees.

Fees for services not provided under the NHS

The services shown are not provided under National Health Service contracts and so the following fees will be charged by the Practice. If you have any questions relating to these fees, please address them to your Doctor or the Practice Manager before requesting the service.

GENERAL  
Copies and access to Medical records (patient)

Health recods held on the computer

Full set

Summary

Health records held in part on computer and in part manually

Health records held manually

Fee to allow patients access to their own health records where no copy is required

 

 

 

No Charge for any of this information
Vaccination History No Charge
Private Sick Note – Simple and no opinion

Private Sick Report – Complex and no opinion

Private Sick Report – Detailed report & opinion

£26.00

£62.50

£124.50

Photo Copying of Medical Notes (Private Company)

 

No Charge
To Whom It May Concern Letter (GP opinion)

(including Cambridge diet forms and water sure scheme)

£42.00 (inc VAT)
Blue Badge Appeal (disabled parking) £36.00 (inc VAT)
DNA Test – private

Blood test

£72.00 (inc VAT)

£30.00 (inc VAT)

Fostering & Adoption – Medical & Report £140.00 (inc VAT)
Assessment of Capacity

Power of attorney

Passport photo signature

Carers Care Break

We do not offer this service

We do not offer this service

£24.00 (inc VAT)

Performing Arts

GP’s signature

£24.00 (inc VAT)

£24.00 (inc VAT)

EMPLOYMENT  
Employment, Pre-Employment Medical and Report £240.00 (inc VAT)
Employment, Pre-Employment Report (No Examination) £150.00 (inc VAT)
INSURANCE  
Simple Questions

Simple Certificate – no opinion

£15.00 per question

£26.00

Complex report or extract from Medical Records – no opinion £62.50
Medical Assessment Reports (no medical) £124.50
DRIVING  
Driver Insurance Form – without Medical

Driver insurance D4 form – Medical Examination Report

£100.00 (Inc VAT)

£140.00 (inc VAT)

TRAVEL  
Fitness to Travel £42.00 (inc VAT)
Fitness to Travel Statement with Medical £240.00 (inc VAT)
Cancellation of Holiday Claim Form £42.00 (inc VAT)

 Travel and other Vaccination fees

Vaccination Price Quantity Protection
Combined Hepatitis A & B Vaccination Free 3 doses See individual vaccines.
Combined Hepatitis A & Typhoid Vaccination Free 1 dose See individual vaccines.
Combined Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio Vaccination Free 1 dose 10 years
Hepatitis A Vaccination Free 2 doses 20 years
Hepatitis B Vaccination £40 per dose (£120 in total) 3 doses 5 years
Influenza Vaccination (for non-qualifying patients) £20 per dose 1 dose 1 year
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination £85 per dose (£170 in total) 2 doses 1 year
Prescription charges e.g. Malaria Tablets. No Charge
Meningitis ACWY Vaccination including certificate £50 per dose 1 dose 5 years
Pneumococcus Vaccination Free 1 dose 6 years
Rabies Vaccination £75 per dose (£225 in total) 3 doses 3-5 years
Tick Borne Encephalitis Vaccination £65 per dose (£195 in total) 3 doses 3 years
Typhoid Vaccination Free 1 dose 3 years

Chaperone Policy
It is the policy of this practice to respect the privacy, dignity, religious and cultural beliefs of our patients.

If you feel you would like a chaperone to be present during a physical examination by a doctor or any other health professional you may be consulting at the surgery (or if you prefer to be examined by a doctor or health professional of the same sex as yourself) please let us know and we will do our best to comply with your wishes.