Beechfield PPG

Beechfield Medical Centre (Spalding, Lincolnshire)
Patient Participation Group Newsletter

Number 5
February 2018


At last we're starting the climb to Summer At last the long dark days of Winter are coming to an end, and within the next week or two we'll really start to see the evenings and mornings getting lighter as we climb the curve to Summer. It's a time to start planning for the warmer seasons and that should include a plan to stay fit, exercise and watch your weight. Enjoy the coming seasons!

The Beechfield PPG's aim is to keep you informed with snippets of information and updates on the Surgery's and our own activities. The PPG has its own web site at do please have a look.

Drug & Alcohol Addiction Peer Support Groups

Two practical peer support groups run in Spalding and welcome anyone with a drug or alcohol addiction. They provide an informal, safe environment where people can share their experiences and connect with peers. The groups aim to build on and help individuals develop self-awareness and resiliance.

Monday 11am - 12pm at Tonic Health (web site)
Spalding Friday 3-4pm at Ivo Day Centre, Spalding

As well as peer support groups, Double Impact provides a range of accredited training and qualifications, involvement forums, key functional skills, employability skills and volunteering opportunities. To get involved with any of the groups or for more information call Double Impact on 01522 304246.

World Cancer Day – 4th February 2018

World Cancer Day is February 4th World Cancer Day is a global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media.

To find out more and how you can get involved visit their website Here.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week: 26th February - 4th March 2018

BEAT logo Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) is an international awareness week supported by the BEAT Eating Disorders charity (web site). Every year Beat focuses on issues that matter to people affected by eating disorders.

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses. Anyone, no matter what their age, gender, or background, can develop one. Some examples of eating disorders include bulimia, binge eating disorder, and anorexia. There’s no single cause and people might not have all symptoms for any one eating disorder. Many people are diagnosed with "other specified feeding or eating disorder" (OSFED), which means that their symptoms don’t exactly match what doctors check for to diagnose binge eating disorder, anorexia, or bulimia, but doesn’t mean that it’s not still very serious. It’s also possible for someone’s symptoms, and therefore their diagnosis, to change over time. For example, someone could have anorexia, but their symptoms could later change so that a diagnosis of bulimia would be more appropriate.

If you think you, or someone you know, may have an eating disorder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible to start down the road to recovery. The best next step is to book a GP appointment. The earlier you can get treatment, the better your chances of recovery. Realising that you or someone you know might have an eating disorder can be very frightening, but remember that full recovery is absolutely possible, and there are lots of organisations available to help and support you.

You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from the eating disorders charity BEAT by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677. They also have a designated youth helpline on 0808 801 0711. Both helplines are open every day of the year from 3pm to 10pm. Further help and information can be found on the NHS Choices website Here

Ruth's Literary recommendations

"As an avid reader and member of a book group I read a wide selection of books so each month I will bring a title that I have enjoyed or that has stayed with me long after I have finished the book."

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler
Cover of the book, A Whole Life This was a divisive book amongst my group. It is set in the Austrian Alps so a translation but I do not think that anything is lost by that.

Andreas Eggar is a man of very few words and even less social graces, who spends his life in the Alps apart from when he goes to war. Brought up by a loathsome uncle who only took him in out of duty and for the work he could get out of him, his early years were harsh.

Despite having a limp due to cruelty he always finds work particularly when cable cars were built in the Alps, he had no real house and made a home wherever he could. Marriage brought some happiness but was short lived (I won't divulge why).

His war experiences are glossed over but on return to the Alps he finds a new way of earning a living which given his aversion to human contact and idle gossip does work out surprisingly well. The simplicity of the language used in the book nevertheless conveys the harshness of his life and the landscape, his pleasure is from nature and his surroundings and not from modern inventions.

Was his life wasted did he not achieve anything? - that is where opinions differ. As Einstein said 'I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone best both for the body and the mind.'

Rare Disease Day – 28th February 2018

European Rare Diseases Organisation Logo 28 February 2018 will be the eleventh international Rare Disease Day coordinated by EURORDIS. On and around this day hundreds of patient organisations from countries and regions all over the world will hold awareness-raising activities. Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives. The campaign targets primarily the general public and also seeks to raise awareness amongst policy makers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

Rare Disease day web site logo Building awareness of rare diseases is so important because 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point in their life. Despite this, there is no cure for the majority of rare diseases and many go undiagnosed. Rare Disease Day improves knowledge amongst the general public of rare diseases while encouraging researchers and decision makers to address the needs of those living with rare diseases.

To find out more and how you can get involved, visit the website Here


CCG Document - Access Solutions For The Digitally Disenfranchised - PDF Here

CCG Document - Supporting Care Navigation - PDF Here

January NAPP Newsletter now available Here

NHS Friends and Family Test

The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) was created to help service providers and commissioners understand whether their patients are happy with the service provided, or where improvements are needed by asking the question ‘Would you recommend this service to your friends and family?’. It is a quick and anonymous way to give your views after receiving care or treatment across the NHS.

You can leave feedback in several ways. If you are signed up for SMS text messaging at the practice you will be sent a text message following your appointment and asked to submit your feedback in this way. You can also visit the surgery website or the PPG website and leave your feedback at any time. You can also leave us feedback on the NHS Choices website Here or drop us a note, we welcome all feedback in any form.

SMS Text Messaging

In December 2016, Beechfield Medical Centre introduced text message reminders for appointments. Since then, they have introduced the Friends and Family Test function, automatic cancellations so you don’t need to ring up to cancel your appointment and utilised this service to keep patients up to date with information about the practice and flu campaigns.

We can keep in touch with you by text Inclusion in this service is automatic, as long as the practice has a current mobile telephone number for you, you will receive text messages and have access to all of these functions. If you have recently changed your mobile telephone number, please let us know by contacting Reception or visiting our website to complete a contact form. If you do not wish to receive text messages, simply inform us and we will opt you out of the system. This will mean you will not receive any text messages from us until you notify us that you wish to be included again.

It is always important to notify the practice of any change of your details as soon as they occur, so please let us know if you move house, change your name or contact details to make sure we are up to date in case we need to contact you for any reason.

The Monthly Vape

It's a matter of fact that the UK is leading the world in promoting Vaping as a much safer alternative to smoking. It's now widely accepted that vaping carries a fraction of the risk of smoking, with major organisations (BMA, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, Public Health England, Stop Smoking Services, etc., etc.) now firmly on the side of Vaping as a smoking cessation tool. However, this is not the case in other parts of the world, where negative 'junk science' reports and blatent lies from other authorities seem to prefer that the general population keeps on smoking (and paying the heavy price, both in terms of taxation and health). Although cigarettes are very addictive, Governments, stop smoking organisations and pharmaceutical companies appear to be at least as addicted to the revenues that the smoker provides.

Vaping has caught many of these authorities by surprise. Ten years ago, it was a very small operation, but driven by the massive takeup by smokers who have at last found a method that works, expansion of the market has been dramatic. And the WHO (World Health (sic) Organisation) has had (and still has) a very negative role here too, recommending that governments outlaw vaping! Go figure...

In Australia, you can go to jail for possession of a Vaping device with juice containing nicotine. It's illegal in Thailand and large areas of India have also banned vaping. As of today, February 1st, it's illegal to possess or use vaping devices in Singapore. It's not hard to connect the loss of revenues in countries which rely heavily on either the tobacco industry or Big Pharma to their crackdown on vaping. It goes without saying that cigarettes are still widely available in all these places...

Here's a few links which illustrate that money is more important than health; not to mention the deceipt and lies regularly used - and you thought corruption wasn't so common in our modern world?

Warning: Strong language in places!

If you or someone you know would like to consider Vaping then please feel free to call Tony Wright on 01775 714303 for unbiased and helpful advice

Disclaimer: Tony does not speak on behalf of the NHS and has no commercial interests in Vaping!

That's it

This Newsletter is also available online at

and as a printable PDF Here

Thank you to our various contributors - please keep up the good work!

The views and comments expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the members of the BMC PPG and no agreement to or endorsement of them, tacit or otherwise, should be inferred from any other party including the partners, staff or agents of Beechfield Medical Centre.