Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Practice news and updates

Practice Based Learning - Wednesday 25 September 2019

25 September 2019

The practice will close at 1300 on Wednesday 25 September 2019 for Practice Based Learning.  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC.  Our admin staff will be receiving training on Adverse Childhood Experiences and the implications for GP Practice Support Staff while our Nursing Staff will be receiving a Tissue Viability Update.  GPs will be attending an update on the SE Trust Podiatry Service, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Implications for Health, and Managing Headaches in General Practice.  Continuing professional development like this helps our staff stay up to date and deliver the best possible quality of care to our patients.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Thursday 26 September 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Summer Bank Holiday Closure - Monday 26 August 2019

23 Aug 2019

The practice will close for the Summer Bank Holiday on Monday 26 August 2019.  Cover will be provided by NDA Doc GP Out-Of-Hours Service.

On Friday 23 August we will have increased capacity for triage calls and urgent appointments with the aim to deal with all patient contacts before we close for the Bank Holiday weekend.  The Friday before a Bank Holiday Monday closure can be very busy and we would kindly ask that you contact the Practice for urgent problems only on Friday 23 August to allow us to deal with urgent problems that can't wait until the Practice re-opens on Tuesday 27 August at 0830. 

We would encourage all patients to ensure they have enough of their medicines to last over the long weekend and if not please contact the Practice as early as possible on Friday 23 August to request any prescriptions you need.

If over the weekend or on Monday 26 August you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 27 August at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.  

Practice Afternoon Closure - Thursday 1 August 2019

1 Aug 2019

The practice will close at 1300 on Thursday 1 August 2019.  All staff will be attending an off site workshop to develop the Mission, Vision and Values for the practice and to look at learning and development needs and internal processes in order that we can continuously improve the safety, quality and experience for our patients.

On the morning of Thursday 1 August we will have increased capacity for triage calls and urgent appointments with the aim to deal with all patient contacts before we close.  While the practice is closed from 1300 -1800 we will have a locum GP providing an on-call service for urgent problems.  This service can be accessed by calling the usual practice phone line where you will be given a telephone number to directly contact our locum GP.  We would kindly ask that you use this for urgent problems only and call back on Friday 2 August 2019 regarding any non-urgent problems that may be better dealt with by the usual practice team.

After 1800 there will be out of hours cover as usual.  To access this service please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

July Holiday Closure - Friday 12 July 2019 and Monday 15 July 2019

7 July 2019

The practice will be closed on Friday 12 July 2019 and providing an on-call service for urgent problems on Monday 15 July 2019.  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC GP Out of Hours Service on Friday 12 July.  Please ensure you have enough medication to last over the long weekend.  You may need to order your medication early.  Please request any prescriptions you need as early as possible this week and try not to leave it until Thursday 11 July.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until Monday 15 July 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

To access the Practice On-Call Service for urgent problems on Monday 15 July 2019 please call (028) 91 455 000 where you will be given the on-call phone number.

Spring Bank Holiday Closure - Monday 27 May 2019

25 May 2019

The practice will be closed for the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27th May 2019 .  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC GP Out of Hours Service.  

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 28th May 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Practice Based Learning - Wednesday 22 May 2019

22 May 2019

The practice will be closed from 1300 on Wednesday 22 May 2019 for Practice Based Learning.  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC GP Out-of-Hours Service.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Recruiting - Travel Health Nurse

15 May 2019

We are currently recruiting for a Travel Health Nurse to join the team at Bangor Travel Clinic.  We are dedicated to providing an excellent, convenient travel health service for the people of Bangor and beyond.  We offer opportunities for further learning and career development within our friendly team.  For further details please see the Job Description and Person Specification.  Enquiries are welcome to the Practice Manager.

Early May Bank Holiday Closure - Monday 6 May 2019

4 May 2019

The practice will be closed for the Early May Bank Holiday on Monday 6th May 2019 .  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC GP Out of Hours Service.  

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Easter Closure - Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd April 2019

16 April 2019

The practice will be closed for Easter on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd April 2019 .  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC GP Out of Hours Service.  We will have an increased number of triage phone calls and urgent appointments available on Wednesday 24th April to deal with problems arising over the holiday period.  The Practice will also remain open on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th April. We will not be observing our usual half day closure.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Pharmacy First for Sore Throats, Colds and Flu-Like Symptoms

6 December 2018 (updated 3 April 2019)

Funding for the Pharmacy First Service ended on 31 March 2019.  Thank you to all of our patients who used this service.  We hope you found it convenient and helpful.  From our perspective it worked well and we found we could deal quickly with patients identified by the community pharmacist to need a GP consultation.  We hope this service will run again next winter.

Practice Based Learning - Wednesday 3 April 2019

2 April 2019

The practice will be closed from 1300 on Wednesday 3 April 2019 for Practice Based Learning.  Cover will be provided by NDA DOC.  Our admin staff will be receiving Safeguarding Awareness Training while Nursing Staff will be learning about Atrial Fibrillation and patient counselling and GPs will be attending a session on Hot Topics in Cardiology.  Continuing professional development like this helps our staff stay up to date and deliver good care to our patients.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Thursday 4 April 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Pharmacy First for Sore Throats, Colds and Flu-Like Symptoms

6 December 2018

Pharmacy First is a new service funded by the Department of Health.  This service enables patients to consult their community pharmacist first for advice and treatment for sore throats, colds and flu-like illness. 

The aim of the service is to displace activity, including consultations, advice and generating prescriptions for these common conditions, from General Practice and Out of Hours services to a community pharmacy based service.  This frees up GP time and allows your GP to see you and other patients when expert medical advice is needed.

Find out more including a list of Silverbirch local pharmacies providing this service on our Pharmacy First Page

St Patrick's Day Closure  - Monday 18 March 2019

16 March 2019

The practice will be closed on Monday 18 March 2019.  f you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Pharmacy First page, or Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

We will have additional telephone triage slots and urgent appointments available on Tuesday (19 March) morning to manage any urgent problems that have arisen over the long weekend.  We will also suspend our usual afternoon closure on Wednesday 20 March - the practice will remain open until 1800.

Practice Based Learning - Wednesday 13 March 2019

13 March 2019

The Practice will close at 1300 on Wednesday 13 March 2019.  This is for Practice Based Learning.  

f you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Thursday 14 March 2019 at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Pharmacy First page, or Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens. 

Practice Based Learning - Thursday 17 January 2019

14 January 2019

The Practice will close at 1300 on Thursday 17 January 2019.  This is for Practice Based Learning.  Our Doctors, Practice Manager and GDPR Administrator will be joining with staff from other practices in North Down and Ards for Continuing Professional Development.  They will be receiving an update on the GDPR legislation and financial issues affecting General Practice.

f you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Friday 18 January at 0830 please contact NDADOC GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Pharmacy First page, or Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens. 

Please note the practice will be open for the full day on Wednesday 16 January 2019.  We will not be observing our usual afternoon closure.

Christmas and New Year Holiday Arrangements

9 December 2018

The practice will close for the holiday period at 1300 on Christmas Eve - Monday 24 December 2018. 

Please help us to help you by ensuring you order your prescriptions in good time for the holiday period.

Click here for full details of our holiday closure arrangements

New GP - Dr Sara-Jane Howard

5 October 2018

We are pleased to announce that Dr Sara-Jane Howard has joined the team at Silverbirch in September 2018.  Initially she will be covering Dr Gabbie's sessions while Dr Gabbie is on maternity leave.
 
Dr Howard trained in Stoke and Keele in England before returning to work in Northern Ireland.  He regular surgeries will be on Tuesdays and Fridays

Flu Clinics 2018

5 Sept 2018

Our annual flu vaccinations clinics will be running from October 2018.  Eligible patients will receive a postal invitation in the next 2 weeks.

Practice Based Learning - Thursday 13 September 2018

5 Sept 2018 (updated 13 Sept 2018 - OOH Cover is now in place)

The Practice will close at 1300 on Thursday 13 September 2018.  This is for Practice Based Learning.  Our Doctors and Nurses will be joining with staff from other practices in North Down and Ards for Continuing Professional Development.  The Doctors will be receiving an update on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults while nursing and administrative staff will be receiving an update on the flu vaccination programme for 2018.

f you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Friday 14 September 0830 please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens. 

Please note the practice will be open for the full day on Wednesday 12 September 2018.  We will not be observing our usual afternoon closure that day.

July Holiday Closure

10 July 2018

The Practice will be closed on Thursday 12 July and Friday 13 July.  Please plan ahead by ensuring you have enough medication to last over the long holiday weekend.  You may need to order your prescription early this week. 

On Thursday 12 July - The NDA Doc GP Out of Hours service is providing daytime cover.  If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Monday 16 July at 0830 please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens. 

On Friday 13 July - There is no GP Out of Hours cover during the daytime.  The Practice will therefore provide an on-call service between 0830 and 1800 for urgent medical problems that cannot wait until we re-open on Monday 16th July.  The Out of Hours service will provide the usual weekend cover starting from 1800 on Friday 13 July.

Spring Bank Holiday Closure - Monday 28 May 2018

20 May 2018

The Practice will be closed on Monday 28 May for the Spring Bank Holiday.  Please plan ahead by ensuring you have enough medication to last over the Bank Holiday weekend.  You may need to order your prescription earlier this week. 

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 29 May at 0830 please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens. 

Physician Associate Students

16 May 2018

We are pleased to announce that Silverbirch is now a training practice for Physician Associate students from the University of Ulster. 

Physician Associates are a new type of health professional in Northern Ireland being developed by the Department of Health to work alongside Doctors.  They are a well established profession in the USA. 

Our current PA Student is Emma Mawhinney.  She will be sitting in with Dr Kinnear on Thursdays.

Early May Bank Holiday Closure

6 May 2018

The Practice will be closed on Monday 7 May for the Early May Bank Holiday.  If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Tuesday 8 May at 0830 please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.  Please remember that the GP Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only, where you cannot wait until your usual Practice reopens.

Practice Based Learning - Wednesday 25 April 2018

24 April 2018

The Practice will close at 1300 on Wednesday 25 April 2018.  This is for Practice Based Learning.  Our Doctors and Nurses will be joining with staff from other practices in North Down and Ards for Continuing Professional Development.  The Doctors will be receiving an update on pain management while nursing staff will be receiving an update on diabetes care.  Our admin staff will be undertaking a team building exercise.

If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens on Thursday 26 April at 0830 please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.

Easter Holidays

2nd April 2018

The practice will be closed for Easter on Monday 2nd April and Tuesday 3rd April.  Due to the 2 day closure we will not be observing our usual Wednesday afternoon closure on Wednesday 4th April - the practice will be open until 1800 on Wednesday 4th April.  If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until the practice reopens please contact NDA Doc GP Out of Hours Service on 028 91 822 344.  If you have a less urgent problem your local pharmacist may be able to help - see our Choose Well page.  Alternatively it may be appropriate to Self Care until the practice reopens.

Annie Keatley has retired

14th January 2018

Annie Keatley has retired after 6 years as a Receptionist at Silverbirch Medical Practice.  All the Doctors and Staff wish her a long and happy retirement.  She will be greatly missed!

If any patients would like to send best wishes or cards the staff will be happy to pass these on at her upcoming retirement party.

Prescriptions will now be ready 2 days after requested

20th October 2017

Several practices in the area recently attended a workshop to examine our prescribing protocols.  In response to a review of our protocol we have made a number of improvements to reduce errors and improve safety and governance.  As a result more time is needed for processing prescriptions.  For this reason there will now be a minimum 48 hour wait for all prescription requests unless deemed urgent by a doctor.  Please keep this in mind and order your prescriptions in good time.

Red Alert Status Discontinued

11th February 2018

We are pleased to announce that our Red Alert Status has been discontinued.  Thank you for your patience and understanding while we dealt with the exceptional demand and winter pressures.  The practice is still very busy and we have a backlog of non-urgent and administrative work to clear.  We appreciate your continued patience and understanding while we deal with this.

RED ALERT

16th January 2018

Due to exceptional demand and winter pressures the Practice is currently on Red Alert.  This means we will increase our telephone triaging and emergency appointments and prioritise urgent problems first.  Unfortunately this means there will be no book same day appointments available for patients as these will be converted to emergency appointments and routine matters may take longer to deal with.  This situation has arisen despite having an additional GP in the Practice and having locums providing additional surgeries.  We would ask that all patients help ease the pressure on the practice by using self care where possible.  For Winter Ailments like coughs, colds and flu-like illnesses you can find advice on our Winter Ailments and Self Care pages.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused while we deal with these exceptional pressures.

Flu Clinics

20th October 2017 

For anyone who missed the flu clinics on 7th and 11th October or the first catch up clinic on Thursday 19th October the next catch up clinic will be on Thursday 26th October from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm.  We would encourage all eligible patients to get the flu vaccination as early as possible.  For more information see our Flu Vaccination page

Flu Clinics - October 2017

9th September 2017

We will be running two flu clinics in October 2017.

The first will be on Saturday 7th October from 8.30 am  to 1 pm. This will be for for all eligible patients under 65 years of age, preschool children over the age of two, carers and pregnant women.

The second will be on Wednesday 11th October from 1pm to 6pm. This will be for all patients over the age of 65.

It is very important that all eligible patients receive the flu vaccine.  If you are in any of the above categories please reserve the relevant date in your diary.  You will shortly receive a letter in the post with a one hour time slot to attend one of these clinics.  For more information on the flu vaccine and eligible groups please see our Flu page or ask a member of staff.  

QUB Teaching Practice

9th September 2017

We are pleased to announce that Silverbirch is now a teaching practice for medical students from Queen's University Belfast. There may be medical students sitting in on surgeries with the doctors or clinics with other staff in the practice.  If you would prefer not to have a student present during your appointment please inform the Reception Staff when you arrive.

New GP Joining the Team at Silverbirch

14th June 2017

We are pleased to announce that a new GP will be joining the Team at the end of September 2017.  This is part of our ongoing plans to improve the range of services provided by the practice and to improve access to all services including routine appointments.  In the past 8 months we have already added a Practice Manager, Practice Nurse, Healthcare Assistant, Practice Pharmacist, CBT Therapist and an additional Receptionist to the Team.

Introduction of telephone triage and routine phone calls

To help deal with the demand for access to a GP the practice has introduced telephone triage. This allows patients to book a call and discuss their problem with the doctor who can give advice on the phone or recommend a routine or urgent face to face appointment. The GPs will also do routine phone calls for problems that can be dealt with on the phone and do not require a face to face consultation. This is often more convenient for patients and makes better use of the doctors’ time.

Joint and Soft Tissue Injections Clinic

We now provide a clinic for joint and soft tissue injections.  The clinic is run by Dr Kinnear.  If you would like to make an appointment please contact reception.

Online Services

Patients can now order prescriptions and book their own appointments online via our online services module provided by Vision. You will need to register for this service at the practice first - see more details about our online services and the registration process.

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