We are a partnership of seven GPs in General Practice contracted by HSCB to provide NHS services to our patients. The Practice is located on Begney Hill Road in the village of Dromara. Dromara Surgery is involved in the training of Medical Students.
There are seven GPs, a Practice and deputy practice Manager, an office Manager, three Practice Nurses, one Healthcare Assistant and a full team of clerical staff to look after the health needs of our patients. We endeavour to provide a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, as well as modern medical facilities in comfortable surroundings with car parking
Changes to Wednesday morning
From the 11th April 2018 we will have appointments only on a Wednesday morning. Therefore if your childs requires a vaccination or you require an antenatal check on or after this date you will need to contact the surgery for a suitable time. We hope this will improve efficiency and reduce waiting times on a Wednesday morning.
If you arrive on or after the 11th April without an appointment we will ask you to return on the next available slot (on a Wednesday).
Neurology and breast screening
Regarding Dr Michael Watt - we have no additional information over and above that in the news. Although he was not working in Lagan Valley, some Dromara patients may have seen him in RVH or the Ulster Independent clinic - and should have received letters regarding a review appointment.
You may have heard about the missed breast screening in England- we had the email below from the director of local public health [today 3.5.18]
The Public Health Agency (PHA) is aware of issues identified with the breast screening programme in England. We have taken this opportunity to review the systems and processes through which women are invited for screening in Northern Ireland to ensure that they are in line with our policy here and no issues have been identified.
If women have queries regarding their breast screening invitations they can be advised to contact their local breast screening unit on the numbers below.
Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas: 028 9033 3700
Morning Open Surgery
In order to maintain patient safety GPs will only see a maximum of 22 patients in morning open surgery per GP
- After this patients will only be seen in a medical emergency
- If it is not a medical emergency patients will be asked to book an afternoon appointment or to attend the next open surgery
- Patients will be taken in a first come first served basis so the earlier you arrive the more chance you have of getting seen in open surgery
- Doors close at 11am sharp
Please note that as patients arrive they will be added across GP lists in order to keep them even - some GPs may work through their lists quicker than others
Nurse appts in the afternoon
Rather than the "sit and wait" system for the nurses, we are offering specific times for the nurse afternoon appointments. Samples are collected at 12pm and so we are unable to do bloods in the afternoon.
Please ring reception if you need a nurse appointment - they will ask what it is for [dressing, injection, flu etc], as some things [such as dressings] take longer.
Morning Open Surgery
We are aware that the majority of patients wish us to continue morning open surgery, and we have no plans to remove this, however patients also repeatedly say to us that they feel they wait too long.
Patients are given an estimated time of their appointment, and will have the option of taking a seat and waiting [as now] or of returning for their appointment. We do our best to keep to time, but the nature of healthcare means that we will sometimes run late, especially if you wish to see a specific GP.These morning slots will not be bookable in advance, or over the phone. So far, this has been working well, and patient feedback has been nearly universally positive.
GPs can only deal with 1 problem during a ten minute appointment - if you bring a "shopping list", you will be asked which is the problem you wish to deal with that day. If we attempt to deal with more than one, we find that we don't have time to address either properly. The same applies to requests to deal with more than one patient in a slot - this is not fair to those patiently waiting their turn.
If you have a very complex medical problem, or 2 [or more] problems you wish to discuss, you can ask for an afternoon double appointment - subject to availability - if 2 slots together are available, it is likely you will have less choice of timeslot .
Specific GPs can only be requested up to 10am each morning [except Wed] or until they have 10 patient requests. Our afternoon appointments can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance.
To maintain safe working practices GPs can see a maximum of 22 patients per GP on a first time first served basis.
Physiotherapy self-referral form
The South-eastern Trust is running a pilot program of accessing physiotherapists for muscular/bony problems [e.g. Low back pain] - without patients needing to see their GP. You can follow the above link to an online form, which asks for some details about the problem which they need to plan your care [all information is kept strictly confidential]. The current waiting time is around 12 weeks, whether GP or self referral.
Private Screening tests
We have had some patients coming in regarding various private screening tests, which seem to have been targeting patients in the local area.
Our advice would be that if you are worried about one of the diseases they claim to screen for, to discuss with a GP first, before spending any money.
This also applies to any private genetics testing.
This is a useful site discussing the problems with private screening:
We fully support the free NHS screening programs, e.g Mammograms, Smears, Aortic Aneurysm or Bowel screening.
New videos about what happens at screening have been produced by the
Public Health Agency. It is hoped the videos will help clear up confusion
about how to take the test and clarify the process.
The video is also available in British and Irish sign language and subtitled.
What happens at breast screening:
Rather than having to ring in to order repeats, why not try our online repeat prescriptions ordering service - once set up, it will allow easy reordering and even send you an email reminding you when your next prescription is due.
Please allow 48 hours, excluding weekends and Bank Holidays, for your request to be processed. NOTE: Prescriptions are only issued within office hours, so if request is sent online on a Friday, the earliest it will be at Boots chemist Dromara is the following Tuesday. Other chemists pick up on different days.
Repeat medications should be requested at least 24 hours before they are needed. It is not fair to people waiting to see a doctor to ask a receptionist to interrupt them to sign a script, so they will be signed only after surgery.
Some pharmacies collect each day, some once or twice/week. If you cannot wait until the pharmacy collects them, then [on request] it can be collected at reception 1 working day after being ordered. We do not phone/fax routine scripts to pharmacies.
Health and Happiness
Our team are dedicated to your continued good health and approach your care with professionalism, discretion and friendliness. You can count on a warm welcome from everyone involved here at the practice.
On the 15th and 22nd of December 2017 we held a Christmas Jumper Day in aid of the charity 'Friends of the Cancer Centre.' Staff, GP partners and patients raised an amazing £246.00! Thank you to everyone who supported this worthy cause.
GPs and staff participated in a Christmas Jumper Day on 9th Dec '16 and raised £130 with donations also coming from patients. This was donated to the Little Princess Trust - thank you to all involved
GPs & staffed walked 10km (Tollymore) on Sat 12th Nov '16 and raised £518 for Chest Heart and Stroke - thank you for all your kind donations to this worthy cause
(Site updated 18/05/2018)