**Thurs 28th May - We are currently having problems with our telephone lines, we are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. It may take longer to get through to reception as we work to fix this issue. **
We are a partnership of six GPs & one salaried GP 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 Supervisor, three 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
We wish to thank our many patients, and people from our local community, who have contributed equipment to the Practice including; scrubs, masks, disposable aprons/gowns, visors and eye equipment, hand sanitizer and not to forget goodies which we love! We all really appreciate the kindness shown within our community and further afield.
****From Friday 13th March 2020 we are no longer offering morning open surgery or routine afternoon appointments ****
The safety of our patients, staff and GPs is of upmost importance. Going forward you should NOT visit the surgery unless you have been told to by a member of reception, a nurse or a GP.
If you have been asked to attend surgery please wear a mouth/nose covering such as a scarf or mask.
If you need to speak with a GP we are now doing telephone triage daily for urgent medical conditions:
- You must request a telephone between 9 and 11am symptoms. If the lists are full you will be asked to call back between 2 -3.30pm. If you phone at 3.30pm and the lists are at capacity you will be asked to phone back the next day so its always best to call early.
- a GP will phone you back before 5pm -unfortunately at present you cannot specify a GP
- To request a call back you must be willing to provide our receptionists with an overview of your symptoms.
- Please be aware that given the present circumstances we now have less GPs working within the practice and therefore we are operating with skeleton cover. This may continue for some time.
Please visit www.publichealth.hscni.net for the most up to date guidance on coronavirus. If you have symptoms such as cough or fever please DO NOT visit the surgery.
*GPs will only telephone triage those who urgently require medical advice
* Sick lines can now be obtained through contacting reception rather than seeing a GP. Please provide our skilled receptionists with all relevant details.
* Please do not collect prescriptions at reception but nominate a chemist for collection
We appreciate this is a difficult time - the safety of our GPs, staff and patients alike is paramount due to the unprecedented nature of this epidemic. Please work with us in enforcing these guidelines
Repeat Prescribing Line
From 24th June 2019 we hope to have our repeat prescribing line installed which will allow you to leave a message with your personal details and the medication you require (including dose and quantity). This is for repeat medication only - that is medication that is ordered regularly every month and is not an acute item. You must state your preferred chemist and allow a minimum of 48hours for collection.
When the line is operational receptionists will no longer be taking repeat prescription requests over the phone. We hope the repeat prescribing line will help our patients get better access to Practice services
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).
GDPR - Your data, privacy and the Law. How we use your medical records
What is GDPR?
Our Privacy Notice
Practice Based Learning Closure Dates:
Thursday 3rd October 1-6pm 2019
Wednesday 20th November 1-6pm 2019
Thursday 30th January 1-6pm 2020
Wednesday 11th March 1-6pm 2020
Thursday 30th April 1-6pm 2020
Wednesday 3rd June 1-6pm 2020
Out of hours service or a GP will be available during these times
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 20 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 20 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. For items issued 12 months or more you will need to see a GP as you cannot request these over the phone, or alternatively, if available in a pharmacy they can be purchased.
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.
On Friday 13th December 2019 staff and GPs wore their Christmas jumpers to work; and along with patient donations raised £182.86 which we donated to the Grace Fellowship. This is towards their Christmas day dinner which they are cooking and serving to vulnerable members of our community. If you would like further details on how to attend please contact the surgery. Thank you all for your continued support!
On 22nd October 2019 the GP Partners and Staff of Dromara Surgery participated in a 'Funrave' held to raise funds for Cash for Kids NI. Our patients also donated and together we managed to raise £472.56! Thank you to all who contributed.
On Friday 14th December 2018 we held our annual Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Air Ambulance NI where we raised a total of £307.58. Thank you to all our patients and staff for your generous donations.
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 & staff 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 28/05/2020)