GP Bulletin - October 2015

  Whittington Health GP bulletin   October
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This bulletin is emailed each month to GP practices in Islington and Haringey. It contains useful information and updates from our GP medical director about Whittington Health. If you have a news item, event or update you would like to share with other GPs through this bulletin, please email
In this edition
img A note from Dr Greg Battle
Advice and support to GPs

Update on MSK outpatient 
physiotherapy services

img New rheumatology consultants
Lower Urinary Tract Service clinic at Hornsey Central 
img Advanced care planning workshop for GPs  
A note from Dr Greg Battle
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Welcome to the October edition of Whittington Health's GP Bulletin.

Dear colleagues,
This month, I am happy to be able to tell you more about 'advice and support' email addresses for specialties offered by Whittington Health.

I am very keen to continue to improve joint working across primary and secondary care as more than ever, we need to work closely together to aid decision-making. More critically, joint working will support us as generalists in the community to manage the increasing complexity we face.
I want the advice and support to GPs offered by Whittington Health to improve and to become unrivalled. Below, you will find reminders of established email advice addresses, plus new ones which are coming on stream this month.

If you do have any problems with these addresses, please let me know at my email address below. 

Whittington Heath is undergoing a full inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from the week of 7 December until Christmas. For GPs like me (my practice is The Goodinge in Islington) who share space with Whittington Health services, there may be visitors appearing in our buildings from 8 December onwards.

They are not here to inspect the GP services provided in these buildings, but to inspect Whittington Health services only. Please direct the inspectors as appropriate.

Best wishes

Dr Greg Battle      07808 174 569


img Advice and support to GPs   1
This month we are launching email addresses for the following services: Rheumatology, MSK and Gynaecology. 

You can contact the services as follows:

These contact addresses can be used for seeking advice on particular patients, management queries or for asking service questions.
Each query will receive a bounce back email with information about the expected response time and who to contact in emergencies or for routine referrals.

These new contacts are in addition to our recently established email addresses for Paediatrics and Obstetrics: and

2   Update on MSK outpatient physiotherapy services

Beverley Senior, head of community planned services, provides an update on MSK outpatient physiotherapy services.
"Whittington Health MSK outpatient physiotherapy services operate over seven different sites across Haringey and Islington offering patients a wide choice of location. The service continues to grow due to popularity and we now receive over 3,500 new referrals into the service a month, of which 97 percent are accepted.

Our average current wait for a routine MSK appointment is 5.2 weeks. For more complex patients referred to the MSK Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS), the current wait is 9.1 weeks. This service is commissioned on an 18-week pathway.

The last quarter's audit of patients showed that 100 percent of patients who attended physiotherapy satisfactorily completed their care plans. Eighty-five percent of these clients who were discharged from the service saw improvement in their quality of life and function, and had learned the skills to go on and self-manage their condition.

Within our routine physiotherapy services we continue to offer our patients a variety of pathways best suited to their individual needs including: chronic pain services, urogynaecological services, Turkish translation groups and individual sessions, and women's health services.

As well as the usual face to face consultations and treatment, we also continue to offer our patients a variety of condition-specific classes which are always very popular."

img New rheumatology consultants   3
We have recruited two new rheumatology consultants, Elena Nikiphorou and Anna Nuttall.

Dr Elena Nikiphorou has a clinical and academic interest in inflammatory arthritis (IA), disease course and outcomes and the impact of modern treatments.  She is involved in a number of national and international initiatives focusing on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and patient care.  

At a national level she is a Heberden Committee member of the British Society of Rheumatology and a member of a working group on comorbidities in RA.  At an international level she is involved with various activities including a European League Against Rheumatism Task force for core data collection in patients with IA. 

Elena can be contacted at

We will profile Anna in a forthcoming bulletin.
Lower Urinary Tract Service clinic at Hornsey Central 

Following an alert about a safety incident, and in order to protect patient safety, Whittington Health has suspended an outpatient clinic that was being held at Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre. The Centre itself remains open as usual. The clinic provided the Lower Urinary Tract Service (LUTS), and was run by Professor James Malone-Lee.

We have suspended this clinic as a necessary action in order to ensure patient safety. This has caused great distress to many patients, but we are determined to ensure that they continue to receive good, safe clinical advice and care. 

We will be offering alternative clinic appointments to all of the patients. We are also writing to all patients to advise them of this and to give them details of a helpline that they can call.

We have written to GPs today (Friday 30 October) offering advice and support about the suspension of the clinic and providing details of a patient helpline you can call.

The LUTS patient helpline will be active Monday to Friday from Monday 2 November 2015 between the hours of 10.00am and 2.00pm. The helpline number is: 020 7288 5150.
We are arranging an external independent expert review of this issue, which will provide further recommendations in due course. 

img Advanced care planning workshop for GPs   5
This workshop, specifically designed for our local GPs, provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about advance care planning, including key legal and ethical issues. 

The programme includes a session on ethics and the law, led by internationally renowned barrister and medical ethicist Daniel Sokol. This is followed by simulated learning using practice-based scenarios.

The workshop has been commissioned by the Islington Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) to develop a strong local workforce and support a collaborative approach to learning across Islington.

Date and time: Wednesday 10 February 2016, 2-5pm

Venue: Whittington Health Community Simulation Hub, Crouch End Health Centre, Middle Lane, N8 8PH

Cost: Free, but non-attendees will be charged £50

For more information: Contact Jana Kristienova on

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Study dates
Whittington Education Centre, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF.
img Paediatric allergy - Thursday 19 November 
img Gastroenterology - Thursday 3 December 
If you would like to attend any of these study days, please email:
If you have any feedback about a Whittington Health service, please feel free to email me. I’ll find the right person to help you.
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