5th Ave News Autumn 2019

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5 AveNews th


| AUTUMN 2019

shorter waiting times when you do need come in, as well as the ability to better identify exactly what service and person you need to access within the practice and when. Consequently doctors will have more time available to see people who are presenting with acute illness and emergencies. This change in dynamics should benefit everyone. In preparation for these changes, and so that you can benefit from the changes easily, we urge you to register for ManageMyHealth: www.managemyhealth.co.nz This will allow you to communicate directly with us. You will be able to book your own appointments through this online facility, as well as order your medicines, see your results and interact with your healthcare teams.

Improving your health journey The right service, at the right time, with the right person,

In this spirit of empowering patients to take charge of their own health, you’ll see the introduction of Health TV in the waiting room, where relevant health advice and information will be available. There will also be a self-service kiosk where you’ll be able to take and submit your own blood pressure, weight and height measurements before you see a doctor, leaving the consult time

in the right place. That’s how we want your experience

completely available to talk about what

with Fifth Avenue Family Practice to be.

matters most to you. While all of these measures will

This year we will be taking a closer look

providing more ways of managing and

reduce your time at the GP, bear in mind

at how we deliver and manage your

remedying conditions and symptoms

that email and phone consultations still

healthcare, so that we offer a more

at home, as well as offering new ways

carry fees. Please also note that if you’re

efficient, enjoyable and effective service

to communicate with the right person

a patient of Dr Fhiona Barrett, phone

for everyone.

at Fifth Avenue via email and phone

and email consultations will not be

consultations. This should result in less


Initiatives include focussing on care plans for those of you with

illness, less often. It should also mean

long-term, chronic health conditions,

your visits to us should be fewer, with

Watch this space and come on this journey with us.

Immunisation matters Immunise because it matters. That’s the simple message. There have been recent local cases of both measles and whooping cough, so it’s more important than ever to ensure you and your family are protected from these serious diseases. One in every 20 children experience a serious complication

generally given to babies at 15 months and then at four years.

with the onset of measles, often manifesting in pneumonia or

MMR is free for both adults and children.

encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), while one in 10 people

And while the sun is still shining, it’s hard to think about

are hospitalised. Death rates are also at one to two per 1000 in

the flu. But the first cases are starting to appear, so mark in

New Zealand.

your diary that the flu jab will be available from April. It’s a

Vaccination is completely safe and any fears about the

good idea to get this jab, particularly for those in the highest

immunisation of children being connected to autism have

risk groups – pregnant women (any trimester), people aged 65

been proven to be false. So you should feel rest assured that

years and older, people under 65 with some specific medical

immunising your children is the best course of action to protect

conditions, and children aged four years and older who have


been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of

Equally whooping cough tends to occur at this time of year,

significant respiratory illness. To find out if you qualify for a

which is particularly dangerous in babies under 12 months

free jab, visit www.fightflu.co.nz or call the surgery reception.

because they may not be able to breathe or feed properly,

Also available from April will be the shingles vaccination,

often needing hospitalisation, and could end up with serious

which became fully subsidised from 1 April 2018 for people

complications such as pneumonia and brain damage.

aged 65 years. For a period of two years, people aged 66-80

The easiest way to immunise against these diseases is with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination, which is


years can receive a fully funded catch-up version.


Meet Dr Katharina McGrath

Dr Katharina McGrath

“Everyone has a story and I like to find out what that story is. That’s why I like my job.”

is a firm proponent of leading by example. So, when she advises patients that exercise and getting outdoors is key to good

garden and grow our own veges – that’s

health and wellbeing, it

the dream.”

comes from experience.

Katharina describes herself as “a good listener” and loves a good story.

“I definitely advocate getting outside into

“I’m interested in where a person is coming from. Everyone has done

the fresh air and doing some exercise.” Katharina enjoys the beach, yoga and running, and you’ll often find her on the

interesting things in their lives, even

Dr Katharina McGrath

if they don’t think so themselves. Everyone has a story and I like to find

ski slopes during winter. She trained as a doctor at Southampton University in the United

Auckland’s North Shore.

out what that story is. That’s why I like

Recently married to her Kiwi

my job.”

Kingdom and has many years of

sweetheart, a teacher at Tauranga Girls’

experience in New Zealand, working in

College, she is enjoying the outdoor

proactive and take control of their own

accident and emergency in both Rotorua

lifestyle of the Bay of Plenty and looking


and Tauranga Hospitals, a few seasons

forward to laying down roots – literally.

at Ruapehu Medical Centre, as well as a few years in general practice on

“Once we’ve settled in and bought our own place it would be nice to have a big

Katharina encourages patients to be

“Make the most of new technology to look at your results online and ask plenty of questions.”


All in this together

• Please turn up on time for your appointment. This will help keep us all running to schedule. Just one late appointment can have a domino effect on others. We will always do our very best to call you on time because

A common theme that emerged from the Patient Experience Survey last year was frustration related to

we know your time is precious. • Please plan in advance. If you need extra time with a

waiting times at our practice. We are working hard at Fifth

doctor, please request this when you make your booking.

Avenue Family Practice to limit waiting times and make

Consultations are 10-15 minutes long, which means one

your visit as easy as possible by taking a proactive approach

to two issues can be covered during this time. If you

to your healthcare. As well as offering phone and email

think you may need a longer appointment, please discuss

consultations, extended hours (Monday to Friday 8am-

this with the receptionist when you book.

6pm and Saturdays 8.30am-11.30am), as well as additional

• Think about whether an appointment with a nurse

innovations to be introduced this year within the practice

might be more appropriate than with a doctor and if

that will make things run smoother (watch this space!),

you’re unsure, ask the receptionist at the time of booking

there are actions you can take as a patient too.

your appointment.


Helpful Health Hint

Aclasta infusions RECALL DATE CHANGE Aclasta infusions, a bisphosphonate for bone density to stop osteoporotic fractures, are moving from 12 month recall intervals to 18 months. So please don’t worry if you haven’t yet received your recall. Rest assured we have updated the system and you will receive your recall at the appropriate time. The recall gap between infusions has been adjusted to naturally accommodate the new longer recommended time lapse between infusions of 18 months.

Book Now

Be aware of your personal admin!

Book an appointment online Have you seen the new ‘Book Now’ button on our website? It’s easier than ever to make an appointment online. The Book Now button will take you through to the Manage My Health

One of the most common concerns among

website, which allows you to not only make an appointment,

20 to 40-year-olds is how tired they feel.

but also to see your medical results, order your prescriptions

While there are sometimes genuine medical reasons for someone to feel fatigued, in most cases, the answer doesn’t lie in a blood test, but in taking an honest, long, hard look

and interact with your GP online. It’s simple to sign up. Ask at reception and we’ll give you a form and talk you through the process. Check out the website at ManageMyHealth.co.nz

at your lifestyle, habits and work patterns. Put simply, are you taking enough care of yourself? Many people in this age bracket find themselves juggling multiple commitments, such as working full-time jobs, while also looking after children, and often drinking too much alcohol, not exercising enough and not getting ample sleep. All these factors, particularly combined, will have a significant impact on your energy levels and sense

Please call reception on 07 578 7087 to make an appointment for a phone consultation with a GP. A time will be made for the GP to ring you back.

of overall wellbeing. Another question you can ask yourself is, “If I went up the Mount for a walk, would I feel better or worse for it?” If the answer is that it would make you feel worse, or unwell, you should see a doctor so that medical questions can be asked. If the answer is better, then you may need to look at adjusting your lifestyle patterns and commitments – take care of yourself! 5TH AVE NE WS | AUTUMN 2019

Find us online www.fifthavenue.co.nz

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