Newsletter Winter 2019

Updated on 29/07/2019

It has been a busy year at St Martins Medical Practice so we thought we should keep you up to date with all our news.Many of you will be aware that the ‘flu season is upon us and that we are currently in the midst of a significant wave of ‘flu-like illness.If you think you may have ‘flu, please call the practice for advice. Often you are best staying at home and managing the symptoms yourself, but the following link provides useful advice on when you should be seeking medical help:https://flufree.co.nz/content/uploads/2018/05/Coping-with-flu-at-home-2019.pdf‘Flu vaccines are still available, and the following are the priority groups who should particularly consider being immunised if they have not done so already:

  • people over 65
  • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
  • those with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes respiratory disease (including asthma that requires regular preventive therapy), kidney disease and most cancers
  • children aged four years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

New Medical Practice building

If you have visited us recently you will have noticed our building work going on next door. We are currently on schedule to move into the new building in early October. This will give us much needed extra space and we are very excited to be nearing completion after years of delays. It will be wonderful to work from new, purpose-built premises, although we will miss some of the character of the old building (but not the ivy growing through the walls!).The plan of the new building is on the wall in our waiting room, so feel free to check this out next time you call in. The new building will have ample car parking too (situated where the current medical practice building is) which will make life easier for everyone.

Staff changes

After many years of little change, we are having some changes of staff this year.In September 2018 we welcomed Dr John Dewsbury, following the closure of Opawa Medical Practice. John worked with us for 6 months to help “settle in” his patients who followed him from Opawa. Now that John has retired we hope that we can continue to look after his ex-patients at St Martins.Dr David Rojas, after being with us for two years, returned to Spain in May this year. This was always David’s long term plan, but we will miss his calm nature and our Spanish speaking patients will particularly miss him!Dr Susie Tarnay is taking an extended sabbatical in late July, due to the illness of a family member in Australia. We hope Susie’s period away goes well and look forward to welcoming her back at some point in the future.

We have had two female GPs join us to replace David –Dr Caroline Christie has joined us after spending 7 years at a Riccarton medical practice. Caroline is a kiwi, training at Otago University. She is very experienced and is also on the board of Pegasus Health, the main GP organisation in Christchurch. Caroline works 3 days a week.Dr Emily Barber has joined the practice after a period of maternity leave. Emily is originally from the UK and has two young children. She currently works 1.5 days a week, with a plan to gradually increase her hours.In September we will be joined by Dr Will Gordon-Wright. Will is also originally from the UK but has worked for the last 6 years at Oxford Health Centre, just north of Christchurch. He will be working 3.5 days a week. Dr Mike is particularly pleased that he will be joined at the practice by another male doctor!

Also in September our much-loved Practice Manager, Lynn Davies, will retire. Lynn has fulfilled a pivotal role in the practice for the last 12 years and will be greatly missed.However, we are excited to welcome Rachel Brown as our new Practice Manager. Rachel is an experienced manager, having worked at several other Christchurch medical practices, and is really looking forward to joining our team.As our practice size has grown over the last few years we have needed additional nursing and administration staff too. You may already have met Rowena Smithies, our new practice nurse, and Claire Hardman, our new receptionist. Rowena and Claire have been valuable additions to the practice team and have been particularly helpful over the busy ‘flu season.We hope we can continue to look after your medical needs well and look forward to seeing you in our new building.