17/09/2020 Practice Statement: Appointments during the Pandemic
We have been made aware that many of our patients are under the impression that we are not currently seeing patients face to face. This is not true!
Obviously due to the Pandemic, we have to make operational changes to keep everyone safe. However, at no point throughout the pandemic have we been telephone only.
We have just become ‘telephone first’.
How is this different?
We don’t need to see every patient face to face. Sometimes a telephone call is enough, but patients and staff often prefer to see each other face to face. Normally that’s fine, but in a pandemic, every unnecessary trip to the practice is a risk we can’t afford to take.
So, while Covid19 is still circulating in the UK, if you need medical help or advice, we will book you a telephone call. A trained clinician will phone you back. If they can help you over the phone and prevent you coming in, they will! Great!
But if you do need to see a GP, an ANP, a nurse or a HCA, they will arrange an appointment for you. They will tell you when to arrive, what to do and give you instructions about covid precautions, to keep us all safe.
We are still offering routine checks for long term conditions. With conditions like these, it is really important that you don’t attend the practice unless it is really necessary as patients with some long term conditions are more at risk from Covid.
Asthma and COPD
These are telephone first – you will have a routine phone call from a nurse, and based on the telephone call, you may be offered an appointment for more checks if you need one.
Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hypertension
We will invite you for bloods and other checks with one of the team. When the results are back from the lab, they will be checked by the GP team. If they are good, we don’t need to get in touch with you again until next year. If we need you to make changes to your medication, or have further tests, one of the team will contact you.
Regular medication monitoring
We will ask you to book a blood test with the phlebotomy service. When the results are back from the lab, they will be checked by the GP team. If they are good, we don’t need to get in touch with you again until next year. If we need you to make changes to your medication, or have further tests, one of the team will contact you.
Immunisations, injections and nursing care
We are working on opening these to direct booking, but this will involve changing systems and offering staff training. Please be patient while we make these changes.
What can I do to help?
In the coming weeks we will be working on opening up better access for patients and making things more efficient. But we have to be cautious, so we are making changes slowly and monitoring how the change impacts our social distancing and infection control.
- Please be patient with the team, and take their advice.
- Don’t push for a face to face appointment straight away, every patient will have a telephone consultation first – no exceptions.
- If you do need to speak to us, you will be making a telephone appointment, so make sure we have the right contact information.
- Don’t come to the Practice unless you have been told to by a member of staff
- Use POD, NHS App, Patient Access App or email to request medication
- Try some of our other options for booking, such as econsults via our website
- Some of our routine GP telephone calls are available online through the NHS App or Patient Access. If you book a call and the GP needs to see you face to face, they will arrange this for you during the telephone call.
- Hospital waiting times for scans and appointments have increased. We are not in control of these waiting times. Please don’t shout at the staff if you are waiting for a hospital appointment, this is completely out of our hands.
- We can’t arrange covid tests for patients – please don’t call us to request them, call 119
Thank you to all of our patients for your support so far.
23/7/20 Important message for our patients - Face coverings
In accordance with the new guidance issued by the government this week, from 24/7/20 are now asking all our patients to wear a face covering if you come to the surgery for an appointment or for any other reason.
This will protect other patients in the waiting area and our staff. All our staff with continue to wear PPE including surgical masks for all patient face to face appointments.
The new advice on the use of face coverings by the Government is as follows:
People should aim to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shops
Also in other “enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet”
“Social distancing” means staying more than two metres away from someone
We feel that the practice cannot always ensure social distancing of 2 metres so therefore we must ask all our patients to wear a face covering as they come in through the door. Face coverings should be worn and not surgical masks or respirators which should be left for healthcare staff and other workers who need them
The government advises washing your hands or using hand sanitiser before putting on and after taking off face coverings
Homemade masks are not necessarily intended to help the wearer, the government says, but they could help stop you inadvertently passing on the disease to others if you have it but are not showing symptoms.
If you do have coronavirus symptoms – such as a high temperature or continuous cough, you should stay indoors and isolate at home.
Whichever face covering you use, they are not a substitute for other lockdown rules. Hand hygiene especially is just as important as before – so washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
People do not need to wear face coverings where they are:
Outdoors or while exercising
In workplaces such as offices and shops
Children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance
People who have problems breathing while wearing a face covering.
For information on how to make your own facemask please follow the link below
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM SURGERY
We understand that many of our patients are anxious and need reassurance in these difficult times - we also have staff in isolation facing the same challenges as our you. Although we are busy, we are not overwhelmed. Don’t simply stay away for fear of overburdening the NHS or catching the virus: if you have a health concern that you can’t solve; get in touch, we’re here to help.
Our doctors and nurses are prioritising the assessment and management of patients that are acutely unwell. All patients will need to speak to a clinician by telephone before coming to the surgery. Please come unaccompanied if possible. You may be seen in your car, or asked to wait outside. If you have a booked appointment at the surgery, do not attend if you or anyone in your household has a temperature or new persistent cough. We are also offering routine pre-bookable telephone and video appointments for patients with existing health conditions.
Continue to order your prescriptions as normal through the POD service, when they are due. Prescriptions cannot be issued for a greater than usual amount to avoid stockpiling and shortages. Do not ring the POD if you have more than 7 days of medication left. All prescriptions will be sent electronically to your nominated chemist – patients may not collect paper prescriptions from the surgery.
Patients that need to self isolate do not require a sick note but they are available from NHS111 should your employer insist.
Thank you for your co-operation and support, it is very greatly appreciated.
For patients concerned that they may have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone who has, the NHS 111 online service has created coronavirus pages that tell patients what they should do based on their particular circumstances. These can be accessed at: https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19
Please do not call or attend the practice if you suspect you may have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone who has.
If you have a booked appointment, and are self isolating, feel you may be at risk or in close contact with someone at risk, or you do not require a face to face review, we can arrange to telephone you instead. Contact reception on 01743 281950 or you can get in touch via our econsults system.
In order to keep well -
Listen and act upon the regular updates provided by the government.
Ensure that you do not run out of your regular inhalers and medications AND that you use them as directed.
WASH YOUR HANDS regularly and wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant.
Unless you have been told otherwise keep your fluid intake up – try to drink at least 8 non alcoholic drinks a day and look at the colour of your urine throughout the day -it should be pale.
Limit your face to face contact with other people as best you can -especially if they have a cough or fever.
Should you develop a cough and or fever please visit the NHS 111 website which will direct you to the help you may require. If you do not have access to the internet please ring NHS 111 -please persevere with your call, as there are likely to be a high volumes of calls.
If you are unwell for any other reason and would like to speak to a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner, please ring the surgery in the normal way.
Please ensure you identify friends /family that can help you with shopping needs etc should you become ill and need to self-isolate for 7 days.
We can now text your mobile with appointments and other information. Please tell the reception team if you would like to opt in