we appreciate your patience and flexibility regarding the changes we have made this past week and believe they have been sensible, proportionate and most importantly - keeping your families safe. We have managed to contact (on the same day), every person who has requested a telephone triage call (well over a hundred daily), and given face to face appointments to the patients who have required this. We have dealt with more than double the usual number of e-consults also, as well as maintaining a mostly routine nursing/phlebotomy service.
We are very conscious that this new system is a big change for everybody, both patients and staff, but have been delighted with the response we have had, and will continue to keep you up to date as best we can. We are immensely grateful for all the kind words, support and understanding that we have received from our patients at this time.
However, in a small number of instances our brilliant staff have been on the receiving end of impatience, rudeness and even aggression, which we are sure you will agree is completely unacceptable at this difficult time. Please remember our staff are willingly putting themselves on the front-line in the battle against Corona-virus, and they deserve to be rewarded with kindness, respect and smiles :-) Thankyou.
As you all know, the new government advice on coronavirus means, (like everybody else), we are increasingly losing staff to self-isolation measures. We continue to review our staff numbers from one day to the next, and would like to assure you that we continue to work on contingency plans for the weeks to come. As an example, last week we had 2 GPs self-isolating, plus one locum doctor, as well as a practice nurse, and unfortunately are fully expecting these numbers to rise.
In the meantime, you will find the front doors may be locked, as unfortunately despite multiple warning signs and news updates, we are still having patients enter the surgery who have not been invited, and/or who later disclose they have potential symptoms of Covid-19, potentially putting staff and other patients at risk. In the meantime, we will have somebody stationed by the door in order to assist you.
Also of note, please be aware that when triaging your request by phone, the GP may now ask you if you would like a video consultation, if they feel this is appropriate.
This is to enable the GP to see you without you coming down to surgery, which may be particularly useful when you have a rash, or if we need to assess your breathing etc.
In this situation, they will check your mobile number, before sending you a text which includes a link that you will need to click on in order to see the doctor .
We have also been getting asked how patients can secure notes for employers when self isolating, and can now advise that the following link will allow patients to produce a note reflecting their situation, so please do not contact the surgery for this reason. https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Finally, we would like to highlight that for many patients (where safe to do so) we have done 3 months prescriptions in advance in order to try and reduce the need for patients to visit the surgery in the coming months. Please contact your chemist if you are unsure if this applies to you.
Once again thankyou for adapting to so many changes in such a short time, these next few months will be a marathon not a sprint, and we can't do this without you!