Managing the ongoing risk of Covid transmission

What we are doing to prevent transmission, maintain services and create a safe and accessible environment for patients and staff.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times. We continue to work to maintain services for patients whilst minimising the ongoing risk of transmission of Covid. During the upcoming lockdown we will be open as usual and offering all our current existing services. Please phone us as you would normally.

In response to ongoing national guidance to minimise the transmission of Covid and continue to protect the vulnerable we will continue to provide all first line medical assessment and advice by telephone and video consultation wherever possible and safe for the foreseeable future.

Where it is necessary for patients to be seen face to face, we will arrange to see them after a telephone consultation. This is to prevent avoidable transmission of Covid-19 to patients and staff and minimise unnecessary footfall so we can maintain a safe environment for all patients especially our vulnerable patients. We can arrange remote assessment of patients suspected of having Covid where clinically appropriate by provision of clinical equipment such as pulse oximeters.

We also request that all patients wear a face covering to their appointments. Where patients do not have access to such coverings we will provide them with a face mask. This is so we can protect each other when social distancing (i.e maintaining a continuous distance of 2m apart) is not possible. You may be asked to come at specific times and via a specific entrance to minimise the risk of infection.

Gov.uk: How to make a cloth face covering

The vast majority of GP appointments will continue to be released on the day. Please continue to phone on the day you wish to speak to a doctor. Doctors may arrange follow up appointments where appropriate. There is a small number of pre-bookable online telephone and video appointments. We have restarted our Saturday surgeries as telephone surgeries with doctors as well.

Please do not attend the surgery unless you have been told by a doctor it should be face to face.

We continue to provide home visits where clinically necessary.

All patients coming into the practice will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. Please do not come if you have a fever / cough within the last 10 days or are a household contact of someone who has these symptoms within the last 14 days.

Unfortunately, we continue to have to limit the range of nursing services, currently:

  • Cervical smear screening this has restarted. You will be contacted directly by the screening programme or the practice.
  • Travel clinics continue to be suspended till further notice.
  • Ear Syringing at the practice has been suspended. Please use sodium bicarbonate drops otc for at least 2 weeks or find a high street service. If this has not helped we can refer you to the community ENT clinic.
  • Coil and Contraceptive Implant services have been restarted. We continue to offer remote contraception reviews by telephone and online. You can get your blood pressure done at a pharmacy or buy a blood pressure monitor for home use.
  • Routine NHS Health checks will be reintroduced initially for higher risk patients. We will contact you directly to arrange these.
  • Long Term Condition reviews for Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension and COPD are being restarted for high risk patients and we will roll this out to everyone over the next few weeks.
  • Childhood immunisations, baby checks, urgent wound dressings and care and injections (B12, Zoladex, depot contraception etc) and immunisations (Flu, pneumococcal, shingles, whooping cough for pregnant women) are being provided currently.
  • Private medical work we will respond to requests as normal, they may take longer though.
  • Hospital referrals and referrals for investigations: these are being provided currently based as always on clinical need and risks and benefits of attending hospital for patients. We also have access to remote secondary care advice from consultants including tele-dermoscopy.

Please contact us via the website if you have any queries about the services we can currently provide.

Please be mindful of extra administration requests – letters and prescription extensions. We are currently running on unpredictable staffing levels. Non urgent tasks will not be prioritised.

We are using technology including text messaging, video conferencing and online forms on our website to maintain communication and accessibility to services for patients. Please download the Whereby app which we are using for video conferencing.

To support remote telemedicine for patients we advise and request all patients to purchase or acquire the following

  • Asthma: Peak flow meters and spacers. Pulse oximeters if advised.
  • COPD: pulse oximeter
  • Hypertension: Home BP machine – www.bihsoc.org/bp-monitors/for-home-use
  • Elderly and or frail patients: Pulse oximeter, home BP machine
  • We advise all patients to have a thermometer at home.

Please do look at the following guidance on Covid if you have not already.

NHS: Coronavirus gives comprehensive guidance on when and how to stay at home well and safely if the need arises.

Covid-19 remains a self-limiting illness in the vast majority of people and it is entirely safe to stay at home with the following advice. If you are concerned about any symptoms whilst self-isolating please consult NHS 111 online first then if directed to do so following that screening assessment call the practice.

For the latest government advice on Covid-19 in over 60 different languages please visit www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information.