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.

We have continued to stay open throughout the pandemic and appreciate your patience and understanding as we try and ensure that everyone remains safe and has equal access to services. We are pleased to announce that we will now be offering advance bookable face to face and telephone appointments and an online triage system.

In response to ongoing national guidance to minimise the transmission of Covid we will endeavour to provide access whilst maintaining a safe space for all our patients especially for our vulnerable patients. We will continue to have the door buzzer system and maintain infection control guidelines to minimise footfall.

We can arrange remote assessment of patients suspected of having Covid where clinically appropriate by provision of clinical equipment such as pulse oximeters and also review suspected patients in safe controlled environments either remotely or face to face to minimise risk of transmission.

We also continue to request that all patients wear a face covering to their appointments. Where patients do not have access to such coverings we can provide them with a face mask. We will also aim to maintain social distancing where 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

We are embedding a new system of appointments which will have more advance bookable slots and availability of face to face or telephone appointments. There will continue to be some same day bookable appointments and the emergency (duty ) doctor service . Saturday surgeries have been running for over one year and continue to be telephone and remote appointments.

Changes to Online Booking system

We are rolling out a new system instead of online booking appointments which will deliver a more streamlined service and ensure that the problem is dealt with by the most appropriate team within a safe timeframe.

This new system will be offering more choice of access via online forms and provide an alternative method of contacting the practice and will help avoid long waits on the telephone, and free up phone lines for those that do not have access to computers or smart phones.

New telephone system

We are pleased to announce that we have a new telephone system going live on July 14th. There are new features such as knowing your place in the queue, more lines available and the message system and options will be live and up to date. This will ensure that you are no longer cut off or hear the engaged tone if lines are busy.

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 10 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.
  • Contraception – 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
  • If you have a long-term condition, we have changed our system so that you will be invited for your annual review with our nurses, health care assistants, or pharmacists in or around your month of birth.

If you have more than one long-term condition we will try as much as possible to review these together during one visit.

We are creating online reviews for some conditions, such as asthma and high blood pressure so you may be invited to do the review online. The online form will be looked at by a clinician who will then contact you as required. If you are not able to do an online review please do not worry as this can still be done with one of the planned care team in the usual way.

  • 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) continue to be provided
  • Private medical work we will respond to requests as normal
  • 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.

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
  • People in Islington can get a 20% discount from Kinetik Wellbeing, using the code: nclccgs20
  • 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.