These are extraordinary times and as you have seen in the last few weeks we are all having to work differently and change our priorities to cope with the current Coronavirus situation.
We were sorry to cancel the Public Resuscitation training at the end of March, and will put this on again when the situation changes and public gatherings are allowed again. Likewise we have been advised to cancel all our Community groups (Singing Groups, Walking Groups/ Art and Craft Group).
We are trying to reduce the footfall through the practice and the risk of cross infection, and are now telephone triaging all requests for appointments, with a clinician calling the patient back (if you have a phone call booked we will only attempt to call you 2 times, if you are not by your phone we cannot help you). If you have a smart phone we will be able to offer a face to face over your smart phone. If the issue needs further medical attention we will ask you to attend the surgery in the afternoon at a specific appointment time and not before.
We will be managing the main doors and managing patients picking up scripts by opening for those with appointments at the time of their appointments only, to reduce people waiting together.
We will be allowing collection of scripts between 10am – 12 noon and 4pm- 6 pm in order for the dispensary staff to have the time to make up the scripts without constant interruptions. As you can imagine the demand on both reception and dispensary requests for medication have increased massively, and the remaining staff cannot be expected to keep up with this demand.
Patients requesting repeat medications need to accept that we need 2 working days’ notice to; receive the request, order the medication and make up the script. We are unable to provide on- demand services for repeat prescriptions where patients have forgotten to order in time!
Patients are asked to come to appointments on their own, unless they need to bring their career.
Patients are asked to stay away if they have family members have confirmed cases of the virus (they should all as a family be in isolation), and stay away if they have any symptoms including a new cough or temperature. It is really not fair to put other patients in the waiting area or medical centre staff at risk.
As at 18.3.2020 The Government are advising all at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- Anyone with :
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
- people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
PLEASE DO NOT PHONE THE PRACTICE TO CONFIRM IF YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE CONDITIONS.
DO NOT ASK FOR A SICK NOTE . IF YOUR EMPLOYER WANTS EVIDENCE OF YOUR LONG TERM CONDITION EMAIL email@example.com and I will email you your brief summary or apply for
On-line patient access via emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a photo id attached i.e. passport / drivers licence and I will send you your on line access with in 7 days.
This has meant that we have had to lose a number of key staff in every area of the surgery team. We are now having to prioritise work in all areas including which patients we see. There will be some areas we will no longer be able to support for the coming months including: ear syringing, and diabetic, asthma and COPD annual reviews during this crisis situation.
The situation has not been helped by some people stealing hand sanitizer, hand wash and toilet rolls from the Practice, which is an extremely selfish act and puts other patients, relatives and staff at risk.
We have been greatly encouraged by the number of people who have kindly stepped forward to offer services such as delivering prescriptions to those in self-isolation, if anyone would like to come forward please contact me direct via email Helen.email@example.com
I want to thank all the staff for all their support and hard work to keep the Practice going especially Dr Klein who has been on her own most days working extremely long hours to support our patients.
We ask that patients remain polite and patient during these difficult times we are all doing our best. Shouting at the receptionists and dispensers will not help us work any harder than we are already doing!
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Thank you for your continued support and I apologise for the length of this message and its grimness but it is an honest reflection of our current situation.
Helen Stacey – Practice Manager