The Coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented event, which is putting huge additional pressure on an already stretched health service.
As a practice we are working hard to ensure our patient care continues as usual wherever possible. However, we have a responsibility to take sensible steps to minimise risk to our staff and our patients. We also have to respond to and follow government guidance.
We thought it would be helpful to share with you our current plans, to help you understand what is happening. We are sure that you will appreciate this is a fast changing area and we are grateful for your understanding in this as we endeavour to do our best in very challenging circumstances.
With this in mind, we are taking the following steps with immediate effect:
- Suspected Coronavirus symptoms – if you are worried that you may be infected with Coronavirus, please initially consult NHS111 online via 111.nhs.uk/COVID-19
- GP appointments – will all be booked as a telephone appointment initially. Wherever possible the GP will try to manage your condition via this call. Where necessary for you to be seen face to face the GP will arrange this with you directly.
- Practice nurse appointments – those requiring attendance in surgery (eg smear, immunisations, injections) will continue as normal, as long as patients have no symptoms of cough/fever. Chronic disease reviews will be arranged as a telephone appointment initially.
- HCA appointments/blood tests – these will continue as normal, as long as patients have no symptoms of cough/fever.
- Prescriptions – please request your repeat prescriptions online wherever possible – either via patient access or our website link. These can be sent directly to your pharmacy of choice.
- Sick notes – if you need to self-isolate with suspected Coronavirus symptoms your employer should not require a sick note. Sick notes are not needed for the first 7 days of absence and employers are being encouraged to give longer periods during this outbreak. However, if you do require a sick note, this can be obtained via NHS111 if they have advised you self-isolate. If you need to request a note from a GP please submit this request online.
- Other letters/form requests – eg travel insurance forms – please keep these requests to a minimum as they place extra workload on our stretched staff. If you submit such a request please bear in mind that our turnaround times may be longer than usual. Usual charges will still apply.
Please share these arrangements with your friends and family who may not have access to the internet.