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Coronavirus

Coronavirus / COVID-19

Please note we will aim to update this page daily but the current
situation is very fluid and is changing frequently.

In light of the ongoing Covid situation, across our group of surgeries we are continuing to implement the following measures.

As a group of surgeries we understand the impact these measures may have, but have to balance the different demands placed on our service.  We have taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the impact of these changes, but some disruption is unavoidable.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but trust you understand and fully support these measures are to designed to help protect all members of our community. 

All measures have been taken with the following principles in mind;

  • Limit the number of patient touch points.
  • Protect the most vulnerable in our community.
  • Reduce and/or remove routine work which can wait until the outbreak is contained.
  • Minimise the impact to patients, but whilst keeping them safe.

Please do not attend any surgery unless you have an appointment booked.
You will not be able to gain access to the surgery.

Prescription Requests

  • We are continuing to operate relaxed prescription ordering measures.  All patients are able to order repeat prescriptions via telephone.  Please note the telephone system may be very busy and ordering online via Patient Access remains the preferred choice.
  • Prescription requests CANNOT be handed in to any reception desk.
  • All prescriptions continue to be sent electronically (EPS) to pharmacies.  Paper prescriptions will not be issued.

Appointment Requests

If you need an urgent GP/NP appointment:

  • All surgeries are continuing to operate on a triage first model. This means any request for a face to face appointment will be triaged by a Clinician before it can be booked.
  • If you need to book an appointment you must telephone your surgery.
  • Eaves Lane Surgery and Medicare Unit Surgery patients are being asked to attend different surgeries.  This will be confirmed at point of booking.

If you need a routine appointment:

  • Routine appointments can continue to be made by phone, but there may be a delay of several days between the call and the date of appointment.
  • Midwife clinics will continue to operate from each site, as normal.
  • Routine screening clinics such as blood clinics and podiatry continue to be suspended until further notice.
  • All blood forms and requests for tests will be posted to patients.  These will not be available to collect in the surgery, unless printed during a face to face consultation. Blood tests are being conducted by appointment only at separate sites and patients will be provided with booking instructions. 
  • Appointments cannot at present be made via Patient Access.

Telephone Lines

  • Our telephone lines remain busy, and we apologise for any delays, but would advise that we will shortly be carrying out an extensive upgrade to our system which will hopefully address many of these issues. 
  • Please continue to use Patient Access to order medication and check lab results, this will help reduce our telephone queue.
  • Please do bear with us whilst we continue to cope with this unprecendented outbreak.

Sick Notes - Updated 16/03/20

  • If you require a sick note for Coronavirus, please contact NHS119.
  • Regular requests for continuation sick notes can still be taken via the telephone, but there may be a delay in issuing these.  These can be back dated but can never be future dated. A telephone GP appointment is required for an initial sick note after the seven day self-certification period.
  • All sick notes will be e-mailed or posted to patients.  These will not be available to collect in the surgery.

Private Medical Work

  • All non-urgent private medical work is currently suspended.

Complaints About These Changes

  • Any complaint about these changes should follow the standard complaints process.  We will be issuing a standard response explaining that these measures have been taken during an unprecedented outbreak and have been put in place for the protection of the whole community.

Testing For Coronavirus

NHS119 organise testing for Coronavirus.  The GP surgery is unable to organise testing or conduct the testing ourselves.  If you believe you need to be tested, please contact NHS119 via their online portal or by telephone.  Please note there may be an extended wait due to the outbreak.

If You Suspect Coronavirus

The latest guidance from central Government is;

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.  If your symptoms are mild you do not need to contact us.  We are currently experiencing an unprecedented level of demand, please bear with us.

You do not need to contact 119 to tell them you're staying at home.

For many people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
  • This action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.
  • Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
  • Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
  • Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
  • Sleep alone, if that is possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
  • You do not need to call NHS119 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 119 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 119. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Preventing The Spread Of Infection

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
  • If you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Latest NHS Guidance - Live Website

www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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