COVID-19 INFORMATION

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

General Practice is Open - message from RCGP

In line with the latest Government guidance in order to delay the spread of the Coronavirus we need to minimise the number of patients coming to the surgery. If you need to attend the surgery please ensure you wear a face covering inline with government guidance.

Call the surgery on the day you need to be seen and you will be placed on a list to be contacted by one of the clinicians who will ring you back. It is important that you do not come to the surgery unless you have been specifically asked to do so by one of our staff

During this exceptional period we will be taking repeat prescription requests over the phone.

Please see this update letter on how we are working during the covid pandemic

The NHS is well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

Check online at gov.uk and at nhs.uk for advice on your travel and contact history and the latest COVID-19 information before attending the practice.

DO NOT go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital unless you are asked to do so.

For general information on coronavirus please go to gov.uk

Please note a revised Data Provision Notice (DPN) has been issued for data collection.  The objective is, on an ongoing basis, to identify patients at practices who may be:

  • clinically extremely vulnerable if they contract COVID-19
  • at moderate or high risk of complications from flu or COVID-19

For further information please go to Coronavirus (COVID-19) transparency notice.

If you have any concerns that you may have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone who has, the NHS 111 online service has created coronavirus pages that tell patients what they should do based on their particular circumstances.
Further information is available on nhs.uk.

See details about sick notes for those self isolating.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at Further information is available on nhs.uk.

 

Changes to GP services

GP services have been given a mandate from the NHS to reorganise their services to ensure that patients continue to receive a service. Patients may already have noticed that practices are no longer offering pre-bookable face to face appointments. Instead, a phone call or video consultation takes place first. If necessary patients will then be asked to attend for a face to face appointment.

GP services are being reorganised so that patients who may have COVID-19 are kept separate from patients who don’t. For example, practices are continuing to provide childhood immunisations and it is important this takes place in an environment as free from contamination as possible.

As a result of these changes, patients who need a face to face appointment may need to attend a surgery location which is different from their usual registered practice. We recognise this may cause some inconvenience to patients and we are grateful for your patience as the NHS grapples with the challenge of COVID-19.

 

Changes to examination practice

From now on, if you need a chest or heart examination, this will be carried out from behind you rather than in front of you. This is based on current clinical guidance to protect you and our clinicians.

The latest guidance advises that throats should not be examined and they should be treated on symptoms only. Please note that our GPs and nurses will no longer be examining anyone’s throat.

 

Rescue packs

We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating regarding special ‘rescue packs’ for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something you usually have and require one. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.

 

Shielding at home

Some people will receive a letter from the NHS to say they should take extra steps to protect (or 'shield') themselves because of an underlying health condition. This is for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

If you think you or someone you care is likely to fall into this category please wait for a letter. Although the national guidance says that most people should receive their letters by Sunday 29 March 2020 please note that it is more than likely that it will take a few days longer for letters to arrive at people’s homes.

So please wait until Friday 03 April 2020. If you have not received a letter by then or been contacted by your GP, please call us for advice.

 

Medication

Please order medicines as normal. There is no need to stockpile medicines. Ordering extra prescriptions and buying more over-the-counter medicines than you need will contribute to disruption to the medicines supply chain, which is otherwise robust.

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