As a response to the current outbreak, the practice is changing the way we operate. To protect both our patients and our staff, who are critical in the management of this situation, we are moving to a Total Triage System, so that traffic in and out of the building is reduced significantly.
Therefore we will not be offering standard face to face appointments for the foreseeable future, all appointments will be initially done via telephone. Whilst HCAs and nurses are still seeing patients, those appointments will be booked in advance and patients will be screened by reception to ensure they are fit enough to attend.
If you are asked to come into the practice, before visiting the reception desk or entering a consulting room please wash your hands at the public facilities.
GPs appointments – all appointments will now be by telephone, if the GP then feels you need an examination or tests they will arrange for you to come into practice.
Nurses and HCA appointments – As we cannot be sure of our staffing levels on a daily basis and as all patients need to be screened for COVID-19 before seeing a clinician, our nurses and HCAs appointments will be done by booking only.
It is important patients continue to attend for:
- Child immunisations
- Adult immunisations (pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough for pregnant ladies)
- Hormone injections
- Injections for mental health
- Blood monitoring for medications
- Health checks when due
Paracetamol – paracetamol will not be prescribed. Pharmacies are allowed to sell their back of house stock to ensure people do not go without.
Inhalers – Extra inhalers will not be prescribed, if children do have an inhaler at school please ask for this back during the school closures.
Order and Collecting Medications
Repeat medications – you can order your repeat medication by phone or online, we are not issuing medications early (more than 7 days in advance) or providing extra as this will cause shortages of medications at pharmacies. You may be moved to an alternative drug if shortages do start to occur.
Online ordering is best; if you are not already registered you can register by using the free NHS App available from iTunes App Store or Google Play.
You can continue to order your medication by phone or use our dedicated e-mail address email@example.com . If you choose to use the e-mail in order to process your request we do need clear medication names and two individual identifiers on the e-mail – name, DOB, address, patient ID or NHS number – for cyber security it is safer to use the online services if you can.
Collecting your prescription – when you order your medication, ask us to nominate a pharmacy close to you and your prescription will be sent to them electronically, this will mean you do not need to attend the building to collect your prescription. It is still 48 working hours for us to process your prescription and your pharmacy may also need added time.
Collecting your medication – talk to your pharmacy of choice about whether or not they can deliver to your door.
GPs cannot issue fit notes for patients who are advised to self-isolate either because of symptoms or because they live with someone with symptoms. If your employer requires a fit note for self-isolation you can get a note from the NHS website https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
GPs cannot issue fit notes for patients on the at risk group who have been advised to take social distancing measures. If you are in this group, you need to contact your employer and discuss any mitigating measures to ensure you reduce your social contact.
Health and wellbeing – if you have any health or wellbeing concerns during this time please call the practice and we will help you in any way we can or signpost you to a service who can.
Remember the best way to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues.
Conversation, taking regular exercise and fresh air are all important for our mental health, social distancing is about staying away from large crowds especially in enclosed places. If you are socialising keep your group small, sit at least a meter apart and take sensible precautions such as washing hands, do not share food from the same plate, do not shake hands or other forms of affectionate greeting.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or a member of your household has symptoms it is very important you self-isolate for the recommended time. If you need medication or general supplies during this time ask someone to drop these at your door – do not go to the pharmacy or out in pubic yourself.
NHS 111 coronavirus symptom check & isolation-note - https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Government coronavirus response and advice - https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
North East Lincolnshire Council coronavirus advice - https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/