Please Read In Full
It has been a difficult time for all of us during the COVID pandemic and we would like to thank you for your support and understanding during this very challenging time. We have had to make changes to the way we deliver care and how the way patients access health care.
We are still required to operate a total triage model, this means that ALL appointment requests are telephone triaged in the first instance. This is to comply with the NHS England regulations. We are following this to keep you safe and to ensure our services continue to deliver care. It is therefore important that you disclose any of the following symptoms when requesting or prior to attending for a face to face appointment (continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell).
Attending the Practice
Patients who are attending for face to face appointments must wear a face covering and please do not arrive more than 5 minutes early for your appointment. You will be greeted by a member of staff who will take your temperature and offer you some hand gel or handwashing facilities on entry. To maintain social distancing please do not move the waiting room chairs. We try hard not to keep you waiting outside in bad weather but we can only allow so many patients in at a time in the waiting room. Toilet facilities are limited to one person at a time.
Please note that due to the time taken in having to deep clean the rooms between patients and change PPE, we are not able to offer as many appointments as we would like.
Whilst most patients have been supportive and made our very difficult days worthwhile, we are seeing an increasing level of general frustration and aggression in patients and this is being directed at all team members. This is not acceptable. We have noticed that there is a perception, especially in the media, that GPs are hiding behind closed doors. We want to reassure you that this is not the case and our teams are working very hard for you, although delivering care in a different way from what you are accustomed to.
For an example of last month workload:
- Answering over 12,000 calls per month
- Processing over 1100 queries
- Responding to patients requests by making over 1,500 calls
- Issuing over 3000 prescriptions
- Dispensing to over 1000 patients
- Carrying out over 250 hours of face to face appointments
- Doctors and nurse spending over 600 hours speaking to patients on the phone.
- Doctors and nurses carrying out additional appointments via videos
- Throughout COVID we have seen an increase in 75% in admin workload for our whole team
- Additional work being passed to us from hospitals
Please be assured that we are here for you and we will do what we can for you within the regulatory framework that has been given to us.
- If you have booked a telephone triage appointment, please answer the call when we ring. We do not have the capacity to keep trying to call you.
- If you can, use the NHS website to check for symptoms before contacting us and follow the guidance given, including self-care.
- If directed to another service, for example, a pharmacy, please follow that guidance.
Letters for Shielding, Exemption of Face Masks or Letters to Support Working From Home
Please do not contact us for letters for shielding, exemption of face masks or letters to support working from home. We are strictly following the government guidance and will not be supporting exemptions from this guidance.
Sick Note/ Med 3
If you need a sick note or med 3 please use our website to request this as our telephone lines are very busy. If you are unable to use the website or email us firstname.lastname@example.org then call us after 10 am when the telephone lines are quieter.
If a hospital Consultant has asked you to have bloods for your next appointment and has provided you with a request card for this, please go to the hospital to have it done. We do not have the capacity to offer this service at present and need to reserve our blood appointments for our Doctors and nurse to use to ensure we deliver our care safely to you
Please order your medication using the website in the medication room or using your online account. Under 16s can order from the website too
To minimise the spread of infection we are moving away from paper for requesting medication. Please register for online services as soon as possible. It is easy to set up and use, please call the surgery to organise.
Or, you can register for the NHS app from the app store on your mobile phone.
We appreciate technology is not available to all our patients so for a small number of patients we will continue to accept a written request.
The electronic prescription service has been updated. Therefore if you do not have a nominated pharmacy, you will no longer receive a prescription but will be given a paper token to go to your chosen pharmacy. The pharmacy can use this token to locate your prescription.
If you wish to nominate a regular pharmacy, when collecting your medication from the pharmacy please let them know. Your records at the Practice will be updated accordingly.
Please note we cannot take telephone requests for repeat medication
We are still carrying out home visits for our housebound patients. It may one of our team or a deputising service who visits.
Please note that Shielded patients are still able, according to the guidance, to attend healthcare appointments.
We are still carrying out virtual ward rounds with our care home residents to ensure they feel supported. Every patient is reviewed weekly.
Technology to Make it Easier for You
If you do not have an online account, please visit our website www.sandyhealthcentre.nhs.uk.
There are lots of services available to you online. We do have some telephone triage slots to pre-book online.
Thank you for reading this in full, we are here to help you so if you need us please do contact us.