In the last two weeks the way we have worked throughout our professional lives has changed almost beyond recognition. We are immensely grateful to the IT department that has facilitated some of these changes and to you, for your patience and understanding.
For those who do not yet know, online booking of appointments has been suspended as it has become necessary to telephone triage all requests in the light of Covid-19. We have been asked by NHS England to carry out as many consultations as possible (and where appropriate) by telephone, through e-consult or by Skype or other means of video consultation. We have been issued with IT equipment that will hopefully facilitate working from home if the need arises.
If you need medical advice and do not have access to the internet, please request a telephone appointment. You will be given a time to which we will try to keep as closely as possible. Please answer your phone.
If you need medical advice and have internet access, please complete an e-consult via the practice website. One of the doctors will look at these during the day – please have your phones switched on and nearby.
If it is decided after assessment that a face to face appointment is needed, you will be asked to attend the practice at a given time. Please arrive on time and no earlier to limit the time you spend in the building and observe the social distancing rules. Please complete the Covid -19 questions sent to your mobile phones prior to attending.
Online Access Requests
We have received a huge increase in requests for online access. We are working our way through these but being unable to verify ID face to face, this process is taking longer than normal. Your patience would be greatly appreciated.
Well Pharmacy at 36 Church Road is (at the time of writing) shutting from 11.30am until 2.30pm in order to process uninterrupted the increased volume of script requests. Please do not order prescriptions early or request an increased quantity. There is concern that such actions might lead to drug shortages.
Well-controlled asthmatics do not need ‘rescue packs’. High risk patients – two courses of oral steroids or admission to hospital in the last 12 months due to asthma, or those who have ever been admitted to ICU – need to discuss with the GP whether a rescue pack is indicated. COPD patients who need rescue packs already know who you are.
We are not allowing patients into the building solely to collect scripts or sick notes. It is vital we have up to date contact details (mobile number and valid email address). Sick notes can be emailed and scripts sent EPS to the preferred pharmacy nomination. Please note we are not able to issue sick notes for those who are well and self-isolating.
Sample pots will be left for collection just inside the porch. Please inform reception if dropping a sample off (wave through the window).
You must to enter the building unless invited to do so. This is both for your protection and that of the staff.
Inevitably there will be some delay in answering the telephone as staff members self-isolate. Please be respectful of staff at all times.
It is thought that Covid-19 can take two weeks from contact with an infected person to develop. Government advice at the time of writing is that if you develop symptoms and can self-manage, you do not need to inform NHS 111 but simply remain in your home for 7 days. Any family members in the same household will need to remain in the home for 2 weeks. If any member of the family then develops symptoms you must follow the guidance laid out by Public Health England which can be found at www.gov.uk. There is an excellent link for household members who are self-isolating and the timings involved. It is important to refer to updated advice as the recommendations might change.
If you develop symptoms and become unwell to the point you need medical care, please contact NHS111. If you deteriorate and dial 999, please make sure you tell the operator you think you have Covid -19 symptoms.
You must not enter the surgery if you think you are infected with Covid-19.
If you have social care needs that are not being met, please contact the practice so that we may help you or you can ring 01744676767 and speak to Contact Cares directly.
There are local volunteers ready to help in whatever way they can.
We shall only be undertaking medically essential visits in the coming months. All non-essential review visits have been put on hold. We are unable to provide welfare checks on behalf of self-isolating family members.
We are all concerned. Do what you can to minimise the risk of becoming infected and spreading the infection to others. Work together with kindness and respect and we can get through this together.
Please refer to updated Government briefings and guidance.
Drs Rosie and Eithne MacRae
For up to date advice on coronavirus visit