We are continuing to run the best service we can for our patients and offering the majority of our appointments by telephone. We are bringing very few patients into the building and continue to allow patients to collect prescriptions between set times, as below.
- Bank Holiday, Friday 8 May: Please note that we will be taking urgent phone calls from 08:00 – 18:30 on Friday 8 May at Holbrook Surgery only. Anyone wishing to collect prescriptions may do so from 08:00 – 11:00 and 15:00 – 17:00 with over 70s only between 14:00 – 15:00.
- Blood Tests: Only urgent blood tests are being done currently such as INR. Please phone on the day needed so we can book you in with the nurse on site.
- Repeat Medications: Please allow us four to five days for processing as we have been very busy. We will endeavour to text you to advise when this is ready but cannot always do this.
- Childhood Immunisations and Baby Checks: The midwife and health visitor are contacting patients and giving advice over the phone or organising for patients to come in when necessary. Parents should still bring their children for their immunisations and baby checks. Our usual six-week postnatal check will now be combined with the eight-week immunisations so you only need to attend once and will see both the nurse and doctor.
- Cervical Screening: If you receive a recall letter and are concerned, please ring reception and we will book a telephone appointment with the nurse who can advise you what to do.
- Online Facilities: If you are not already using our online facilities, please ring reception to register or download the NHS App. You can order repeat medications and use our online consultation facility for non-urgent queries. This is called eConsult and has a big blue banner on our home page. It is new to us so please bear with us in case we have teething problems.
- Vulnerable Patient Letters: We are reviewing a list of patients who may be vulnerable and sending letters as appropriate in accordance with the very strict criteria. Patients who self-declared on the government website are also being reviewed and will be contacted only if they are considered at very high risk. The government is continuing to allow patients to self-declare, so if you have not yet done so and believe you are extremely vulnerable, please visit their website. Our reports are updated each Tuesday and we will review your case after this.
- Our Clinicians: In order to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our clinicians, we will only be seeing patients at our Shotley site now. We have one doctor who will be seeing patients and others just triaging by telephone. Some of our nurses will be supporting the community team and visiting patients for dressings and blood tests etc. Our Clinical Care Practitioners will be visiting patients if the doctor thinks this is necessary.
- eConsult: We have been trialling the use of eConsult for patients with non-urgent queries and have now set up our protocol and tested this in practice with real cases. It seems to work well. If you would prefer to use this, please scroll towards the bottom of the home page on our website and look for the large blue box with the eConsult banner.
- Video Consultations: We are still experiencing some difficulty with these but hope to be able to offer them soon. Thank you to those patients who have helped us to test the system!
- Opening Times and Sites: Our opening times are as below.
- Phone access only 08:00 – 17:00 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 08:00 – 13:00 Thursday and 08:00 – 18:30 Friday for urgent queries.
- Repeat prescription medication can be collected from 08:00 – 11:00 Monday to Friday and 15:00 – 17:00 on Fridays. Additionally those over 70 can collect from 14:00 – 15:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Phone access only 08:00 – 18:30 Monday to Thursday and 08:00 – 13:00 Friday for urgent queries.
- Repeat prescription medication can be collected from 08:00 – 11:00 Monday to Friday and 15:00 – 17:00 on Monday to Thursday. Additionally those over 70 can collect from 14:00 – 15:00 on Monday to Thursday.
- How we are operating: Please note that our doors are closed and locked.
- If attending to collect repeat medications please queue using the marked spacers to ensure social distancing. When you get to the front of the queue, you will be asked your name and we will collect your medication and bring it out to you in a basket. You should remain outside and at a distance to safeguard yourself and our staff. If you need to pay for medications, we will give you a slip with our bank details. Please pay as soon as you get home and use the invoice number we give you.
- If attending for an appointment, please ask at the time of booking where to come to and our receptionists or clinicians will advise you.
- If you have seen the GP or they have prescribed medication over the phone, please allow two t0 three hours before collecting this and attend between the times stated above. They will give you guidance as to where to collect this from.
- To all our patients who have been patient and to all who have stayed inside. This has helped to minimise the spread of the virus and help us to continue to provide a service to you.
- To all our good neighbour schemes who are helping to deliver medications and are collecting shopping and making contact with our vulnerable patients who are isolating. If you need details of your local scheme, please ring reception. If there is no local scheme, our nurses may be able to refer you to the NHS Volunteers for help but we will need to get some details from you.
- To all those who have kindly given us biscuits and cakes, as well as those who have dropped a line by email or card to thank us for what we are doing. We are all doing our best in difficult circumstances and your comments and gestures are very much appreciated.
- To all our GPs and staff who have come in and covered for others. I am very proud to be part of such a wonderful team of people.
A final plea or two:
- Please do not attend the surgery for any reason if you have a new cough or a temperature. If you are unsure, it is safer not to attend. Please speak to our receptionists or clinicians for advice.
- Follow the government advice – Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives