Thank you to our fantastic patient participation group for producing our Winter 2020 newsletter.
Unfortunately, we are very short-staffed on reception due to sickness and self-isolation.
We anticipate there will be a long wait on the phones, which only two people will be manning across both sites tomorrow.
Please only call with urgent issues tomorrow.
Thanks so much for your patience and understanding.
In response to our increasing patient list, this is our lovely new clinic room at Mapperley, made by knocking through two store cupboards downstairs.
Help us to help you.
We are aware how busy the practice is at the moment and that it is very difficult to get through on the phone.
Today we had two receptionists covering the Mapperley surgery for most of the day. They were on the phone for 9 hours of our 10.5 hour working day. They did not stop answering the phones, as well as trying to keep on top of prescriptions, scanning and queries from patients coming up to the desk. The average time for the phone to be answered was three minutes, this is incredible considering the pressure they are under.
We unsurprisingly have staff shortages at the moment. Three of our doctors are self-isolating because either they or a family member are unwell. It has been very challenging for them to access a COVID test, and there have been delays in receiving the results of these. So if you are struggling to get an appointment, we can only apologise. It is not our receptionists’ fault.
Following a Practice meeting last week, we are now increasing our “same day” urgent appointments to try and meet the huge demand at the moment. We hope that this will help you to get an appointment more easily.
In the mean time, please can you help us to help you by doing the following:
- Only call in the mornings for urgent issues. If you need to book a routine appointment, or enquire about a referral or a test result, please phone in the afternoon.
- Consider whether anyone else can help. Could you see a pharmacist for a minor injury or illness? If you have a musculo-skeletal problem, a Physiotherapist may be the best person to assess you. You do not need a GP referral for this. If you wish to refer yourself for counselling or other talking therapies for stress, anxiety and depression, you do not need a GP referral for this.
- If your problem is routine, we can usually get an appointment with a doctor within a week or two. If you wish to see a particular doctor, this might be more like a 3-4 week wait. However, should things become more urgent, please phone as early as possible after 8am when we will try and get an appointment with the triaging doctor.
- Use both sites if you can – it is often quicker to get an appointment at Victoria then Mapperley.
- We cannot perform or chase COVID swabs within the practice. Please call 119
- Please do not take your frustrations out on our amazing receptionists, who continue to answer calls all day, even when somebody upsets them. They have nowhere to hide.
Our flu clinics are now bookable from 1st October.
You are eligible for a flu vaccine if you are over 65, if you or your child have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, if you are pregnant, if you live with someone on the NHS shielded list. For full details please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
We will enable some of these appointments to be booked online, otherwise please phone reception after 3pm to book in to these clinics. We are very busy at the moment and this will take some pressure off our receptionists who are constantly answering calls in the mornings.
Please only attend at your appointment time to avoid footfall through the practice, you will be sent away if you arrive early.
We will arrange a one way system through the surgery. Please help us by getting your upper arm out ready and perhaps avoiding the car park at Mapperley which will be very busy on these days.
We are anticipating that our flu clinics will start on 1st October. We will confirm exact dates and how to book in for these ASAP.
You may have heard in the press that the flu vaccine will be offered to anyone over 50. NHS England have confirmed that people in the 50-64-year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first. If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier.
Just to remind everyone that although the lockdown is lifting and some things are edging back towards normality, self-isolation rules if you have symptoms still apply (10 days if you have symptoms, 14 days if you have a household contact with symptoms).
Also make sure you book a test as soon as soon as possible if you have symptoms as this can only be done within the first five days of being unwell.