I have set this Facebook page up to keep patients regularly updated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Things are changing every day and we want to continue to keep our patients in the loop.
We have, like other practices, had to make the decision to cancel all routine appointments. This is to reduce footfall through the surgery to reduce transmission of COVID-19. We have, however, arranged daily extended telephone consulting. If we need to bring you into the surgery after speaking to you over the phone, we can do so in a way which will put yourself and other patients at much less risk as there will be less patients attending the surgery, and hopefully waiting times will be reduced.
As we are extremely busy (and currently have two GPs and one Nurse off sick), there is likely to be a long queue on the phone. As we will be operating telephone appointments in the morning and the afternoon, perhaps trying later in the day might help. Using 111 online may also advise you about self-care for minor illnesses and may save you having to consult with a doctor.
The current government advice is for the whole household to self-isolate for two weeks if there are any symptoms of fever or persistent cough in any household member. If you live alone and have these symptoms, you need to self-isolate for one week. If this means your employer requires a sick note, we have been advised that this is available from 111 online; you do not need to see or speak to a GP. If you are well with these symptoms, do not consult 111 or the GP, just follow the self-isolation advice above. If you are unwell, please contact 111 initially.
Full guidance on self-isolating is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Practice Nurse and Healthcare Assistant appointments will continue for non-routine blood tests, smears, childhood immunisations, essential injections and dressings. Routine chronic disease reviews are not taking place face-to-face currently, not least because this is a high risk group of patients who we would want to avoid attending surgery.
Social distancing is also recommended for anyone over 70 or at any age with an underlying health condition such as asthma or diabetes. The government guidance on this is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
This is a really difficult time for everyone. We are facing uncertain, anxious times. I will continue to try and keep you updated on here and the website. Stay well,
Dr Lucy Gaden