Important Notice For Patients – Coronavirus, COVID-19

Date: 18th March 2020

Whitwell Surgery Leads

GP Partner Lead: Dr Rajpreet Millan

Practice Manager: Claire Brown

Admin Lead: Claire Brown

Deputy Admin: Denise Pedley – Charlotte Meywes

Infection Control Lead: Dr Rajpreet Millan

Deputy Infection Control: Michele Watson

Aims:

  • To keep patients safe
  • To keep staff safe
  • To ensure we remain a sustainable practice for the duration of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic
  • To be pro-active and avoid panic

We need to accept that 80% of the population, could be infected with Covid-19 over the next few months. Our aim is to delay our staff contracting Covid-19 and flattening the curve. Working in line with Public Health guidance.

Step 1 – Keep it away from the practice

As of Monday 16th March 2020 we will only be seeing patients in the surgery that have pre-booked appointments. No other patients will be seen at the surgery for any other reason. All appointments will be triaged by a GP before a patient is seen face to face.

Whitwell Surgery

These will be a mix of GP appointments, Minor Illness appointments and Treatment Room appointments.

We aim to limit the areas to be cleaned post possible Covid-19 patient being seen at the surgery.

If staff have to work from home we will need accessible laptops at the practice so that clinicians and admin can use to remote into the surgery.

To keep patients away from the surgery we will need to find new ways of working. This will be an evolving area.

Prescriptions: All prescriptions will now be ordered over the telephone to limit the footfall through the practice.

Test results, letters and other documents: Will all be emailed to the patient. If they don’t have an email address we will post them. We need to check if they have an email address before posting. We won’t have any documents left for collection from the practice reception area, as we used to.

Registration documents or any other documents that you need to share with the practice: The patient can either post these through the front door in a sealed envelope, post them royal mail, or email them to us at e82626.whitwellsurgery@nhs.net.

Sample Bottles etc: The GP or nurse will leave a sample bottle at reception. A patient will still need to come to the surgery to collect the sample bottle. The receptionist will take it to the door and hand it to the patient. The patient won’t be allowed to use the practice toilet but will need to return to the practice with the sample. The receptionist will take the sample box to the front door and the patient will need to drop the sample into the box. Receptionists will need to wash hands after opening and closing the door.

Prescriptions: All prescriptions can now be ordered over the telephone, preferably between 2pm and 4pm and will be ready to collect within 3 working days. Anyone that is not dispensed by the practice must contact their local pharmacy to collect their prescription from the practice. This then reduces footfall into the practice which in turn reduces risk to vulnerable patients. Any patient/representative that attends the practice to collect medication must knock on the front door, the medication will then be handed over at the door and any payment taken. The receptionist/dispenser must then wash hands to reduce risk of cross contamination.

Medication Deliveries: We are now working hard with local volunteers to offer a medication delivery service during this pandemic, we will give out more information when this is in place but we are working hard to deliver this service within a week. More information will be available soon.

Test results, letters and other documents: Will all be emailed to you. If you don’t have an email address we will post these to you. We won’t have any documents left for collection from the practice reception, as we used to. We will send you a text asking for your email address. Please reply to the text. It will take us time to copy everyone’s email address to your medical record. You may be asked by reception or the GP for your email address before it has been copied to your record. Please be patient with us, it’s a new process.

Registration documents or any other documents that you need to share with the practice. Please either post these through the front door in a sealed envelope, post them royal mail, or email them to us at e82626. whitwellsurgery@nhs.net.

Our receptionists will be asking you more questions than normal prior to putting you on the list for a call from a GP/Nurse. This is to make sure that the right clinician calls you about your concern. Please be patient with them. They have to ask the questions of every patient and it does take a little longer than normal.

I think you may agree that these are changes that will improve the way we work and care for our patients. The pity is that we have to implement them so quickly and without being able to consult you through the PPG as we would have wished to. Please let the Patient Representative Group know if you have any suggestions to change or improve this process. Please call the practice for information on our PPG. We want to know how you feel about the way we work. We can’t change the fact that Coronavirus will change the way we work but we can keep it a safe and efficient service with your help.

Lastly, please don’t come to the surgery under any circumstances if you are concerned that you may have symptoms of or could be at risk of Coronavirus, Covid-19.

If you have any questions related to Coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online advice page www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/nhs-111-online-to-help-people-with-coronavirus/ or ring NHS 111. For up to date information and advice on Covid-19 go to  www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public  The latest advice is to self-isolate if you have a high temperature or a new continuous cough www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#what-to-do-if-you-have-symptoms

Thank you for your support.

Claire Brown on behalf of Dr Rajpreet Millan