We continue to be open for business, but in a different way to before.
As per national recommendations, we have been complying with social distancing measures so operating on an appointment-only basis, keeping our waiting room empty or nearly empty.
We are working mainly by teleconsult (video consultations) for several weeks now and find it is going very well.
Our front door is locked all the time as a necessity, to reduce the number of people in the building and to protect our staff, patients and vulnerable others from potentially spreading the virus further.
Most consultations can be done in full or in part by teleconsult. We still bring all patients into the building who we feel need a physical assessment, but in a safe manner after screening for Covid-19 symptoms.
For people with symptoms of Covid-19, we do teleconsult and refer them for testing along with giving self-isolation advice and/or a physical assessment in the covid assessment hub (Merlin Park hospital) - if symptoms are worsening and we feel they need to be examined.
These arrangements help to keep GP practices as free of covid as possible.
Please be assured we continue to prioritise patients needing access to necessary medical care.
Our nurses continue to do routine antenatal visits, baby vaccinations, necessary blood tests and other services, but the 'talking' part of the consultation is usually done by phone or video before the appointment. All patients do hand sanitisation on entering the building, and handwashing if required.
Wearing masks is now recommended in some circumstances, so please do wear a mask if this applies to you.
All of these measures help us comply with keeping less people in the building and therefore reduced the chance of unintentional covid spread. As you know, it is possible that people can spread the virus for a day or two before they develop the fever or cough, hence the need for these measures.
Recent changes to the testing process mean we are now encouraged to refer any patient with possible covid symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) for testing promptly.
You do not need to be in a priority group any longer.
Test and results expected within a few days.
Many thanks for your understanding of the reason we have to work in this way.
Please continue to contact us by phone or email to arrange your teleconsult or other services as before.
You can now be referred for testing if you are in one or more of the categories for priority testing and meet the testing criteria below.
If you are not in a priority group we cannot refer you for testing at this time........
As you will know, GPs can only refer patients for Covid19 tests who fit the current criteria for testing - meaning a fever plus either cough or shortness of breath, along with being in one of the at risk groups.