Current Pandemic Restrictions Update 5th October 2021
As you are aware, during the pandemic we have used a total GP telephone triage system to help manage the infection risk and workload more effectively. The hidden benefit for us was that triage also enabled us to increase the total number of appointments to our patients. With triage, we can help more patients and prioritise who needs us most.
Our GPs and Nurses have continued to see patients face to face throughout covid restrictions. Since March 2020 we triaged patients to a face-to-face appointment where the benefits outweighed the risks. Many have benefited from feeling safe to visit the surgery under strict infection control measures when they have need to see a clinician.
As from September 2021 we have returned to the traditional book ahead (date/timed) appointment system; allowing you a choice of telephone or face-to-face consultations.
Be assured we have retained our hugely popular Duty Doctor Telephone Triage system for patients who are unwell 'on the day'.
Most patients and clinicians prefer face-to-face appointments and at times they are needed medically but if we want to provide quality care to such an overwhelming demand for appointments, we have to make uncomfortable changes. To help cope with pressures, we need to balance the preference for face-to-face working with the efficiency for alternatives.
We understand the frustrations that our doors remain closed, however, walking into surgeries you will find patients with COVID and vulnerable or unvaccinated patients. Queuing indoors is not safe which is why we introduced our intercom to manage this. As the risks of COVID decrease, we will return to open doors. In the meantime, please ensure you wear a mask whenever you come to the surgery in order to keep safe and for our staff to stay healthy enough to come to work.
We know that changes in the services you rely on can make you feel neglected, insecure and vulnerable. This is especially true about something as important as your health. However, whilst appearing less visible, we have actually delivered more appointments than ever. Telephone triaging patients to the most suitable Clinician (or in some cases quickly referred to speciality consultant) may feel restrictive, but it helps make sure your GP is available when you need them.
Achieving what's expected of General Practice, with the workforce we have, is a difficult task but we have never stopped caring deeply for our patients. These changes allow us to keep safe to ensure you continue to get the help that you need.
Going forward into the winter months please work with us to keep our surgery delivering the services you need. Here is how you can help us:
- If you attend an appointment at the surgery you must wear a face mask and sanitise your hands when you enter the building. The Clinician will discuss if it is appropriate to remove your mask once you are seated in the clinical room.
- If you have booked a face-to-Face appointment but think you may have the symptoms of COVID ie: high temperature, shortness of breath, cough etc - please call ahead or tell the receptionist at the intercom before you enter the building so we can accommodate your symptoms and appointment appropriately.
- If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment:
If you are registered for online services, please sign in and release the appointment as soon as you can.
For patients not registered for online services, contact the surgery during opening hours on 01932 505230 and follow the option to 'cancel an appointment' via the message. For patients not registered for online services but with access to the internet, please click here to complete an online form to cancel an appointment. Please note that using the form facility on the website does not allow to reschedule an appointment - only to cancel an appointment.
- There are limited spaces in the waiting room (especially during periods of extreme weather) and you must wear a face covering. This protects you, fellow vulnerable patients and our staff during the short visit. If you are uncomfortable with this option or prefer to wait for your appointment outside the building or in your car - please just tell the receptionist where you are waiting.
- Lastly, if you have a pre-booked face-to-face appointment and feel unwell with Covid-like symptoms before you are due to attend, please contact reception on 01932 505230 or send a short message through our website via the 'how to contact the surgery' form and the admin team will pass your details to the Duty Doctor to triage your symptoms with you on the phone beforehand and allocate you an appointment with an appropriate clinician.
This page is frequently updated to keep communications open. If you need to ask the practice a NON-clinical quick question, please use the form located in the 'how to contact the surgery' box and we will respond as soon as possible. We welcome constructive feedback and suggestions whilst we navigate opening up to pre-covid pandemic services.