As you are all aware we (as a country, village and community) are facing a challenging and unprecedented situation relating to a new virus now known as Covid-19. The circumstances are rapidly changing and because of this the guidelines and plans being issued by Public Health England and the government are also being developed and are evolving quickly; you will all have seen this on the news. In response to this we (and GP Practices everywhere) are changing our systems at the Practice for the short to medium-term. The changes are needed to manage more people than usual who are unwell as well as to help prevent spread.
One of the biggest challenges for us providing healthcare for you at the moment is that we do not want people (particularly those in the at-risk categories) to be exposed to the virus when accessing medical care at the Health Centre. In order to keep you as well cared for as we can during this difficult time we are therefore asking for you to assist us by being aware of the following changes and advice:
- All requests for appointments are going to be triaged over the telephone usually by a clinician. If we can give advice or deal with the problem by telephone or video consultation we will and we will only bring individuals to the Health Centre if absolutely necessary. This is to protect you and other patients and is in-line with social distancing advice being given by the government.
- Please be honest about your symptoms. Prior to any face to face appointment that has been agreed with the clinician you will be triaged by text message or telephone prior to your appointment to ensure that we have assessed any potential risks. We are asking screening questions to ensure that we keep you, us and other patients safe so please answer these questions honestly so we can effectively manage your problem.
- We have allocated treatment room 1 as a contained space for seeing patients who a GP feels are appropriate to keep out of other areas of the Practice so please carefully follow any instructions given to you by your clinician regarding your appointment.
- Any routine problems will need to be postponed until the situation is more stable. We are expected to have a huge increase in demand in the next few weeks, ongoing potentially for several months and to manage this (in-line with other Practices) we are temporarily stopping all routine appointments and monitoring so that we can manage this demand as best as possible.
- Keep up-to-date with government advice and follow this wherever possible. If you have been advised to self-isolate – do this. The advice is being given to try to help protect individuals, the community and to help support the NHS to cope with this pandemic.
- This is going to be a particularly difficult time for a lot of people. Help neighbours, phone / FaceTime/ WhatsApp elderly or those self-isolating, be polite and respectful to everyone and remember that we are all in this together.
We are here to do our best for you, but we need your help to do it!
We will send a further update by the end of this week with more information on our changes including Dispensary.
The Team at Deddington