Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latest Update
DO NOT GO TO A GP SURGERY, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL
We are grateful that patients have been following the advice to stay home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. Although it will be a while yet before we're back to any sort of normal the practice and the NHS are here and ready to deal with problems not related to the Coronavirus.
In particular, anyone with symptoms suggesting a heart attack or stroke or with a serious injury should call 999 as usual.
Patients with symptoms that might point to a cancer- e.g. breast lumps, changing moles, any abnormal bleeding, unexpected weight loss, persistent change in bowel habit- should contact the surgery- by phone initially- but we will arrange face to face assessment if necessary- with appropriate infection control procedures and equipment. We are also keen to hear from older frailer people having problems with falls or worsening memory.Pregnant women should continue to seek advice from their midwife or the surgery when needed - again, by phone initially.
What if I need my regular medication?
In the first instance please order repeat medication via our website, Patient Access or NHS App or via email. Please be aware that although we are working through requests as quickly as we can, the levels of demand are placing the system under pressure and pharmacies may not be able to order medication quite as quickly as normal due to the volume of requests.
Where we can, we are using techniques and systems available to us to try and ease some of the difficulties, but we would ask that you are patient and request medications with a little more time than you usually would. There is no need to request medications very early, we anticipate that these difficulties will be very temporary in nature and will ease over the coming weeks.
NHS England have asked all GP’s to issue prescriptions with a 28 day supply at the moment to avoid any potential supply disruption, however your GP might be able to give you more than one prescription at a time so please don’t worry this will not affect getting your medicines as usual.
We have also been asked to switch off paper prescriptions to reduce face to face contact in the surgery, this means we will send your prescription to a chemist of your choice.
You can download an App to help track your repeat medication here
What if I have a chronic medical condition?
Those most at risk of serious illness are being contacted by the NHS from 23rd March to advise what they should do.
Who is at high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having certain types of cancer treatment
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
Please do not contact us to ask about this – wait to be contacted. We will continue to support our patients and will follow the latest government advice. As you will appreciate, guidance changes on a daily basis and we are doing everything we can under challenging conditions.
How are we minimising the risks to patients?
In order to ensure that we can continue to deal with as many patients as possible, we have been advised by the Government that general practice should move to telephone and online consultations where possible. This helps to minimise the number of people who are physically coming into the practice. Where possible we avoid seeing patients who have coronavirus Symptoms but who are managing well at home. Cleaning advice has been issued by the government, and while we are always rigorous with our cleaning and disinfection, where appropriate and guidance differs for Coronavirus, we have changed our cleaning practices to reflect this
WASH YOUR HANDS!!
- Handwashing is an incredibly important part of staying fit and healthy. The NHS have produced a guide to proper handwashing techniques, please watch this video for guidance
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
They are to:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
- are over 70
- have an underlying health condition
- are pregnant
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do