Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our practice has remained open and here for you. We have simply been doing things differently, with greater emphasis on remote assessments and inviting patients for face-to-face appointments only when necessary. But we have never closed our doors as a service; we have simply been operating in a COVID-safe way.
Although lockdown restrictions are easing it is still important for the safety of patients and staff that we continue to maintain a COVID- secure environment. It is hugely encouraging that the vaccination rollout has been so successful, but infection rates are still concerning and the emergence of new COVID variants poses a risk we cannot ignore. For this reason, the NHS will continue to ask patients and visitors coming to hospitals and GP practices to wear face masks when they enter the building and to socially distance. By taking these simple precautions we can work together to help prevent the further spread of infection among both patients and staff.
We will also continue to assess patients remotely first and will offer face-to-face appointments to those who need them. This will include people with existing medical conditions who need greater support (for example, people with learning difficulties or who may be living with hearing loss), and those who we assess to have a particular need that requires a face-to-face appointment.
Using telephone assessment methods means we can make sure our time is used to help each patient in the best way for their particular health concern. We would like to reassure you that we will always be working hard to put your needs, as patients, first.
Routine screenings, health checks and immunisations all continue to be available at your GP practice.
We are very aware how difficult the pandemic has been for many patients. We also understand that some may be frustrated at having to wait a little longer than usual for certain treatments. Similarly, our telephone lines have been far busier than usual for this time of year, and patients may find themselves on hold for longer while we deal with calls. We would ask, however, that all patients please treat our staff with kindness and respect. General Practice has been working extremely hard, and very long hours, throughout the pandemic and the recent vaccination rollout. This has been a difficult and exhausting time for many of our staff, who continue to work diligently to support all our patients.
We appreciate your patience and understanding in this and would like to thank our patients for their support.
Using NHS services
If you have any concerning or suspicious symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact us. We understand that some of you may have put off contacting your GP because of the COVID situation, for various reasons. But if you have a genuine concern, please get in touch as soon as possible. We want to help you.
For mild complaints, your pharmacy, the NHS 111 telephone service or www.111.nhs.uk will be able to give you the help you need quickly and easily.
If you need urgent care please call 111 or go to www.111.nhs.uk first. These can then direct you to the most appropriate local service (for instance, a minor injury unit or A&E).
And please always call 999 for a life-threatening illness or injury.
If you have COVID symptoms – a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – please make sure you get tested and continue to follow the guidance by self-isolating to help protect those you may come into contact with.
For more information about COVID-19 and how to arrange a test, please click here.
Published: Jul 23, 2021