Important update from the practice

Dear Patients, 

We have been dealing with a huge upsurge in demand in telephone calls and requests for appointments. This is partly fuelled by covid vaccine queries, partly due to clinical queries, partly due to the new requirement of providing econsults. In addition, there is a general backlog of clinical issues that need dealing with and our local hospitals have a backlog with some of the longest waits in England caused by the last 2 waves of Covid, which impacts on us.

We kindly ask for your understanding if you have a longer wait on the phone than usual or there are no appointments available.

We are actively recruiting reception staff and are taking on 2 new doctors in August and hope this will help. We also have a new Physician Associate, Breshna and our Clinical Pharmacist, Hema, will be giving us 2 additional days. A further Physician Associate will be joining us in August. Several of our doctors have taken on extra days over the next few months to help with the current demand. We continue to have the highest local GP to patient ratio. Despite this we are struggling to meet the recent increased demand.

We would like to thank all our staff who have come in throughout the pandemic and done their utmost to help all of our patients. Both admin and reception staff and clinicians have given a significant amount of time outside of their working hours to run the massive vaccination campaign that has been so successful to date, and we continue to do so. This extra responsibility has also impacted on the service we can offer.

Our appointment system is constantly under review given fluctuating circumstances. We currently try and get as many patients in for face to face appointments as possible and safely. If you have certain conditions such as rashes, lumps and bumps, ear issues and even chest infections we will want to see you. Reception have a full list and we thank you for coming in when requested to avoid using 2 appointments where one would be appropriate.

If you have symptoms of Covid (cough, sore throat, headache, sneezing, muscle aches, temperature, loss of taste or sense of smell) please get a PCR test. The home tests (lateral flow) are NOT sufficiently accurate to rule out an infection and are intended as an aid to screening asymptomatic people.

Children also appear to be susceptible to the Delta variant and should also be tested for covid if they have symptoms of a viral infection as above, with a PCR test.

Please get tested as soon as possible if you have any symptoms suggestive of Covid, ideally in the first 2 days of symptoms. It is also useful for us to know if you have a positive of negative test to manage infection control at the practice.

If you are booked for a call, please ensure you/your child is available around the time of any call to come in - if required, for a face to face assessment if appropriate.

With the new surge in infections and  a massive drive to get all adults vaccinated we are once again under huge pressure. Please be understanding if we cannot meet all your expectations.

We are getting a large number of requests to bring forward second vaccines. We would like to advise that we have limited vaccine provisions locally and are following current national policy in offering second vaccines after 8 weeks. These can only be brought forward earlier than the 8 week timescale in very limited urgent circumstances, such as severe illness or some medical circumstances i.e. required prior to cancer treatment. We will not be able to accommodate most requests and ask you to consider this when planning your travel.

We hope you all stay safe and urge all to get their vaccinations who haven’t already done so.

Best wishes, 

The partners

 

Published: Jun 21, 2021