As you will all have seen in the news the Coronavirus has now reached international pandemic stage. With this in mind and following national guidance from Public Health England we need to make some changes in the way we deliver our services to ensure the safety of our patients and practice team. We have made the decision to amend how we run our morning Open Access Clinics with effect from Monday 16 March 2020 as a temporary measure.
With effect from Monday 16 March 2020 we will no longer operate our standard Open Access Clinics, instead we will be asking for patients to call us, we will take your details and the best number to contact you on and a GP/ANP will call you. This prevents patients waiting in the waiting room which increases the risk of spread of the virus and also help minimise the risk to our patients who are immune-suppressed and at greater risk of getting the virus.
The vast majority of conditions and illnesses can be diagnosed over the phone and dealt with, without you needing to attend the surgery. Where this is not possible, you will be asked to attend the surgery at a designated time, again reducing the amount of patients sitting in the waiting room at any one time (or where appropriate, will be offered a home visit later that day).
Medications will still be issued and dispensed for collection as usual. Please try and order 2 weeks in advance so that you have a supply in the event our deliveries from our suppliers are reduced due to sickness. (We have increased our stock levels and continue to monitor the situation).
We would ask that in the present situation, anything non-urgent that could be dealt with at a later date not be dealt with in the morning clinics.
If you have a fever and a persistent cough we would ask that you call 111, not the practice as they will need to triage you and if Coronavirus is suspected, will deal with screening etc. We cannot do this in practice and if you attend the surgery you are putting other patients and staff at risk and it may even result in the temporary closure of the practice.
We are taking these steps as a preventative measure to try and minimise the spread of the virus so that we can remain open and continue to offer full primary care services. We anticipate you will understand that we do not want to risk getting to the point of having to temporarily close the practice. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience, understanding and support in this difficult time.
Dr Pain, Dr Scott, Fiona Morrison and Lynn Irwin
Central Dales Practice