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2nd lockdown letter to patients
Posted on 5 Nov 2020
As we go into the second lock down, the practice would like to reassure you that we continue to be available if you need us.
As has been the case since the start of lockdown, we are operating a “total triage” policy that means all patients seeking medical advice will be offered a telephone conversation with a GP first, and then the appointment may be changed into a face to face or video consultation if we are unable to safely assess you and manage your problem over the telephone. This is in line with national NHS guidance which aims to help us keep all patients using our service as safe as possible. We need to be able to safely care for the elderly, immunosuppressed and vulnerable patients using our service at the same time as managing patients who may be infectious. Initial telephone triage allows us to ensure these groups of patients are not sitting together in the waiting room - instead we can operate a system where higher risk patients are seen in a nominated “hot” room and through a different entrance. All face to face appointments require PPE and cleaning of the room after it has been used: we hope you appreciate the reasons why we need to use our judgement as to who is brought in, to which room, and when.
In addition, we have the “econsult” system available through our website for patients who have less urgent queries.
There is quite a lot of pressure on our phone lines and in recent weeks we have been even busier than before the pandemic, so we would appreciate your patience when trying to access the service. We are doing our best to keep you safe during these unusual times. Phone lines are often quieter after lunch time. All urgent requests for same day appointments are considered by a doctor - even when all appointments have already been taken for the day: we are keen to ensure that everyone who needs urgent assessment can get appropriate care.
We are keen to make sure everyone understands we are still open and here to help, even though the system is necessarily different, and busy, at the moment.
Drs Akester, Roberts, Gardner, Wright and Freer