Coronavirus Information (updated 3/05/2020)

Update 3rd May 2020

INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS ABOUT ACCESSING PRIMARY CARE IN PHASE 2 OF COVID RESPONSE

The practice team would like to thank our patients for your help and understanding over the last 6 weeks as we adjusted to a completely new way of working due to Covid 19. We are now entering “phase 2” where we need to maintain precautions to prevent spread of Covid 19 to our patients and staff, but also to provide support with your non coronavirus health concerns.

 

Attendances to A&E nationally have fallen by 65%. Please do make sure that you call 111, 999 or attend A&E if you develop any serious symptoms such as:

  • Central chest pain (or worsening pain on exercise)
  • Weakness on one side of the face or body suggesting a stroke: think FAST (face, arms, speech, time)
  • Asthma symptoms not relieved by your inhalers
  • Sudden onset shortness of breath with chest pain

 

We want all patients to be clear on how best to access primary care:

We will need to continue to make the first point of contact with the practice remotely rather than an immediate face to face appointment. This allows us to provide help and advice where possible without need to attend the surgery in person, or to arrange the safest way to provide face to face care if it is needed.

If you feel you need advice from a GP, you have several options:

  1. Self-care if possible: We advise everyone to check their symptoms on the NHS website or through the NHS App to see if they can manage the symptoms themselves .
  2. DrLink – provides a remote (online) consultation tool – see details on our website.
  3. Telephone – every patient will be contacted initially by a Bourn Surgery clinician by telephone prior to any face to face appointment being booked. Evidence suggests as much as 60% of issues can be dealt with without need for physical examination at the practice.
  4. Video consultation – we have a secure platform to offer video consultation with clinicians at the practice. You may prefer this to a telephone consultation. Please do indicate to reception if you would like a video consultation, you will be sent a weblink by SMS to open up a video consultation with the clinician.
  5. Photo review – we are happy to receive photos of any skin problems you would like advice on. These can be sent direct from your smart phone, please contact reception who will send you a link. Alternatively they can be emailed. Please see our page with advice on how to take good medical photographs.
  6. Email – particularly useful for administrative enquiries such as extensions to existing sickness certificates, medicals required or shotgun licence paperwork. You can use the messaging facility built into SystemOnline or you can email us at bourn.surgery@nhs.net. Please do not use these methods for any urgent medical problems.

 

We are starting to plan how best to look after long term health conditions over the next few months. We will proactively contact patients with the highest health need. Some patients with recent good control over these conditions might be advised they can have a longer interval until their next routine review. If you have any concerns about your long term health conditions please do contact the practice.

We would also like to encourage people to continue to book appointments for essential vaccinations such as pneumonia, and childhood immunisations.

 

 

Update 29th March 2020

The last two weeks have turned both our way of life and the way we practice medicine upside down. We would like to extend our thanks to all our patients for their patience and understanding, and for the many supportive messages received.

We have now, in line with all GP practices in England, moved to a total telephone triage system with almost all care provided remotely to our patients. This protects our most vulnerable patients from Coronavirus as well as our staff.

We have now installed software to enable video consultations, and will be offering this option to patients moving forwards.

 

PRESCRIPTIONS

Our dispensary has been under immense pressure, dealing with many more medication requests than usual. We therefore need to ask people to allow 4 WORKING DAYS for repeat medications from ordering to collecting. Please avoid calling the dispensary to ask if your medications are ready early. You may receive a text message advising you where the medication is ready sooner.

We remain open as usual for prescription collections. We ask people to follow the signs and staff, so that we can maintain social distancing between patients at all times. We are only able to accommodate one person at a time in the waiting area outside dispensary. We ask others to wait 2 metres apart outside or in their vehicles.

Where possible please use card payment rather than cash.

We would like to encourage all patients to request repeats electronically. The simplest way to do so is using the NHS App. Alternatively you can contact reception to enable online access. We are still able to accept paper repeats or you can email our dispensary at bourndispensary@nhs.net but please include your name, date of birth and medication required.

 

SHIELDING

The NHS has written to patients at the highest risk of Coronavirus, advising they follow strict advise to shield themselves.

In the first instance shielded patients should try get a friend or relative to collect medication for them where possible. They will need the patients name, address and (DOB where possible), plus if collecting controlled drugs must have ID and authority by phone from the patient

If you do not have contacts who can help support you then please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 0288327, the Government’s dedicated helpline.

We have been contacted by volunteers in several of our villages who are organising community support for vulnerable patients. You are welcome to contact the dispensary to find out who to contact in your area.

Where possible we are encouraging use of our village delivery boxes for medications. You must either be eligible for free prescriptions or have a prepayment certificate in order to use the village drug delivery boxes.

Patients who make Payment for medication should ideally set up a pre payment via https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/help-with-health-costs/save-money-with-a-prescription-prepayment-certificate-ppc/.

 

 

UPDATE 13/03/2020

The most up to date information can be obtained by visiting:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

It is now clear that Coronavirus is circulating in the community, therefore the advice has changed.  Anyone with flu-like symptoms should self isolate.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Read our advice about staying at home.

 

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19) BOURN SURGERY 

Bourn Surgery would like to thank our patients for their patience while we take measures to protect our patients and our staff from Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We will be making changes to the way we usually work in order to enable safe and effective care for our patients.  These changes are designed to keep you safe and to protect our most vulnerable patients.

We will be reviewing these arrangements regularly and will communicate further changes via our website.  We may send you updates via SMS messaging if enabled.

ACTIONS WE CAN ALL TAKE:

Follow public health advice:

  • Regular hand washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Stay at home and self care for 7 days if you have flu-like symptoms

Please don’t attend the surgery, for any appointment, if you are unwell with a cough, fever or flu-like symptoms.

If you believe you have Coronavirus please self isolate, take regular paracetamol and drink plenty of fluids.  You do not need to contact the GP or 111 unless you are increasingly unwell.  There is no treatment for Coronavirus and only patients admitted to hospital will be swabbed under the latest protocol.

ACTIONS BOURN SURGERY ARE TAKING:

Attending the surgery currently has a risk attached to it.  Other patients or members of staff could have been in contact with Coronavirus but not yet developed symptoms.  As a practice we want to do all we can to protect our patients from contracting the virus.

We have temporarily suspended online appointment booking.  This is to allow us to speak to you directly and determine the reason for your visit.  This prevents the risk of patients booking/attending with symptoms of Coronavirus.

We have moved to total GP triage, all patients requesting an appointment will be asked to speak to a GP in the first instance.  This enables us to direct patients to the right clinician first time, and to deal with as much as possible remotely.  

Patients with respiratory symptoms who contact us will be contacted by a GP by telephone to gain further history, they will then be signposted to either self care or to an appropriate appointment slot.  This enables us to manage the flow of patients through the building, our aim is to avoid having vulnerable patients exposed to potentially infective patients.

Please follow the advice given to you by the GP, this might include attending the surgery at a different time, waiting outside to be called in, and using alcohol gel and applying a face mask on arrival.  Please do not be alarmed if GPs and clinicians are wearing additional personal protective equipment, we are following professional guidance.

We understand that patients may prefer not to attend the surgery at the present time.  We are happy to offer an increased number of appointments via telephone in the first instance, and encourage follow up by telephone where appropriate.

We are hoping to offer video appointments from next week as an option for patients who would rather not attend the practice, but would like more than a telephone call.

Prescriptions: We will continue to provide 28 day prescriptions as per NHS guidelines.  We will not be providing longer supplies if requested during the current outbreak.

Holidays: please do not contact the surgery for individual advice about whether to travel.  We advise you follow government advice.  The most up to date information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

Sickness certification:  Bourn surgery (like all GP surgeries) are unable to provide sickness certification for absences under 7 days.  Anyone who remains unwell for more than 7 days with Coronavirus symptoms is advised to contact NHS 111 (who will issue documentation we are told).

We have produced a standard letter you are welcome to download and provide to employers or schools should they request documentation for absences under 7 days.

Coronavirus sick note letter Mar 2020