Update from Dr Freeman & Partners
(7th April 2020)
Please remember that Swillington Health Practice is closed temporarily to the public. Our other two surgeries are open but we cannot allow patients into the practice who have not been invited by a Doctor or Nurse following a telephone consultation. All patients will be screened by a receptionist on entering the surgery.
You can still contact us by telephone at all 3 surgeries. Due to high call volumes we are also accepting queries via our email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. Our admin teams are working hard to respond to all emails but we cannot guarantee an immediate response. ONLY EMAIL IF YOUR QUERY IS NOT URGENT
See our practice FAQ’s for answers to questions that we being asked regularly at the moment:
Will I be receiving a ‘high risk patient’ letter?
If you have been identified as ‘high risk’, you will have already been contacted with a letter. The advice is for these individual’s is to shield themselves and not leave the house for 12 weeks from receiving the letter. This will mean relying on friends, family and neighbours to provide food and other essential supplies. There are also local volunteers who can provide support for those who don’t have anyone available to help them- 0113 378 1877
If you haven’t received the letter but believe you have a medical condition that makes you high risk, you can still isolate yourself for 12 weeks. If work is a concern, it is best to speak to your employer and see if you can arrange working from home or finding another solution. We cannot offer sick notes for isolation periods. More information on this later.
The high risk patients have been identified by Digital NHS and therefore we cannot provide any more advice and support on this matter. Further information about patients deemed to be ‘at risk’ will be coming and those patients will be contacted if applicable. Please go to the NHS.UK or GOV.UK websites for accurate and up to date advice.
See the list below for all the conditions that class as extremely vulnerable:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
What is shielding?
Shielding is for your personal protection to avoid you coming into direct contact with
COVID-19. You are strongly advised to stay home at all times and avoid any face to face contact for 12 weeks from the day you receive your advice letter. You will need friends and family members to provide food and essential supplies. If this is not an option for you, please call the number highlighted on the previous page.
Further help and guidance on this subject can be found on the GOV.UK website:
Can I get a fit note if I need to isolate myself?
We are not able to issue fit notes for any isolation period relating to COVID-19. If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please use the NHS 111 online service and they can provide a fit note for your employer if you need to self-isolate.
Can I rebook any cancelled appointments for a future date?
No. We do not currently have any future clinics available as it is not clear at the moment when we will be able to resume our normal service. Anyone needing an annual review or other routine health check will be contacted when it is possible to provide this care again.
Can I still contact the surgery if I have a health concern other than COVID-19?
Yes of course. Please still contact the surgery by telephone or via email for any routine health concerns. If needed, the team will be able to arrange a telephone or video call with a relevant healthcare professional. If there is a medical need for you to see a GP or Nurse in person, although it is rare, measures are in place to facilitate this and you will be advised accordingly.
What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
Symptoms include a new and continuous cough or a high temperature.
If you have these symptoms, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital to protect others. Stay at home and use the NHS 111 online service for advice on what to do from here.
Can I still get my repeat prescription?
Yes you can but the way you receive your prescription may have changed. Please call us, use our online services or email email@example.com to request your medication. You will be asked to nominate your local pharmacy and once your prescription is ready, it will be sent electronically to that pharmacy. They will then prepare your medication ready for you to collect. This means that you do not need to come into the surgery to collect a paper prescription.
Please note: We will not be processing any early requests for medication. This is to reduce stock piling of medication which could lead to drug shortages. Please only request what you are currently using and needing. We will also not be providing prescriptions to last longer than your usual allowance for the same reason.
Is the contraceptive clinic service still available?
Yes. If you need contraceptive and sexual health advice, please call the surgery to request a call back. Our nurse team will get back to you as soon as possible but we cannot guarantee a specific time frame or appointment slot. You can let us know what times are better to call and we will try our best to get in touch during these times.
Contacting the surgery
Please be mindful that our reception teams are currently dealing with high call volumes and it may take longer to get through on the phone. You can also contact us by email and we will get back to you as soon as possible but we cannot guarantee a response on the same day.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
DO NOT EMAIL US IF YOUR QUERY IS URGENT
Thank you for your on-going support at this difficult time.
Update from Dr Freeman & Partners
(26th March 2020)
Please note we will not be processing any early requests for medication which are not due within 7 days of your request. This is to reduce stock piling of medication which could lead to drug shortages. Please only request what you are currently using and needing. We will not be issuing rescue packs for the treatment of asthma or COPD unless specifically requested by a health care professional. It is unnecessary and not current guidance.
Please also remember that the pharmacist will require 48hrs to process your medication safely unless it is an urgent prescription that is needed.
The staff at Dr Freeman & Partners would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and the kind words that have been passed to staff during this difficult time.
Branch Closure Announcement
(24th March 2020)
Dr Freeman & Partners are taking measures to protect patients and their staff. This includes changes to the way appointments are booked, reducing face to face appointments and increasing telephone/video consultations. We need to introduce additional measures for business continuity and to make best use of our available workforce. In our case this means that our smaller branch site, Swillington Health Practice, needs to close temporarily.
We understand that this may cause concern among patients, particularly those in Swillington and the surrounding areas in our boundary. These measures have been introduced out of necessity to ensure we continue to offer good patient care. For many, and in support of the government’s social distancing instruction, this will be over the telephone or by video consultation. Face to face appointments and home visits are being provided on those occasions when it will make a real difference to the care provided.
If anyone thinks they may have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), please do not come to the GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms may return to their normal routine. There’s more information about what you need to do when you stay at home at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
If you cannot cope with your symptoms, your condtion worsens or your symptoms do not get better after seven days then you should use the NHS 111 online service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
Alternatively you can call 111 if you need to speak to someone. For more general advice please use the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
Changes to our complaints process
Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, we are currently pausing our complaints process, in line with national guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvements.
You can still raise concerns or make a complaint, but we may not be able to investigate it and respond as we normally would.
We will acknowledge your complaint, log it on our system, and check for any immediate patient safety, safeguarding or practitioner performance issues. If there are, we will take immediate action as necessary.
If your complaint is about anything else, it will remain open until further notice, unless you choose to withdraw it. When normal services are resumed, we will investigate and deal with it as soon as we can.
Please note that as of 26th March, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has stopped accepting new NHS complaints and has stopped work on open cases.
Thank you for your understanding.
Update on Routine Hospital Appointments
Please note that hospitals will be contacting you in due course regarding the cancellation of all routine hospital appointments and investigations. Please appreciate that they will be extremely busy with the process and it may take some time.
Please DO NOT contact the surgery regarding this matter.
Useful links to keep up to date with the COVID-19 Pandemic
· The UK coronavirus (COVID-19) page https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
• The NHS coronavirus (COVID19) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ coronavirus-covid-19/ page
• If you are planning to travel abroad check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice page https://www.gov.uk/ foreign-travel-advice
• Follow Public Health England & The Department of Health and Social Care on Facebook or Twitter
If you have access to our online services please order repeat prescriptions via our website, or email the surgery on email@example.com. Alternatively, please post via Royal Mail. Prescriptions will be sent direct to your chosen pharmacy. It is no longer necessary to come into the practice to collect a paper prescription.