Practice News

Changes to shielding guidance

Monday 6th July

From today, changes have been made to shielding guidance in the UK. 

The changes are as follows:

  • you may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

All of these changes are completely optional. There is no pressure to start going out if you do not feel comfortable enough to do so. It is still important to take extra care and avoid contact with people outside of your household. Anyone receiving government support at home such as food packages will continue to do so until the end of July.

Requesting a same day call back

Tuesday 30th June

We ask that if patients wish to speak to a GP on the same day, they must call before 9:30am unless something urgent arises later in the day.

This helps us organise our appointments and manage the diary better. Thank you for your support. Don't forget that you can use eConsult to contact us for a response by the end of the following working day. Using eConsult for none-urgent queries helps to reduce call volumes and waiting times. 

Important Patient and Staff Safety Announcement

Wednesday 24th June 2020

Please continue to maintain a 2 metre distance from others and follow signs at all times when attending the surgery.

Patients MUST speak to a receptionist using the intercom system on our main doors before entering the practice. Images can be found below under the title - 'What To Expect When You Visit Us'

Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible to avoid unnecessary waiting in the surgery.

A face covering MUST be worn whilst in the building unless you have a clinical reason not to do so. You do not need to buy a surgical face mask online, a suitable covering can be made quickly and effectively at home. See the link below for more information:
https://www.gov.uk/…/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-cove…

These guidelines are in place to keep everyone safe and we thank you for your support.

What To Expect When You Visit Us

If you haven't visited us since lockdown began, the practice will likely look a bit different. The main difference is that with strict social distancing guidelines in place, we have floor markers, posters and signs up all over the practice to help you know where to stand or sit during your time with us. Please follow these markers as closely as you can as well as respecting other patients and staff in the building by giving them plenty of space.  

We are still trying to perform most of our work online or over the telephone but if you are invited into practice for an appointment this is what you will be asked to do:

  • Please arrive at your given appointment time. We are doing everything we can to reduce wait times and you can help us with this by doing your best to arrive on time. 
  • Once you arrive, please use the intercom system at the main doors to speak to reception and they will be able to let you in. 
  • We ask that you wear a face covering on entering the building - follow this link for guidance on how to make a cloth face covering at home.
  • While waiting for your appointment please sit with plenty of distance from other patients. 

Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe

We have intercom systems installed at all 3 surgeries as you can see in the image above. When you arrive for an appointment please press the silver button to speak to reception and they will be able to let you in if appropriate. 

We have strict social distancing measures in place across the practice. Please follow guidance from signs, floor markers and posters to keep everyone safe. For example, you will see the following floor markers in practice. We will update patients if anything changes

We will do everything we can to reduce the number of patients in our waiting rooms at any given time. However, the social distancing guidelines apply to the seating areas too. Please help us keep everyone safe by only sitting where you can see the green stickers. The spaces inbetween must be kept clear. 

´╗┐Important update on referrals for anyone registered with a Leeds GP practice

Wednesday 27th May

As part of our response to protect the health of our patients and our staff, we've all had to make difficult decisions to suspend some services. In addition any existing planned appointments may either be cancelled, take place over the telephone or by video consultation.

This means we're unable to refer for the following hospital services and all waiting lists are now closed:

Outpatient appointments
Diagnostic tests for most conditions - we'll let you know if there's any tests that still need to be carried out
Cancer services - referrals will continue however urgent appointments will initially involve a telephone call and people will be advised by a healthcare professional on what will happen next
Non-urgent sight impairment issues - we'll continue to provide support for urgent issues

If you have an existing appointment, someone will contact you to confirm what happens next.

We're still here for you in an emergency.

We're doing our best to work for you during these extremely challenging times. We ask for your patience and understanding as well as your support for all our colleagues working in the NHS. Please be kind to our staff working extremely hard to care for you.

Possible Cervical Screening Scam

Wednesday 20th May

We have received reports from Public Health England of a possible scam.
Some women are being contacted by text message, claiming to be from the call and recall service to say they are overdue for cervical screening. The message asks for you to call a mobile number and provide personal details.

These messages are NOT from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme so if you have received something similar please do not respond. The Action Fraud Line is aware.

You will only be contacted by letter from this particular programme. The practice may send text reminders on occasion but you will be asked to call our recognisable surgery number and never a mobile number. 

Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Symptoms

Monday 18th May 2020

From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia (a loss of or change to your normal sense of smell). Anosmia has been recognised in recent data as a prevelant symptom of COVID-19. 

You can visit the official NHS webpage for Coronavirus here for more information.

Introducing eConsult

A new online solution to contact us any time of day

Monday 11th May 

We’ve recently introduced eConsult. This is an online consultation service where you can send us your health concerns or admin requests at any time of day. We endeavour to respond to your query by the end of the following working day, whether that is with a response to your question or to arrange an appointment if needed.

We know our phone lines can be busy at times, so this means you don't have to sit in a queue to speak to one of our receptionists. Simply fill out one of the online forms and we will do the rest. If you can’t access this service for any reason you are still welcome to contact us by telephone as before.

You can access eConsult by clicking the banner on the homepage of our practice website.

 

 

We hope this new resource proves useful especially under the current circumstances.

Frequent Asked Questions - COVID-19 Outbreak

Will I be receiving a ‘high risk patient’ letter?

UPDATE: w/c 11th May 2020. Patients are now being asked to shield until the 30th June, instead of 12 weeks from when the letters were received. This means vulnerable people will need to stay indoors for around 2 weeks more than initially planned. 

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:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. 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
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. 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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 

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.

https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

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.

Symptoms Include: A new & continuous cough or a high temperature

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

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.

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

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 oulton.marshstreet@nhs.net 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 - oulton.marshstreet@nhs.net

DO NOT EMAIL US IF YOUR QUERY IS URGENT

Thank you for your on-going support at this difficult time.

 

 

Branch Closure Announcement

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.

Important Patient Notice:

Due to the on going spread of Coronavirus, the practice has decided to suspend all Walk-In clinics until further notice. We will be utilising a telephone triage service instead with a relevant Healthcare Professional. We apologise for any inconvenience, however, the decision has been made to protect patients and staff as a precaution at this time based on guidance from Public Health England. 

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, please do not come into any of our surgeries.

  • Do you think you have Coronavirus?
  • Have you travelled from any high risk countries in the last 14 days? (List of countries)
  • Have you been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus?
  • Do you have a cough, shortness of breath or a fever?

If you have confirmed or suspected Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is recommended to stay at home and do not leave the house for 7 days from when the symptoms started. Click here for the stay at home guidance from GOV.uk.


Coronavirus update:

The advice has changed. 

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection. You don't need to have travelled to any of the high risk countries or been in contact with a confirmed case to self isolate anymore. If you have any of the symptoms above please follow this link for more information on what to do. 

Only contact NHS 111 if your symptoms are severe enough that you can't cope at home and need help/support. 


 

Walk in Contraceptive Clinic

 

Our weekly Walk-In Contraceptive Clinic has also been cancelled until further notice following advice from Public Health England regarding COVID-19.

This service normally runs on Monday afternoons between 4:00pm and 5:30pm. You can still call the practice on the day and request a call back from the nurse. 

We are still here for you if you need us

Please remember that the NHS is still here for you despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Don't hesitate to contact us if you develop new and worrying symptoms. See the documents linked below for everything you need to know and when to contact the NHS for medical help and who to contact given your circumstances. It is also available in easy read. 

Ways to contact us at this time include:

Telephone - Our phone lines are open as they have always been. Our receptionists are on the other end of the phone every weekday between 8am and 6pm. 

eConsult - If your query is not urgent you can use eConsult to get in touch and we will endeavour to respond by the end of the following working day. 

NHS is here for you guidance.pdf