Changes to Repeat Prescription Requests
Our Spring Newsletter is now available to view!
This season's issue covers:
- COVID-19 vaccination information.
- An update about our practice refurbishment in Oulton.
- Resources and information regarding mental health, bereavement, unpaid carers and more.
May Bank Holiday Opening Hours
The surgery will be CLOSED for BANK HOLIDAY on:
- Monday 3rd May 2021
- Monday 31st May 2021
So please make sure you:
- Stock up on your regular medications
- Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
- If you need oxygen, make sure you have an adequate supply
If you need urgent medical attention during the holiday period, call your normal surgery number and you will be directed to the out-of-hours service - 111
If you require health information or advice you can also:
Log on to NHS Choices online at www.nhs.uk
They will help you get you the right treatment.
Wednesday 31st March
We are excited to share our current progress in vaccinating the community against COVID-19! 🙂
Our work is almost complete for the highest prioritisation groups and we look forward to reaching 100% for them.
This past week, the team have begun 2nd vaccination clinics. Appointments will be offered to those who had their initial dose of the vaccine first. Everyone will be offered their second dose in the 11-12 week period after their first dose.
As always please refrain from calling the practice to request a vaccination, a member of the team will contact you to arrange an appointment as soon as one is available. Thank you for your ongoing support.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information - January 2021
The NHS is now offering vaccinations to people who are most at risk from Covid-19. This follows the approval of both the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines as safe and effective, after extensive trials.
The two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.
The first vaccinations are being offered to people in the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), starting with people in care homes and those aged 80 and over. Groups of GP practices are working together to provide local vaccination services and will contact eligible patients when it is their turn.
When it is your turn, you will receive an invitation via the phone or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.
We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please could we kindly ask you not to contact the practice for information about the vaccine or to ask for an appointment, as you will not be able to get one until you receive an invitation. If you are invited for a vaccine, please act on your invite straight away and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them.
Please note that vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112. The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
In the meantime, please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives
COVID-19 Vaccination Scam
Thursday 24th December
The practice has been made aware that some people have received fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
The scammers are sadly targeting the most vulnerable members of our community.
People have either been asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they want to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, people are being called and offered the vaccine for a fee and the caller is asking for bank details.
Please familiarise yourself with the information below to reduce the risk of being scammed.
The vaccine is only available from the NHS for free and you will be contacted you when it is your turn. If members of our team call you to offer an appointment, we will only ask you to confirm your name, address or date of birth to confirm your identity over the phone. We will never ask for bank details.
The NHS will:
- NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
- NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.
Our first COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic!
Saturday 19th December
On Saturday we successfully held our first COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Gibson Lane Practice. A big thank you to our lovely team members who volunteered their time this weekend to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. We are excited to continue this important work moving forward.
Reminder: Please do not call the surgery about the vaccination as patients will be contacted directly to arrange an appointment. For more information about the vaccine follow this link.
Important Patient Notice Regarding High Call Volumes
Message for all patients
We are currently experiencing an extraordinary number of calls to the surgery. In the hopes of reducing waiting times to speak to a receptionist please can we ask that, if your call is not urgent, you consider using our online e-consult service. Click here to be taken to the homepage. More information about eConsult can be found on the ‘how to make an appointment’ page of this website. For minor ailments please use the NHS choices website or speak with your local pharmacist for advice. We must triage our capacity for our most vulnerable patients and those patients needing urgent care. Thank you for your patience in these most difficult times and we assure you that every member of our team is, as always, working hard to deliver excellent patient care.
The surgery is still here for all our patients who need urgent care and we strongly recommend that if you have any new, worrying and unexplained symptoms you do call us.
Accessing our surgeries
The doors to our surgeries are still closed to minimise the numbers of patients in practice at any given time. We have intercom systems installed which allow you to speak to reception from outside. Please note the intercom is only to be used if you have an appointment, have been invited into practice by a clinician or have a sample/prescription request to drop off. All other queries need to be directed to our phone lines, email or our online consultation service eConsult. This is to protect your data and reduce queues at the doors.
Please use the following contact numbers to call us between 8am and 6pm:
Oulton Medical Centre - 0113 282 2138
Marsh Street Surgery - 0113 282 1571
Swillington Health Practice - 0113 287 1444
Patients can email the following address (please note this is not appropriate for anything urgent) - email@example.com
eConsult is still available to use also. Follow this link to find the homepage. Tell us about your health concerns, request a callback and send us your administrative requests. Once on the homepage, follow the appropriate links and you will be asked to fill out a guided form. This is sent directly and securely to us. You do not need to make an account or remember any passwords either. eConsult is a great way to get in touch with us about non-urgent issues without having to wait in a phone queue. It can be used any weekday, at any time, including evenings. We will action your submission in the appropriate way by the end of the following working day.
CUES - Coronavirus Urgent Eyecare Service
CUES is a new service which has launched in Leeds to help people access urgent and emergency eyecare. The service is free to access for all patients and will predominantly be delivered over the phone or via a video consultation.
Examples of when it is appropriate to access this service:
If you have any of the above symptoms you can visit the Primary Eyecare website to find which local optician is taking part in CUES. Or, ring your optician or GP, when your optician or GP is closed you can call NHS 111 (you can access NHS 111 online www.111.nhs.uk), they will assess the situation and if needed you will be referred into CUES. For further information about the service please see the youtube video below.
We Are Open!
Coronavirus has led to a number of changes for our practice but we’re very much open and seeing patients.
To help keep everyone safe and to minimise the risk of infection, we’re currently doing most consultations by phone or video; however, if we need to see you, then we will ask you to come to the surgery or arrange a home visit.
We’re also carrying out routine and preventative care such as cervical screening tests, children’s immunisations and reviews for people with existing health conditions. If you receive a reminder about any of these, please make an appointment – you’ll be seen in a safe environment.
When you book an appointment, we will ask you a set of questions to make sure you don’t have symptoms associated with coronavirus, including a new continuous cough, loss or change of sense of smell or taste and a high temperature.
If you do have symptoms, you must self-isolate for 10 days, only leaving home to get tested. – visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call NHS 119 to book an appointment at your nearest centre.
Anyone living with you will need to stay at home for 14 days. If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, contact NHS 111 and they will advise you what to do.
If you need to order medication, please ring the surgery or order it online.
We are dealing with all other requests as fast as we can, but please bear with us if some of these take a little longer than usual.
For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
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:
These guidelines are in place to keep everyone safe and we thank you for your support.
A new online solution to contact us any time of day
Released in May 2020
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 during the week. 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.
New Health and Care Video Library
Staff at Dr Freeman & Partners are taking advantage of a new resource to make it easier for our patients to access trusted health information and guidance remotely.
As part of the COVID-19 response, NHSX (a joint unit bringing together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement) have secured free access for NHS staff and patients to an online Health and Care Video Library of over 600 simple and easy to follow information videos.
The clinically assured content has been produced to cover a range of topics and conditions in an easily accessible format, providing an alternative to written health information.
Example topics include:
- Healthy Living and Diet
- Inhaler Use and Breathing Problems
We are happy to share this resource with our patients and hope to use the content to enhance the support we provide and that they/you will find it helpful to access the simple and visual health information at any time.
To view the Health and Care Video Library
Visit www.healthandcarevideos.uk or search for ‘Health and Care Videos’ in your app store to download the app version (available on Android and iOS)
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.
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.