November TARGET Staff Training Update
Our surgeries were due to close at noon for staff training on Thursday 17th November. However, in response to the second lockdown and increased pressure on NHS services, we will remain open.
We will be here for our patients between 8am and 6pm as normal. Thank you.
Advice for shielding patients
Thursday 5th November
As a practice, most of our appointments are still being held online or over the telephone as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, over 50 hours were wasted in total from patients failing to attend their pre-booked appointments last month. Our nurses and healthcare assistants are working hard, running face-to-face clinics for appointments that cannot be done over the phone such as blood tests and vaccinations. These appointments are incredibly valuable to our patients so please make sure to cancel in advance if you cannot attend. This way, your appointment can be offered to someone who really needs it.
There are plenty of ways to easily cancel an appointment without waiting in a phone queue, follow the link below for more information.
As always, thank you to all of our patients who continue to attend their appointments and follow government guidance in practice to keep everyone safe 😊
Important message from our GP Partners
We have written an update for our patients in response to the recent announcement of a second national lockdown.
Please take the time to read the document below. It includes everything you need to know about what is currently happening across our 3 surgeries.
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
Friday 18th September
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.
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:
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
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 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.
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.
New Health and Care Video Library
10th July 2020
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)
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.
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.