19th August 2020
As always, the Partners and staff at the Glebe Surgery would like to thank you for your support and understanding during these difficult times, and as Covid 19 lockdown is being lifted we are now able to offer more services to patients however, these are still limited by certain factors. The continued Government and NHS advice is that all patients need to be triaged by a clinician prior to having a face to face appointment. There are also more routine services, such as joint injections and minor surgery, which will only be performed if immediately necessary. As yet we do not know when we will be able to resume our normal service.
The surgery has invested much time and money in alternative services, such as text, video and email consultations. We encourage you to explore this new technology where appropriate. We have also invested in a new piece of technology. As far as we are aware we are the only surgery using this in the region. This is a facial scanner that is situated in the main patient entrance. This has the ability to scan a patient’s face and calculate their temperature and detect whether they are wearing a mask. If it detects that a patient is not wearing a mask it will give an alert requesting the patient puts a mask on. If it detects that a patient has a temperature above 38C, it will request the patient not to enter the building. A member of the clinical staff will be alerted and perform a formal temperature check and give advice as appropriate. This piece of equipment has been rigorously tested and validated.
We are now approaching the time that flu vaccinations are available for those patients over 65. Our clinics are now available for booking. This year, more than ever, it is vital that as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible. As I am sure you understand, this is a logistical challenge during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have developed a system to try and overcome this while maintaining social distancing. This will be very different from the system that many of you have experienced before. There will be 3 streams of patients entering the building during the vaccination clinics. One of these streams will have their vaccination in a covered area in the staff carpark. It is vital that whilst entering for your vaccination you have an arm exposed up to the shoulder so as not to delay the process of receiving your influenza vaccination. After having your vaccination you will be guided to one of 3 exits out of the building. Due to time constraints and the need to manage social distancing, the vaccinations will be administered behind appropriate screening, and not in an individual closed consulting room. We have invested in providing significantly more staff and volunteers to help us manage the high volume of patients. As previously, we encourage those patients that are able to arrive at the surgery on foot. There will only be parking available for those with significant mobility difficulties who need to arrive at the front entrance by car. We also encourage you to arrive on time and not early. This will help minimise queuing and allow social distancing to be maintained.
We thank you for your understanding that this is an untried process and would like to reassure you that we will try and make the influenza vaccination season as smooth as is possible.
Here at the Glebe Surgery we wish that you all stay safe and continue to follow Government guidance on social distancing.
Dr Keir Newsom