9 July 2020
As you are aware, government restrictions and advice around COVID-19 are gradually being relaxed.
This now means that The Glebe Surgery can gradually explore returning to more normal ways of working. However, this is likely to be over several months. As this happens, we will endeavour to maintain patient/doctor continuity to the best of our abilities with in the restrictions.
The government and NHS England advice remains ‘total triage’ first. This means either a telephone call, video consultation or electronic consultation is required before a decision that a face-to-face appointment is made.
A clinician will review patient requests for blood tests, dressings and other procedures and decide if they are necessary before they are booked.
The processes are aimed at reducing unnecessary contact between health care professionals and patients in order to protect patients and staff against potential COVID-19 infection. Sadly, despite NHS England infection control procedures being followed strictly by our staff there is still a small potential risk.
In the next weeks and months, we will gradually be able to start resuming more routine healthcare and start accommodating patients in our waiting room. Obviously, while patients wait, it can increase transmission risks. As some of you may be aware, we have been asking our patients to wait outside for their appointments therefore reducing this risk. In the near future we will be able to permit patients to wait in our waiting room if they wish (if you prefer to wait outside then please make sure a member of staff is alerted of your arrival). On entry, you will have your temperature taken and asked to wear a facemask or face covering. If you have your own, we would be grateful if you would use it. If you do not have one then we will provide you with one. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Patient Participation Group and all other volunteers who have kindly made wonderful re-useable face covings, which we can give to patients free of charge.
When you call the surgery, our reception team may point you towards our new E-consult, which is easily accessed via The Glebe Surgery Website https://glebesurgerystorrington.nhs.uk.
The programme is designed to help you assess your symptoms, offer advice and to advise you if urgent 111/999 advice is more appropriate. If your questions needs to be directed to a doctor but it is not urgent, we will try to ensure you receive a response by 18:30 the next working day.
We know that many of our patients are keen to have a COVID-19 antibody test to confirm whether they have had COVID-19. This is something that is not available in our community at present for patients to have done at their GP surgery (unless they are a designated research or pilot site). When it becomes available, we will inform patients.
We expect the phase 3 pharmacy and patient car park will be completed by the end of July. Unfortunately, this may entail some parking disruption for a short period while the road providing access to the surgery is completed. We will keep you updated as soon as we know.
Everyone at The Glebe Surgery would like to thank you so much for all the understanding and support you have offered us while we complete our new building and during these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Dr Keir Newsom and Partners