Accessing Our Practice after 19th July
Our priority is to keep patients and staff safe and will continue to implement safety measures after guidance changes on 19th July. There is more likely to be vulnerable and unwell people in our building, and so it is important everyone feels safe coming into our Practice when they need to. Therefore, we will continue to ask everyone to wear face coverings and our clinicians will continue to wear PPE when seeing patients face-to-face. Our doors will open, but we would discourage coming into the Practice unless you are attending for an appointment (we can continue to send sick certificates by email, prescriptions electronically, etc). We will still be implementing social distancing measures and would appreciate everyone's cooperation in maintaining these.
Patients who need to be seen face-to-face but have symptoms including a cough, high temperature, fever or loss of taste or smell, will be seen in our designated room and will enter via the back door.
Changes to the Appointment System (from August)
At the start of the Covid vaccination programme, we made the decision to move all of our GP appointments to bookable on the same day only. This was because GPs were needed at vaccine clinics at short notice, and we did not wish to book appointments in advance for patients, only to need to cancel them.
However, we have recently now completed our last vaccine clinics. In addition, as we come out of lockdown, demand for appointments is soaring and we are very aware that we run out. We understand that this can be frustrating for patients, and it is increasingly challenging for our reception staff too. We continue to accept online consultations, which are triaged by GPs, and do always try to ensure that sick children are dealt with as priority.
However, now that we are entering a new phase, with the vaccines behind us, we are looking at our appointment system with a view to making changes. We are looking to return to offering appointments bookable in the future, for non-urgent problems. We still want to ensure everyone is kept safe, so will continue to predominantly offer telephone appointments, but will also open up more face-to-face slots for patients who need them.
Please bear with us whilst we implement these changes. If you have a minor ailment, please do try checking the information relating to self-care on the NHS website, or asking a pharmacist first, to help us manage the pressure on the system. Please also be mindful that the reception staff answering the phones are doing the best they can to answer calls quickly and are unable to offer more appointments than we have available.
This notice is to assure patients that we are aware of current pressures and limits on appointments and are actively looking to alter the system to provide improved accessibility.
Published: Jul 6, 2021