We wanted to provide you with an update as to how appointments are currently working at the surgery. Whilst the covid pandemic continues, General Practice continues to operate a total triage service. This means that all requests for appointments need to be reviewed by a clinician. In order that we help keep both patients and staff safe, and to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, NHS England has asked that General Practice continue to carry out remote consultations where possible. Once a clinician has triaged their need, patients may be given an online, telephone, video, or face to face consultation where needed. We have continued to see patients face to face throughout the pandemic where there is clinical need, as well as continuing to provide home visits, but this risk must be assessed by a clinician. The phone lines have therefore been incredibly busy and clinicians have been using mobile phones to try and ease the pressure on the main phone lines. Patients are being made aware that they may receive phone calls from an unknown number in this instance.
In order to help us to help you, we ask that patients use our online reception desk to request a routine appointment where possible. This reduces the traffic through the phone lines, as well as ensuring that the clinical team have up to date information about you from the outset to help triage your need. You do not require a login to use online reception. Where patients are unable to use online reception, then our reception staff can help you to fill in the form on your behalf, or you can request a triage appointment by phone. Due to the total triage system, telephone triage appointments are made on the day and cannot be booked in advance for the doctor team at the current time. Please phone us early if you think that the problem is urgent, or if a home visit may be required.
We ask that any patients who have possible covid symptoms, such as a new cough or temperature, declare this to reception at the time of requesting an appointment, so that we can triage your need appropriately without putting other patients at risk. We ask that only patients who have been invited in for an appointment by one of the clinical team come to the practice. Clinical staff are still wearing Personal Protective Equipment for all face to face appointments and we ask that patients, who are able to do so, wear a mask. There is hand sanitiser provided on entry and all patients receive a temperature check if being seen in the main building. In order to maintain social distancing, patients are asked to wait outside, or in their car, until your appointment time. For this reason we may ask for your car details when booking you for face to face care. Your clinician will meet you at the door on entry. We have an intercom at both sites for easy safe access to reception. Urgent face to face clinical care is currently being provided at our Rawdon branch. We are looking to provide routine face to face GP appointments up at our Yeadon site again as soon as possible and will keep you updated.
All prescriptions are being sent electronically to pharmacies. You are able to nominate a pharmacy, or can ask for an electronic token if you prefer. Our pharmacist is also providing medication reviews by phone.
Our nursing team is also providing a mix of face to face and remote consultations. Please provide as much information as you are able to at the time of booking to ensure the right appointment length is allocated to you at the time of booking.
We are delighted to welcome two new health care assistants to the nursing team and hope that patients will see the benefit of the additional appointments they are offering over the coming weeks.
We also welcome two new doctors to the team. Dr Catherine Davies, who is our new GP registrar, as well as Dr Rebecca Morris who is our new junior doctor. We have continued to teach and train throughout the pandemic and are pleased to have them working alongside our usual clinicians.
We will keep you updated with further developments, but wish to reassure patients that the practice is providing a safe service for patients at what we know is a worrying time for many.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dr Laura Clegg