In response to the current pandemic, the NHS has moved to a Level 5 emergency response. This means that primary care is asked to stop all non-essential work to allow us to focus on the significant and potentially overwhelming level of demand relating to COVID-19, the acute deterioration of any long-term conditions, any new symptoms which could indicate potentially serious disease, and the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
We looked last week at what this means for Grove Medical Practice. We want to reassure you that we remain open and will continue to support you and continue to see patients face-to-face when clinically necessary. In addition, there are a number of support services around the practice that can also help you, and using these will help us to focus on the patients who need us most.
- Before contacting us with a minor or self-limiting condition, please consider using the online NHS 111 symptom checker (https://111.nhs.uk/) or speaking to your local pharmacist. Your local pharmacist can provide advice and over-the-counter treatments for many conditions such as coughs and sore throats.
- You can self-refer to the local mental health services (https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/psychological-wellbeing-service) by visiting https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/self-refer-here
- You can self-refer to the local physiotherapy service (https://www.eoemskservice.nhs.uk) by visiting https://eoemskservice.nhs.uk/physiotherapy-self-referral
Using these services where appropriate will help maintain our capacity to support more urgent and complex medical problems.
- All GP appointments will continue by telephone/video consultation in the first instance. After this initial appointment, we can then advise whether a face-to-face contact is appropriate.
- We may delay or complete some regular annual reviews by telephone, where it is safe to do so. All essential monitoring appointments and reviews will continue as normal.
- Please only enter the practice building if you have a pre-arranged face-to-face appointment or are collecting your medication. If you need to speak to us to book an appointment or provide an update, please contact us by telephone.
- Due to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we are not booking appointments more than 7 days in advance. This is to avoid needing to rearrange appointments when we are advised of our vaccine delivery dates and need to release doctors and nurses to help.
- It may take us longer to complete any private medical work at this time. This includes insurance reports, driving medicals, requests for copies of medical records and other reports and letters. We will continue to process any benefit related claims or reports as quickly as we can.
This is a unique and challenging situation and, so far, 2021 is not proving any easier than 2020. We will continue to review and revisit the way that we are responding to the pandemic and remain grateful for your continued understanding and support.
Grove Medical Practice