As of 14th May 2020
We last updated our plan on the 20th March as lock-down was being put in place, and as we moved immediately to a ‘telephone first’ appointment basis.
As the weeks have unfolded our plan and approach has moved on, and we have also settled into new ways of working, and you have adapted with us to this.
For the foreseeable future our plan is:
- New GP appointments will be by telephone first, and the reception team will ask you for the purpose of your call (so that we can book your call back with the most appropriate team member, as not everyone is working from the practice, and not everyone has access to the same video technology)
- The GP will either call you back by phone, or the reception team may call you back to walk you through how to do a video call, as some of our GP’s prefer to do a video consultation where the technology allows it
- The reception team may also ask you to send in a photo or two if they (or you) feel that a photo would assist the GP in their consultation, we can send you a text message that you can reply to with the photo(s) that will go straight back onto your clinical record
- We are now pre-booking telephone appointments if you wish to have a telephone consultation with a specific GP for a non-urgent matter, please let the reception team know if you prefer to talk to a specific GP and if you are happy to wait a few days until they are next available
- On the rare occurrence that the GP needs to see you in person, they will make an appointment for you – please attend at that time, we are not using the waiting room and so you will need to wait outside or in your car until the GP is ready to bring you in (they will be in full PPE, and sometimes getting ready and making sure we have an appropriate room available can cause a delay)
- Nursing appointments have continued throughout this outbreak for core services, e.g. childhood immunisations, whooping cough vaccinations, other IM injections, warfarin management, dressings, and urgent blood tests
- The nursing team have continued to undertake telephone reviews for our asthma and COPD patients, as well as reviewing and refreshing care plans for patients with dementia – this will continue
- We are now expanding the remit of the team, but still not back to full services – our next step is to manage our patients that have diabetes and hypertension, as we feel there is potential for diabetic control to have changed during lockdown. This will involve bringing in several hundred patients over a period of months for blood test and physical checks, and then following this up with a telephone call to complete their review
A word on infection control
- We are fanatical about it, and we are taking all measures as indicated nationally as well as making common sense decisions about how best we can make services available to our patients while maintaining a safe environment
- Any patient that is symptomatic of CoronaVirus will not be seen at this location, Bedford has a single ‘Red’ site that any ‘Covid likely’ patient will be seen at (this is by referral by our GP only)
- This allows us to remain a ‘Green’ site, and see symptom free patients with a high level of confidence
- As well as each clinician wearing appropriate PPE, and changing this as per guidelines in-between patients, each room is wiped down in-between patients and any equipment, surface or door handle they may have touched is also wiped down
- We will not compromise on this
Prescriptions requests need to continue to be made as usual – please use the NHS App if you don’t already have access, or use the SystmOnline access if you already have access that way. We will not take them over the phone for safety reasons, so please do not ask us
Prescriptions will now only be sent directly to a pharmacy, if you haven’t already nominated a pharmacy please let us know where you want your prescription to go to – you will not be able to collect it from the practice
Continue to avoid coming to the practice if at all possible – find a way to work with us by using email or by sending us a query through our website
We are taking these steps to protect you, and our team.
These actions should enable us to continue provide a service to you – be we all need to act responsibly to work through this situation, and we hope that you will work with us on this.
The Goldington Avenue team