How the outbreak is affecting our practice
Following guidance from Public Health England we are trying to minimise the need for patients to visit the practice, in order to protect the health of our patients and staff.
We are enforcing social distancing of 2 metres by displaying clear signage and by removing most chairs from our waiting areas to ensure we are in keeping with guidelines. All of our staff are wearing facemasks and washing their hands thoroughly at regular intervals throughout the day. The areas within the practice are cleaned thoroughly after each patient including clinical rooms, chairs, door handles and those places multiple people are likely to have touched. Patients are requested to bring face coverings to the practice if they need to attend. The practice is not providing facemask to patients. This is because we need to prioritise our PPE (personal protection equipment) for our clinical team.
New Entrances – Our main entrance remains open, although we do ask patients to check there is nobody else waiting or being seen at reception before entering the building. This means we can better maintain social distancing.
Robin Lane Eye Clinic has recommenced appointments, this entrance to this is situated to the right side of the building and accessed through the entrance near Lloyds pharmacy. Please wait to be admitted by a member of staff.
Living Care Gastro – The gastroenterology team are now seeing patients with extra measures in place such as PPE, increased hygiene and cleaning protocols and strict appointment slots to ensure one patient in and out at a time. The entrance is situated to the right of the building and is clearly marked with signage.
If you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough you should not attend the practice unless advised to by a GP.
As in other parts of the NHS the practice is making difficult choices about how best to protect patients and our team. With immediate effect the following types of appointments will not be available:
- Routine BP checks
- NHS Health Checks
- Ear syringing
- Travel injections
- Routine blood monitoring
- Routine ECGs
With regards to the appointments that are already booked our nurses will check on a week by week basis at the start of the week whether the appointments are deemed urgent or not. They will then contact patients via text or telephone to inform them if they are to attend.
The following appointments will still be available at least for now:
- Baby immunisations
- Cervical screening
- B12 injections
- Urgent blood tests requested by a GP
- Urgent ECGs requested by a GP
- Amber drug monitoring (these are specialist medications which require extensive monitoring)
- Hormone injections
- 6 week baby checks
- Wound checks
- Midwife appointments
For patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD and diabetes all monitoring will be attempted over the phone. We accept that this is not ideal, and you may need a “catch up” appointment later in the year to get any information needed in a face to face appointment.
If you do have an appointment, you will need to confirm you do not have any a new persistent cough, a temperature of more than 37.8C, change or loss to your senses of smell or taste, or are currently residing in a household which is self isolating. If you have an appointment booked, and develop these symptoms, please contact the surgery to cancel this as soon as possible.
All GP appointments will be booked initially as a telephone consultation. You will be given an appointment time as normal. The GP will telephone you as close to that time as possible, discuss your issues, and suggest any appropriate actions. Rest assured that if the GP thinks you need a face to face appointment and it is safe for you to do so, you will be seen in person.
Fit notes/ Sick notes/ Med3s
If you require a fit note as a result of Covid-19 you do not need to speak to the GP practice. 111 are providing this service.
Please click on the link and follow the instructions: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
You can order your prescription online through the SystmOnline or NHSApp, and we strongly recommend that patients use these services. Alternatively you should contact your pharmacy to order repeat prescriptions.
Use the online service if you can and don’t over order!
Ways you can help
- Download the NHSApp – We strongly recommend all patients download the NHSApp onto their smartphone. You can use this app to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions.
- Keep up to date with official information – the best sources of information is nhs.uk/coronavirus and gov.uk/coronavirus and follow the guidance.
- Follow basic hygiene rules – Wash hands your hands often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water, always wash your hands when you get home or into work, use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid close contact – try to distance yourself from people who have symptoms of coronavirus. Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family.
- Stay at home if you can – only travel on public transport if you need to, work from home, if you can; avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas and avoid events with large groups of people.
- Don’t visit the practice unless you are invited by a GP – use phone, online services, or smartphone apps to contact us or other NHS services.
- Don’t over-order you repeat prescription. Although it may take a day or two longer than normal to process your prescription, there are no shortages of medications. Only order what you normally would.
- Care for others – If you’re able try to help out your family, friends and neighbours
- Don’t panic and don’t spread misinformation – This is a serious situation for all of us, but if we pull together, we will get through it.
Advice for people at high risk
If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
- not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you’re at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK.
Who is at high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having certain types of cancer treatment
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
We are contacting those patients who may be shielding but still need to attend the practice for important tests or treatments due to medical conditions or medications you may be taking. This is known as the EXTREME-COLD ZONE. You will be asked to remain in your car or stay outside until your appointment time, you will then be met by a member of staff at a different entrance to the one usually used. This is located to left of the main entrance and is usually a fire exit. We request that you attend practice with face coverings or your own mask and attend alone unless an interpreter or carer is required to assist you.
We run this clinic at Robin Lane first thing on a morning. We also see our patients at Hillfoot Surgery in a dedicated portacabin which is easier to maintain hygiene and one patient attendance. You will be advised of the location of your appointment and further instructions when contacted to arrange your appointment. All areas of the practice where patients have been are thoroughly cleaned after each patient. PPE is changed for new after each patient interaction and we encourage the use of hand sanitisers.
Our colleagues from Leeds West Primary Care Network are currently contacting our patients to check on their wellbeing and to enquire if there is any way we can offer support or signpost our patients to services that might be able to make the difficulties our shielded patients are currently facing easier to manage.
For information about being tested for Coronavirus, Click here.
How to contact us
Our phone lines are still open, call the usual number 0113 257 6787.
You can use our online services, or smartphone apps to do things like book appointments and order repeat prescriptions
You can email us on email@example.com if you have a question or to send us information about your condition.
It is very likely that you may have to wait longer on telephone, for appointments and prescriptions, we would ask patients to be particularly understanding of the issues facing the practice at this difficult time.
For further information about the coronavirus and what to do if you or someone you know has symptoms check the NHS website.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
- loss or change to your senses of taste or smell
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
Do not go to your GP surgery or hospital.
Use the NHS111 Online tool, or call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.