CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - LATEST UPDATE
Care at Westcourt Medical Centre
Our objective over the coming weeks and months is to look after you and your families in the best way possible, given the circumstances. We also have to protect our staff and their health and ability to provide a service for you. We have been instructed to minimise footfall into GP surgeries, aid social distancing and prepare for the next few weeks and months. Please be patient with us. The NHS has never faced such a challenge.
Our Appointment System
In accordance with advice from NHS England, we have moved to a 'Telephone First' appointment system for most of your care. If necessary we will arrange to see you, or organise a video-consultation where appropriate. We can only arrange to see you provided you do not have any cold or flu-like symptoms.
Certain pre-booked nurse appointments will remain face to face, due to the nature of the care required. If you have already booked an appointment with a nurse, and have NOT been contacted to advise your appointment will become a telephone consultation, please DO still attend the surgery at your given day and time.
You will be fully screened before being allowed entry into the surgery and asked to use hand sanitiser.
We appreciate your full cooperation during this time.
PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO SO.
If You Have Cold or Flu-Like Symptoms
If you have mild symptoms flu-like symptoms such as a headache, sore throat, muscle pains, cough i.e you are coping, doing most of the things you would normally do - then please self isolate for 7 days
If you feel you are not coping and are in difficulty and getting worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, THEN USE THE NHS 111 ONLINE FACILITY or RING 111 if you cannot access help online.
Please do not telephone or travel to the surgery.
Routine Care You Have Been Receiving
We have been directed by NHS England and our local clinical commissioning group to suspend a range of non-urgent activities until further notice including:
- Travel clinics
- Minor Surgery and steroid injections
- NHS Health Checks
- Routine blood tests unless for specific medication monitoring or where a clinician deems it essential for diagnostic purpose or management of patients condition are not stable.
- There are likely to be long delays in being able to book insurance and other private medical examinations for reports. DVLA may at some point issue guidance on what to do if you are experiencing delays. Please check https://www.gov.uk/ for further information.
Medication reviews will be conducted by telephone.
Essential mental health reviews will be conducted by telephone or where we have the facility, by video call where appropriate.
If you need to order a prescription, the easiest way is to download NHS app, or ask your pharmacist. The NHS app can be easily downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.
All prescriptions will be electronically processed and sent to a pharmacy of your choice. If you haven't yet told us which pharmacy you have selected, please telephone the surgery and advise, or nominate via the NHS app.
Sickness Certificates (Med3)
The government has indicated that in most circumstances you will not need a sickness certificate if:
- you are ill with COVID-19 or a flu-like illness for 7 days which is covered, by law, by a self-certification process
- or for an extended period beyond 7 days where you should use the NHS111 online tool
- are in isolation due to a family case or contact
- are in education
- are self-isolated because you are in an at-risk group
Should your employer insist on some form of certification, please download, print and complete the COVID-19 Self Certificate form, available here:
Travel Insurance Certificates / Forms
If you have had to cancel or postpone a trip due to the risk of catching COVID-19 or because of travel restrictions imposed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or flight and holiday cancellations by travel companies, we cannot complete travel insurance certificates or forms.
If you have been ill or a family member has been ill and this has directly resulted in cancellation of travel plans, then we are able to complete insurance forms.
People With Long-Term Health Conditions
We will suspend long-term health condition reviews for those deemed to have stable conditions. We will organise telephone reviews for people who may have unstable conditions.
If you have a long-term health condition and you notice a deterioration in your condition then contact the surgery for an initial telephone assessment.
Please see further down this page for some useful links to disease related websites.
High Blood Pressure Monitoring
We would encourage people to obtain or use an available home blood pressure monitoring machine. We would discourage people from using our waiting room blood pressure machines so as to minimise the risk of spread of infection.
Your blood pressure control is, in general, deemed to be well controlled if:
- your blood pressure is below 135/85 mmHg for adults aged under 80 or
- below 145/85 mmHg for adults aged 80 and over.
Your doctor or nurse may have set a different target depending on your specific circumstances.
If your blood pressure is raised but below 150/90 then please recheck it by taking it 3 times at rest each day over 3 days and email your blood pressure readings to firstname.lastname@example.org
If your blood pressure is consistently above 150/90 over at least 3 separate sets of readings, then please contact the surgery via email or telephone.
If your blood pressure is above 180/100 over 3 readings at the same time, then please contact the surgery urgently.
Baby Immunisation Clinics and Infant 6-Week Checks
We will continue to provide 6 week mother and baby checks baby immunisations appointments but will ask you to sit in a designated waiting room.
Wherever possible, please do not to bring siblings to nursing appointments.
All children and parents will be screened for viral symptoms and asked to rebook for a telephone call if appropriate.
Urgent Wound Dressings and Reviews
Urgent wound dressings will continue if necessary, with a view to extend intervals and promote self-management where possible.
All other nurse appointments will be subject to initial telephone assessment.
Some Useful Websites for Further COVID-19 Related Issues
General health advice –all conditions: https://www.nhs.uk/
COVID-19 – need advice: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
UK Government COVID-19 advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Long-Term Health Conditions and COVID-19 Advice
Heart Failure: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health
Crohns Disease and colitis: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice
Rheumatoid Arthritis: https://www.nras.org.uk/news/coronavirus-what-we-know-so-far
Multiple Sclerosis (MS): https://www.mssociety.org.uk/care-and-support/ms-and-coronavirus-care-and-support
Parkinsons Disease: https://www.parkinson.org/blog/tips/Coronavirus
Vistors Guidance for Hospitals/Care Homes
The most up-to-date visitors guidance is here. The public are being asked to limit visiting and to consider other ways of keeping in touch, like phone calls.
Visitors must be immediate family members or carers. We are asking people to limit to one person, per patient unless:
- the patient is receiving end-of-life care
- the visitor needs to be accompanied – accompanying visitors should not stay in patient, ward or communal areas, and this applies to inpatient and outpatient settings
- they are a partner and birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour.
Hospitals and other health and care settings will restrict visiting to one hour per day at designated visiting times. Slightly different rules apply to children and newborns – two visitors are allowed and this may include a child under 12. Paediatric trusts can use their own discretion on visiting hours.
Routine or Planned Hospital Care Including Operations
Every hospital in England has now been asked to suspend all non-urgent planned operations from 15 April 2020 for at least three months.
Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal, but we know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and hospitals will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.
Please do not contact the surgery for information about hospital appointments.
Published: Mar 23, 2020