CORONOVIRUS - COVID-19

UPDATES

As we are going through a Pandamic, it is important we continue following the guidelines mapped out by the Government.  We advise all patients to continue helping us during these tough times and to work with us by abiding to the Practice protocols.  This is in place to keep the patients, clinicians and staff safe.

Access to General Practice

Your GP Practice is still open

  • Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP surgery will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-face contact where possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus
  • Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you.
  • In addition to face-to-face consultations, many GP practices are offering consultations online or over the phone. This can be a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare but if you would prefer to see a GP or healthcare professional in person then this can be arranged for you.

Ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP

  • Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment
  • Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice https://111.nhs.uk/
  • Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms

 Access to General Practice

 What happens if I need an appointment?

  • Please do not attend to the surgery if at all possible to book an appointment.
  • You can contact us via telephone on 01254 617440 or use the Online Tools to book an available telephone slot.
  • When you contact the surgery for an appointment your receptionist will book you a Telephone appointment. 
  • The Clinician will then call you to discuss your problem around the time agreed. Please note that the clinicians do run over if dealing with complex medical situations.
  • The Clinician will manage your problem as a video or telephone consultation however if necessary the clinician may need to see you face to face and this will be arranged by the clinician.
  • If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face to face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering.
  • Measures are in place to keep you safe from infection if you are invited to the surgery.

Please click on the Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) to take you to the government website for up-to-date information.

COVID VACCINATION QUERIES

Getting your COVID-19 Vaccination Certification

Patients who require their COVID vaccination certification please be aware the Practice is unable to issue this certificate.

Please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad for further information.

Proof of your vaccination status will be available on the NHSapp, which is also valuable for ordering repeat prescriptions.

The NHSapp can be downloaded from  https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/nhs-app/id1388411277 for iPhone or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhs.online.nhsonline for android.

Alternatively, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 from 17 May and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you have completed your course of the vaccine and the letter may to take up to 5 days to reach you.

We note the recent concerns around the ChAdOx1 Covid Vaccine and blood clots. The advice for those aged under 30 is to consider an alternative Covid vaccine and for all others to be offered all Covid vaccine options.

COVID-19 FACE COVERINGS

Why is a recommendation now being made for all general practice staff to wear a face mask?
The recommendations have been made for all staff to help prevent the spread of infection. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it, so it is important we take steps to reduce the risk of transmission from staff who may be asymptomatic. A face mask worn in this context will help to reduce the risk of directly transmitting SARS-CoV-2 from the wearer to others and indirectly transmitting the virus to others from contaminated environmental surfaces. The use of face coverings in GP practices is a local decision to help protect public and staff and is not national PHE guidance.

Where do I need to wear a face mask?
Masks must be worn by general practice staff in settings which are not risk assessed as COVID secure or where you cannot be socially distanced.

What do the different surgical face mask types mean?
All surgical/medical face masks are classified as Type I, IR, II, IIR, and are medical devices. These are tested against BS EN 14683:2019. The tests check the bacterial filtration of the mask, the breathing resistance and the splash resistance. Type IR and Type IIR have an extra layer of material that ensures splash resistance. Face coverings are not considered acceptable substitutes for staff.


Can I attend work if I have COVID-19 symptoms if I wear a mask?
No. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you and your household should isolate at home and follow PHE guidelines: wearing a mask does not change this.


Why are we asking visitors/patients visiting the site to wear face coverings?
Patients and visitors coming to general practice services in Lancashire and South Cumbria will need to wear face coverings to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it Patients and visitors are advised to bring a face covering ahead of coming to appointments in general practice.
The use of face coverings in GP practices is a local decision to help protect public and staff and is not national PHE guidance.


What happens if a patient/visitor does not have a face covering when they come to a GP surgery?
If a patient or visitor does not have a face covering, a mask will be provided on arrival.


Does my face covering worn for religious beliefs/cultural practice qualify?
Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

Do I need a letter from my GP for exemptions for facemask use?

No. If you require them for travel then the travel companies have their own system.

Exemption cards can be found here:

More information is available on: https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/mask

There is further information here for travel: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings