LOCK DOWN UPDATE
As we go into a new lockdown with rising COVID numbers in Redbridge, Dr Hutchings, Dr Amini, Dr Bunting and Dr Greenfield would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that OUR DOORS REMAIN OPEN and patients should continue to access health care as they need it.
Since the beginning of April we have carried out over 12,189 appointments. In line with government guidance the surgery continues to revise its way of working regularly in order to maximise patient and staff safety. At present the advice remains that where possible consultations should be undertaken remotely. This means that the doctor will arrange a phone or video call with you and then make the decision as to whether you should be seen at the surgery.
Please do not come to the surgery unless you have specifically been told to.
New Staff and Services
As part of our work with other practices in the area we are really pleased that we now have a number of new roles that we have access to. These include social prescribing, musculo skeletal triage, care navigation and clinical pharmacy. Over the next few months we will introduce you to these new developments in more detail, and our first introduction is to social prescribers Angie Turner and Hayley Shaw.
Social Prescribers – Angie and Hayley
Many things affect your health and wellbeing including isolation or loneliness. You might be stressed out by work, money and housing problems. Sometimes it’s the stress of managing different long-term conditions.
That’s where social prescribing comes in. It starts with a conversation. It might be the conversation you’ve just had with your doctor or with another person in the practice team. They will refer you to a social prescribing link worker.
The link worker is there to listen to you, and put you in touch with the people and activities that might help you to feel better. If you feel this could be of benefit please let the surgery team know.
IT’S STILL FLU SEASON!!
In light of the risk of flu and COVID-19 circulating in the winter months and the potential impact this could have it will be important for you to have your flu jab if you are eligible.
So far we have given over 1200 flu vaccinations and will continue to do more over the next couple of months. We have reviewed how we will carry out the clinics and can reassure you that we can do these safely for our patients in line with the up to date guidance on infection control.
Our over 65 vaccines and under 65 (for those with a chronic disease) are available now so please ring the surgery for an appointment or book online. Alternatively you can arrange to have your vaccination at your local pharmacy or take advantage where this service is offered in the workplace.
2-3 year old children will also be offered vaccinations in the surgery. School age children, reception to year 7 will be immunised as part of the school immunisation programme.
We have not been given guidance yet on vaccinating 50-64 year olds who do not fall into the above categories.
If you fall outside of these categories and would still like a flu jab you can pay for this at your local pharmacy.
If the doctor would like you to have blood tests, you will need to come to the surgery to collect the forms. Wanstead Hospital has now reopened. Blood taking is also being done at the Southwoodford Health centre but as our bloods are linked to BARTS hospital please do not try and use this facility.
Our phone lines remain open from 8.00 to 18.30. Patients should continue to phone the surgery if they require an appointment. Most of our appointments continue to be for book on the day. However, a number of phone appointments are also available to book in advance on-line via Patient Access https://www.patientaccess.com/ or the NHS App www.nhs.uk
Remember if it is not urgent you can try an online consultation via eConsult which you can access from our website www.26highstreet.co.uk
All the appointments offered will initially be in the form of a phone call. If the doctor or nurse thinks a video consultation is required they may also send you a link via your phone. Very rarely, they may ask you to attend the surgery.
Attending the Surgery
If you are asked to come to the surgery you will be given a time to arrive. Please bring your own mask or face covering with you. This must be worn at all times in the surgery and should cover your mouth and nose. The door can be opened using the disabled access button on the left hand side. Wall mounted hand sanitiser dispensers are available and should be used as you enter and exit the surgery.
We have provided markings to enable you to queue at a 2 metre social distance and we ask that you stand back from the reception desk as we are only able to deal with one patient at a time.
Appointments are for one person only, unless you require a carer to accompany you, and only ONE parent should attend for child immunisation(s).
If you are due an annual review of a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes, COPD and are invited to make an appointment please do contact the surgery so we can get you booked in with our nurse or one of the doctors. It’s important that we continue to monitor these conditions.
We are continuing to operate an electronic prescription service. Please request your repeat prescriptions online (via Patient Access, the NHS App) or through your pharmacy. Alternatively, you can post a written request into our new prescription box by the front door of the surgery.
All prescriptions will be sent to your nominated pharmacy. Collection from the surgery is not possible.
We will accept phone requests for prescriptions from housebound patients only but please ring after 11.00am
What are we doing moving forward?
The surgery is following NHS guidance on what activities we should currently undertake and this will continue to change over the coming weeks:
We will offer you a phone or video consultation; we will see you face to face if the doctor deems it necessary.
We will refer you for urgent investigations if required.
We will send off routine referrals but may not be able to tell you when this will be acted upon.
We will issue prescriptions electronically.
Our nurses will do immunisations and other urgent injections.
They will do some dressings.
The nurses will also undertake reviews to help you manage your long term conditions such as diabetes or asthma.
Cervical screening will also be done.
Our HCA will do routine blood pressure checks but If you have a long term condition it may be beneficial for you to purchase your own blood pressure machine to take your readings at home.
There are still some services that we are not able to offer including ear syringing and wart freezing.
Finally, here are Dr Luke Bunting and Dr Matthew Greenfield that we mentioned last newsletter in the process of signing the partnership.