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Latest News

COVID-19

What you need to do

Stay at home.

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay two metres (six feet) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You can spread the virus even if you don't have symptoms.

Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

In the interest of patient safety and to reduce risks we have taken the following steps to reduce patient face to face contact and the spread of COVID-19. There will be exceptions and if in any doubt, please contact the surgery on 01642 618170. Due to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 we are taking measures to reduce patient risk.

LISTEN TO ADVICE AND STAY SAFE

Prescriptions

We have stopped issuing paper prescriptions and will be sending prescriptions electronically to pharmacies. Please provide us with a nominated pharmacy where we can send prescriptions to. Please state which pharmacy you prefer on your request slip. Thank you for understanding.

Please note we are currently experiencing an exceptionally high amount of prescription requests which may mean the prescription process may take slightly longer, please make sure you order your medication at least three days in advance. Please bear with us in this challenging time.

Please see the Prescriptions page for further information.

GP Appointments

All urgent appointment requests are now being telephone triaged by clinicians to reduce face to face contact. If the clinician feels you need to be seen, arrangements will be made at the time of the consultation for you to come to the surgery. Please note our trained reception team will ask you for a brief indication of what your appointment is relating to. If a face to face appointment is booked for you please note this is only for yourself and you should where possible attend on your own.

Nurse Appointments

We have stopped booking all routine nurse appointments however there are certain categories we are still able to see as a face to face appointment.

Routine Chronic Disease reviews have been postponed until further notice. We may be able to carry out some reviews by telephone appointment. You must ring the surgery if you have any concerns regarding your condition.

Please note we are only able to book face to face appointments for the following:

  • Smears (if you are on treatment or have had an annual review)
  • Childhood immunisations
  • Post-Natal appointments
  • B12's (these will be three monthly)
  • INR's
  • Family planning (some reviews may be via telephone triage)

If you book a face to face appointment for one of the above please note this is only for yourself and you should where possible attend on your own.

Postponed until further notice - Routine Chronic Disease reviews , travel vaccinations and health campaigns (e.g. Healthy Heart reviews)

Fit notes

We can now email your continuous sick note to you. If you would like us to do this please inform our Reception Team.

Isolation notes

Isolation notes will provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.

As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.

People who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note. More details on coronavirus and claiming benefits can be found here.

The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online. After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.

'High risk patients'

If you are looking for advice on if you, a family member or a friend are at a higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus please look on the gov.uk/coronavirus website. Please note this updates daily.

Phlebotomy

All routine blood testing has been postponed until further notice unless you have seen or spoken to a clinician and they have advised it is essential for your bloods to be taken. Patients who are taking high risk medications will still require their blood monitoring.

Government launches Coronavirus information service on WhatsApp

The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.

The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.

The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.

Nurse Practitioners

What is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse Practitioners are trained specialist nurses. They have undertaken additional medical education in order to provide advanced nursing care and to prescribe medication. Nurse Practitioners can provide treatment and advice for many problems for which you may have seen a doctor for in the past. Their main areas of expertise are in the management of common illnesses and long term conditions. The nurse practitioners can assess and examine you, make diagnosis and provide advice and treatment including a prescription if required. They can make referrals to hospital doctors or health care professionals and admit patients into hospital when necessary.

There are some limits to their responsibilities, unfortunately they are unable legally to sign a sickness certificate, however they can ask your GP to issue one. The Nurse Practitioners work closely with your GP and liaise frequently about your care.

What can a Nurse Practitioner treat you for?
  • Acute chest infection
  • Conjunctivitis/sticky discharging eye/Stye
  • Cystitis
  • Diarrhea, constipation, piles
  • Dizziness, unusual headache
  • Earache, swollen glands
  • Thrush
  • Raised temperature that does not improve after home treatment
  • Shingles
  • Tonsillitis, cough, sinusitis, sore throat, colds and flu-like symptoms
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wounds or rashes

Nurse Practitioners may also help you with many other problems such as menstrual disorders, unexplained weight loss, breast lumps and depression. Nurse Practitioners can also manage long term conditions such as asthma, eczema and high blood pressure. You are now able to book appointments with one of our Nurse Practitioners online, however please note Natasha Atkinson can only see children above 16 years of age and is unable to see pregnant patients.



Changes to repeat prescriptions

What is changing?

From 1st September 2019 pharmacies may no longer be able to order medicines on your behalf. You will still be able to receive your medicines it just simply means you will need to order them through the surgery directly.

There are a number of ways to order your medication:

We strongly recommend you use the online-line service, to register for this please come into the surgery with a proof of identification and reception will provide you with your username and password to be able to log on.

Through the new ‘NHS App’ this will allow you to order repeat prescriptions, check your symptoms, book and manage appointments at the surgery, view your medical record securely, register for organ donation and choose how the NHS use your data. For more information on this please visit www.nhs.uk/nhsapp

Use the white tear off slip of your repeat prescription identifying which medication you require or alternatively use one of our order slips available from reception.

Via Post, you can also post a prescription request to us, again ticking the items that are needed. If you enclose a stamped address envelope we will return the signed prescription to you, however, we cannot be held responsible for any delays with the postal service, so remember to allow yourself enough time when ordering, to guarantee that you will not run out of medication.



We are a training practice and have received an achievement from Newcastle University for outstanding contribution to medical student teaching in 2018-19.


 

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