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Updated Friday 27th May 2020
In line with NHS England and Public Health England advice, we have made big changes to how we serve our patients. This has not been an easy decision but unfortunately is needed at the moment to protect our patients due to Coronavirus and the risk of this being passed to patients whilst in the Practice.
For many, coronavirus will be a mild illness and the NHS is focussing its efforts on those most unwell and affected by the condition.
Thank you for your understanding, please be assured that our aim is to protect you and your families. We will also continue to update this page with further details.
Please remember we are still here for you and happy to be contacted.
The NHS is open, general practice is open and here to support you.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms – these are either:
● a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
● a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
● you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
● your condition gets worse
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Get an isolation note to give to your employer
For the following queries, please see
● How long to stay at home
o If you have symptoms
o If you live with someone who has symptoms
o If you have symptoms and live with a vulnerable person
Testing for Coronavirus:
At Thistlemoor like other GP surgeries we cannot test for coronavirus, only those patients who are very unwell and in hospital are currently tested.
Appointments at Thistlemoor
All our walk-in surgeries are suspended. All on the day requests to see a clinician will be a telephone triage consultation first with the clinician deciding if the patient then needs to be seen, which may be by video consultation or we may ask you to send a photo if it helps decision making.
This is to ensure that patients with infectious symptoms do not inadvertently pass these infections to our patient population. There is great difficulty as some patients may not have symptoms but still be carrying the virus.
People entering the building
We are taking steps to minimise the number of people entering the site to ensure that this is limited to people that enter our practice site to protect our patient community.
All persons entering the building need to have their temperature taken and asked the Covid triage questions. If the temperature is higher than 37.9 and / or they answer yes to any of the triage questions they are to be refused entry into the building and to be informed they need to return home and self-isolate and ring 111 for advice. This is to protect our other patients and staff from the possibility of infections.
- All consultations will now be by telephone unless you have specifically been told otherwise.
If any clinician wishes to see a patient face-to-face, this will need to be discussed and agreed first with a GP partner to ensure that this is only done in exceptional circumstances.
For those few patients given a face-to-face appointment (following their telephone consultation) :
o Please press the Reception bell to let us know you have arrived.
o PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING UNTIL YOU ARE CALLED.
o All persons entering the building need to have their temperature taken and asked the COVID triage questions.
If the temperature is higher than 37.9 and / or they answer yes to any of the triage questions they are to be refused entry into the building and to be informed they need to return home and self-isolate and ring 111 for advice. This is to protect our other patients and staff from the possibility of infections.
o You will be escorted inside & may be asked to wear a face mask.
o You will be seen alone unless you need a carer or guardian with you.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Home visit requests are to be put on the system as normal but patient / carer / care home advised that the Dr will call first to telephone triage and decide if a visit is needed / appropriate. You can imagine our service is under tremendous pressure at the moment so please do not be disappointed if we give you advice over the phone or sign-post you to the 111 service.
All patients requesting repeat prescriptions are going to be issued 6-12 repeat issues of medications. The NHS has asked us not to organise more than 1 months worth of presciptions at a time for routine medications as this will cause supply problems for the NHS and mean that patients may miss out.
Repeat Prescription requests can now also be made over the phone until 1st May 2020. Please ring 01733 707701.
You can also order your medications via your pharmacy and by emailing us: email@example.com
Patients and local pharmacies have been informed via usual routes.
Please use the above eConsult service (no in person registration required - this can be done via the internet) if possible to reduce the load on our phone system as it is the safest and most structured way of seeking online help, with service guaranteed by the end of the next working day. You can request medications, medical certificates, get self-care advice and also seek information on medical problems. Please click here for the direct link: https://wsp.psf-live.co.uk/7851/#/portal
We aim to discuss results with patients over the phone rather than a face to face appointment where possible. Even if referrals are needed, these will be further discussed with patients over the phone where possible.
Letters from specialists / other providers-
On a daily basis we receive several hundred letters from the hospital and other services that help our patients. Normally we would call you in to discuss letters or you would come to see us to discuss a letter. We will now try to call you to discuss letters where needed or may send you an SMS message regarding this.
As the NHS prioritises the care for the most sick and unwell they have asked General Practices to minimise referrals into the hospital and community system. This will be difficult for patients as we discuss this with you and ask for your grace in putting some matters on hold. We will be open and honest about this situation with you and do our best to explain what how you can self-care at this time.
Postnatal medicals – these are to be booked in and seen as normal - we will normally ring you ahead of the appointment to gather as much information as possible as this will enable you to minimise the time outside of your house.
Contraceptive appointment requests
Oral Contraception – Telephone consultation to be made with a GP or nurse. We may ask you to monitor your blood pressure and phone us with the readings if you have the ability to do this at home.
Non Oral Contraception – Usual telephone call with a doctor to discuss this, there is a sexual health clinic that can help with this.
Paid medicals – We do medicals for the DVLA and for patients employers. The DVLA have suspended their usual checks due to the coronavirus. We will try to help our patients with employment matters but please remember that our priority will be your health rather than your employment.
Minor operation assessments and actual procedures – all already booked in to be cancelled – no new appointments to be made until advised otherwise
Continuing / New Fit Notes –
These can be arranged over the telephone with a clinician and will be sent to you electronically.
“Fit Note”: We have had employers asking patients to come to the practice for a “fit note”. A fit note does not exist. Please advise your employer of this. Each employer has their own responsibility to ensure that you are ready to return to work and they should follow their own procedures for this. We also cannot provide proof that you have not had Coronavirus.
All of our pre-booked blood tests have been reviewed and we have prioritised the ones that are essential. Blood tests that can be postponed safely will be postponed accordingly. We have to balance the risk of asking you to come for a blood test with the risk of you continuing your medications for a longer period without monitoring. Blood tests for high risk medication will be continued for safety reasons. There is a home visiting service provided by the federation - Greater Peterborough Network who Thistlemoor helped train Healthcare Assistants for - and we will be using this service where suitable. The District nursing service will also provide blood tests for patients on their caseload.
Long term condition clinics – We are finding alternative ways to get information to allow us to continue to monitor and help you with your long term conditions. We are sending out peak flow metres so that you can help monitor your asthma and asking you to measure your blood pressure and provide readings to help ensure your blood pressure is well controlled.
Extended Access Sessions - All appointments will be prioritised for ring backs or video consultations, these will be utilised to support our patients needs.
NHS England has asked that we review and postpone many procedures during this COVID season.
Implant and coil insertion – the expiry dates have been reviewed and extended by one year as per national specialist advice.
Nibedo (Testosterone) and antipsychotic depots– These to be carried on as normal
Stitches removal - To be continued as normal but with planned surgery reduced we expect less consultations for this.
Wound care – This will be continued but we may need to assess whether the patient or a carer could take over the dressings at home to minimise the risk to patients.
Childhood Immunisations – To Continue as normal.
Dopplers - These are tests on circulation. Only Urgent Doppler’s will be performed.
ECG’s – Only Urgent recordings will be requested by the GPs. Any pre-booked will be assessed to see if they can be cancelled.
Cancelled procedures: .– if you are very concerned by your cancellation, please call for a telephone consultation and explanation.
Smears. (Routine recall) . Any patients who need 6 monthly or yearly smears as they had a previous abnormal smear will continue. Any new symptoms such as bleeding would need to be investigated in a different way and therefore a phone consultation may be needed.
Vit B12 Injections – Patients who receive vitamin B12 injections will all be reviewed by reviewing their records. Where possible we will be trialling withdrawl of B12 and a recheck of levels
Travel Vaccines – There are various travel centres around Peterborough in Chemists and supermarkets.