COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Spilsby Surgery
Please understand that we are in unprecedented times. As our access has been restricted, we are experiencing a high volume of calls. You can help us by limiting your contact to the surgery. Please only contact us if you require a GP consultation or you have a prescription request, when your prescription is due. Early requests for medication will not be accepted. Please consider registering for on-line prescriptions. This will help both you and us.
If you are currently residing out of our catchment area we are unable to help you. Please use the on-line facility of NHS Choices or NHS 111 to locate your nearest GP Surgery.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with either hand sanitiser or protective equipment.
Please do not ring us asking when your medication will be delivered. We will deliver it to you as agreed but it may be later in the day than normal. This is because we are delivering to more people than usual due to the advice to socially isolate or self-isolate.
Finally, please treat our staff with consideration and respect. We understand that personal anxiety and tension is high at this time. However, this cannot be used as an excuse for rudeness. We are offering the best service that we can under very difficult circumstances.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Face to Face Appointments at Spilsby Surgery
With immediate effect, all face to face appointments at Spilsby surgery have been cancelled. We are in the process of contacting patients who have appointments with further information. If you have already been spoken to and offered a face to face appointment please either keep it or cancel it.
This week many of you have received letters from NHS England purporting to have been sent from Spilsby Surgery. We are told that the our contact details on the letter are wrong. Our telephone number remains 01790 728111.
The medicines supply chain is no different from that of the supermarkets. There aren’t stockpiles of essential medicines. Increased demand rapidly leads to shortage. We are already seeing evidence of this.
The NHS has told GPs and pharmacies not to issue larger than usual quantities of medicines. We will not be issuing prescriptions early. We do not have the luxury of providing ‘just in case’ medicines patients haven’t needed in years; they will only be issued as part of a self-management plan that has been agreed with your nurse or doctor at a past review.
It is your responsibility to look after your prescription and your medicines – we may well not be able to replace lost items. If you do have unopened medication at home, please use it before ordering more.
Our receptionists and dispensers will follow NHS policy, not what your Facebook friend thinks ought to happen. If people behave rationally then supply problems will be reduced.
Please do not block our telephone lines with requests that can’t be fulfilled. In doing so you will delay or prevent telephone consultations with sick patients. Please help our team – depleted through self-isolation – to prioritise care for the most vulnerable. We trust the majority of our patients to work with us in the weeks to come.
Please help them to help you
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT US ASKING FOR PARACETAMOL OR IBUPROFEN ON PRESCRIPTION
Digital isolation note for patients now available online
To help GP practices a new online system, created by the NHS and the Department for Work and Pensions, is now live enabling patients to be emailed a digital isolation note. Isolation notes provide patients 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 prevent people needing to leave their homes. 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.
Delaying the spread of the virus
We must delay the spread of COVID-19. In the weeks to come, the majority of us are likely to catch the virus. Only a small proportion of us will become seriously ill. Infections need to be spread out over time to help hospitals cope, and ensure important services (be they supermarkets or surgeries) keep running.
The NHS instructs that COVID-19 is not dealt with by GP surgeries. Other NHS staff have been provided with the equipment and training to help patients with suspected or proven infection. GP practices have to be open to care for other important health conditions.
If you need advice or assistance about suspected or proven COVID-19 infection, use 111.nhs.uk or telephone 111.
Extremely vulnerable patients and ‘social shielding’
NHS England has tried to identify the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 and write to them with advice. Their list have been drawn up from hospital records. The list should include:
- Organ transplant patients
- People currently having chemotherapy
- People currently receiving radiotherapy for lung cancer
- Patients with blood cancers
- Those receiving immune system treatments for cancer
- Patients who have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the last six months (or are still receiving immune treatment for the transplant)
- Patients with severe COPD, severe asthma or cystic fibrosis
- Patients with genetic conditions that increase the risk of infection (eg sickle cell disease)
- Patients on immuno-suppression treatments that can increase the risk of infection
- Pregnant women with significant heart disease
If you are in one of these groups, you will probably have a hospital specialist (the exception being a few patients with severe COPD). You are advised to ‘socially shield’. This means
- Stay at home at all times and avoid any face–to–face contact
- Minimise any non–essential contact with others in the household. This means families should not visit except for essential care (washing, feeding, dressing)
- Do not go out shopping, for leisure or for work
- Essential visits from health professionals may continue, but these people must stay away if they have any symptoms of COVID–19, and anyone entering your home should wash their hands thoroughly on arrival
- Ensure care providers are told that you is in the extremely vulnerable group and are ‘shielding’ so they can apply additional precautions
- Think now about who could help if your main carer was unwell/unable to come
- When deliveries are made to the home, these should be left on the doorstep
- Keeping in touch with friends / family / work on the phone / internet / social media, rather than face to face
- Looking after your mental well-being (see www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/). Exercise within the home. You can go outside into a garden if it is a private space. If you sit on the doorstep, keep at least 2m from other household members / any neighbours
- If you need to contact the GP / hospital, do so online or by phone. Arrange for medicines to be left on the doorstep.
- Those living in the house do NOT need to follow this guidance, but should follow social distancing advice, even at home, and reduce contact outside the home. This means not sharing a bed, using separate towels and avoiding being in shared spaces at the same time as other people.
More detailed information is available here
If you believe you should have received a letter from NHS England but didn’t, and have further questions about your health care, please contact your specialist or GP.
Do not come to the Surgery unless you have a booked appointment or are collecting a prescription
Please cancel any appointment you do not intend to keep. Do not attend the Surgery with a temperature or new continuous cough.
Please telephone the Surgery with all other enquiries on 01790 728111.
The way we respond to requests for urgent care remains unchanged: our duty clinician(s) will deal with telephone requests for advice and care, and arrange a face to face consultation where appropriate.
The practice will continue to provide necessary routine care, but we need to slow the pace of infection, and anticipate our own staff will be off work in self-isolation. Appointments with doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants will be booked at our discretion, balancing individual need, the needs of your community, and the resources available to us. Some routine care will be unavoidably delayed.
We thank you in anticipation of you working with us in the weeks to come.