“During Covid-19 we ask that patients do not come to the surgery unless invited to do so by the practice. We are trying to protect vulnerable patients and practice staff, with limited supplies of Personal Protective Equipment for both. We have reduced some of our services accordingly in line with national guidance.

We are still able to assess and advise patients remotely about any important concerns that you have which are not Covid-19 related. You can contact the surgery to get advice and assessment by telephone. If a clinician thinks that you need to be seen they can arrange for an appropriate appointment or perform a video consultation.

Please consider visiting in the first instance to free up our care navigators and clinicians for those patients who do need to speak on the telephone.”

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.

Medicines Supply

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

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.

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 facetoface contact
  • Minimise any nonessential 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 COVID19, 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 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.

COVID-19 Support in the Spilsby area

  • Lincolnshire County Council vulnerable patients or social isolating patient support: Register on County Council website or call 01522 782189.
  • Spilsby Town Council, covering Spilsby and Hundleby – Town Clerk – Bonny Smith – 01790 753189. Leave voicemail if not in office as only works part time.
  • New Life Church – Support and food bank – 01790 754092
  • The George & Dragon Hagworthingham – 01507 588255 delivering meals
  • TED (Age UK) 9-5 Mon- Fri Phone calls, activity packs, general advice and support – 01529 301970
  • Social Services 01522 782155
  • Spilsby Good Neighbour Scheme 07716 127186, 01790 752526
  • East Keal Parish Council – Graham Smith – 01790 756940
  • Age UK – Food through adversity – 03455 564 144, prepared meal delivery service, £20 for 21 meals a week. £10 delivery charge.
  • Age UK East Lindsey – shopping / home support -01507 524242
  • SIRS (Social Isolation Responders Service) 0800 8832111

We thank you in anticipation of you working with us in the weeks to come.