***Coronavirus Letter to Patients***
Dear Thornbrook Patients,
We are aware that many people are worrying about Covid-19 infection and are trying everything they can to stay healthy. The best way to do this is to follow the up to date advice offered on the gov.uk website and NHS online. Please take social distancing and isolation seriously. This is your chance to slow the inevitable spread of this virus and shield the most vulnerable. Slowing the spread means that The NHS is more likely to cope with this.
There is some inaccurate advice being spread around social media urging all asthmatics and patients with COPD to ask their GP for a rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics. Some patients with COPD require this and will already be aware of it. A tiny handful of patients with severe / brittle asthma also require a rescue pack which will have been prescribed by a specialist and the patient will have been taught how and when to use it. For almost all other asthmatics this is not required. Please read on to find out why.
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 cannot issue 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 already been agreed with your nurse or doctor at a past review.
Taking steroids can dampen down your immune response and there is evidence that if taken in early COVID infection they can actually make things worse for you. Antibiotics do not help with viruses. Viral coughs can still feel like they “are on your chest” it doesn’t mean that antibiotics will help. If you have symptoms of COVID infection and you start to feel short of breath please please go onto 111 online to find out what you need to do next. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of COVID infection and most people are ok to stay at home without any treatment. You may feel that self-medicating at home will help the NHS as you will not need to bother us when you feel short of breath. This is dangerous and may lead to people not seeking help when they need it.
There are people who will need antibiotics and steroids over the coming months. The best place to store these medicines is on the pharmacy shelves and not at home in everyone’s cupboards where we cannot access them when needed. If we do this a huge portion of these medications will get wasted and people who need them might have to go without.
Please help us with this crisis and ease the load on the NHS by following guidelines and only contacting us or phoning 111 if absolutely necessary. If we all work together we can try to minimise the impact.
Thank you for your understanding and please spread the message to your family and friends. These are very unusual times and the guidelines are changing rapidly. We will endeavour to keep systems in place and running smoothly even if it means staff working from home if unwell. We are grateful for your patience.
Dr Edwards, Dr Taylor, Dr Newbery, Dr Fielding, Dr Condliffe, Dr Hugo and Dr Austin.
***Coronavirus Update High Risk Patients***
If you are requesting information regarding high risk groups for self-isolation, please be aware that advice is constantly changing and the most up to date information we have at the Surgery comes from the below sources. Please refer to these sites for further information:
Over the next few weeks you will notice some maintenance work being carried out at the Surgery as we have new clinical flooring fitted throughout the Practice. Sorry for any disruption this may cause and we appreciate your patience at this time.
The NHS in Derbyshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
For the latest COVID-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk
If you think you may have COVID-19 or have travelled to an affected area please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS 111 online service to find out what to do next.
If you are concerned about COVID-19 but do not meet the current criteria for 111 please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ for advice
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands. The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
***Changes to patient access to online GP services****
Access to your patient record is available from 1st April 2020 via Patient Access, therefore we would like to encourage all current Patient Access account holders to complete the following form:Application form for online patient access
Please bring the completed form to the surgery with 1 photo ID and 1 proof of residency i.e. a passport and utility bill form of ID before 27th March 2020 to continue to have access to your account in line with the new guidelines. If you have no photo ID please bring in 2 proof of residency documents (mobile phone bills will not be accepted).
Please read the following information leaflet before completing your application form.
If we do not receive a completed form of ID by the 31st March 2020 your access to Patient Access will cease until we receive relevant documentation.
If you are housebound and have a Patient Access account please contact the surgery.
If you wish to create a proxy access account for someone age 13 or over please request a proxy access application form from reception in person or email email@example.com
You can visit the surgery between 08:00-18:00 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday each week and between 08:00-20:00 Monday and Thursday each week to hand in the form and produce ID.
We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause however patient confidentiality is paramount and as a surgery we have take the decision that this is the safest approach in protecting your data as your data security is a priority to us.
We hope to keep the disruption to the online service as minimal as possible.
***Update on Patient Access application forms 27/03/2020***
Due to COVID-19 and in line with social distancing guidelines the decision has been made to extend the deadline to 30th June 2020 for patients to return their Patient Access application forms.
To reduce unnecessary visits to the surgery you can email your completed forms and proof of ID to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them back to the surgery.
Please be assured that no accounts will close before this date.
Average GP earnings
All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GPs working in Thornbrook Surgery in the last financial year was £47,782 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 6 part time GPs and 1 full time GP who worked in the practice for more than six months.
Statement of Purpose
The practice GPs, Practice Nurses and support staff are all committed to providing a high quality, safe and effective primary care service within a suitable environment. We aim to create a partnership which encourages patients and health care professionals to work together encouraging mutual respect, holistic care and continuous learning and training.
We are committed to improving clinical governance and evidence based practice and strives to provide monitored, audited and continually improving healthcare services. We are focused on safeguarding both children and adults.