Coronavirus and how the surgery is working at the moment

If you feel you have symptoms of possible Covid-19 – go to the NHS 111 website and follow the instructions.

Possible Covid-19 infections ARE NOT being managed in general practice. All are managed through NHS111.

Testing for Covid-19 IS NOT BEING DONE in general practice. All testing is done through a national scheme keeping well away from surgeries.

This is so general practice can keep going doing all the other work to keep you well and supplied with medicines.

FOLLOW THE NATIONAL GUIDANCE ON HOW TO AVOID CATCHING COVID-19.

This may seem extreme but this is a very dangerous virus however it can be prevented if it cannot get from one person to another. This means all of us must do as we have been told.

The most important thing is that we all follow the instructions from the Government to stay at home, wash our hands and don’t touch our face.
There is also a huge amount of information on the web on tips to keep well and we strongly encourage you to look at these and follow the advice.

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips is clear and helpful.

Changes at Hindon Surgery

The way general practice works has changed completely in the past few weeks as we cope with the Covid-19 epidemic:

The surgery will be doing everything possible to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. If you are not exposed to this you cannot catch it and we are all personally responsible for ensuring this virus stops spreading.

Keeping you safe and the surgery free of infection

If you are in a high risk group – that is everyone aged 70 and above (however fit and well) and younger people with a health condition that entitles you to a free ‘flu jab – should NOT leave home at all (except, at present, for daily solitary exercise – but our advice is that with most of our patients having gardens that you do this there).

We have several patients at even greater risk who will have received a letter from the NHS to stay at home for the next three months. These patients must not have visitors and medicines and food must be delivered safely with social distancing.

Reducing patient visits to the surgery

  • All consultations will start by email or telephone.
  • Please don’t call us for advice you can get elsewhere on the internet – when you call our staff will start the call by asking you if you have access to the internet and then suggest the answer may be there.
  • The surgery door is shut with instructions on what to do.
  • Using web on-line system to order prescriptions.
  • Using hindon surgery website or email to ask non-urgent queries that cannot be answered except by us.
  • Suspension of almost all face to face consultations – we will tell you which.
  • Suspension of usual management of long term conditions and transfer to doing remotely (we will contact you).
  • Suspension of routine non-essential blood tests and health checks.
  • If you have a review appointment made previously please ring us to discuss this – do not turn up at the surgery.

New systems at the surgery

  • The only people allowed into the building will be the staff and patients with pre-arranged appointments (who will be seen in the treatment room)
  • Front door is locked with instructions on notice board and door
  • Box to drop in written prescription requests (but we hope these will reduce as web ordering increases)
  • Dispensed medication handed over with social distancing
  • Volunteer medicine collection system with more distant villages having volunteers collecting for high risk patients unable to find anyone else
  • Regular box collection on Thursday afternoons for some villages (contact your local coordinator to register and the website will have a list of these as does the Wiltshire Council site which is updated all the time – see South-West Wiltshire)
  • Twice weekly box collection for East Knoyle with home delivery volunteers taking from the shop for high risk patients.
  • GPs working remotely where possible
  • Surgery staffed to work safely with social distancing
  • Regular morning Covid-19 briefing for staff working that day 0830 – 0900 – please try to not come to the surgery or ring between those times.
  • More use of emails and internet
  • Telephone consultations – but our lines are getting swamped and you can help by only calling in if there is no other way to contact us / if it is urgent.
  • GP meetings all done remotely

Face to face consultations

  • Patients needing face to face contact (and minimal risk of having coronavirus) will be met at the front door and escorted into the treatment room (the only room we are using for this), asked to not touch anything with their hands and may be given personal protective equipment. If you are one of these patients and are unwell on the day of the appointment you must not turn up – ring and we will arrange an alternative to coming to the surgery. On arrival you will be asked about new respiratory symptoms and have your temperature taken.
  • There may be a small number of patients who need to be seen in person in general practice – this will be arranged after a telephone consultation and may be at a home visit or in another location. This will not be at Hindon Surgery. We are working with local practices in our Primary Care Network to establish special clinics where the risk of spreading possible infection is minimised.

Medicine supply

  • The priority for the surgery is to maintain the supply of medicines from our dispensary and this is working well
  • Please order using the web service – many are registered but have not been using it (please start – we can reissue your password if you have lost it) and if you are getting this email you have internet access – please email back to ask to register.
  • Please think about your order and try and do your regular monthly order as one hit and not spread out every few days.
  • Please only order what you need and let us know if the review screen needs anything edited or taken off.
  • If you know of a patient who does not have internet access who needs repeat medication – we will take telephone requests.
  • Do not order early or in larger amounts – this causes supply chain problems and we have been told to spot this and not make things worse by doing as asked. In particular do not order medicines you think may be useful in the future (inhalers, paracetamol – both in short supply as a result) or those rumoured to be helpful for which there is no evidence.
  • If at high risk get a low risk person to collect medicines for you. If you don’t have someone there are lots of village volunteer groups and you will have had information from one of these and Wiltshire Council has a constantly updated list – look for South West Wiltshire. There should be no reason a high risk person needs to leave home.

We will be putting up regular updates and other useful information.

This site also links to the prescription ordering, you can send a message and there are templates for self-assessment of some long term conditions. We will start using these in the future.

We hope the site and others will answer many of your queries and reduce the need to contact the surgery so that we can have the time to look after patients who are seriously ill and maintain the supply of medicines.

Say safe, stay well and please think about how you can help us to help you do this.