How we are protecting you in the practice from COVID 19
We understand you may be concerned about attending during the COVID-19 pandemic especially if you have been asked to shield but it is important you continue to attend so we can monitor your other medical conditions. To help protect our patients and employees we have put some precautions in place:
- You can now only book your appointment over the phone and on the day you wish to attend or within 48 hours of the appointment; this is so we can control the number of patients entering the building and to ensure you have not developed any COVID symptoms.
- Everyone entering the building for an appointment will have their temperature checked at the front door and be asked to sanitise their hands.
- We ask that everyone attending the building from 11 years of age wear a face covering, this can be a mask, scarf or visor as long as it covers your nose and mouth. If you cannot wear a mask please ensure the receptionist is aware when you book your appointment so alternative arrangements can be discussed.
- The self-check-in has been switched off and there is now a motion sensor on the reception desk so a receptionist can attend to check you in.
- Seating in the waiting room has been spread out and reduced.
- Clinical staff will be wearing protective equipment during appointments.
- We have an isolation area which is on the ground floor and uses a separate entrance for any patients we need to see who have possible symptoms of a respiratory nature.
- We will aim to complete as many of your medical checks in one appointment as we can, the initial part of your check may also be done over the telephone, reducing the time you need to spend within the practice.
How has COVID changed the practice?
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has put increased demand on primary care services and during lockdown the practice was busy re-organising our services to effectively cope with providing you with safe healthcare while dealing with suspected coronavirus cases.
As you will appreciate, this is an unprecedented time and your co-operation, understanding and patience has been greatly appreciated.
All of our clinical, administrative and reception staff have continued to work hard to provide you with healthcare as close to normal as possible while sometimes working with high levels of stress and anxiety for their own safety and that of their families.
It is important patients continue to attend for their chronic disease health checks and medication monitoring therefore our nurses and HCAs continue to provide your health checks, immunisation programs and cervical screening.
The biggest change you will notice has been we cannot pre-book appointments to far in advance and your initial contact with the GP will be by telephone.
The GPs are working long hours to make sure all of your health needs are met; on average the GPs make around 350 phone calls a week and bring into the practice 50 patients for examination or treatment.
The practice has and will endeavour to carry on working as much as practically possible while adhering to government guidelines and keeping you and our employees safe.
COVID 19 Prevention and Infection Control
Following these simple steps can help prevent the spread of colds, flu and other respiratory infections like COVID 19:
- Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue, not into your hands.
- Dispose of the tissue immediately into the nearest waste bin.
- If you so not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
- Always clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, using soap and warm running water, alcohol hand sanitiser or hand wipes if soap and water are not available.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Exemption letters for face masks
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this, this includes exemption cards. No person needs to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about their reason for not wearing a face covering.
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
For further information on when and where you should wear a face covering visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
Symptoms of COVID
For the safety of the general public, other patients and the employees of Freshney Green Primary Care Centre you should follow the government coronavirus guidance for test and trace.
Symptoms of COVID
- A fever or high temperature of 37.8 degrees or above
- A new continuous cough
- A loss of or change in smell and or taste
If you have any of these symptoms contact NHS 119 who will be able to arrange a test for you.
Your should slef-isolate for at least 10 days if:
- You have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test.
- You tested positive but habe not had symptoms
If you have symptoms, the 10 days starts from when they started. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further 10 days from when your symptoms start.
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you feel ok, keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:
- A high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- A runny nose or sneezing
- Feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If you live with or are in a bubble with someone who has tested positive then you may will need to self-isolate for 14 days. How long to self-isolate
You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you have returned to the UK from one of the countries on the high risk list. Coronavirus: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK