Our GPs will soon begin using a new text messaging service to contact patients about their healthcare. Please ensure that we have your correct mobile phone number.
Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking measures in line with guidance shared by NHS England and Public Health authorities to minimise risks associated with the virus. In order to protect our patients and staff and we are asking for your support with this.
What does this mean for you?
We are asking all patients not to attend the practice without prior agreement from a member of our clinical team. From Monday 16th March 2020 we want to minimise the number of patients attending for face to face appointments. This means that all patients are required to contact the practice by telephone to request an appointment, providing details of their need. A member of our reception or clinical team will phone you back to discuss your need, and wherever possible this need will be met over the telephone. If the clinician deems that you require a face to face appointment, you will be asked some screening questions to determine whether there is a need for a coronavirus assessment. If this is the case you will be asked to self-isolate for 7 days. If there is no risk we will offer you a face to face appointment.
Please see this short video about how we may also use video conference for your GP consultation. You may wish to download the ‘Whereby’ app prior to your appointment. (Android and iOS – requires iphone6 or newer)
All pre-existing appointments are currently being reviewed by the clinical team. If it is deemed that your appointment is not urgent this may be cancelled and re-scheduled at a later date by the practice. If the appointment needs to go ahead, wherever possible this will take place over the telephone. If your appointment is being cancelled or changed to a telephone consultation, a member of our team will contact you to advise you of this. If the appointment needs to be face to face you will be contacted prior the appointment and asked some screening questions to ensure it is appropriate for you to attend the practice.
Paper requests for repeat prescriptions must be minimised to avoid the spread of the virus. Wherever possible we will electronically send your prescription to your nominated pharmacy. If you usually give your repeat prescription request to us in writing, please consider one of the following options
• Request online. If not registered please contact the surgery to register for online services.
• Email your request to: email@example.com
Please remember to use the hand sanitiser provided when entering the building or wash your hands in the patient toilets.
Please remain courteous to our staff at all times, any incidents of verbal or physical abuse may result in removal from our practice list.
This is a very challenging time for us all and we would appreciate your co-operation during this period of uncertainty. Our priority is the health and safety of all our patients and staff.
The Fishponds Family Practice
Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and Public Health England (PHE) are 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.
The latest information on symptoms of Coronovirus infection can be found here: nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
- you have a fever above 37.8’C
- you have a continuous cough
- you’ve been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
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 catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals 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.
Find us at www.facebook.com/FishpondsFamilyPractice
What is it?
‘Active Signposting’ provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. Web and app-based portals can be used to provide self-help and self-management information, as well as being signposted to the most appropriate person by a GP surgery.
Why are we changing?
Did you know… around 20% of our appointments are taken up by patients who do not need to see a doctor at all?
When they are unwell, everybody wants to see the doctor as soon as possible, but the 8am telephone race means that appointments aren’t always available for those that need them most. We want to change this and we would appreciate your support in ensuring that doctor time is spent on those patients who have a genuine medical need. We will always try to offer continuity of care and you will be able to see someone when you really need to, even if it isn’t your ‘favourite’ doctor.
How will it improve your service?
Our reception team is undergoing extensive training to become knowledgeable ‘Patient Co-ordinators’ who can help you from the moment that you get through to them on the telephone.
You will be required to discuss your medical problem on the telephone with the Patient Co-ordinator at the time of contacting the surgery to book an appointment and everything that you tell them will be written on your medical record.
As a result of this you will be directed to the most appropriate person. This may be a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or someone else and it may be the same day, the next day or the next week.
We will be starting our new appointment booking system from the 1st October.