The way GP services are being accessed has changed
Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand why these changes are needed:
Why can’t I walk into my GP practice?
Whilst General Practice has remained open to meet the needs of it patients throughout the pandemic, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced us all to work differently to help slow down the spread of the virus. All healthcare settings are taking special measures to protect you, the public and their staff. GP practices are, and have always been open and are working as hard as ever, just differently.
Where possible we want to avoid people having to wait inside a waiting room together, as we know this increases the risk of the virus spreading. Like hospitals and dentists, we have also had to change how we offer our services to you.
If you do need to come in, then we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
How do I get an appointment?
The easiest and most effective method is to contact us through our website, completing the correct forms giving us your details, email address and a description of your health concern/problem. If you are unable to use the website and do not have a family member/carer who is able to do this for you, you can still telephone the Practice and talk to a member of our reception team who will take the details of your health concern and pass these to an appropriate clinician for review. You will then be contacted by a clinician either over the phone, via email, or if needed and you have the available technology, through a video consultation.
All forms to request help for a health concern can be accessed at https://www.attleboroughsurgeries.com
Why can’t I book a face-to-face appointment?
We have adapted the way in which you can get an appointment quickly and safely.
Most patient’s health concerns can be managed over the phone or via video consultation. If we can support you without needing you to come into the practice then we reduce the need for you to travel and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
If you do need a face-to-face appointment due to your health or social needs, this will be discussed as part of the triage process between you and the clinician to support you to access your care in the most appropriate way. Dependent on your individual circumstances this could be delivered through you attending the practice for a pre-booked appointment or a home visit.
If we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
What if I do not have access to a smartphone or web camera?
While technology has evolved and supports us all in many different ways in our day- to-day lives, we appreciate not everyone will have access to a smartphone or web camera for a video consultation.
We can still talk to you on your mobile phone or landline, so please ensure that these are kept up to date with us.
Will I need to wear a face mask if I come into my practice for an appointment?
To help limit the spread of the virus, we are asking for all patients, excluding children, to wear a face covering when they come the practice. This doesn’t have to be a face mask, but a cloth covering which covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
You can find additional information by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
How do I get a repeat prescription?
Our website allows you to contact our dispensary team with a query relating to your medication, including ordering repeat medication. Alternatively we are happy to continue to receive written requests from you; please either complete and post your repeat prescription form to us, or ask your pharmacy to request repeat medication on your behalf.
An online app is also available to download which enables you to order medication. To register for this online service, simply contact our reception team using our Register for Online Services form and they will provide you with details and instructions of how to set this up.
You can also cancel an appointment, change your personal details and view your medical records via this online app.
How do I see a GP during the evening and weekends?
For evening and weekend access to GPs please either visit 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111. The practice does also offer some pre-booked Extended Hours and Improved Access appointments within these hours and can discuss these options with you.
What if I am not registered with a GP practice?
You can call any GP surgery to get emergency treatment for up to 14 days if you are not registered with a GP or are away from home.
If your treatment will last longer than 14 days, you’ll have to register as a temporary or permanent resident. You can find more information about this via www.nhs.uk and search ‘how to register with a GP practice’.
If you are a resident in the area, wish to register with us and are within our GP practice boundary, you can complete our online New Patient Registration form. If you are unable to complete a form online, please visit our Queens Square Surgery to request paper forms.
What do I do if I think I have coronavirus (Covid-19)?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then do not visit your GP practice. You should visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.
You must self-isolate for ten days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, or in your support bubble, who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person started having symptoms.
You must also ask for a test as soon as you start showing symptoms. You can do this online – visit www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test