Practice Update: What we are doing to prevent transmission, maintain services and create a safe and accessible environment for patients and staff.

We have continued to stay open throughout the pandemic and appreciate your patience and understanding as we try and ensure that everyone remains safe and has equal access to services.

We are pleased to announce that we will now be offering some advance bookable face to face and telephone appointments and have introduced an online triage system.

In response to ongoing national guidance to minimise the transmission of Covid we will endeavour to provide access whilst maintaining a safe space for all our patients especially for our vulnerable patients. We will continue to have the door buzzer system and maintain infection control guidelines to minimise unnecessary in person visits. Appointments will continue to be made on the telephone and not directly with reception

We can arrange remote assessment of patients suspected of having Covid where clinically appropriate by provision of clinical equipment such as pulse oximeters and can also review patients either remotely or face to face to minimise risk of transmission.

We also continue to request that all patients wear a face covering to their appointments or when ever present in the building as per government guidelines. Where patients do not have access to such coverings, we will provide them with a face mask. We will also aim to maintain social distancing where possible. You may be asked to come at specific times and via a specific entrance to minimise the risk of infection. Please do not come more than 5 minutes before your appointment to help us manage this. Currently we are using the back entrance for any patients with suspected Covid.

Gov.uk: How to make a cloth face covering

Updates on the Practice Appointment System

We are reverting back to a appointment system which is more flexible and offers more choice. We will now offer some advance bookable appointments and patients will be able to choose face to face or telephone appointments. The only exception will be any symptoms which may be Covid related in which case a telephone assessment with a doctor will need to take place first. These symptoms are

  • Cough
  • Cold and flu symptoms (runny nose, sinus symptoms, muscle aches and pains with or without headache)
  • Fever
  • Loss or altered sense of smell or taste
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

There will continue to be same day bookable appointments and a duty doctor system for medical emergencies. Our Saturday surgeries continue to be for telephone only appointments for now.

Medicines Management

We now have a medicines management team consisting of a team of Clinical pharmacists and a pharmacy technician who can deal with issues with your medications. They will be able to review medications and change them where necessary. When contacting the practice, you may be asked to speak to a member of this team or be contacted by them.

Changes to Online Booking of Appointments

We are implementing a new system for online requests for services and appointments. This will deliver a more streamlined service and ensure that the whatever the issue you have it will be dealt with by the most appropriate member of the practice team within a safe timeframe. All requests for services sent via our website will be looked at on the day and you will be contacted within 72 hours. Due to administrative capacity and in order the ensure a timely response the forms are available only during the working week during office hours at fixed times.

This new system will allow you to contact us via our website about a broader range of issues than before. It will provide an alternative method of contacting the practice and we hope will help avoid unnecessary calls and free up phone lines for those that do not have access to computers or smart phones.

New telephone system

We are pleased to announce that we have a new telephone system going live on July 14th. This has improved functionality i.e knowing your place in the queue, there are more lines available, and the message system and options will be live and up to date. This will ensure that you are no longer cut off or hear the engaged tone if lines are busy.

Other Services

We continue to provide home visits where clinically necessary.
All patients coming into the practice will be asked COVID-19 screening questions. Please do not come if you have a fever / cough within the last 10 days or are a household contact of someone who has these symptoms within the last 10 days.

Cervical smear screening:

This has restarted, you will be contacted directly by the screening programme or the practice. You can also contact us if you know your cervical smear is due.

Travel Clinics

Travel clinics continue to be suspended till further notice.

Ear Syringing

Ear Syringing at the practice has been suspended due to lack of capacity. We hope to restart this soon. Please use sodium bicarbonate drops otc for at least 2 weeks a this usually works and is a requirement before syringing. If this has not helped, we can refer you to the community ENT clinic.

Contraception

Coil and Contraceptive Implant services have been restarted. We continue to offer remote contraception reviews by telephone and online. You can get your blood pressure done at a pharmacy or buy a blood pressure monitor for home use.

Routine NHS Health checks

Routine NHS Health checks have been restarted so feel free to book if you are eligible.

Long Term Condition reviews

Long Term Condition reviews for Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension and COPD have all restarted. We have changed our system so that you will be invited for your annual review with our nurse, health care assistant or clinical pharmacists in or around your month of birth. If you have more than one long-term condition, we will try as much as possible to review these together during one visit. We are creating online reviews for some conditions, such as Asthma and Hypertension (high blood pressure) so you may be invited to do a review online. The online form will be looked at by a clinician who will then contact you as required. If you are not able to do an online review, please do not worry as this can still be done with one of the planned care team in the usual way.

Childhood immunisations

Childhood immunisations, 6-8 week Baby checks, urgent wound dressings and care and injections (B12, Zoladex, Depot contraception etc) and immunisations (Flu, pneumococcal, shingles, whooping cough for pregnant women) continue to be provided.

Private medical work

Private medical work we will respond to requests as normal

Hospital referrals and referrals for investigations:

These are being provided currently based as always on clinical need and risks and benefits of attending hospital for patients. We also have access to remote secondary care advice from consultants including the Tele-dermoscopy service which allows us to send photos of skin complaints to specialists.

Please contact us via the website if you have any queries about the services, we can currently provide.

Please be mindful of extra administration requests – letters and prescription extensions. We are currently running on unpredictable staffing levels. Non urgent tasks will not be prioritised.

Technology and Telemedicine

We are using technology including text messaging, video conferencing and online forms on our website to maintain communication and accessibility to services for patients.

To support remote telemedicine for patients we advise and request all patients to purchase or acquire the following

  • Asthma: Peak flow meters and spacers. Pulse oximeters if advised.
  • COPD: pulse oximeter
  • Hypertension: Home BP machine
  • People living in Islington can get a 20% discount from Kinetik Wellbeing, using the code: nclccgs20
  • Elderly and or frail patients: Pulse oximeter, home BP machine (see guidance on website for what monitors to buy)
  • We advise all patients to have a thermometer at home.

Covid Resources

Please do look at the following guidance on Covid if you have not already.
NHS: Coronavirus gives comprehensive guidance on when and how to stay at home well and safely if the need arises. Covid-19 remains a self-limiting illness in the vast majority of people, and it is entirely safe to stay at home with the following advice.

If you are concerned about any symptoms whilst self-isolating please consult NHS 111 online first then if directed to do so following that screening assessment call the practice.

For the latest government advice on Covid-19 in over 60 different languages please visit www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information.

Please also refer to the resources within the Covid Room on the website.