The Simpson Centre and Penn Surgery have continued to offer a GP service following the guidance from NHS England. We are now operating at Covid Phase 3, as are all GP practices nationally.
We currently triage all our appointment requests by telephone.
Where possible we are offering telephone advice or a video consultation to avoid the need to attend the surgery. If a face to face appointment is clinically needed this will be arranged.
The Simpson Centre and Penn surgeries are open as usual.
Covid 19 has not gone away and we need to remain vigilant and ensure we are following all the current guidelines. We need to do everything we can to reduce the potential spread amongst visiting patients and staff, so we are able to maintain a service to all our patients including those most at risk, the elderly, our cancer patients and all those who have been required to shield over the past few months.
At the start of the pandemic in March, several members of our team became unwell and we are very aware of the implications of this for them, and for our ability to remain open and available for our patients. Indeed there have been cases of local surgeries needing to close in their entirety due to Covid concerns. For this reason we want to reduce the number of patients visiting the surgeries where we can deal with their problem remotely. Where we do have patients coming to the surgery we have strict processes in place to minimise the risk of infection transmission.
All our appointments have been converted to telephone appointments and we offer a mix of routine, 48 hour access and on the day appointments. We are offering nearly 900 appointments each week with our doctors. In addition we have two duty doctors each day covering The Simpson Centre and Penn surgeries who can deal with up to 70 additional emergency on the day calls. In addition our nurses and phlebotomist offer as near normal a service as they can, the midwife continues to work with us as do our health visitors, district nurses and palliative care teams.
Some appointments have to be face to face.
We continue to offer the majority of our nurse appointments: dressings, phlebotomy and some GP /Paramedic appointments outside to reduce the risk of Covid transmission. In addition we have an indoor space dedicated for examinations that need to be carried out inside. All staff seeing patients are wearing the required PPE and equipment and surfaces are cleaned between each patient contact according to public health guidance.
We have had to increase face to face appointment times to allow for this.
We are experiencing an unprecedented demand in our services as the country begins to reopen, with a huge rise in non Covid related issues.
We understand that many people have not wanted to contact us at the peak of the pandemic and are now choosing to contact us again. A lot of hospital follow up appointments have been postponed and you may be concerned about when these will now be re arranged. We are dealing with these issues as well. A lot of our patients with a chronic disease such as diabetes or asthma, who we would normally call in for a regular review, have not been called in over this period and we are now working hard to ‘catch up’ on these reviews. It is important that we do this safely. We are very grateful for your patience as we start to increase our routine work again. It is likely to take us several months to complete this catch up and this may be delayed further if Covid cases rise again over the winter months.
How can we help you?
· Did you know you can now e mail us with non-urgent enquiries? Please follow the link on our website. (For example if you need a sick note or we have asked you to send us some readings of your blood pressure or blood sugars (if you are diabetic)
· We can now accept photographs to help in diagnosis. Please ask reception to send you a link if you would like to do this when you book your telephone appointment.
· We can arrange a video consultation. If you would prefer this please let the doctor know when they call you.
· Ask NHS is an on line triage and advice tool which you can access via our website. You can make a telephone appointment with the surgery through this site if required.
· Increasing staffing levels: During the pandemic we have taken on two new Doctors and have a third starting in October. We have two new nurses joining our team in late September.
How can you help us?
· Please do not attend the surgery if your enquiry can be dealt with in another way. Eg by telephone, e mail or via patient access
· Please sign up for Patient access and order your repeat prescription on line. This can be sent electronically directly to the chemist avoiding any need to visit the surgery.
· Please respond to any requests to book for a medication review.
· Please consider a telephone appointment like any other appointment. Try to ensure you are available at the time the call is booked and cancel the appointment if you no longer require it, or will not be available. We try to call around the time indicated however if we are delayed be mindful this may be because we have been delayed by another call or because we are dealing with an emergency.
· If your query is not urgent please book for the next available routine appointment.
· Please do not attend the surgery if you have any symptoms of Covid 19. Call 111 for advice.
· Please wear a mask when you are asked to attend the surgery and remember to follow social distancing advice. If you do not have a mask please call reception and they will try to help you. Masks are worn to protect you and our staff.
· Our staff are very busy and working hard to help as many people as possible at this time. We really appreciate the kind words and gestures we have received from many of our patients. Thank you for your patience.
· Abuse and rudeness to staff will not be tolerated.
· Flu clinics this year are covering a much larger number of people. Our first vaccinations are due to arrive at the surgery in late September. Providing for such a large number of patients in a Covid secure manner has taken a lot of planning. (Several thousand of our patients will be eligible for a flu vaccine should they wish). The Beaconsfield cricket club has kindly allowed us to use their site and we will be inviting the majority of our patients to attend there. Eligible patients will be invited by letter which will contain a bar code. Please look out for your letter and only attend the flu clinic when you have received an invitation. The most vulnerable patients will be invited first as per NHS England guidelines.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
Simpson Centre and Penn Surgery