Surgery update on relaxing of COVID-19 social distancing guidance
This letter was sent to patients via SMS on 15th July 2021.
In line with the government announcement to relax social distancing measures as of Monday 19th July we would like to provide you with an update on what that means for you when accessing our services at Solent GP Surgery.
This letter will cover the following topics:
• Social distancing and face coverings
• Access to the surgery
• Increase in face to face appointments
Social distancing and face coverings
Whilst in many places you may no longer be required to socially distance or wear a face covering, when attending one of our sites we ask that you continue to adhere to our social distancing policy and wear a face covering. The majority of patients that visit our sites are doing so because they are unwell and therefore have an increased level of vulnerability. We also want to make sure that our staff are kept safe and well in order to continue to provide you with the best possible service.
Although restrictions are being relaxed, COVID is still prevalent and we must remain vigilant, it is therefore imperative that we all continue to do our part in protecting each other.
Access to the surgery
As throughout the pandemic our Nicholstown site remains open 5 days per week and Adelaide Surgery is now open on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Our site in Portswood continues to operate as the city’s hot hub where patients who have covid can be seen. We know many of you are keen to know when our Adelaide and Portswood sites will re-open to “business as usual” and we will provide you with an update once we have that information.
You will be aware we needed to change the way you access our services during the pandemic and as we start to return to normal, it is important that we let you know how you should contact us for treatment or with a query.
If you require routine medical advice we recommend that you first complete an eConsult form which is accessed via the Solent GP Surgery website (www.solentgp.nhs.uk), this will be reviewed by a GP and you will receive a response either by text, telephone or if it is considered clinically appropriate, you will be invited in for a face to face appointment. A flowchart is included with this letter to explain in more detail.
We understand that not all of our patients will have internet access and, if you do not have a family member or friend that could assist you with completing an eConsult form online, please telephone our Reception team who will be able to complete this with you. Please be aware they will need to ask you questions in relation to your medical condition to get the correct information for the GP.
If you have an urgent medical concern you can still contact us by telephone, and your request will be reviewed by one of our Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP). You will first receive a telephone call from our ANP who will either be able to help you over the phone or if necessary you will be invited to the surgery to see either an ANP or duty GP for a face to face appointment. ANP’s are trained to deal with minor and acute illnesses and can deal with most urgent medical concerns.
If you require an appointment with our Nursing team, for example, for a blood test, wound dressing or cervical screening, then you should telephone the surgery and book an appointment in the usual way. In the near future we will be making some appointments available to book online & when we do, if you have the NHS App or SystmOnline you will be able to log in and book your appointment without having to telephone the surgery. We will let patients know when this method of booking is available.
Increase in face to face appointment capacity
During the height of the pandemic we had to take extra precautions to ensure staff and patient safety which did impact the number of face to face appointments we were able to provide. As restrictions are relaxed, some of the additional measures that were put in place can be reduced in order to provide more face to face appointments.
The past 18 months have undoubtedly been a challenging time as we have had to rapidly adapt how we live and work, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting the safety measures that we put in place to keep our patients and staff safe.
Solent GP Surgery
Published: Jul 15, 2021