Covid-19

Covid-19

OUR MISSION

Providing exceptional medical care for individuals, families and the community

As this is continuously being updated, please see our 'Live News' page for further information.

Top 10 tips 

1. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds

2. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing

3. Social distancing of 2 metres at all times where possible

4. Wear a face covering when in shared spaces

5. Keep rooms ventilated by opening windows in enclosed/shared spaces

6. Arrange a Covid test by calling 119 (and self-isolate) if you develop any of:  New cough Shortness of breath Loss of taste/smell Fever

7. A fever is more than 38°C if older than 6 months and greater than 37.5 °C if less than 6 months old

8. Self-isolation is 10 days if you have suspected or confirmed Covid 19

9. Self-isolation is 14 days if you have been in contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed Covid 19

10. If you have to self-isolate you can get a free ‘isolation note’ from the 111 NHS website

How to book appointments

Due to the on-going risk of Covid 19 and the measures we have been able to put in place to minimise this, we have updated the changes to the appointment booking system. This is to protect YOU – our patients and our staff.

1) All patients should attempt self-care measures and where appropriate have consulted their local pharmacist. If an assessment is still required please CALL or EMAIL the surgery to explain the nature of your problem. Your information will be confidentially passed from the reception team to the clinical team. A phone call by a clinician will be made on the same day for assessment or advice. If a face to face appointment is necessary, this will be made for you.

2) For any face to face appointment made we remind you that you must NOT attend if you are unwell, awaiting a Covid 19 test result or self-isolating for any reason.

3) If you are unwell with Covid Symptoms please contact 111. If you have suspected or known Covid 19 the 111 service have a Clinical Covid Assessment team who can advise or alternatively the practice can book you into a ‘hub’ which is located in Chelmsford and is designed to call and see patients face to face.

4) We are encouraging patients NOT TO DELAY smear tests, childhood vaccinations, injections and dressing changes. These can all be booked through reception directly.

5) We are encouraging patients to continue to contact us for advice – WE ARE STILL OPEN and WORKING SAFELY. Investigations are being accepted and performed at the hospital when appropriate and referrals can still be made though both have obvious delays.

6) We are performing phlebotomy clinics but ask any patient who is able to travel to St Peters in Maldon to arrange their blood test there to allow us to cater for the frailer/at risk groups.

Why are you taking making these changes?
The national advice is for anyone who suspects they may be at risk of coronavirus to stay at home and complete the online coronavirus advice tool (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19) or call 111. The UK government has asked GP practices to triage all face to face appointments over the phone first to minimise the risk of spreading the infection.

I want to see a clinician, what should I do?
Call the surgery to explain your problem or alternatively email greenwood.meds@nhs.net. The clinical team will review your concern and decide the most appropriate action – either by speaking to you on the phone, emailing you back or offering you a face to face appointment.

I have a skin lesion or mole that I am worried about – what should I do?
If possible, please take a picture of the lesion from 30 cm away and email to greenwood.meds@nhs.net the following details: Where is it on your body? How long has it been there? Has it changed in size/look? Is it bleeding or itching? Are you well in yourself?
On many occasions we are to provide a diagnosis just by an image. If we are not, we will offer you a face to face appointment in an appropriate time frame.

I already have an appointment booked but now have developed mild viral symptoms. What should I do?
Please DO NOT attend the surgery and instead cancel your appointment via the sms confirmation you should have received, via email (greenwood.meds@nhs.net) or calling the surgery. Please then complete the online coronavirus advice tool (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19) or call 111.

What should I do if I am ill? Or if a family member is ill?
If you or a family member has an emergency health problem such as signs of a heart attack, stroke, severe difficulty breathing, heavy bleeding that won’t stop or severe injuries then call 999 or go to A&E. For children, this includes severe drowsiness, severe infections, a first fit, or swallowing something they should not have.
For anything else, review the NHS Choices self-help website, speak to your local pharmacist for advice or call NHS 111 which is available 24/7 for advice too. If you feel you need advice or treatment from your practice, see point 1 above – contact the surgery.

What will happen if I just turn up at the surgery wanting an appointment?
If you turn up in person at the surgery without a pre-booked appointment that has been triaged, you will be asked to go home and referred to point 1 above.

How do I book a blood test?
Greenwood Surgery have caught up on the back log of patients who had their tests delayed since March 2020. We are performing phlebotomy clinics but try our best to keep these limited appointments to those who are unable to travel to alternative centres.
To book at Greenwood please contact the surgery IF you have a hospital form or have already spoken to one of the clinical team who has asked you to get this done.
To book at St Peters hospital in Maldon (waiting time for appointment is 1 day)/ Broomfield hospital (waiting time for appointment is 4 days)/ St Michael’s in Braintree (waiting time for appointment is 1 day) or Christchurch in Chelmsford (waiting time for appointment is 11 days) please call: 01245 516 963. Please note there can be a high call volume when ringing to book but an appointment time must be booked as WALK INS ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED.
All children (under 16 years of age) who require a blood test will only be seen at Broomfield Hospital and you will need to call 01245 516963 to book.

What about home visits?
For patients that are truly housebound and cannot come to the surgery, a doctor will phone first to understand the problem, and visit if required.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. We are working hard to protect our patients and staff whilst always striving to provide high quality care. Remember, it is vital that if you suspect you may have been exposed to coronavirus, you stay at home and call 111.
If you are asked questions about your travel history, it is vital that you answer truthfully. This is to protect yourselves, the public and all our healthcare staff.

Measures taken for patient and staffs safety

The triage system and checks in place allow us to keep Greenwood Surgery as a ‘cold hub’. This means we do NOT bring in any patients with suspected or known Covid 19 for face to face appointments.

We also do not accept any patients ‘walking in’ wanting to book an appointment or be seen.

Upon arrival at the Crouch Vale Medical Centre you will notice the social distancing markers and posters asking you to wear face coverings when entering. Seats in the waiting area are limited to be spaced at 2 meters apart.

We therefore ask that patients to not attend for their appointments too early and enter to check in only a couple of minutes before your allocated time.

Please use the check in screens (to the right on entering the foyer) and the hand sanitiser provided before and after use.
If you need to approach the reception desk you will notice a screen has been placed in front.

This allows patients to approach the screen whilst wearing a face covering. Please speak as clearly as possible as although the screen provides protection it can reduce the ability for the receptionist to hear you.

To reduce staff and patients walking past one another in the corridor we have a one-way system in operation so patients will enter the building as usual but leave at the fire exit located at the bottom of the car park.

For frail patients who have parked in the disabled car spots and cannot walk all the way around the building, they will be walked back by the clinician to the front entrance.
All clinical staff will be wearing PPE as per government guidance.

Receptionists and administration staff will also be wearing face coverings when in shared areas.

Face coverings

As per government guidance we ask all patients above the age of 11 years to wear a face covering when entering the surgery as it is a shared space.

If you have forgotten to bring your face covering you will be asked to leave and return with one.

If you are exempt please do inform the staff. Alternatively there are free leaflets that can be printed and kept with you to show others you are exempt and to avoid you being questioned. These can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903454/Exemption_from_face_covering_card_to_print.pdf

Helping you...

Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. They do not need to contact their GP.

Free self-isolation notes are available on https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
These are available for anyone who may:

• have symptoms of coronavirus
• live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus
• are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus
• have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service

GPs are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system and can only provide certificates for the purpose of illness, not in relation to government advice regarding self-isolation. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where this is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice.

The current Government Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID19) states; “By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home. We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advices issued by the government.”

Due to the current pandemic and pressure on General Practice, we are prioritising the urgent medical needs of our patients and will not be providing a medical certificate for this absence. By law employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is absent from work for more than seven days due to sickness. We would ask you to apply this discretion to help support NHS general practice provide care for our population rather than being asked to fulfil unnecessary administrative tasks. Should you decide on taking disciplinary action against an employee purely on the grounds of being unable to provide the sickness medical certification relating to Covid19 pandemic we would make it very clear in any disciplinary/grievance/tribunal reports that under the circumstances we would deem your action inappropriate.
Many thanks for your assistance during this challenging time.

Extended hours and access

GP practices are contracted to be open between 0800 – 1830.

As part of our extended access we offer early morning appointments from 07:30 -0800 on Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and we have late appointments between 630pm and 7pm on a Tuesday.

Extended Access
We also have locum GP appointments in evening and weekend which can be booked through our receptionists or by patients calling 01245 398055 (Saturday and Sunday).

Care systems

The triage system and checks in place allow us to keep Greenwood Surgery as a ‘cold hub’. This means we do NOT bring in any patients with suspected or known Covid 19 for face to face appointments. We are however able to conduct telephone advice/ prescribe medications that are needed etc.

For those with suspected or known Covid 19, we ask patients contact 111 where there is a ‘Clinical Covid Assessment Team’ in place to provide advice.

If a face to face appointment is needed, this can be made by Greenwood Surgery into the ‘hot hub’ designed specifically to only see this cohort of patients and is based in Chelmsford.

Prescriptions

Almost all prescriptions are sent electronically to your chemist of choice. If you do not have one designated, you can visit any chemist and give your patient details and they will be able to access your prescription from the central system called ‘The Spine’.

If you are in need of an emergency prescription please ask the clinician or receptionist to text you the ‘bar code’ associated to your prescription. Showing this at the chemist will allow the prescription to be ‘downloaded’ immediately and prepared for you. Each chemist can vary with how quickly they access these electronic prescriptions so having the bar code is a backup.

If you are at higher risk and need help picking up your prescriptions during the pandemic please Call 0808 196 3646 (open 8am to 8pm) to get help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

New patient enrolment

We are still accepting new patients and have created a method of doing so via email to help protect our patients and staff. Our website is also available via mobile version to help make this easier.

Please see page for new patient registration for more information. 

“In a Covid safe environment we are…”

1) Prioritising care for the most at risk – we have vaccinated % of our eligible patients by November 20

2) Performing contraceptive coils and implants

3) Carrying out minor surgery clinics

4) Administering steroid injections with Covid 19 related counselling

5) Able to perform more communication and functions digitally

At Greenwood Surgery between April and August 2020 we have:
- Conducted 4256 telephone appointments
- Performed 2619 face to face appointments
- Performed 100 video consultations
- Responded to 2563 patient emails
- Processed 650 referrals

Covid 19 guidance

For the latest information on Covid 19 please see the resources tab above where there are links to the most useful sites. To book a Covid test please call 119.

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