You will have noticed that there has been significant changes to the way we deliver our services. We want to update you with where we are in regards to our service and to ensure you understand how to access services.
We are still operating with total telephone triage. This means that the NHS England guidance states we should speak to all patients who require care and deal with as much as possible remotely either via the telephone or via video consultations. This is also the case for some specialities in hospitals and other care providers. Our priority is still to keep you safe.
If it is clinically necessary, patients who need a face to face consultation will be asked to attend a surgery.
Our guidance also stipulates that we separate the acutely unwell patients from our ‘well’ patient groups. At this point in time the acutely unwell are being assessed in Biggleswade and the ‘well’ patients are being seen in Langford or Shannon court.
We have been open despite our doors being closed to walk-in patients as we are mandated to operate the total triage model of care.
Throughout COVID we have continued with the following:
Baby immunisation programs Dressings
INR star Certain blood tests
Increased our home visiting provision Injections for medication
Assessed all requests for unwell patients Followed up on unwell patients
Care home ward rounds Supported the shielded patients
Referred for suspected cancers Supported our more vulnerable patients
And in the last few weeks have reintroduced:
More blood tests More cervical cytology
More immunisations More dressings
More long term condition reviews for asthma, Diabetes, hypertension and COPD
More referrals for other non-urgent conditions
As you can imagine we have lost a quarter of our year and our backlog is significant. We are asking you to work with us so that we can catch up as quickly as possible. This may be attending another site, attending hospital to have bloods and attending appointments on weekends at another site.
We have been asked “When will I see a GP face to face again?’” At the moment all surgeries are still operating with the total triage model in line with the NHS England guidance which is explained above. This will continue to be in place as long our guidance remains the same. Therefore, we can say that if the clinician feels they need to see someone face to face they will. Face to face consultations will not be our default appointment system going forward.
We have had to centralise our telephone calls to ensure we are as resilient and responsive to the on the day demand. The main number to ring is 01767 316346. This was a planned activity, however, the onset of Covid-19 escalated our plans to introduce the merged ‘booking office’.
The team have access to all the information they need and, most of the issues can be dealt with virtually. Please note if we call you back, it will be from a withheld number.
SMS messaging and other forms of communication
We have increased ways we communicate with you. SMS messaging will be our default going forward as it is quicker than sending a letter. We will also reply to your website requests and send replies to your online consultation requests. We will of course send letters to patients who do not have access to a smart phone or computer.
This offers a variety of options for you:
- Ask for a sick note – go to admin office on the website and complete the sick note form
- Medication room – order your medication online here, if you do not have an account, you can register for online services here too.
- Have a medical problem and need to speak to a member of the team, use the Consulting Room and go to ‘Get medical advice and treatment from a Doctor’. (Please note this is a different account from your medication ordering account).
- Test results – You can view your own results if you have an online account and have access to the detail coded record.
- Prescription queries please use the ‘General Medication Question’ option rather than use the telephone.
- Medication collection times remain unchanged and these are 12:00-13:00 and 17:00-18:00 at the Biggleswade site and Shannon Court.
- If you have not already done so, please register for ordering your medication online.
- You can track the status of your existing referral using the number on your paperwork and the links on the website
- You can self-refer for some conditions and this can be done via our website in the Wellbeing Centre.
In additional to this, we have been working with our Primary Care Network colleagues from Sandy Health Centre, Ivel Medical Centre and Greensands, Potton and Gamlingay and working through new joint ways of working. We are also preparing for our flu clinics and further details will follow.
When we are closed, you can continue to access care by dialling 111.
Did you know that we have been open since Covid-19 began, despite the doors being closed? We have:
- Delivered 35,569 appointments
- Answered 48,097 calls
- Made 48,972 telephone calls
- Processed over 25,000 hospital letters
- Processed over 12,360 online prescription requests
- Processed over 7,500 blood tests
There are times when we may ask for you to call back if your call is not urgent. This is to ensure we operate safely. If you need us we are here for you.
Thank you to all our patients who have supported the Practice and its team members through this very difficult time. Your support is appreciated and motivates the team to continue to deliver care in these uncertain times.