Statement from our senior Partner, Dr Martin Wakeford
Firstly, thank you to all those patients who have wished us well over this time. It is very much appreciated by all the staff to have your support.
Thank you to those patients who have needed our help over this period. We are working very differently from usual to keep you and our staff safe. We are grateful for your patience and willingness to try new things like video consultations.
In terms of staffing, one of our doctors; one of the nurses from our complex team (over 75 team) and six members of our admin team have been or are currently off work either sick or self-isolating due to family illness. Some have been able to work from home although this has been difficult at times with the secure NHS systems suddenly being in high demand. The GPs are taking it in turns using the remote working facility and because of the increased demand on the NHS system there have been some issues connecting, so please bear with us if phone calls back aren’t quite as timely.
Unfortunately, none of our staff have been able to access testing for COVID-19 so some have had or are having to remain off work longer than would have been necessary if we could test.
In terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we have limited supplies of the basic equipment but have not been provided with eye protection. We have now a supply of 3D-printed visors made by 3D Print World Aylesbury. We thank them for this equipment.
We have had huge numbers of repeat prescriptions to process as patients were ordering early because of the need to stay at home or due to their concerns about supplies. We are currently still able to process these promptly but please be patient with us. The increased demand for medications is challenging for both your doctors but also our colleagues in local pharmacies, again please be patient.
It is important that you still bring your children in for immunisations and new baby checks – before we allow any patient into the building, they are screened for signs of Covid 19, all we would ask at this time is that only one parent or guardian comes in with the child and where possible, other children are left at home with another carer. Likewise if you are feeling unwell but haven’t wanted to come in, please ring us for advice and we can arrange a video consultation if that is appropriate.
With regards to the at risk groups, NHS England in liaison with Government officials are writing additional searches to ensure that all patients who should be shielding received a letter. Please be patient as this is a mammoth task. If you feel you are in the shielding group, then please stay at home; if you have a long term condition you should be actively practising social distancing to minimise your risk. As soon as we have the new searches available we will be contacting patients.
Unusually, we will be opening on Good Friday and Easter Monday to try to keep everyone as fit and healthy as possible at this time and to help support our colleagues in the Out of Hours Service and hospitals. We will be operating on both days with reduced staffing levels, but we will be available between 08:00 -18:30 so please phone if you need help.
Please play your part by continuing to stay at home and avoiding any unnecessary journeys and by looking after any of your neighbours who are vulnerable.
KEEP ALERT > CONTROL THE VIRUS > SAVE LIVES
Dr Martin Wakeford