As you may be aware, we have been required to change many of our processes over the last few months to comply with national and local guidance to protect our patients and staff from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The main change has been that all appointments have moved to telephone or video calls, which is proving very successful in preventing the spread of infection, and this will continue until the government notifies us otherwise, to ensure that our community remains safe.
Every patient is assessed by a clinician, either on the telephone or via a video call, and if it is considered clinically necessary, patients will then be offered a face-to-face appointment at the surgery. If you are asked to attend the surgery please feel assured that all necessary risk assessments and mitigating procedures have been put in place, and we ask that patients attend wearing a face covering to protect themselves and staff. These necessary changes, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, have been put in place at every GP practice across the country following government advice.
We would like to reassure you that telephone and video consultations are a safe and appropriate form of communication to support you with your healthcare needs. We do understand that for some patients they have taken some getting used to and we greatly appreciated your support as we comply with government guidance.
Despite not being able to see all of our patients face-to-face, as we might have once done, we are proud that we have been able to swiftly put in place an online triage platform at all surgeries. This has helped provide you with better access while also allowing us to respond to you in other ways that were not previously possible, such as online messaging via the platform itself.
We have also successfully recruited a number of GPs and advanced healthcare professionals into the organisation over this difficult period. Our new staff join our already diverse and skilled workforce and will continue to support the Covid-19 efforts at our practices in line with national regulations.
We are always here for our patients and would like to encourage you to continue to seek help from us at this time should you need it.
Thank you once more for your understanding and for your continued support as we all follow the government advice – this is key to prevent the spread of the virus; keeping patients, staff and our community safe.
Dr Berge Balian