You may have received a short text or phone message from us regarding a Coronavirus Status Update, but due to size limitations when sending text messages, you have been directed to this page for further information.
This is an update from our last status update of April.
Despite some easing of lockdown restrictions and the seeming appearance of returning to normality, the national emergency is ongoing. This means:
Like many other businesses or NHS organisations, although we are open, we are still only able to provide a reduced service, in order to keep patients and staff safe.
From today, all patients attending GP surgeries across Derbyshire will be asked to provide and wear their own face coverings, as well as maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing measures. From June 15, 2020, it will be compulsory to wear face coverings on public transport and in hospitals in England. Thank you for your continued support.
We continue to screen all callers for symptoms of suspected coronavirus, which now include loss of sense of smell and/or taste as a feature. If you develop fever, new cough or loss of smell or taste, or are requested to by the Test and Trace service, you must self-isolate.
You can also request a test for coronavirus if you have symptoms or if you are a keyworker. Currently, we are not able to request any antibody (blood) testing for patients on demand.
We remain extremely busy, with all consultations taking at least 2 to 3 times longer to complete due to the limitations inherent in remote consulting - even getting a simple form to a patient takes multiple steps. With appointment lists long, patients could wait several hours for a callback.
Before coronavirus, Ivy Grove Surgery has always had a strong philosophy of encouraging self-care and self-help amongst our patients, and never before has this been more important, given the current difficulties.
This is not about putting people off from seeing us, it is about encouraging people to find out more about managing and improving their own condition, to learn about self-care techniques, to promote resilience and reduce dependence on already stretched health services. Self-care also means that you may be able to access the help that you need quicker and more conveniently without waiting for a callback from the doctor.
The following resources may be helpful:
As with many organisations, we are now working very differently from before, and we call this General Practice 2.0 (or GP2 for short). As this is new to all of you too and could take some getting used to, we have set up a new page to help you get the latest information about your condition. This gives access to self-care, self-referral information and other help and details how we are currently working.
Many sections on this page are served by shortcuts that we have specifically set up so that you can type them into your browser directly in order to get to the required section quickly and easily. All shortcuts start with ivy.gs/covid- followed by the condition. Some examples are shown below:
This is a developing resource, so not all conditions are covered, but we will hopefully add more to this page as time goes on.
Things remain difficult for every NHS organisation, but this does not mean things will default to your GP automatically. All other NHS organisations are still providing some form of service, but making their own individual arrangements, as we are, to keep people safe. Therefore active signposting, that is, directing you to the most appropriate health professional, still applies.
For instance, in emergency situations, such as a suspected heart attack or stroke, gasping for air, changing colour, unconscious, you still need to ring 999.
If you have worrying symptoms that could be cancer-related, such as coughing up, passing or peeing blood, altered bowel habit, unexpected weight loss, a worrying lump, a nasty-looking mole or not being able to swallow, then don't delay, please call us for advice.
Our symptom checker will indicate which symptoms may mean your condition is more serious (identified with a red flag ) and which means you need to seek earlier advice from the most appropriate service, whether that be A+E, 999 or your GP:
If you've reviewed the self-care resources, tried self-care, checked symptoms, and find that you do actually need to call us, we encourage all patients to ring us earlier rather than later in the day.
This helps us to plan our day effectively for the benefit of all patients and also means that should any intervention be required, e.g., hospital referral or tests, these can be done with little delay.
In this new age of remote consulting, which is not going away any time soon, being internet connected and familiar with your smartphone helps. Your GP might ask you to take a photo of a rash or skin lesion, or ask you to send some photos into the practice via email. Or they might want to video chat with you. All these new initiatives help us to keep you safe by reducing the need to come into the surgery building and by helping the doctor make a safe diagnosis.
We are finding that many patients are finding such a service not only safe, but also convenient, so perhaps now is the time to try some new technology or get an interested relative or friend involved in helping you get online or mobile (with social distancing of course).
For those with long-term conditions amenable to self-monitoring, we are encouraging patients to purchase their own equipment, for example, BP monitors for those with high blood pressure, see ivy.gs/covid-bp or ivy.gs/covid-copd
With schools restarting, we have set up a dedicated section on our website with the latest guidance for parents, including official links and also a useful guidance document from Derbyshire LMC.
The following practice website updates should be useful:
We are pleased to launch our new carers page, where carers can download our carers pack and let us know that they are carers. We also have information on Derbyshire Carers and additional support for carers.
This remains high on the list of priorities for many patients and indeed the practice team. We remind all patients that the mental health section of our website remains updated with new information and sources of support, and our coronavirus page also has specific support links for healthcare workers:
Please bear with us whilst we continue to work with our amazing team to maintain essential services for you all during these extraordinary and very difficult times.
© Dr Michael Wong 2019