A message from your GP surgery

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Village centre

First and foremost we hope that all of our patients are safe and well in isolation. We would like to reassure you all that we are still open and here to care for you whatever the next few weeks and months have in store for us all.

We hope you will understand if it is harder to get through to us, or when things take longer than usual, and of course we have had to make some changes to how we do things in response to losing staff to self-isolation and to ensure we are doing all we can to keep you and our practice staff well. We anticipate that over the coming weeks maintaining our staffing levels is going to be a real challenge, so please be patient with our reception and administration teams.

Appointments

To minimise face-to-face contact we ask that you do not come to the practice unless you have an appointment.

If you need to speak to someone about any health problem, whether new or ongoing, please arrange a routine telephone appointment with the clinician of your choice. It is very important that we do not let any chronic conditions or new non-COVID19 (Corona virus) related problems you may have get worse, so if you think you need advice please let us know.

We also have urgent telephone appointments available every morning and afternoon, but please do not book into these unless your problem really can't wait until the next routine slot. Please be assured whether routine or urgent, the doctor or nurse you speak to will make an initial assessment and if necessary will arrange to see you in person, either here at the surgery or at home as appropriate.

IF YOU HAVE ANY VIRAL/UPPER RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS (eg cough, temperature, muscle aches, sore throat, nasal/sinus congestion) DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT — PHONE AND SPEAK WITH A CLINICIAN FIRST.

We have a post box in the porch for those who need to drop anything off for us including repeat prescription requests. We have also put some of the usual forms that patients may need in the porch which you can also put into the post box once completed.
If you have urinary symptoms and wish to drop a sample for testing then please briefly come into the waiting room to drop it off in the red box, making sure you have put your name on the specimen and completed the relevant clinical information form

Prescriptions/Medication

For those who are in the most at risk vulnerable groups (ie have had a letter from the government/their consultant recommending 12 weeks total isolation) we will take requests for repeat medication over the telephone during this crisis, but please only do this if you really can't get someone to drop the request off for you and then please call between 11am-2pm.

Please do not order your usual medications too early or request medications you do not normally need 'just in case'. This is the medical version of 'panic buying' and is already adding an extra burden to a system that is stretched to capacity. We will not authorise any prescriptions that are requested significantly in advance of their due date or for medications not issued for more than a year.

For patients on warfarin, we ask when requesting your prescription you take a photograph of the relevant page of your 'yellow book' on a smart-phone and email it to the practice along with the prescription request — audlem.practice@nhs.net . Only if this is not possible should you drop your yellow book off in the practice post box in the porch.

For patients with asthma the current advice is not to routinely issues 'rescue packs' as the steroid component of these may cause problems if the person has COVID19 infection. We would advise any person with asthma concerned about their symptoms to speak with a clinician at the practice.

Please do not request paracetamol just because it can be difficult to obtain over the counter — we do not prescribe this except in very specific circumstances which have not altered.

The current advice regarding ibuprofen use is to continue as normal unless you develop viral/upper respiratory symptoms, in which case you should stop taking it (or any other anti-inflammatory medication).

Again we ask you to be patient as it may take us more than the usual 24 hours to process your prescription and Boots Pharmacy in Audlem may take up to seven days to issue your medication due to their increased workload.

Letters/'sick notes'

If you require a note for work due to self-isolation you should go to here as we do not issue these.

If you have viral/upper respiratory symptoms and are isolating for 7 days you can complete a self-certification form. If you are unwell with these symptoms for more than 7 days you should go to here to get your note

We have had a number of requests for letter for work saying if someone is or isn't able to work due to various COVID19 related factors (eg a relative with a health condition). In ALL of these cases the information has been clearly available on the gov.uk or NHS websites, so please ask your employer to check carefully before wasting our time with these requests.

There is, of course, likely to be a significant delay in all routine administration work for the time being and we ask for your understanding if this affects you.

Finally....

We wish you all the very best over the next few weeks and months. We are here and open to help, advise and support you as you need us and ADCA are working really hard to offer support to those who need it too.

Thank You

Drs Leftwick, Verso, Holden and the whole Audlem Medical Practice Team