Message from Audlem Medical Practice

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Message from Audlem Medical Practice

As we move into autumn it is obviously a concern to us all that cases of COVID19 are increasing and significant social restrictions are likely to affect us all once again over the coming months. We will, as we have done throughout these unprecedented times, endeavour to remain open and accessible to all our patients but of course the way you contact us and the services we are able to offer are likely to remain different to what we all considered normal until earlier this year.

As per government guidance we are operating a policy of 'telephone first' to minimise non-essential footfall in the practice. All appointments will be by telephone initially, but please be assured that if the clinician feels you need a face-to-face assessment we will make arrangements for you to attend the practice and been seen by a doctor or nurse in as safe a way as possible. We know that it can be frustrating waiting a couple of weeks for a routine appointment, but unfortunately we have many months of appointments to catch up on as quite rightly most patients stayed away during the first lockdown. Please do not abuse the system and request an urgent appointment just for convenience — on some days the duty doctor may have 40 or more patients to call back and it really isn't fair that some are just jumping the queue with mild or longstanding conditions that could otherwise wait. Due to high demand at present we are unable to give a time that the duty doctor will call you back so please keep your phone on you and switched on — if you don't answer we will only be able to call back once.

We know that many of you may be waiting for appointments or tests at the hospital and in some cases these may be many months overdue now. Please contact the hospital directly about this as we do not have any information about expected timescales, nor are we able to get in touch with them any easier than you can. The only way we can help to bring your appointment forward, at the expense of other patients also waiting, is if there has been a significant change in your clinical condition which makes it more medically urgent for you to be seen.

Our 'flu clinics have been proceeding safely and effectively — if you haven't already booked in please contact our reception team who will make you an appointment if you are over 65 or in a clinical risk group. As soon as we have the vaccines available for the 50-64 year old patients who are being offered the immunisation for the first time this year we will let you know and make appointments available for this group.

We would also like to welcome Nathalie Piccarolo to the practice as another member of our team thanks to Dr Holden's remarkable ongoing efforts as Director of the Nantwich and Rural Primary Care Network. Nathalie has training and experience in social prescribing and counselling and will be seeing patients with problems related to low mood, anxiety, stress, bereavement, phobias, behavioural problems and other distressing personal/relationship issues here in Audlem — please make an appointment via our receptionists if you think this would be helpful for you.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU HAVE A COUGH, TEMPERATURE OR LOSS OF TASTE/SMELL OR IF YOU ARE HAVING TO SELF ISOLATE DUE TO TRAVEL ABROAD OR CONTACT WITH A SYMPTOMATIC PERSON PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

We wish you all good health (and good luck!)

Drs Leftwick, Verso and Holden
Audlem Medical Practice