As we are all aware, the current Coronavirus pandemic has presented huge challenges over the last few months. Nobody has been immune from the disruption, uncertainty, and at times, distress.
The practice team, like you, have shared the same fears and anxieties. While the number of deaths from the virus is falling; coronavirus remains a very real threat to everyone and the practice, like all practices nationally, cannot simply return to ‘normal’. To let our guard down now would risk the safety not only of our team but of other patients and this is not something we are prepared to do.
Face masks are worn predominantly by our team to protect the patients they are treating. If a patient comes in who is unknowingly suffering from coronavirus, then our team are only protected by either social distancing from the patient or if the patient wears a face covering or mask. It is not normally possible to social distance if you attend for a medical appointment. These are the risks our team face on a daily basis. Their professionalism and commitment to you mean they shoulder this risk every day.
We are therefore reminding all patients to wear a face covering when attending the practice for ANY reason – even just to collect something. Unfortunately we are unable to provide masks – supplies of PPE have been well documented in the media as being unreliable. Therefore we must preserve stock for our team.
The ONLY reasons for coming to the practice are to attend a booked appointment or to pick something up which cannot be emailed to you. Samples can also be handed in to the Receptionist. The introduction of triage by using a secure online platform called eConsult is something which was introduced to every practice and will continue after the pandemic has ended. The Government have been keen for some time to revolutionise and transform General Practice using digital technology. This has been particularly useful in being able to treat and advise patients without having the risk of face to face contact. The clinical team have trained Receptionists to help patients with this triage assessment for those without internet access or who are unable to complete it themselves. They are bound by the strict codes of confidentiality as our clinical team. Receptionists are not looking to diagnose you, simply taking a history for a Clinician to assess any urgency.
We know many patients are anxious about the months ahead, managing existing and new health conditions and flu vaccinations. We are working to find new ways of managing this to ensure the safety of our patients, their carers and our team while ensuring you receive the care you need. A huge amount of work and planning is going on behind the scenes to restart services and to keep you safe. Please be patient with us! If you have concerns, please continue to contact us for advice either by phone or via our website www.royalwell.co.uk A further source of information is our Facebook page www.facebook.com/The-Royal-Well-Surgery.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Dr P Crouchman