Dear Rothbury Practice Patients,
I wanted to say thank you on behalf of the surgery to our patient population for working with us during this very difficult time. We had to dramatically change the way we worked in order to keep you and your families and our staff as safe as possible. We managed to continue to see and speak to patients with an urgent need throughout the initial peak of the Covid-19 crisis. We did this because the vast majority of patients were happy to see requests for routine help postponed. We appreciate your patience.
It is becoming clear that we will need to continue to work in this new way for the foreseeable future. NHS England continues to stimulate that all face-to-face appointments need to be preceded by a consultation with a healthcare professional. We agree with this position which aims to reduce your risk of Covid-19, particularly as we move into the autumn and winter when a potential second wave is possible. Our Practice Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and GPs will be consulting on the phone much more than in the past.
Some of you will now be familiar with how to contact us using the online form based eConsult platform, this can be accessed by clicking on the banner at the bottom of our practice website . We are also using AccuRx to contact patients via text. Rest assured that we are sensitive to the fact that not all modalities of consultation suit every person and every condition. We have safe procedures for seeing patients face-to-face, but we hope you understand why we must reduce such consulting to a minimum.
We are trying to make accessing our services as simple as possible. To that end, please note the following.
- If you wish to see or speak to a clinician, for urgent and non-urgent reasons, please phone between 08:00 and 11:00 Monday-Friday, this is especially important if you feel you need a home visit.
- If you have an on-going condition which is usually cared for within our “Year of Care” system, please be advised that we will contact you. As you know, we tend to follow a recall system based on date of birth. We performed very little routine work from late March until recently. As a result, we are a little behind. However, we have a plan to catch up. You can be assured that we are not taking undue risk with repeat prescribing beyond your usual recall date. If we have authorised repeat medication beyond your usual date, a GP or pharmacist will have considered your notes individually. You are likely to find that more of your care for these on-going conditions will also be attempted away from the practice if appropriate.
- If you need to request repeat medications could you please do this around 7-10 days before you need them. This allows 72 hours for the practice to process your request (normally this is done within 48 hours) and also time for the pharmacy to prepare your medication. The vast majority of patients use the local pharmacy who again advise of the need for 72 hours In order to process non urgent repeat medication prescriptions.
Our systems will evolve over the coming months and we do appreciate that not knowing how your request for our collective expertise will be dealt with can cause anxiety. However, we will continue to be here for you whatever happens and will always endeavour to deliver safe, high quality care whilst prioritising those with the greatest need.
Dr Jack Lamb