Face Masks and Social Distancing When Visiting the Practice
Wearing a mask or face covering reduces your risk and the risk to others when coming into contact with people that you don't normally meet in enclosed or crowded spaces. For this reason we will not be making any changes on Monday 19 July.
It continues to be important that we protect the many vulnerable patients that attend the practice who are at higher risk from COVID-19, and that we limit the chances of our staff contracting the virus or needing to self-isolate.
We will continue to ask all patients and visitors to the practice to wear a face mask or covering unless they are exempt. We will continue to work in a way that allows for social distancing, and all staff will continue to take the recommended infection control measures including mask wearing.
We have offered both telephone, eConsult and face to face appointments throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so, as well as working with other local practices to make sure that all adults in Torbay have been offered two COVID vaccinations. Patient contacts with the practice have increased by 30% since the start of 2020, so please continue to support us at this challenging time.
Please do not visit the practice if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have bee in contact with anyone who has symptoms. Help us to continue to protect you and all our patients.
PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION STATUS FOR TRAVELLERS
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE PRACTICE to enquire about obtaining proof of your Covid vaccination status for the purpose of travel or any other reason.
Click HERE to read government advice about how to obtain proof of your vaccination status.
You can use the NHS App to obtain proof of vaccination status.
If you do not have internet access or a smart phone then you can obtain written proof of vaccination status by calling 119.
COVID BOOSTERS & FLUC VACCINATION 2021
We may be about to start the school summer holidays, but planning is well underway for the autumn both in terms of the booster COVID-19 vaccine and the annual flu vaccination programme for our patients.
We purchase flu vaccinations many months in advance and have all of our flu vaccinations arriving for our patients in early September.
The expanded flu vaccination programme will continue this year as part of the wider winter planning when we are likely to see both influenza and COVID-19 in circulation. This means that as well as the usual eligible flu groups, all 50-64 year olds will again be offered flu vaccination. This is alongside a booster COVID vaccination.
Currently the only site locally that we can deliver the COVID vaccination from is the Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) in Torquay and that is unlikely to change due to the conditions the COVID vaccination needs to be stored and administered under, such as accommodating a 15 minute wait period for patients post vaccine. It is looking like we will be able to administer both the COVID booster and the Flu vaccination at the same time at that one appointment for you. Along with all the GP practices in Torbay, we are working on plans setting up clinics ready for patients to book into for September and will provide further details as soon they are available. By working together and utilising the site at RICC in Torquay we are able to vaccinate around 1,500 patients per day, ensuring that we vaccinate all patients as quickly as possible.
THE BEST WAYS TO CONTACT THE CLINICAL TEAM
CONTACTING THE PRACTICE
The best ways to seek advice from your Doctor and other members of the clinical team are via eConsult (available from the Menu page of this website) or by contacting the surgery directly by telephone on 01803 312233.
Please do not contact the surgery for clinical advice via email.
Practice staff do not automatically re-direct inbound emails to clinical staff, and therefore there could be a significant delay before a member of the clinical team sees your email.
ALWAYS USE eCONSULT OR CONTACT US DIRECTLY BY PHONE ON 01803 312233
Click on the link below to watch a film about how the vaccination centre in Torbay is operating;
If you are struggling with transport to RICC, the Torbay Community Helpline have some volunteers that can help. Please contact them direct using the details below.
01803 446022 10am-6pm, Mon-Fri, 9:30am-12:30pm Sat
Online form: bit.ly/torbayhelpline
Health and Social Care Staff
Health and Social Care Workers can register here for COVID vaccination.
At present Torbay Carers Services is collating the list of all Carers in Torbay whilst we await the detailed guidance about who will be eligible for vaccination. They are also coordinating regular testing of all Carers who require it, and linking unpaid Carers into any other support that may be required.
Therefore, if you / the Carer are already registered with Torbay Carers Service and are eligible for vaccination, you will be contacted about this without having to do anything else.
If you / the Carer are not registered with Torbay Carers Service, or wish to have COVID testing or any Carer support then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and they will call you back.
If you do not have an e-mail, please ring 01803 66 66 20 but be aware that the phone line is likely to be busy.
Members of staff from all Practices in Torbay are working to deliver the COVID-19 Vaccine to patients at the Riviera Centre. Nurses, GPs, Healthcare Assistants, Admin staff and Managers are all spending time working at the site each day, instead of at their Practice to try and deliver the vaccine to protect our most vulnerable. We do not have any additional staff above and beyond our normal team, many of whom are now working 7 days a week to ensure we offer this service to our patients on top of running our GP practices.
This means that it is harder for us to offer our normal services and you may experience delays in getting through on the phone or seeing your preferred member of staff. Therefore, please do bear with us. As a surgery we remain open and here to help you. Our staff are working harder, working longer hours and are under more pressure than ever before. Please help us to get through this difficult time together by being patient with us - we are managing this programme on top of the usual high demand at this time of year and we are all working as hard as possible for you so we can get back to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.
The Brunel Medical Practice Team
ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN WHO ARE UNWELL
Please click on the link below for advice for parents of school-age children who have become unwell.
FACE MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING
All patients attending the practice for an appointment should wear a homemade face covering or mask.
This is to protect yourself, staff and other patients.
Please comply with our social distancing measures and use hand sanitiser on entering the building. You will also be asked to put on a mask or home-made face covering as you enter the surgery. If you do not have a mask, a member of staff will offer you one and you will be expected to wear it while you are in the surgery buildng.
Please click on the link below to visit the Disability Horizons website for lots of useful information about wearing masks, who may be exempt, and when and if you could be fined for not complying with Government guidelines.
EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES, LETTERS & CARDS
Please note that GPs are not currently issuing exemption letters or cards for patients who cannot wear face masks in public. Click on the link below to visit keepsafe - a site where you can download and print exemption cards.
If we all work together, we can keep patients and staff safe. Thank you so much for your understanding.
Nationwide CLIMB study
Please can you help the practice with this public research study looking into health data and how it should be shared?
Anyone aged 16 and over is eligible to take part.
The questionaire takes approximately ten minutes to complete and is anonymous.
Thank you from your Research Team.
RESEARCH FOR POTENTIAL TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19
The practice is working in partnership with Public Health England and the University of Oxford to deliver a new research study to patients with symptoms of COVID-19. All participants will be tested for COVID-19 as part of the study protocol.
If you have developed a temperature (hot to touch) or a new cough in the last 14 days, the Research Team at Oxford University would like you to consider taking part in their research trial which is investigating potential treatments for COVID-19.
You must be aged 50 or over and there are other criteria involving long-term health conditions. Please note that the time frame from the onset of symptoms is 14 days to join the study.
More information about the study can be found by clicking here.
Alternatively, if you have developed either of the above symptoms in the last 14 days, and you would like to take part, you can enrol yourself in the study by clicking here.
Patients who are eligible for the study will either be offered usual care advice or to start a drug called Azithromycin.
HOW THE PRACTICE IS OPERATING DURING THE PANDEMIC
It is going to be some months before we can return to seeing patients in the normal way. We need to have plans in place to treat patients that fall in to one of three groups:
Patients at High Risk from Covid-19
Patients with Covid-19 symptoms
Patients not at High Risk without symptoms of Covid-19
Wherever possible, appointments will be conducted by phone, video consultation or by eConsult for the safety of patients and staff. The doors to each practice remain closed and we would ask you to only attend if you have an appointment booked.
All staff coming in to contact with patients will wear PPE and extra infection control measures are in place.
If you have Symptoms of Covid-19 but need a Face to Face Appointment
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, even if you think that they are due to another illness or long-term health problem, you will be seen in The Barn at the rear of St Marychurch Surgery. You may need a regular blood test, or treatment for another health problem, unconnected to Covid-19. You will be asked to arrive at a set time, following instructions that will be given when the appointment is arranged. The Practice Staff that you see will be wearing extra PPE and will ask you to wear a mask, gloves and apron too. This is nothing to worry about and is just one part of how we are protecting our staff and patients.
No patient with Covid-19 symptoms can be seen for a face to face appointment in our main surgeries. This would put our staff and other patients at increased risk. Please always let us know if you have a cough, a high temperature or are concerned that you have Covid-19.
ORDERING PRESCRIPTIONS DURING THE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) OUTBREAK
Check what medicines you have at home before re-ordering your prescription.
To reduce the number of patients attending the practice at this time, prescriptions must be sent to a nominated pharmacy. Please let us know where you would like your prescription to be sent or tell your community pharmacist.
If you don’t need the medicine, don’t order it.
If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
This includes medicines that are prescribed to be used ‘as and when’ required.
You can order prescriptions online or move to electronic dispensing so you don’t need to visit the surgery - contact us via telephone (01803 312233) or email (email@example.com) for details of how you can register.
COLLECTION OF MEDICATION FROM PHARMACIES
Please be aware that the practice prescription team is currently very busy. Local pharmacies are also reporting increased pressure on their services.
The practice is currently receiving requests to ask pharmacies to deliver medications to patients who are isolating at home.
Please remember that current Government advice is that patients may leave their homes to collect medications - but as infrequently as possible.
If you are unable to leave your home then please make arrangements for delivery directly with your pharmacy. The practice cannot make delivery arrangements with your pharmacy on your behalf.
All pharmacies will be open between 2pm and 5pm on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Some pharmacies may extend these hours on an individual basis, please check their websites for details of opening hours.
CHANGES TO APPOINTMENTS SYSTEM TO REDUCE COVID-19 RISKS
Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 the practice is taking steps to minimise the risk of exposure to Coronavirus for both patients and staff.
We will move to a telephone consultation system for all appointments.
You will still be able to pre-book an appointment, but instead of coming to the surgery you will be phoned and will be asked not to present at the surgery unless advised to do so by a clinician. The doors to the Practice will be closed. You will be allowed to enter only if you have an appointment.
Please do not attend the surgery more than ten minutes before your appointment. This will reduce the numbers of patients waiting at any one time.
If a clinician needs to physically see you, they will ask you to come to the surgery. In such cases, risks for both the patient and practice staff will have been assessed.
Our on-call system for urgent problems will not change.
By doing this, footfall through the surgery is reduced. This will minimise the risk of any transmission of the virus. It will also enable clinicians to spend more time with those patients who are in most need.
If you have a face-to-face appointment already booked you will be contacted personally if this needs to be changed to a telephone consultation.
Patients who do not use online services (Patient Access) to order repeat prescriptions are asked to drop their prescription requests into the script boxes in the lobby of each surgery – there is no need to bring your request to the reception desk.
Please also consider using our online service – eConsult – which can be used for;
- Self-checking symptoms
- Queries about a range of conditions
- Advice about your health and medications
- Requesting a sick/fit note
Visit www.brunelmedicalpractice.co.uk to send your eConsult to a GP. You will receive a reply from the practice within two working days. All Brunel patients can use eConsult. You do not have to register with ID to use it.
We appreciate that some of these changes may be alarming. Therefore we would like to reassure patients that the practice is doing everything possible to ensure choice for patients whilst concentrating our efforts on those who need urgent care, during a time of increased demand on our services.
NHS VOLUNTEER RESPONDERS
Click on the link below to find out how to become an NHS Volunteer Responder
RESCUE PACK INFORMATION & CORONAVIRUS
Some of you may have seen that there us information on social media regarding the use of rescue packs for patients with COPD or asthma.
These are usually used for COPD/asthma patients who are at risk of BACTERIAL infections and are only started for specific symptoms.
These rescue packs will be of no benefit if you contract COVID-19 as this is a VIRAL infection. Antibiotics will not treat a viral infection.
Patients who clinically need a rescue pack have this discussed at their annual review with one of our Respiratory Nurses.
We are not able to issue rescue packs to all COPD/asthma patients as it won't necessarily be the safest option for each patient.
Please don't contact the practice regarding rescue packs if you have not previously had a rescue pack from us.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & ABUSE - IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE..
You would like to access help and support over the phone you can call....
- DVA National 24 Hour Helpline - 0808 2000 247
- Men's Advice Line - 0808 8010 327
- The Mix, free information and support for under-25's - 0808 808 4994
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpine - 0800 999 5428
- Samaritans (24/7) free helpline - 116 123
- RESPECT - 0808 802 4040
- GALOP - 0800 999 5428
HANDi PAEDIATRIC APP - ADVICE ON COMMON CHILDRENS' ILLNESSES
You can download the free HANDi app from the Google play store (Android) or the App Store (Apple).
The app gives expert advice for parents and carers about common childhood illnesses.