VIRTUAL DROP-IN SESSIONS IN NOVEMBER - LEARN HOW TO USE OUR ON-LINE SERVICES
The COVID-19 outbreak has been a difficult time for us all, including healthcare services, who have had to adapt to help protect the public and their staff, with many switching to a ‘digital’ way for you to use their service via the internet.
With this in mind we wanted to introduce you to the NHS-supported local information resource, Digital Health Devon. Their website has free guidance on how to use the internet to access local healthcare resources including how to use our online GP system to order prescriptions or reach your GP using eConsult. Their website is www.digitalhealthdevon.co.uk, with the GP Services section available via www.digitalhealthdevon.co.uk/courses/online-gp-services/.
Some of their volunteer Digital ‘trainers’ are donating their time to offer remote one-to-one digital support over the phone or via email, available by emailing email@example.com or calling freephone 0800 052 0029 to be matched up with a volunteer.
In addition, a volunteer is also hosting a ‘virtual drop in session’ just for our patients to show you how you can use our online GP system or the eConsult feature on our website. A 1 hour Zoom webinar just for our patients is taking place on the following dates, with a link to each meeting alongside it:
- PATIENT ACCESS DROP-IN SESSION- 18 November/12.30 – 1.30pm/https://zoom.us/j/99638132505 -
- NHS APP DROP-IN SESSION- 18 November/1.30 – 2.30pm/https://zoom.us/j/95313466670
Your face will not be seen, nor will your microphone be heard, but you will get the chance to ask a digital volunteer questions about the session they are running. If you are not sure how to join the webinar using the links above, or want to know more about it, you can see the Digital Health Devon module on ‘how to join a Zoom webinar’ by clicking this link: www.digitalhealthdevon.co.uk/courses/internet-access-and-email/lessons/how-to-use-zoom/topic/how-to-join-a-zoom-webinar/
If you have any queries, want to volunteer or get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
BRUNEL FLU CLINICS 2020
Brunel Flu Clinics have now been completed and most of our patients who are eligible for the flu vaccination have been immunised.
If you are aged over 65, pregnant or have a long-term condition (eg asthma or diabetes) then please contact the practice for advice.
IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE PRACTICE FOR A FLU VACCINATION
Social distancing measures will be in place at all clinics, and staff will be wearing PPE.
- DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU HAVE ANY CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS (cough, fever, loss of taste/smell)
- Come alone if you can (please let us know if you will be accompanied)
- Wear a face covering, you will be offered a mask if you do not have one with you
- IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ARRIVE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT ON TIME
FLU CLINICS FOR PATIENTS AGED BETWEEN 50 AND 64 YEARS
It is the Government's intention to expand current flu vaccination eligibility to vaccinate 50 to 64 year olds. Eligibility details for this age group have not yet been confirmed.
If you are aged between 50 and 64, please do not ask for a flu vaccination until you are advised to do so.
Further information about clinics for patients in this age group will be released as soon as possible.
FACE MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING
We ask all patients attending the practice for an appointment to wear a homemade face covering or mask.
As we begin to ask more patients to attend for appointments, particularly with the nursing team for tests that have been delayed by Covid-19, you may not be the only person in our waiting room.
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 WE ARE USING OUR 3 PRACTICE SITES FROM MONDAY 11 MAY
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 remains closed and we would ask you to only attend if you have an appointment booked.
From Monday 11 May, any patient identified as High Risk from Covid-19 (Shielding Patients) who need to be seen for a face to face appointment with a GP or member of the nursing team, will be seen at Shiphay Surgery. All appointments will be pre-booked and staggered throughout the day. All staff coming in to contact with patients will wear PPE and extra infection control measures are in place.
Babbacombe & St Marychurch Surgeries
Patients who are not at High Risk from Covid-19 who need to be seen for a face to face appointment will attend pre-booked appointments, staggered throughout the day to continue to reduce the number of patients onsite at any one time. Staff coming in to contact with patients will wear PPE and extra infection control measures are in place.
Drive Thru Appointments at St Marychurch
Our nurses are able to perform some procedures whilst patients remain in their car. This includes some injections and simple blood tests. This allows us to minimise the contact between patients, our staff and the practice buildings. This may not be appropriate for all patients or procedures and any patient can decline to be seen in this way. Drive Thru appointments will happen at the rear of St Marychurch Surgery. Please do not arrive early for your appointment, follow the signs and stay in your car at all times.
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.
Brunel Medical Practice will be open as usual on Friday 8 May.
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.
Over the coming weeks we will reduce routine “face to face” work, such as Health Checks, Chronic Disease Reviews (eg diabetes and asthma) and routine appointments with clinical staff.
We will move – temporarily - 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.
COMMUNITY CORONAVIRUS HELPLINE
Neighbours are being encouraged to look out for one anther as the Coronavirus crisis deepens around the Bay.
Please click here to see information from the torbay Community Development Trust about how you can help the elderly, unwell and those who are self-isolating.
Click here to visit the helpline's website and enter details of help you may require or assistance that you can give.