You may have noticed that whilst your practice has remained open and available to patients during the pandemic and has continued to offer services according to clinical and social need, the way we have been delivering some care has been slightly different as we manage coronavirus (Covid-19).
We want to start off by saying thank you for adapting so quickly to these new ways of working – it has been the fundamental change needed to keep you and our staff safe while ensuring you get the care you need.
This is why we ask you to continue what you have been doing to access your GP services and we encourage patients to get in touch for any health concerns that cannot be dealt with by the individual, their family or friends or the local pharmacy.
You can also speak to a member of our team over the phone, or have a video consultation. This should support you to see the right person to help you, much quicker. These online services can be accessed via our wesbite.
We have been advised by NHSE, to continue to triage all patients prior to any face to face appointments taking place and to ensure the appropriate care provision is made available to meet your needs. Face to face appointments continue to be available to those where it is clinically or socially necessary and a clinician will make this decision with you as part of the triage process.
- you will get seen promptly and in the most appropriate setting
- you are reducing your risk of catching/spreading coronavirus by avoiding a waiting room
- you are helping to keep staff healthy and safe
- The practice is able to maintain a clean environment and protect you from the virus
We ask you to please not visit the GP practice without speaking with the practice first.
We think it is important to keep people safe, reduce the spread of coronavirus and get the maximum benefit from the healthcare resources which will be available.
It is important that all our patients are aware that you should not attend the practice if you have coronavirus symptoms as this risks passing the virus onto others. You need to self-isolate and can seek help via NHS 111 111.nhs.uk or your practice.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, then please do get in touch with us to let us know how we can support you.
Thank you once again for your support and understanding as we all adapt to a new way of working.
GP appointments and bookings – Patient FAQs
The way GP services are being accessed has changed. Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand why these changes are needed:
Why can’t I walk into my GP practice?
Whilst General Practice has remained open to meet the needs of it patients throughout the pandemic, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced us all to work differently to help slow down the spread of the virus. All healthcare settings are taking special measures to protect you, the public and their staff. GP practices are, and have always been, open and are working as hard as ever, just differently.
Where possible we want to avoid people having to wait inside a waiting room together, as we know this increases the risk of the virus spreading. Like hospitals and dentists, we have also had to change how we offer our services to you.
If you do need to come in, then we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
How do I get an appointment?
The easiest and most effective method is to contact us using the practice website contact methods, or you can telephone. You will then be contacted by a clinician to talk through your symptoms either over the phone, or if needed and you have the available technology, through a video consultation.
Why can’t I book a face-to-face appointment?
We have adapted the way in which you can get an appointment quickly and safely.
Most patient’s health concerns can be managed over the phone or via video consultation. This is why we are providing you with either an initial phone call or video consultation to decide what would be the best way to help. If we can support you without needing you to come into the practice then we reduce the need for you to travel and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
If you do need a face-to-face appointment due to your health or social needs, this will be discussed as part of the triage process between you and the clinician to support you to access your care in the most appropriate way. Dependent on your individual circumstances this could be delivered through you attending the practice for a pre-booked appointment or a home visit.
If we can ensure there are a minimal number of people in the practice, we can maintain social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
What is e-Consult?
You can access e-Consult via the practice website. It lets patients consult with their own NHS GP online by completing a quick form which is reviewed by the practice. After reviewing your query, you will then be directed toward the most appropriate help. This might be some advice on self-help, pharmacy advice, an appointment with one of the practice clinical team or another service. Your data is secure at all times – including during a video consultation or telephone call.
What if I do not have access to a smartphone or web camera?
While technology has evolved and supports us all in many different ways in our day- to-day lives, we appreciate not everyone will have access to a smartphone or web camera for a video consultation.
We can still talk to you on your mobile phone or landline. Please call the practice on 01986 892055.
Will I need to wear a face mask if I come into my practice for an appointment?
To help limit the spread of the virus, we are asking for all patients, excluding children, to wear a face covering when they come the practice. This doesn’t have to be a face mask, but a cloth covering which covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head. You can find additional information by visiting www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face- covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
How do I get a repeat prescription?
You can get a repeat prescription by the following ways:-
- Using the NHS App
- Using our online services, SystmOnline. If you are not registered to use this service, please complete our Register for Online Services form
- By using the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG’s Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service. You can get more information regarding this service by visiting NHS: Prescription Ordering Direct Service (POD).
How do I cancel or move a booked appointment?
Please telephone the surgery on 01986 892055.
How do I see a GP during the evening and weekends?
NHS 111 is a countrywide service designed to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services.
You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.
If you are confronted by a serious problem such as severe chest pain or severe bleeding, telephone 999 and ask for an ambulance.
There is a walk-in centre at Rouen House, Norwich. They can be contacted for health advice, information or treatment from 07:00 – 21:00 seven days a week.
What if I am not registered with a GP practice?
You can call any GP surgery to get emergency treatment for up to 14 days if you are not registered with a GP or are away from home.
If your treatment will last longer than 14 days, you’ll have to register as a temporary or permanent resident. You can find more information about this via www.nhs.uk and search ‘how to register with a GP practice’.
If you are a resident in the area and need to register with a practice, then you it’s best to look at practices where your home falls within its geographical boundaries. You can check a GP practice boundary by visiting their website.
Once you have selected which practice you would like to register with, make contact with them either by calling or visiting their website.
You will be asked to fill out a registration form and once it is completed and returned, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice. They will also write to you to confirm your registration with your chosen practice.
What do I do if I think I have coronavirus (Covid-19)?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then do not visit your GP practice. You should visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.
You must self-isolate for ten days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, or in your support bubble, who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person started having symptoms.
You must also ask for a test as soon as you start showing symptoms. You can do this online by visiting www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test