Covid-19 and the practice . . .

The practice would like to thank the community for their support and understanding over the past few months whilst our services have been significantly disrupted due to the Covid pandemic. Coronavirus remains in our community so at the current time, with restrictions still in place, we continue to need to adapt our service provision to keep staff and patients safe. We will continue to regularly review our systems in response to Scottish Government advice and local NHS Borders plans to ensure that we deliver the best possible care to our patients. Please note however that it is likely that there will be ongoing significant disruption to and limitations of our services for the foreseeable future.

You can find out more about how the NHS is dealing with the Pandemic by visiting NHS Inform

Our recovery plan: (Phase 1)

Patient Flow

The front door to the practice will remain closed to limit footfall within the building. Patients arriving at the practice for a pre-arranged appointment or business should ring the door bell so that reception staff can assist. We ask that patients wear a face covering to enter the building. Patients should apply hand gel as soon as they enter the building. We ask that you attend as close to the agreed appointment time as possible and enter the building unaccompanied (where possible) to reduce the need to occupy the waiting room. Where possible, we will post documents out to patients rather than ask someone to attend the practice to collect. Preparations are under way to install sneeze guards at the reception and floor stickers to remind patients to stand a safe distance back from the desk.

 

Appointments

All queries related to possible Covid related matters should be made by calling NHS24 on 111. The practice will not deal directly with these enquiries.

All requests for medical assistance will continue to be triaged by telephone in the first instance. Patients may be invited to participate in a secure video call if they are comfortable using the technology to connect. If a clinician feels that someone needs to be seen face to face then an appointment will be arranged. At the current time, we will be segregating patient groups to attend at specific times of the day so that we do not ask unwell patients to attend at the same time as our vulnerable patients. Our capacity remains significantly reduced whilst we implement these measures and allow sufficient time for infection control measures between patients.

A touching gesture: This beautiful painted stone was left outside the practice during the peak of lockdown.

Home Visits

As always, all requests for home visits will be triaged by a clinician. Visit will only be performed where clinically necessary for those who are considered to be housebound and unable to attend the practice. It is likely that information will be gathered by telephone prior to a visit to reduce the time clinicians need to spend in a patient’s home. This helps to reduce our risk of exposure to possible infection. Patients can help us by ensuring that rooms we need to enter are well ventilated and not occupied by anyone except the unwell person.

 

Vaccinations

Immunisations for children, shingles and pneumococcal vaccines are still being provided to those who are eligible. All other vaccine programmes are currently unavailable. We will endeavour to perform 6 week baby checks at the same time as a vaccination appointment to reduce the need for parents to attend with babies on two separate occasions.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All patient contacts (in the practice or in homes) will be performed by staff wearing PPE consisting of an apron, gloves, face mask and visor. This is for the safety of both patients and clinical staff alike. GPs and advanced practitioners are all currently wearing medical scrubs.

Suspended Services

The following services are not available at present :

  1. Minor surgery
  2. Evening surgeries

Chronic disease clinics (such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension and COPD) are currently operating in a very limited form as we try to identify those most in need of review.

The following services have resumed recently :

  1. Cervical screening (smears)
  2. Contraceptive services for coils and implants only

 

Prescriptions

Prescription items will be issued for one month as standard.

Coldingham Dispensary 

Dispensing of medication continues from Coldingham surgery. Whilst our team of dispensers is working hard throughout the week to prepare prescription requests, medication collection is only available at the times listed below.

Monday               2-5pm
Tuesday               2-5pm
Wednesday         2-5pm
Thursday             2-5pm
Friday                   9am – midday

We are hoping to extend these times in the near future for the convenience of patients.