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STAY AT HOME!   PROTECT THE NHS!   SAVE LIVES!

CORONAVIRUS PRIMARY CARE BRIEFING

Updated 24 March 2020
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others  

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading. Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • To shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • To do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • For any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • To travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

    Medication Delivery Requests

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The NHS will contact you from Tuesday 24 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus.
You'll be given specific advice about what to do.
Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19   

COVID19 and support for clinicians in the frontline, triaging calls and determining best place for treatment

Due to the current COVID19 crisis and unprecedented demands on General Practice, GPs are having to change the way they work such that patients are being managed over the telephone, via some form of eConsultations and video consultations. Non-urgent work is being halted or postponed until it is deemed safer to do so.

We want to avoid people coming to the surgery unless they really need to. With Covid-19 now circulating within the country, we don’t know who might have it as you can be infected for several days before you have symptoms. Patients coming to surgery have the potential to spread the virus to the staff who can then go on to infect others, some of whom are likely to be the most vulnerable in the population. In addition, we could very quickly see large numbers of staff self-isolating leading to real gaps in service provision. As much as we love seeing our patients, the bottom line is we don’t want you coming to the surgery unless we have asked you to do so, and if you think about it, you really don’t want to be there.

The clinician has to make a decision based on their knowledge, experience and skills to determine whether it is safe to manage the patient without physically seeing them or in the very rare circumstances if they decide to see the patient in person, we want to be able to identify who they are and manage when and how we see them.

ALL potential appointments are getting a phone call first. We are finding that at the moment the majority of issues can be dealt with over the phone. We now also have the ability to arrange video consultation using smart phones. On the phone call with the GP we will work out with you whether we feel we can manage things over the phone/video, or whether you really do need a face-to-face contact.
You might find that the doctor you have spoken to is not actually at the surgery. Doctors and nurses may be in self-isolation and phoning you from home on their personal mobile phones – you should expect calls from numbers that are withheld if you are waiting for a call back.

If you do need to be seen please listen carefully to what the doctor tells you about your appointment. You may be asked to wait in our outdoor waiting area under the gazebo (please stay 2 meters away from other people) or you may be asked to wait in your car until we phone you to come in. You may find the door locked and only those with appointments being allowed in. We are trying to separate out appointments to avoid having too many in the waiting room. If we do ask you to wait in the waiting room, YOU MUST STAY 2 METERS AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE

When you see the doctor, don’t be surprised to find them in a mask, gown and gloves.

It is imperative that the clinician is allowed to make the decision in the best interests of the patient, their family and also the staff looking after them under extremely difficult circumstances.

In summary: Getting to see your doctor has changed. You are much more likely to find yourself speaking to them on the phone, or having a video call. Please be prepared for this, and please be respectful & kind to our receptionists, the care deeply about our patients and are working extremely hard during these difficult & challenging times.

We all need to pull together to help each other and ensure that the most vulnerable members of our communities are protected as much as possible.

In the meantime, please look at the advice on NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk), see information on our practice website, make sure you are following the advice you have been offered, use the online services the surgery offers and limit the amount of contact you have with other people to only when essential.
We would like to encourage you to look for guidance and advice from trustworthy sources. Please use the NHS websites, the UK Government websites and the World Health Organisation website as your go-to places for information. This is where up to date guidance will be.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public


COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms
Continue to stay at home if you have either:

A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

A 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)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Use the 111 coronavirus service  

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

What to do if you need medical help for another reason

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.

For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

Do

               Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

               Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

               Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands), when you cough or sneeze
               & put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

               Stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

Don’t

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Do you need a little support?

TMBC now has a dedicated helpline 0161 342 8355 for anyone that is struggling or needs help or for anyone to call if they are worried about someone who may be vulnerable by not having the support of family, friends or neighbours.

Tameside Council Support helpline


A Facebook group in our community has been set up to support people as we journey through the COVID19.
They currently have 63 helpers on the list who we can match up to elderly people who need support, or families that have to self isolate.
They are working mainly in Stalybridge but they do have a few people in Dukinfield and in Newton too. They are also working alongside St Pauls church.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/221263182400393/?multi_permalinks=221299082396803&notif_id=1584311118809690&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic

How to look after yourself.
Staying positive during this time is tricky.

There are a few simple things that you can do to feel better about things.

      Try limiting your exposure to social media. While it can be a very useful way to stay in touch with people,
it can lead to increased anxiety as people share worrying news.

At the moment our entire feeds are about covid-19 and many really feel like they’ve had enough.  

  Remain active. Even if you are in isolation, the one thing the guidance does allow you to go outside for is exercise.
https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout#get_active_at_home

   Keep to a daily structure when in isolation. If you are working from home, get up and dressed and ready for work and take regular breaks. If you are not working, keep yourself busy with constructive things – read, tidy the house, play games with the family, do jigsaws etc. Perhaps try to avoid spending the days on your
phone or watching TV.

          Keep in touch with family and friends. Find new ways to do this – Many have been downloading software such as Zoom (zoom.us)
so that they can do family video calls (other platforms are available!).



https://www.thebiglifegroup.com/service/mindsmatter/

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

online triage

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Named GP

Every patient in our practice has a named GP. This is clearly recorded on your medical records. You can ask at any time, who your named GP is when you are dealing with the practice.

On line Access to your medical records, to make appointments and request repeat medications

In order to access this service you will need to register for on line access. This is quick and simple, please come into the practice for a PIN, and to verify your identity. You will then need to download a App of your choice, or use a accredited website.  

Direct access to an expert to assess your bone, muscle or joint pain

Over the last few months, as some of our patients will know, our Reception team have been able to book people an appointment to see our 'First contact physiotherapist' when they have a joint, muscle or bone symptoms. The physio is based at Millbrook Medical Practice as they cover the whole neighbourhood. Our physio will assess you, and diagnose what is happening, give expert advice on how best to manage your condition and refer you on to specialist services if necessary. It is a great development as is freeing up GP appointments so we can see more people with other conditions.

Important - change in how you can request your repeat prescription from 23rd of MARCH 2020

You can request medication by email, using our online medication request form.  Click HERE

On-line services

Below are our online services. Requesting a repeat prescription, an appointment and accessing your medical records are only possible if you are registered for 'Online Services' (Please follow the links for information)

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(Site updated 31/03/2020)
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