IMPORTANT CHANGES TO GP PRACTICE OPERATION
10 April 2020
We have been working hard across North Yorkshire and York to redesign how we provide primary care services to our patients as we work through the COVID-19 outbreak. We are putting in place a new approach and you will see changes if you access services from your GP. This approach will enable us to make sure that we continue to provide the services patients need in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Our approach sees GP practices working together in a new way. We are ‘clustering together’ to form networks and provide services over multiple sites. This means you may receive services somewhere other than your usual practice and may see someone other than your usual GP or nurse.
This is how the new system will work:
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms please see the NHS website for guidance (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and, if you need medical advice please use NHS 111 (https://111.nhs.uk/). You can call NHS111 if you do not have access to the internet.
- GP practices are now sharing resources across a number of sites to create networks as we work together to provide primary care services. As a result, calls to your usual GP surgery may be diverted to a different site.
- All calls received will be telephone triaged first. This means calls will be returned by a clinician (this may be a GP, nurse, paramedic or pharmacist) who will talk through the symptoms and decide what next steps are appropriate. Calls should only be made to discuss non COVID-19 issues. If you have COVID-19 symptoms and need medical advice please access NHS111.
- This new triage system will enable us to connect patients to the right medical staff at a suitable location (this may be different from a patient’s usual practice).
- If you do need to attend a surgery in person staff may be wearing personal protective equipment, including face masks, aprons and gloves. We ask that you observe the two metre social distancing rule from staff and other patients in the practice to ensure both your safety and theirs.
As you know practices have already put in place a number of innovations which have enabled them to minimise face to face contact, including video and telephone consultations. This approach has helped us:
- Reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission;
- Protect our most vulnerable patients and staff; and
- Enable clinicians to continue to care for those patients who need it most.
As we embed our new approach to delivering primary care for the people of North Yorkshire and York during the COVID-19 outbreak we continue to ask all patients to:
- Follow the current government advice to stay at home and protect the NHS. Advice is being kept under constant review and you can find the latest guidance here. www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
- Use NHS111 if the first instance if you have COVID-19 symptoms and would like medical advice. Please use NHS111 online if you have access to the internet (https://111.nhs.uk). Phone NHS111 if you do not have online access.
- Do not come to any GP practice unless you have been specifically advised to do so after a phone/video consultation with a local clinician.
We would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation as we put these new systems in place to ensure we remain able to provide the services you most need.
Patients can now consult online at our practice as part of a new online service which could save you time and a journey.
Using the online consultation service makes it easier for us to quickly decide how we can best help you with the least amount of disruption to your day. The service is free and confidential and medical consultations are always reviewed by a GP or nurse.
Simply answer questions about your symptoms online and we’ll reply back the same day (or the next working day if it’s sent after 4PM or on a weekend/bank holiday), with general advice or signposting, a telephone consultation or, if necessary, we’ll get you booked in for an appointment. You can use the system 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
You can also use the system to send administrative queries if you have a question relating to test results, letters, medical reports or have a general enquiry.
The service also offers access to reliable and trustworthy self-help generic information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that may help you to avoid an appointment altogether.
To use our online consultation service:
To register for our online consultation service:
If you register to use the system then you won’t have to enter your personal details every time you send us a consultation and we’ll be able to send you secure messages online rather than having to try and contact you by telephone.
If you're a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more. If you already use SystmOnline you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well. For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp .