Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Wheatfield Surgery has remained open to patients, this included opening during bank holidays in the peak of the pandemic. We have had to offer appointments using new ways of working and new technology. We have worked hard to make sure we are available to speak to, and to offer appointments to anyone who has a clinical need for them.
We realise that some of our patients prefer to see a GP face to face. Due to Government guidance regarding Covid-19, we have had to implement a telephone triage system for patients in order to comply with safety regulations. In order to help with the demand for access to a clinician we have offered additional telephone consultations. It has remained the case that if we have needed to see a patient face to face, or felt it was important for their care, we have asked those patients to come in and see us.
The social distancing requirements and cleaning required between patients during the pandemic means that if all patients were to come into the surgery, we would not be able to offer the same number of appointments.
Offering new ways of working has helped some patients to access appointments who would not normally be able to due to other commitments, such as their work or caring responsibilities.
When you call the surgery for an appointment, you will be asked by our reception team to give a brief description of the nature of the issue you wish to discuss. This will help us to book you with the right person in the right timeframe. If the clinician decides you need to be seen face to face they will arrange to see you. Many issues can be dealt with quickly and safely over the phone, saving you an unnecessary trip to the surgery and reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19 to you and our staff.
Please remember we are not an urgent treatment centre, and we are not an A&E.
We are currently facing a very high volume of calls – please accept our apologies if the phone queue is longer than usual. We have implemented new telephone systems in order to help with the increased demand of telephone calls. Our reception team are working extremely hard to answer all of the calls as quickly as possible. Please be considerate and support them, they are frontline to our practice and deserve to be treated with respect.
Our staff here are people too, and some may have ethnicity or health issues that make them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. As caring employers, we need to ensure that we keep our staff safe as well. We take the necessary precautions to keep both our staff and our patients safe.
Covid-19 has presented the NHS with the greatest challenge it has faced since it’s creation. During this pandemic, demand on NHS services have increased and capacity has been reduced by the need for staff to go into self-isolation or when staff have become unwell and we could still be faced with these challenges in the future.
While we understand patients frustrations with the current situation, we hope you will continue to help and support us as you have always supported the NHS, so that we can go on providing you with care and support in the coming weeks and months.