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Coronavirus information

*The Coronavirus*

If you are concerned you may have coronavirus please use the following link which contains a symptom checker as well as advice on what you should do next:

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 

If you believe you may have coronavirus you should not attend the surgery, hospital or a pharmacy, you should instead following the advice given in the above link. 

You can request a covid 19 test by clicking here

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from Covid19 can be found here 

 

Mandatory face coverings at the surgery for all visitors

From Friday 24 July it will be mandatory to wear face masks when in shops, however, there are some exemptions to this rule. Further information can be found at the below web address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own#exemptions-to-wearing-a-face-covering-where-they-are-mandated

The surgery will not be able to provide letters for patients regarding their own face mask use, including giving guidance on whether it is or is not appropriate to wear one. 

There is a link below explaining more about face masks, where to buy them and how to make your own.

We are aware of shops located in Uckfield selling face masks.

 https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/face-masks/article/face-masks-where-to-buy-them-and-how-to-make-your-own

Please note that it is already a requirement to wear a face mask when visiting the surgery and any NHS setting. 

 

  Shielding patients

Guidance for those shielding at home has recently changed. For the latest guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid 19 please click here

  

Assistance for the vulnerable

 Wealden District Council has set up a Covid-19 Community Hub for vulnerable people who need support to allow them to stay at home. These are people who are unable to receive essential supplies by online deliveries or through family, friends and neighbours. If you are vulnerable, or know someone who needs food, medical supplies or other support please register using their online form or call 01323 443322 and they will put you in contact with groups in the community and voluntary sector who can help.

Vulnerable people are also able to visit here or call 0800 028 8327 which is the Government's dedicated helpline.

 

Booking of appointments 

In order to protect our patients and staff we have turned off the online booking option for appointments. The Meads team will now be asking all patients for the reason for their appointments before a telephone/ video appointment will be allocated. If you are invited into the surgery to attend an appointment we respectfully ask you not to bring additional people (for example, siblings, both parents etc) unless this is specifically needed for frailty/ other reasons. If you develop a cough,fever or you experience loss of taste/ smell before your scheduled appointment (or anyone in your household experiences any of these symptoms) please do not visit the surgery but instead self-isolate at home for 14 days.

You may be asked a number of additional questions by our team when booking your appointment and we ask for your patience with this. We are working very hard to protect everybodys' best interests. 

 

Hot and Cold Sites for Covid19
The surgery has specific zones (hot and cold sites) “Hot“ for possible Covid 19 cases and “Cold” for others.
There are separate entrance points for “Hot” and “Cold” cases. “Cold" cases use the main door.”Hot" cases use a rear entrance. Please follow the signs carefully.
For Patients with possible Covid19, where appropriate, and with the patient’s consent we shall assess them whilst they remain in their cars in designated cordoned off ‘symptom checker’ bays. If necessary, we also have the facility for these patients to enter the surgery via a rear entrance (not the main doors) and go straight in to a clinical room designated for this purpose. If a patient is asked to park in one of our symptom checker bays this is not always because we necessarily think they have Covid19 but have other reasons for asking them to do this.
We have contingency plans in place should the surgery need to close, for example due to staff shortage. As part of a group of local practices we also have a backup plan of having one of the local surgery sites being used as a designated ‘hot site’, should for any reason we not be able to continue operating as we are currently are. Should we need to implement either contingency plans we would communicate this together with instructions to our patients via Facebook, local Facebook groups, recorded message on our telephone, our website and where possible text message.   

 

 

Suspension of most routine annual reviews and blood tests

We are postponing all annual reviews which can not be conducted via telephone or video call. If any of our patients with long term conditions are feeling unwell they should call the surgery as they would normally.  Regrettably it is necessary for us to postpone all non urgent blood tests, non urgent minor surgery, procedures and referrals. If it has been necessary to postpone your appointment we will make contact with you as soon as possible to inform you of this.   

 

Childhood immunisations

It is Public Health's recommendation that children are still bought in to the surgery for their usual childhood immunisations. These will be available via booked appointment only. The 6 week baby check will now be aligned with the baby's 8 week immunisation appointment so that only one visit to the surgery is required. Only one parent (and no siblings) should be bought to this appointment. You should only attend the appointment if completely well and no signs of a cough, temperature or loss of taste/ smell. 

 

Temperature screening on arrival at the surgery

In order to protect staff and patients we are now checking people's temperatures using an ear thermometer on their arrival at the surgery. If you have a temperature of 37.8 degrees or above you will be asked to wait outside of the surgery until a Clinician is able to telephone you. We trust that everybody will understand our reasoning for this and will cooperate fully. All staff are recording their temperatures on arrival at work. 

 

Sickness certificates/ letters from the surgery

All MED3 (sick notes)/ letters requested from the practice will need to be emailed to patients; in exceptional circumstances these will be sent to patients via post. You will be asked for your email address when requesting any documentation from the surgery. 

 

Prescriptions

Please continue to call NHS Prescription Ordering Direct (the POD) to order any prescriptions. The freephone number for POD is 0808 164 7678. Prescriptions will be issued to pharmacies directly and in line with their usual expected request dates. We respectfully ask you not to request medication any earlier than you would normally and not to request items that you do not need because you may be feeling concerned about levels of supply. If people begin stockpiling medicines or over ordering then this is likely to cause detrimental supply issues. 

 

To reduce the workload for our doctors the practice is collaborating with NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBA) which is providing NHS numbers for those patients that may be suitable for electronic repeat dispensing prescriptions. The information is obtained from NHS prescriptions submitted to the NHSBA. A member of our clinical team will contact these patients soon to explain the benefits of this service. 

 

Travel appointments

There will no longer be any 'travel' appointments available at the surgery until further notice.

 

A few words of thanks....

We would like to thank our patients for the encouraging words of support we have received and for cooperating with the above provisions which have been established to protect everybody’s interests. The partners and practice manager are extremely proud of the Meads team and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them publicly for their continued professionalism and dedication to their work.  We are prepared, we have policies and procedures in place for different situations and are adopting these stringently.

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